Nobody would argue against the necessity of developing sustainable agriculture. But as usual there may be several pathways that lead to the goal.
The 2003 Bertebos Conference explored one of them: the possibility of developing European agriculture into an ecosystem services provider. In
doing this the conference also dealt with one of the most crucial issues for our common future, namely the conditions and processes through which natural ecosystems and the species that make them up sustain and fulfil human life. Things must change, and they will change as new knowledge emerges.
This is of course true not only for agriculture. In order to reach sustainability, values, attitudes and ways of life will have to change at all levels from the individual to the global. It is crucial to examine new knowledge and new initiatives without prejudice, regardless of their origin. There is a need for new concepts in agriculture and agricultural research and the only way to find them is through free and open-minded discussions. The 2003 Bertebos Conference contributed to this process. This was the fourth Bertebos Conference. Like the preceding ones it was facilitated by Brita and Olof Stenström through the Bertebos Foundation. The Academy would like to express its most sincere gratitude to the Stenström
family and the Foundation for this, but also for their trust in the Academy and for their support of and belief in science as a tool for a better future.