Professor Thomas Elmqvist

Environment Programme Director


He has over 20 years of experience working in international programs dealing with biodiversity and ecosystem services, such as the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment 2001-2005, where he was leading one of the subglobal assessments. Between 2005-2014, he served as a Chair of  the Scientific Committee of bioSustainability of Diversitas an ICSU program where he also was part of the initiating processes of establishing the Intergovernmental Panel on Biodiversity and Ecosystem services (IPBES). In 2006-2008 he chaired the Man and Biosphere International Coordinating Council of  UNESCO.  In 2008-2010 he served as a member of the TEEB project  ”The Economics of Ecosystems and Biodiversity” a G8+5 - initiative and was a coordinating lead author of the chapter ”Biodiversity, Ecosystems and Ecosystem Services”.

He has been involved in several UN projects and during 2010-2013 he lead the UN-project ”Cities and Biodiversity Outlook - Assessment of urbanzation, biodiversity and ecosystems” (decision X/22 vid CBD COP10 in Nagoya, Japan). The publication has now been downloaded more than 1.3 million times and has served as an important basis for the UN-CBD policy on urbanization and biodiversity. During 2014-2016 he served as acting director of Future Earth Swedish Secretariat and also led the Future Earth Project “Urban Planet”.

Since 2017 he is a  permanent Member of the High Level Group on Policy and Innovation – European Council, contributing with input into the processes of biosphere economy policy development.

He is a full Professor at Stockholm Resilience Centre, Stockholm University and a fellow of Stellenbosch Institute of Advanced Studies (STIAS), South Africa, Adjunct Professor, Department of Natural Resources, Cornell University, USA, Guest Professor, Institute of Future Initiatives, University of Tokyo, Japan and a member of The Royal Swedish Academy of Agriculture and Forestry.

Recent Awards:

  • BioDiversa Award for Excellence in Science and Impact 2018.
  • Ecological Society of America award “Best paper in Sustainability Science -2019”.

He currently serves as Editor in chief for the new Nature Research journal npj Urban Sustainability, and as associated editor for the journals Sustainability Science and Current Opinion in Environmental Sustainability.

He has published well over 100 papers, multiple books and book chapters and has an h-index of 50 (ISI, Web of Science 2020-07-01) and 70 (Google Scholar 2020-07-01).

Professor Thomas Elmqvist

EASAC Environment Programme Director