There is a rising recognition of the need to integrate resilience as a core strategy for meeting development needs in an increasingly globalised world of social and environmental turbulence.
In recognition of this need, the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida) has granted Stockholm Resilience Centre 107 million SEK to strengthen the centre’s efforts to integrate resilience into international development practice and policy.
The money will be allocated under the "GRAID – Guidance for Resilience in the Anthropocene: Investments for development" programme for an initial four-year period.
Sida sees GRAID as a knowledge partner for the newly inaugurated Global Resilience Partnership (GRP) established by Sida, the Rockefeller Foundation and USAID.
"This is a very exciting and important step in the development and
application of resilience and social-ecological systems science"
Belinda Reyers, director of GRAID
Place-based research in priority regions
GRAID is a collaboration between the Stockholm Resilience Centre and Stellenbosch University and the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research in South Africa.
It will be based on place-based research around the world, building on another centre hosted initiative, the Programme on Ecosystem Change and Society (PECS), and take advantage of internal competencies at the centre on models, data, resilience methods, and synthesis to conduct cross-case and cross-scale comparisons.
GRAID will focus on priority regions in the Sahel, Horn of Africa, and South and Southeast Asia. Belinda Reyers believes we are witnessing a reframing of development from a narrow focus on developing countries to a global focus on prosperity, equity and sustainability.
Taking resilience in a new direction
Belinda Reyers, a long-time affiliate of the Stockholm Resilience Centre and an extraordinary Professor at Stellenbosch University, South Africa, has taken on the role as director of the GRAID programme.
She believes the programme will take resilience science in a new direction.
"This is a very exciting and important step in the development and application of resilience and social-ecological systems science. GRAID provides us with the opportunity to connect, innovate and synthesise scientific insights on development challenges such as inequality, migration, biodiversity loss and emerging diseases."
This new perspective on development is clearly signalled by the Sustainable Development Goals, which set out a universal agenda for a more equitable and sustainable development for people and planet.
But this new perspective needs a new kind of science – able to develop understanding, evidence and tools for implementing development in this light.
For Belinda Reyers, this is where resilience research has a key role to play.
"Areas such as social-ecological systems and feedbacks, cross-scale dynamics and linkages, non-linear change, and transformations can all contribute to better understand the dynamics and patterns of the Anthropocene and how to transform towards sustainability."
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