AUDIO: Sudbury researcher John Gunn meets Sweden’s environmentally minded king – by Samantha Lui (CBC News Sudbury – July 13, 2016)

John Gunn shared the story of Sudbury’s regreening efforts with the king and other researchers

The regreening of Sudbury’s damaged landscapes is a story known across the world. In fact, it’s even caught the attention of Carl Gustaf, the king of Sweden. Sudbury’s John Gunn was recently invited to attend the king’s 12th Royal Colloquiam just outside of Stockholm.

The event’s been held since 1992 by Gustaf, and it invites leading scientists and researchers to take part in discussions about issues relating to environment and development. Gunn, who is the director of the Vale Living with Lakes Centre in the city, shared details about Sudbury’s progress over the years with the king and other researchers around the world.

“It was a great honour to participate in such a discussion group with the king of Sweden,” he said. “Sweden and the adjoining Norway are very supportive of international studies in the environment. I was pleased to be able to go and represent Sudbury and provide some information.”

King spent ‘all three days with us’

This year’s Royal Colloquiam was a three-day event that took place at the end of May at the Rosersberg Palace.

Gunn, the Canada Research Chair for stressed aquatic systems, says Sweden’s king is heavily invested in environmental issues.

“I was surprised that he would spend all three days with us,” he said.

“He takes a very personal interest [in the topic]. He helps put people together who can have an influence in the world. It’s an obvious passion of the king of Sweden to host these sorts of meetings.”

Gunn, the only Canadian who took part in this year’s Royal Colloquiam, says he hopes to use some of what he learned from the event to help with his research.

He added that he’s proud to have educated others about his city so far away from home.

“Sudbury is still an important part of the world. It’s important that we communicate it,” he said.

“To be able to interject a fairly positive story of environmental improvement amongst some worries around climate change … I was glad we were able to report on the happier stories.”

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