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Opening session

The Sardinia Symposia are traditionally opened by outstanding scientists giving a lecture on a topic linked to the world of waste management but not dealing directly with this issue.



We are proud to announce that the sixeenth edition of the conference will be opened, on Monday 2nd October, by Prof. Dieter Gerten, Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research and Humboldt University of Berlin.

Maintaining planetary environmental boundaries: a grand challenge for the 21st century 
Prof. Dieter Gerten, Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research and Humboldt University of Berlin

The concept of Planetary Boundaries defines nine global, interacting earth system processes that can be critically influenced by collective human activities. For each of these processes a boundary is proposed, transgression of which should be avoided so that the Earth system’s relative stability over the past ~12,000 years (the Holocene period) is not endangered. As four of the boundaries – those for climate change, land-system change, biochemical flows and biosphere integrity – are already transgressed, the urgent question arises how humanity can continue to prosper while minimizing the risk of further destabilization of the earth system. This talk explains the overall Planetary Boundaries concept, reveals the importance and current status of individual boundaries, suggests future pathways to stay within all boundaries despite growing world population and resources demand, and presents approaches to operationalize the concept in environmental policies and businesses.