News.Oct 19, 2016

King of Sweden celebrates 70th birthday with roundtable on land and water ownership

Sweden’s leading environmental science, policy and advocacy organisations will today hold a roundtable on ownership of land, water and biodiversity for the King of Sweden to celebrate his 70th birthday.

The Stockholm Environment Institute, Stockholm International Water Institute, World Wide Fund for Nature and Stockholm Resilience Centre are hosting the roundtable “Who Owns the Planet?” on the rights to nature and ownership of common pool resources.

The importance of different kinds of ownership will be discussed, specifically, in regards to our ability to govern the “commons”, that is shared resources like land, water, forests, fish and other wildlife, in order to secure conservation goals and sustainable use of these resources for human development.

The dialogue was initiated in response to His Majesty’s interest to learn more about these issues and how they are connected to development possibilities and challenges.

Seeking a balance between challenges and solutions, the seminar will include topics and locations such as land tenure and resource security in Nairobi; water rights in India; wildlife conservation in Namibia; land rights in Swedish Sápmi; sustainable use of biodiversity in South Africa; development of “The Blue Economy” around the Baltic Sea, and global fisheries rights in relation to trade.

“Water is on the verge of becoming the next global crisis as the needs for water by far exceeds what is available. How we use and allocate this scarce resource in the future is therefore of utmost importance. Here, ownership of water will play a critical role. There is a saying about groundwater in India that “the landlord is the water lord”. I think this eloquently captures the significance of water rights and ownership,” said SIWI’s Executive Director Torgny Holmgren.

Speakers include both local and international experts. The seminar will be held at Ulriksdals Palace just north of Stockholm between 2pm and 6pm, and is by invitation only.