M. Troell/Azote

Photo: R. Kautsky/Azote

Global food systems and multifunctional land & seascapes

We address questions related how we build resilience in global food systems and how to bring about large scale transformation of these systems

One of the greatest challenges of our time is how to produce healthy food for a growing world population without increasing the pressure on the planet’s ecosystems or eroding other functions. This is much about how we adjust our resource use to existing planetary boundaries and reverse ongoing trends of homogenization and instead strive for multifunctionality.

Within this multi-disciplinary theme, we address questions related how we build resilience in global food systems and how to bring about large scale transformation of these interconnected systems. We also look more broadly at how resource consumption and recognition of multiple values could become a driver of positive change in support systems and what market-based mechanisms and other policy tools exist for changing human preferences and behaviour. “

Other aspects we look at include:

- how to navigate trade-offs in and across multifunctional landscapes/seascapes to accomplish good stewardship

- how to manage resources in a time with increasing scales, speed and connectivity;

- how agriculture biodiversity relates to poverty

- relationship between human health, environmental health and food systems

- power structures and relations within the food system and its relationship to multi functionality and stewardship

Theme contacts

Staff details

Theme contacts

Max Troell

Erik Andersson

Fabrice de Clerck



Suitability of Water Harvesting in the Upper Blue Nile Basin, Ethiopia: A First Step towards a Mesoscale Hydrological Modeling Framework

Dile, Y.T., Rockström, J., Karlberg, L.

2016 - Journal / article

Extreme rainfall variability has been one of the major factors to famine and environmental degradation in Ethiopia. The potential for water harvesting in the Upper Blue Nile Basin was assessed using two GIS-based Multicriteria Evaluation methods: (1) a Boolean approach to locate suitable areas for in situ and ex situ systems and (2) a weighted overlay analysis to classify suitable areas into different water harvesting suitability levels. The sensitivity of the results was analyzed to the influence given to different constraining factors. A large part of the basin was suitable for water harvesting: the Boolean analysis showed that 36% of the basin was suitable for in situ and ex situ systems, while the weighted overlay analysis showed that 6–24% of the basin was highly suitable. Rainfall has the highest influence on suitability for water harvesting. Implementing water harvesting in nonagricultural land use types may further increase the benefit. Assessing water harvesting suitability at the larger catchment scale lays the foundation for modeling of water harvesting at mesoscale, which enables analysis of the potential and implications of upscaling of water harvesting practices for building resilience against climatic shocks. A complete water harvesting suitability study requires socioeconomic analysis and stakeholder consultation.


The re-greening of Sahel

The West African Sahel is as a region of particular interest in the context of environment and development. This project looks at how  climatic variability and why change happens in some regions while not in others. Read more here

Social-ecological systems (SES), are characterized by multi-scale
interactions among actors and ecosystems. SES-Link investigates these linkages and how they affect resilience and governance. Read more here

Stockholm Resilience Centre is a collaboration between Stockholm University and the Beijer Institute of Ecological Economics at the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences

Stockholm Resilience Centre
Stockholm University, Kräftriket 2B
Phone: +46 8 674 70 70

Organisation number: 202100-3062
VAT No: SE202100306201