NEWS 2022-06-08

Carl Folke receives the Heineken Prize for Environmental Sciences 2022

Carl Folke, director of the Beijer Institute has been awarded the Dr A.H. Heineken Prize for Environmental Sciences 2022. The award honours his pioneering role in the transdisciplinary approach within sustainability science.

Photo: Bram Belloni (also front page teaser picture)

Changing how we view sustainability

The jury underlines that thanks to Folke’s vision, thinking about the sustainability challenge has changed: life on planet Earth is not limitless. He was at the forefront of influential concepts such as the ecological footprint, resilience, and Earth stewardship. In addition, he has brought science and policy together and ensures mutual knowledge sharing and understanding. The establishment of, among other things, the Stockholm Resilience Centre allows scientists from very different disciplines to work together to solve sustainability issues on a global level.

Furthermore, the Heineken foundation writes that early in his career, Carl Folke realised that you cannot solve environmental problems by considering humans as external factors affecting ecosystems, as was common at the time. People are part of the ecosystems they are changing. By linking the concept of resilience to these so-called social-ecological systems, Folke makes the case that the world can only be improved by starting with ourselves. Folke explores how this resilience can be increased by bridging the gap between science and policy. For example, he is seeking sustainable solutions with various governments and companies.

About the prize

The Heineken Prizes is considered the Netherlands’ most prestigious international science prizes. Every two years they are awarded to five distinguished researchers.
The laureates are selected by juries made up of members of the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences, the Young Academy, and international experts. The Heineken science prizes include a monetary reward of USD 200,000.

Read more about the prize