The research programme Mistra-SWECIA has completed its mission

The Swedish research programme on climate, impacts and adaptation – Mistra-SWECIA – ended 31 December 2015 after the planned eight years of activities. Although some finalising activities will continue during the first half of 2016, most of the results have now been rounded up. Programme director Markku Rummukainen reflects on the years of Mistra-SWECIA.

Little did I know in 2007 what the next eight years would bring. Back then we were writing the application for what was to become Mistra-SWECIA. We were a handful of people with different scientific backgrounds. Some of us had collaborated before, some had not. In effect, we were an experiment in our own right. But, we saw the potential of engaging in new research, unlocking new collaboration and hopefully also making a difference to how well Sweden was equipped to face the challenge of adaptation to climate change. In our part of the world, this means a number of things, not least dealing with climate impacts on water resources and forests. Back in 2007, quite a lot of research had been done on climate change adaptation and water compared to climate change adaptation of forestry and forests. By starting with water we could learn from a case that had evolved quite a lot, and use these experiences to start to tackle the other sector, forestry and forests, that had remained more untouched.

The world has evolved over eight years. Awareness of climate change has tangibly increased alongside both the observable changes around us and our responses to them. For better and for worse, the door is now far more open to recognising the pertinence of adaptation to climate change. Municipalities, cities, forest industries and forest owners are acting with increasing support from research, expert authorities, regional governments, the national government, and many others. Science-based information, tailored for and targeting users, is fundamental, but not enough. Information needs to be converted to ownership of knowledge in order to be effective. We have explored these dimensions, and they are described in the articles in the eighth, and last, Annual Report from Mistra-SWECIA.

It has been an exciting eight years. My sincere thanks to all those who made the programme happen, researchers and users alike, as well as to those who will make use of the findings of the programme during the years to come.

Markku Rummukainen, Programme Director