Optimistic ecologist wins Volvo Environment Prize

It was a delighted Professor Crawford “Buzz” Holling who accepted the Volvo Environment Prize on November 6 in Stockholm. He was given the award for his research into how ecosystems handle sudden changes.
From the left: Leif Johansson, President and CEO of the Volvo Group and Crawford Buzz Holling, winner of the Volvo Environment Prize 2008

“I am very grateful to have been awarded Volvo’s environment prize and I would like to dedicate it to my grandchildren, Evan and Asher,” said a visibly moved award-winner.


The prize, which consists of a diploma, a glass sculpture and 1.5 million kronor, was handed over by Volvo Environment Prize Foundation chairman and Volvo President and CEO Leif Johansson. In his speech to the award-winner, Leif Johansson emphasised the importance of drawing the attention of a younger audience to role models such as Buzz Holling.
“In the worlds of industry and research we must share responsibility for inspiring young people to choose mathematics, the sciences and technology,” said Leif Johansson.

Buzz Holling is perhaps best known as the originator of theories concerning resilience, which in simple terms refers to the innate capacity to survive change and at the same time have the ability to develop and evolve. The resilience theory involves the ability of a social or ecological system to withstand a shock, for instance in the form of climate change or a financial crisis, and to then renew and redevelop itself. His theories have impacted scientists the world over and sparked new knowledge about how natural resources should be managed and how both human societies and Nature respond to and survive crises.

The Volvo Environment Prize is an annual award given to people who have made exceptional contributions to understanding or protection of the environment, either through research or through technical or socio-economic innovations. The award is given by an independent foundation via a jury consisting of researchers in the fields of economy and environmental sciences. Since the prize was first awarded in 1990, it has been given to 34 people. Among the prize-winners are many renowned names, including three Nobel laureates.


Read more about Crawford "Buzz" Holling and the Environment Prize at VolvoGroup.com