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Uncovering Clues for a Sustainable World

Aired: February 14, 2019 (UTC)


The Blue Planet Prize is presented to two individuals or organizations in recognition of their outstanding contributions to global environment issues. The 2018 winners were the Australian ecologist Brian Walker and the Swedish hydrologist Malin Falkenmark.

Professor Walker, an Honorary Research Fellow of the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization (CSIRO), has promoted his belief that it is vital for social systems to be imbued with the concept of higher resilience in order to maintain a sustainable environment. ‘Resilience’ refers to the innate ability of Nature to remain stable by restoring itself. Applying this concept to human society, even when faced by various disturbances, such as climate change, it’s important that our social system has the ability to adjust itself so that it can continue functioning as it did before.
This is what Walker strongly advocates.

Professor Malin Falkenmark, an international hydrologist, has focused her research on the rainwater which seeps into the soil, but which nobody had previously paid much attention to. She named it ‘green water’. It’s largely invisible to us, but it is widely used by plants.
Falkenmark developed the groundbreaking concept that it is possible to cultivate crops even on dry land if farming methods are created to use this green water effectively. Now in her nineties, she continues to advocate the importance of green water for the future of humankind as a solution to the food issues caused by population growth.


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