SWEDISH SOUTH ASIAN STUDIES NETWORK
Stockholm Environment Institute, SEI:
Contact person: Dr. Göran Nilsson Axberg, Senior Research fellow, phone: +46 (0)8 674 7534
The Stockholm Environment Institute (SEI), recently ranked as one of the world’s top-ten environmental think tanks, is a major global player pushing for action on environment-development issues, and in particular on how these issues link to poverty.
The SEI mission developed from the insights gained at the 1972 UN Conference on the Human Environment in Stockholm (after which the Institute derives its name), the work of the (Brundtland) World Commission for Environment and Development and the 1992 UN Conference on Environment and Development. The Institute was established in 1989 following an initiative by the Swedish Government to develop an international environment/development research organisation.
The SEI researchers are gathered into the following research programmes:
Major funding from Sida
For the period 2006–2009, SEI received substantial financial support from The Institutional Programme Support (IPS) within The Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (SIDA).
On 4 May 2011, The Swedish International Development Cooperation AgencySida decided to provide renewed financial support to the Stockholm Environment Institute (SEI). Through this agreement SEI will receive renewed financial support of 25 million Swedish crowns per year for its environmental research up until 2014.
Worldwide research network
SEI has research centres in Sweden, Estonia, the United Kingdom (York and Oxford), the United States, Tanzania and Thailand. Each of these centres brings a commitment to integrated analyses of complex problems, drawing upon the full range of scientific and policy expertise across the SEI centres. Each centre has its own personality and foci of interests, and each operates with significant autonomy while participating in the five cross-cutting SEI research programmes. And each centre shares a common commitment to policy-relevant research, and to the goal that SEI should make a difference in the global quest for a more equitable and sustainable planet.
Administratively, the SEI foundation in Sweden consists of SEI Stockholm, SEI Asia, SEI Africa and SEI Oxford, whereas SEI Tallinn, SEI US (a non-profit research organization being a research affiliate of Tufts University in Massachusetts), and SEI York (a self-funded research unit in the Biology Department at the University of York) are separate entities and associations under the SEI umbrella.
South Asia related research at SEI Stockholm
Lannerstad has recently joined SEI as a Research Fellow. He is the project leader and co-author of a joint book project between the SEI and the Stockholm Resilience Centre. The book centres on water for food and ecosystems, and will build on recent advancements in socio-ecological resilience and place the entire water-food-ecosystem nexus in the global environmental change perspective. His resent work centres on global water requirements for food production to meet the needs and demands of a growing, and still partly starving, world population, and water resource management on river basin scale, in a basin closure perspective. More information about his research.
Dr. Elisabeth Kvarnström has been a Research Fellow at SEI. She was Node Development Manager for SEI’s EcoSanRes (Ecological Sanitation Research) Programme. This is a programme funded by the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency, aimed to develop and promote sustainable sanitation in the developing world through capacity development and knowledge management as a contribution to equity, health, poverty alleviation, and improved environmental quality.
In India, SEI has also been working with Ecosan programme efforts, through the SEI-UNICEF Ecosan Programme. The contact person at SEI has been Ms. Cecilia Ruben, Communications and Networking Manager. In India, Mr. Prakash Kumar is
Consultant to EcoSanRes.
Dr. Louise Karlberg is a is a Research Fellow and joined SEI in 2006, and is affiliated to Stockholm Resilience Centre. She specialises in flows of water and matter in terrestrial ecosystems and holds a PhD in Land and Water Resources Sciences from the Royal Institute of technology (KTH), Sweden. More information.
They work together with Dr. Kaushal Kishor Garg,a post-doc researcher at the International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT) at its headquarters in Patancheru,
Andhra Pradesh, India. Dr. Garg’s work at ICRISAT is supervised by Prof. Suhas P. Wani, Principal Scientist (Watersheds), Global Theme – Agroecosystems.
In 2009, Karlberg, Barron, Garg and colleagues presented a SEI Report entitled ”Opportunities to increase water productivity in agriculture with special reference to Africa and South Asia”. It contains a list of key messages that together can effectively improve the conditions for food productions and poverty alleviation. Water stress is increasing in a number of countries, and regions are moving into water stressed conditions that render livelihood support from crops, livestock and ecosystems critically difficult. Download the full report (as a pdf-file)
South Asia researchers connected to SEI
(photo to the right), Director of the Center
for Science and Environment (CSE) in Delhi, India, was previously
a member of the board. She is a forceful and articulate voice of
the South on issues of environment and development, and a dynamic
advocate for water, environment, human rights, democracy and health.
She is also Director of the Society for Environmental Communications
and publisher of the fortnightly magazine, Down
To Earth, published from New Delhi.
holder of the Planning Commission Professorial Chair at the Dept. of Economics, University of Mysore (previously at the National
Law School of India University in Bangalore) has also been
a Senior Advisor to the SEI-Stockholm. His work and areas of interest
are in the areas of Social Policy, Natural Resources, Science and
Technology Policy, Ecology and Environment and has published many
papers and co-authored as well edited several books.
Other SEI research projects connected to South Asia
A number of South Asia oriented projects have been
administered thorugh SEI’s office in York, UK.
project by SEI-York is titled ”Managing
Pollution from Small Scale Industries in Bangladesh”.
