SLU Global implements SLU's strategy for global development and poverty alleviation. We coordinate and support the university's research and education aiming at developing the agricultural sector in low-income countries.
Sharing and supporting knowledge
Kevin Bishop, Pro Vice-Chancellor for Environmental Monitoring and Assessment at SLU, predicts a bright future for Swedish work methods when it comes to meeting the objectives in Agenda 2030.
"Sweden is a real role model when it comes to systematically collecting data, analysing it and following up the work on sustainability. In addition, SLU has a rich background in this type of environmental monitoring and assessment work. The systematic Swedish way of working with environmental objectives has been adopted by the UN in the global challenges work."
Learn from each other
SLU has not been directly tasked by the government to work with indicators and follow-up of Agenda 2030, says Kevin Bishop, but the university can support the public authorities that have been assigned this task. The Swedish methods for collecting, analysing and following up data has not yet spread over the world, but there are great export opportunities here.
"SLU can contribute to Agenda 2030 by allowing our experts to support environmental assessment in other countries. Meanwhile, we can learn a lot from these types of collaboration."
Kevin Bishop points out several examples where SLU is already working with knowledge support – the Swedish National Forest Inventory, for example, where the amount of productive forests in Sweden are measured. This has already been applied in Albania (and previously in many other countries). SLU also has an important role in carrying out EU directives relating to habitat and water, among other things.
SLU's pro vice-chancellor also thinks that the Swedish Species Information Centre at SLU is a role model for the world when it comes to keeping track of biodiversity, not least because they utilise the interested public as citizen scientists. This provides a knowledge base that everyone can use and share.
Environmental assessment in Ethiopia
SLU Global is an important part of the university's work with global development. Kevin gives an example of how operations initiated there can make a big difference.
Soil scientist Erik Karltun at SLU spent two years in Ethiopia and contributed to the soil inventory. The country has previously lacked charts with the nutrient needs for the agricultural lands. With this new knowledge, they can adjust cultivable soil to the right crop and also optimise fertilising.
"During his time in Ethiopia, Erik Karltun has contributed to the development of a laboratory that analyses soils and plants which enables tailored fertilisation and better crops for the country's agriculture. This provides more efficient and larger food production," says Kevin Bishop.