AMBIO

, 40:719

Reconnecting to the Biosphere

Authors

    • Stockholm Resilience CentreStockholm University
    • The Beijer InstituteRoyal Swedish Academy of Sciences
  • Åsa Jansson
    • Stockholm Resilience CentreStockholm University
    • The Beijer InstituteRoyal Swedish Academy of Sciences
  • Johan Rockström
    • Stockholm Resilience CentreStockholm University
    • Stockholm Environment Institute
  • Per Olsson
    • Stockholm Resilience CentreStockholm University
  • Stephen R. Carpenter
    • Center for LimnologyUniversity of Madison
  • F. Stuart ChapinIII
    • Institute of Arctic BiologyUniversity of Alaska Fairbanks
  • Anne-Sophie Crépin
    • Stockholm Resilience CentreStockholm University
    • The Beijer InstituteRoyal Swedish Academy of Sciences
  • Gretchen Daily
    • Department Biology and Woods Institute for the EnvironmentStanford University
  • Kjell Danell
    • Department of Wildlife, Fish, and Environmental StudiesSwedish University of Agricultural Sciences
  • Jonas Ebbesson
    • Stockholm Resilience CentreStockholm University
    • Environmental Law, Stockholm Environmental Law and Policy CentreStockholm University
  • Thomas Elmqvist
    • Stockholm Resilience CentreStockholm University
    • Natural Resource Management, Department of Systems EcologyStockholm University
  • Victor Galaz
    • Stockholm Resilience CentreStockholm University
  • Fredrik Moberg
    • Stockholm Resilience CentreStockholm University
    • Albaeco
  • Måns Nilsson
    • Stockholm Environment Institute
  • Henrik Österblom
    • Stockholm Resilience Centre and Baltic Nest InstituteStockholm University
  • Elinor Ostrom
    • Workshop in Political Theory and Policy AnalysisIndiana University
    • Center for the Study of Institutional DiversityArizona State University
  • Åsa Persson
    • Stockholm Resilience CentreStockholm University
    • Stockholm Environment Institute
  • Garry Peterson
    • Stockholm Resilience CentreStockholm University
  • Stephen Polasky
    • The Beijer InstituteRoyal Swedish Academy of Sciences
    • Departments of Applied Economics and Ecology, Evolution, and BehaviorUniversity of Minnesota
  • Will Steffen
    • Stockholm Resilience CentreStockholm University
    • The ANU Climate Change InstituteAustralian National University
  • Brian Walker
    • Stockholm Resilience CentreStockholm University
    • The Beijer InstituteRoyal Swedish Academy of Sciences
    • CSIRO Sustainable Ecosystems
  • Frances Westley
    • Waterloo Institute for Social Innovation and ResilienceUniversity of Waterloo
Invited Paper

DOI: 10.1007/s13280-011-0184-y

Cite this article as:
Folke, C., Jansson, Å., Rockström, J. et al. AMBIO (2011) 40: 719. doi:10.1007/s13280-011-0184-y

Abstract

Humanity has emerged as a major force in the operation of the biosphere, with a significant imprint on the Earth System, challenging social–ecological resilience. This new situation calls for a fundamental shift in perspectives, world views, and institutions. Human development and progress must be reconnected to the capacity of the biosphere and essential ecosystem services to be sustained. Governance challenges include a highly interconnected and faster world, cascading social–ecological interactions and planetary boundaries that create vulnerabilities but also opportunities for social–ecological change and transformation. Tipping points and thresholds highlight the importance of understanding and managing resilience. New modes of flexible governance are emerging. A central challenge is to reconnect these efforts to the changing preconditions for societal development as active stewards of the Earth System. We suggest that the Millennium Development Goals need to be reframed in such a planetary stewardship context combined with a call for a new social contract on global sustainability. The ongoing mind shift in human relations with Earth and its boundaries provides exciting opportunities for societal development in collaboration with the biosphere—a global sustainability agenda for humanity.

Keywords

Social–ecological systems Resilience Ecosystem services Natural capital Adaptive governance Planetary stewardship

Copyright information

© Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences 2011