SUSTAIN: Sustainable management of renewable resources in a changing environment: an integrated approach across ecosystems.

SUSTAIN has a website at

About the project

In this project three of the strongest scientific groups within ecology and evolution in Norway will join efforts to study combined impacts of environmental change and harvesting across marine, freshwater and terrestrial ecosystems. This effort will counteract the currently profound fragmentation within Norwegian environmental science and establish collaboration networks for a new generation of scientists and managers. The project will follow an innovative strategic foresight protocol to link the scientific results with the decision-makers and will output an edited book and a synthesis paper, in addition to high-level and broad audience scientific publications.

Nodes and leading team

  • Centre for Ecological and Evolutionary Synthesis (CEES), Dept. of Biosciences, University of Oslo (UiO), Oslo, Norway
    Nils. Chr. Stenseth (project leader, PI)
  • Centre for Biodiversity Dynamics, Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU), Trondheim, Norway
    Bernt-Erik Sæther (co-PI)
  • Dept. of Arctic and Marine Biology, University of Tromsø (UiT), Tromsø, Norway
    Rolf Anker Ims (co-PI)

National partners

  • Norwegian Institute for Nature Research (NINA)
  • Norwegian Polar Institute
  • Norwegian Computing Centre (NR)
  • Norwegian Institute for Water Research (NIVA)
  • Institute of Marine Research (IMR)
  • MET Norway
  • Norwegian Ornithological Society (NOF)

International partners

  • Tim Coulson
  • Olivier Gimenez
  • Christian Damgaard
  • John Fryxell
  • Georgina Mace
  • Steve Redpath

The science in SUSTAIN

Terrestrial, freshwater, and marine ecosystems are currently all affected by major anthropogenic stressors, like climate change and harvesting. Yet, the interactive effects of these stressors remain poorly understood, and they are generally studied separately within each system.

In SUSTAIN we address the general question of how combined anthropogenic and climatic changes affect different harvested ecosystems (particularly, but not only, in Arctic regions), and how management strategies can be improved to ensure sustainable exploitation and resilience. We aim at developing frameworks for sustainable management strategies for harvested ecosystems under a changing environment that contributes to ecosystem resilience, in particular with respect to impacts of climatic changes, as well as to other stressors and their interactions.

We do this in collaboration of a panel of end users, made up by managers, decision-makers and other institutions involved in the management of harvested ecosystems. The whole process is structured following a Strategic Foresight Protocol.

The project establishes a new national network that includes the strongest environmental research groups in Norway: the team led by Prof. Nils Chr. Stenseth at the University of Oslo; the one led by Prof. Bernt-Erik Sæther at the Norwegian University of Science and Techonology, in Trondheim; and the one led by Prof. Rolf Anker Ims at the University of Tromsø. All three teams obtained top rank in recent assessments performed by the Norwegian Research Council (NRC). This effort counteracts the  profound fragmentation within Norwegian environmental science and establishes collaboration networks for a new generation of scientists and managers.

Published Feb. 19, 2015 5:48 PM - Last modified Feb. 2, 2021 10:35 AM