Position paper

Science for Stockholm +50

A letter to fellow citizens of Earth

Our home, planet Earth, is in jeopardy. Earth provides us with sustenance and shelter, inspires reverence, and nurtures our dreams. But we are pushing the planet’s systems to the edge, threatening our own well-being and that of future generations.

The Menton Message

In 1970, the Menton Message, was crafted in Menton, France during an environmental conference organized by Alfred Hassler of the Fellowship of Reconciliation and other leading intellectuals and scientists, Thich Nhat Hanh and Sister Chan Khong. The conference produced a statement to “Our 3.5 billion neighbours”, published in the UNESCO Courier in 1971, and eventually signed and presented by 2200 scientists as a letter alongside the U.N. Summit on the Human Environment in Stockholm.


In 2022, fifty years on from the UN Summit, the International Science Council, Future Earth and the Stockholm Environment Institute convened an Expert Writing Group of natural scientists, social scientists and humanities scholars to modernize and extend the historical call on the eve of Stockholm+50.

This is their letter.

We, the writers of this letter, are natural scientists, engineers, social scientists and scholars from many disciplines and countries. We see the evidence of global environmental change, assess its impacts, untangle its causes, and see the connections between our social and environmental challenges. ​

We humans are ultimately responsible for the crisis, but to varying degrees: a minority are responsible for a majority of the damage, while those least responsible are hit hardest by the impacts. ​​

This letter is an urgent call to our global neighbours, to acknowledge the crisis, make personal and collective commitments in line with differences in privilege and responsibility, and work towards transformative change.

Expert Writing Group

  • Prof. Maria Ivanova (Co-Chair)
  • Dr Sharachchandra Lele (Co-Chair)
  • Ajibola Akanji
  • Dr Dipesh Chakrabarty
  • Prof. Sandra Diaz
  • Prof. Kristie Ebi
  • Prof. Carl Folke
  • Prof. Ke GONG
  • Prof. Saleemul Huq
  • Dr Cristina Inoue
  • Dr Måns Nilsson
  • Prof. Karen O’Brien
  • Dr David Obura
  • Dr Mouhamadou Bamba Sylla

About Stockholm +50

Stockholm+50 is an intergovernmental summit on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the 1972 United Nations Conference on the Human Environment, which laid the foundation of international environmental governance and recognised the strong linkages between environment and people.

The Government of Sweden along with the Government of Kenya are hosting the high-level international meeting to commemorate this anniversary under the theme “Stockholm+50: A healthy planet for the prosperity of all – our responsibility, our opportunity”. The aim is to contribute to accelerating a transformation that leads to sustainable and green economies, more jobs, and a healthy planet for all, where no one is left behind.

Recognizing the interconnections between humans and nature, Stockholm+50 is an occasion to raise awareness about the importance of protecting our planet. It sets a path for us to overcome the triple planetary crisis of climate change, of nature and biodiversity loss, and of pollution and waste.

Convening Organizations

  • International Science Council (ISC) is a non-governmental organization that convenes the scientific expertise and resources needed to lead on catalyzing, incubating and coordinating impactful international action. It is the largest organization of its kind to bring together natural and social sciences for the global public good, bringing together over 200 international scientific unions and associations as well as national and regional scientific organizations including academies and research councils.
  • Future Earth convenes researchers and scholars from all parts of the world, across different societal and academic sectors, and across the natural, social, and human sciences. Future Earth initiates and supports international collaboration between these researchers and stakeholders to identify and generate the integrated knowledge needed for successful transformations towards societies that provide good and fair lives for all within a stable and resilient Earth system. Future Earth uses a rigorous transdisciplinary research and systems thinking approach throughout its work in which basic and applied research are combined to generate actionable, solution-oriented knowledge to inform and guide decisions by policy makers and practitioners at all levels of governance​
  • Stockholm Environment Institute: bridging science and policy. We are an international non-profit research and policy organization that tackles environment and development challenges. We connect science and decision-making to develop solutions for a sustainable future for all.
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