In June 2022, the Stockholm+50 conference will be arranged by the Swedish government to commemorate the 50 years since the United Nations Conference on the Human Environment in Stockholm 1972. SEI is organizing a one-day event together with the University Alliance Stockholm Trio – Karolinska Institutet, KTH Royal Institute of Technology and Stockholm University. The “Sustainable planet, sustainable health – how science-based solutions can drive transformative change” conference will take place on 1 June 2022 at the joint Stockholm University and Royal Institute of Technology Albano Campus, both on-site and online.
Academic institutions have a significant responsibility to develop and contribute to solutions that can drive transformative change towards sustainable development and it is a responsibility that must be strengthened. This hybrid conference organized in conjunction with the Stockholm+50 UN conference will showcase how science can and must contribute to solutions needed in the next decades to reach global targets. The conference will build on successful examples and action-oriented dialogues and engagements between academia and a wide range of societal actors linked to policy- and decision-making. It will also have a particular focus on the next generation and build on strategic roles and responsibilities that universities and other academic institutions have to identify solutions and support policy- and decision-making. It will consider the opportunities and responsibilities of academic institutions in terms of leaders for high-quality and independent research, higher education and co-creation processes.
The event will focus on how academics and scientists can further develop capacities to support transformations for sustainable health for people and planet. It will:
- explore examples of how academia has contributed to transformative changes related to sustainable development
- focus on how capacities within academic institutions in terms of research and higher education should be further developed and strengthened to support innovative system-based solutions and accelerate necessary change (transformation) processes
- present examples on how academia can deliver more proactive support in increasingly complex policy and decision-making landscapes
- highlight how academia can contribute to a sustainable transformation that drives innovation, entrepreneurship and green jobs.
In 1972, 114 countries gathered in Stockholm for the United Nations Conference on the Human Environment. This was the first global conference to focus explicitly on environmental issues and their links with human development. The conference also came at a time when scientific understanding of regional and global environmental challenges such as nuclear testing, acid rain and eutrophication gained momentum in society. It was a watershed moment and established a process of global collaboration for human and environmental sustainability resulting in landmark agreements such as Agenda 21 and the Rio Principles, Agenda 2030 and the Sustainable Development Goals and the Rio conventions on Climate, Biodiversity and Desertification. The main outcome of the conference in Stockholm was the Declaration of the United Nations Conference on the Human Environment, which represented an important step towards the development of international environmental law: recognizing the importance of a healthy environment for human development. The conference also led to the establishment of the UN Environment Programme.
The latest report from the International Panel on Climate Change and the recent COP26 UN Climate Change Conference have clarified the seriousness of the challenges and importance of political support for intersectoral action towards halving the global emissions by 2030 with net zero reached by mid-century. This requires commitment and courage from leaders and policymakers to create a world where economic development is not an end in itself, but a means to ensure the health and wellbeing of people and planet.
In June 2022, the Government of Sweden, in collaboration with the Government of Kenya, will host “Stockholm+50: a healthy planet for the prosperity of all – our responsibility, our opportunity” to commemorate the 50 years since the Stockholm Conference. The meeting will take place in Stockholm 2–3 June 2022 following a UN General Assembly resolution. The focus will be on the urgent need for action towards a sustainable society, including achieving a sustainable and inclusive recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic. The conference will reinforce the messages and the outcomes of UNEP’s 50th anniversary held in March 2022 in Nairobi.
Registration details will be available closer to the event.