It is funded by the UK Government's Department for International
Development (DFID), under the Knowledge and Research (KaR) programme,
the European Commission under, the Asia Pro Eco Programme and the
Government of Bangladesh under their Investment Support Management
In 1999 SEI, through its Boston office, carried out a project titled ”Capacity Building in India and Nepal”. It was carried out in partnership with four water development NGOs from India and Nepal, and dealt with a water supply and conservation project. The organizations reflected a diverse set of water planning challenges in South Asia. WEAP, a Water Evaluation And Planning System, was introduced in each area as a mechanism for structured and integrated assessment. Ten water professionals from the organizations then participated in a joint training workshop where they gained proficiency in the use of WEAP, developed a network configuration for their regions and compiled relevant data. The applications in river basin assessment and problem solving continue with occasional SEI technical support.
Studentships, international exchanges and other activities
SEI also supports the academic community through studentships, internships, Masters and PhD supervision and international exchanges.
The Institute also develop and maintain the Global Water Partnership website (www.gwpforum.org).
It is also active in capacity building and facilitation projects at many places around the World. In South Asia the Institute has been working with The Energy Agency in Bhutan; and EPTRI (the Environment Protection Training & Research Institute). EPTRI was set up as an independent registered society in 1992 by the Government of Andhra Pradesh with the assistance of the Government of India, and financially assisted by Sida, the Swedish International Development Agency.
Pollution monitoring programmes
SEI has been engaged in an air pollution monitoring
network in South Asia, with the aim to identify atmospheric pollution
reduction strategies and implement international agreements.
Most of the activities have concentrated on South
and Southeast Asia, where some work has been coordinated through
the SEI-coordinated Swedish International Development Agencys
Air Pollution in Developing Countries (RAPIDC) programme, which
has helped to develop inter-governmental cooperation on air pollution
in South Asia and SADC countries of Africa. SEI has developed information
for the policy process and facilitated inter-governmental agreements
in these regions. Specifically, the programme has helped to facilitate
the development of the Malé
Declaration on Control and Prevention of Air Pollution in South
Asia, in the year 2000.
Global Scenario Group
The Stockholm Environment Institute convened the Global Scenario Group in 1995 to examine the prospects for world development in the 21st century. It is an independent, international and interdisciplinary body engaged in an on-going process of scenario development. A central theme is the policies, actions and human choices required for a transition to a more sustainable and equitable future. The diversity and continuity of the GSG offers a unique resource to researchers, decision-makers and the general public.
The GSG maintains a Secretariat at SEI-Boston that provides scientific and administrative support for the GSG work program. Dr. Paul Raskin is the GSG Director. Major funding has been provided by the Nippon Foundation, the Stockholm Environment Institute, the United Nations Environment Programme, the Rockefeller Foundation, and the Global Industrial and Social Progress Research Institute. In the group two members are from South Asia: Tariq Banuri from Pakistan who is Senior Research Director at SEI-Boston, and Atiq Rahman from Bangladesh who is Director of the Bangladesh Centre for Advanced Studies, Dhaka, and Coordinator of the Climate Action Network, South Asia.
The Stockholm Resilience Centre is a Swedish Centre of Excellence established in 2007 as a joint effort between the Department of Systems Ecology, Stockholm University; Beijer International Institute of Ecological Economics; and Stockholm Environment Institue, SEI. The Centre is funded by FORMAS, with an aim to do integrated research on social-ecological systems.
The project runs over a five-year period and its work focuses on complex systems, regime shifts and resilience. The centre argues that because of positive feedbacks causing non-linear dynamics and regime shifts in social-ecological systems, a resilience approach will be required for guiding management and policy towards sustainability.
The Stockholm Resilience Centre works in close contact with Albaeco, an independent non-profit organisation founded in 1998 by researchers in Natural Resource Management at Stockholm University together with representatives from advertising, media and business economics. Albaeco is connected to an extensive network of international researchers from both the natural and social sciences. Albaeco is an active partner of the Centre and assists researchers in their communications efforts to reach out with research findings to the media, politicians, government agencies and resource users at local, regional and international levels. Albaeco’s mission is to communicate the latest in sustainability science with a focus on Nature’s importance to society and the economy. Albaeco spreads easy-to-grasp information on how human societies depend on functioning ecosystems, and how societies influence the capacity of ecosystems to sustain human well-being. The information is available for practical use by policy-makers, businesses, schools, media and the general public. More information about Albaeco.
In July 2010, the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida), through its program for Partner Driven Cooperation (Aktörssamverkan), announced a call for applications for grants to collaborative projects related to access to and use of research for the period 2010 – 2012. This program is not support to research but rather assisting partners in assessing and using research in policy formulation and innovation. Sida’s initiative for Partner Driven Cooperation is aiming to support sustainable cooperation relationships, and concerns only a few selected countries, namely China, India, Indonesia, Vietnam, South Africa, Botswana and Namibia. More information.
Research Fellow Cecilia Ruben, Communications and Networking Manager at SEI, is the main applicant for one of these India related grants. She and her colleagues behind the application are given SEK 3.9 m for three years (2010-12) for a project entitled ”Enhanced Sustainable Sanitation Provision in Flooded Areas of India: Researchers and Practitioners Collaborate for Policy Reform and MDG Fulfillment”.
Two other SEI researchers, Research Associate Fiona Lambe and Senior Research Fellow Francis X Johnson, are involved in another Partner driven Indo-Swedish collaboration project, namely a project on ”Brown Air” in northern India, coordinated by Prof. Örjan Gustavsson, Department of Applied Environmental Science (ITM), Stockholm University. More information about this project.