Prof Linden was born in 1949 in Sweden and holds the Nippon Chair in Marine Environment Management at World Maritime University. He also holds an Adjunct Professorship in Coastal Resources Management at the University of Kalmar in Sweden.
During the last 20 years Prof Linden has focused on the issues related to Integrated Coastal Zone Management (ICZM), mainly in tropical developing countries, as well as on the topic of climate change and its impacts on the coastal environment in the Indian Ocean. In the Western Indian Ocean is credited with the establishment of the Sida/SAREC´s Regional marine research and capacity building program in East Africa in 1989. This program was the precursor of a number of initiatives that have contributed to the increasing profile and visibility of marine science in the management of coastal and marine resources currently being observed in the region. It was through his role as the Coordinator of the Regional Program that he played a key role in the:
i) Organization of two Ministerial Policy Conferences on Integrated Coastal Zone Management in Eastern Africa and Island States in 1993 and 1996. These two conferences provided opportunities for the concerns and insights of the scientific community of the region to be discussed by high-level policy makers. Through this initiative, political will and commitment was generated to advance Integrated Coastal Management throughout the region.
ii) Establishment of WIOMSA in 1993; the Secretariat for Eastern African Coastal Area Management (SEACAM) in 1997 and the Project on Coral Reef Degradation in Indian Ocean (CORDIO) in 1999.
iii) Encouraging multi-disciplinary research as well as promoting the involvement of social scientists in coastal and marine research. During that time it was still considered unfashionable for the social and natural scientists to work together. Through the Regional Marine Research Program, he initiated “Environmental Economics and Coastal Management” and “Social and Cultural Aspects of ICZM” projects.
iv) Production of the book: “A Field Guide to the Seashores of Eastern Africa and the Western Indian Ocean Islands”. This is the first comprehensive field guide to the flora and fauna of the tropical coast of the region.
This award further acknowledges Prof Linden’s untiring efforts and his strong commitment over the years, which have not only catalyzed a rapid growth of the ICM initiatives in the region but also contributed to the building of critical mass of well-trained marine scientists as well as institutional capacity of research and academic institutions. Equally important, the visibilities and profiles of several research and academic institutions have been raised within and outside the region, thanks to him.