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Hello, Sara Gräslund, new head of SLU Global!

Published: 11 October 2018

SLU Global supports and develops SLU's commitment to improve the situation for people in low-income countries based on Agenda 2030. We sent a few questions to the new head SLU Global, Sara Gräslund:

Who are you? 

– I am living in Uppsala and am a biologist by training. I am driven by the possibility to contribute to a positive development in society. It is really great to be able to do so at SLU, the university's fields are highly relevant for low-income countries. I have been working with development issues for 20 years, starting as a doctorate student at Stockholm University. Since then I’ve been working with international waters at the Global Environment Facility at the World Bank, and for 12 years I worked at Sida with research collaboration and collaboration on water, environmental and climate issues. At Sida I was also policy specialist for environment and climate, and was part of the Swedish climate delegation. I have mainly worked with Africa and Southeast Asia, but also Eastern Europe and other regions. In early 2018 I joined SLU to work as a coordinator for SLU Water Forum, but am now moving to SLU Global, starting 1 October.

What is SLU Global?

– SLU Global is a small but important unit at the vice-chancellors’ office that aims at strengthening SLU’s contribution to development in low income countries, within the framework of Agenda 2030 and Sweden’s global development policy. SLU Global supports collaboration with international and national actors who works towards the same goal. My first task is to coordinate the development of a new strategy for SLU’s global work. This is done in close collaboration with SLU’s pro vice-chancellor for international relations. We started this process with a workshop 4 October with the aim to gather ideas about how SLU’s global work can be further developed. It is important to emphasize that SLU’s global activities are more than just the unit SLU Global, with a diversity of researchers and other staff at many different departments and units who contribute with improved knowledge and capacity for sustainable development in low-income countries.  

How does SLU work with sustainable urban development globally?

– Rapid urbanization makes sustainable urban development an area where there is a substantial demand for knowledge and increased capacity. SLU is for example contributing to an increased urban capacity in Tanzania by trainig Tanzanian doctorate students together with the Ardhi University in Dar es Salaam. The doctorate students are studying for example effective management for improved accessibility to drinking water, and the drivers of urban growth in small cities in Tanzania. Strengthening the domestic capacity is of fundamental importance for all countries to shape its own development. Another example is the work on sustainable urban animal husbandry, where SLU is working on strengthening the knowledge on how to decrease the development of antibiotic resistance, which is a matter of great importance for cities as a whole.



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SLU Global supports SLU's work for global development to contribute to Agenda 2030.

SLU Global
Vice-Chancellor's Office

Agricultural Sciences for Global Development
PO Box 7005, SE-750 07 Uppsala
Visiting address: Almas Allé 7 
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