Home / Projects / Planetary Boundaries Framework

Planetary Boundaries Framework

The planetary boundaries framework is one of the most significant breakthroughs in earth science work of our generation.

This body of work led to the development of the current the United Nation’s 17 Sustainable Development Goals as global blueprint to navigate out of a potential existential crisis, and provides the scientific rationale behind mobilisation of transformational systems change across all industries including agriculture.

The Planetary Boundaries work began in 2009 and continues to advance and be updated today as more is understood by the global scientific community.

Beginning in 2009, scientist Johan Rockström [then from the Stockholm Resilience Centre] led a group of 28 internationally renowned scientists to identify the nine processes that regulate the stability and resilience of the earth system.

The scientists proposed quantitative planetary boundaries within which humanity can continue to develop and thrive for generations to come. Crossing these boundaries increases the risk of generating large-scale abrupt or irreversible environmental changes, and collapse of the conditions we rely on to keep planet earth in the state we exist in today.

Stockholm Resilience Centre

Since its release, the Planetary Boundaries framework has generated enormous interest within science, policy, and practice including the development by the UN of the 2012 global Sustainable Development Goals, later adopted widely in 2020 by a forum of 200 companies including some of the world’s best-known brands.

Disruptions to weather patterns is a consequence of planetary destabilisation we experience in agriculture and a global focus on the concept of resilience has emerged.

Following the Planetary Boundaries framework, the Stockholm Resilience Centre went on to develop and publish ‘The Seven principles for Resilience Thinking – a blueprint for how to build resilience in social-ecological systems which acknowledges the interconnected relationship between people and nature particularly relevant for the context within which we operate in farming and agriculture.

Photo Credit: Azote for Stockholm Resilience Centre, based on analysis in Wang-Erlandsson et al 2022



How it started 2010

How it’s going 2018

Call to action 2020

Documentary 2021

*Watch the full documentary on Netflix


17 Sustainable Development Goals – United Nations

Further resources

Stockholm Resilience Centre

Applying resilience thinking – Seven principles for building resilience in social-ecological systems

There are seven fundamental principles to building resilience within interacting systems of people and nature – social-ecological systems. This publication summarises the book “Principles for Building Resilience: Sustaining Ecosystem Services in Social-ecological systems” published by Cambridge University Press (2014). Access the summary document here.

Add to this resource


Enquiries to Kallista Bolton at GGA


Posted on

31 Aug 2023