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Large grant will boost efforts towards a greener economy

Researchers at the Stockholm Resilience Centre are awarded a research grant of SEK 50 million by Mistra for research on how the financial sector can work for biodiversity.

mining industry landscape
Amid increasing concerns about the financial consequences of biodiversity loss, a new research programme will help accelerate efforts to integrate consideration of biodiversity and climate resilience into financial decision-making. Photo: S. Pichler/Unsplash

The Swedish governmental funding agency Mistra has decided to fund two program proposals within the call "Biodiversity and the financial system". The programs in question are the Mistra biodiversity finance program, BIOFIN, with Stockholm Resilience Centre at Stockholm University as the main applicant, and Pathways towards an efficient alignment of the financial system with the needs of biodiversity, BIOPATH, with Lund University as the main applicant. Both research programs aim to stop the loss of and recreate biodiversity through interdisciplinary research and with partners in industry and the financial sector.


Business models that enhance biodiversity

Mistra BIOFIN is granted funding of SEK 50 million over four years to study how the global financial sector can develop strategies to protect nature and stop the ongoing depletion of biodiversity. Within the program, researchers will develop methods and measurement values to identify business models that protect existing biodiversity and business methods that improve it. The research will also take into account ethical aspects and governance issues linked to the pricing of biological diversity. An important basis for the work is to use knowledge that has already been developed at SRC and the centre's research partners, including work done within the Mistra programs Mistra Food Futures and Fairtrans.


Gather researchers from areas that rarely collaborate

Mistra BIOFIN will gather researchers from areas that rarely collaborate. This include computational biology and bioinformatics, ecology and systematics, finance and commerce economics and philosophy. The programme's partners include the Swedish Environmental Research Institute, Gothenburg University and the Swedish Museum of Natural History. Selected companies and organizations in the financial sector are also linked to the program.

Garry Petersson
Garry Petersson Photo: SRC

“The financial system contributes to undermining the resilience of the biosphere, but also has the potential to be an important lever for positive change, by promoting and restoring the living structure that supports human well-being. Mistra BIOFIN will develop tools and strategies that can help investors to meaningfully integrate the biosphere's complexity into financial decision-making and explore new alternative models for nature-positive financing,” says Garry Peterson, Professor of Environmental science at Stockholm Resilience Centre and program manager for Mistra BIOFIN.

Also read article on the Stockholm Resilience Centre's website: New funding will boost efforts towards a greener economy


SU researchers participate in research program in Lund

The second program proposal to be awarded a grant by Mistra is BIOPATH. It is led by Susanne Arvidsson, associate professor of finance and accounting at Lund University. BIOPATH will, together with its partners, map, evaluate and co-develop existing and new approaches where biodiversity is integrated into financial decision-making. The institutional and political consequences of these approaches will also be analyzed. BIOPATH focuses on land use change related to agriculture, forestry and energy.

The program includes researchers from several faculties at Lund University, Gothenburg University, Stockholm University, international research institutes and Swedish and international partners from industry, the financial system and public authorities. A total of 35 different partners are included in BIOPATH.