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Supporting Stakeholder Participation in Adaptive River Basin Management

Participation in the adaptation processes of river basin planning is necessary for sustainable water management. The article supports this statement by providing an overview of the work carried out within the framework of the BeWater project. We illustrate the methodology applied in the project, which resulted in four river basin adaptation plans for catchments in Cyprus, Tunisia, Spain and Slovenia. Furthermore, the project's case studies are presented as well as the challenges that stakeholders identified within their respective river basins. We show how the project was initiated in the case study basins and how it influenced their river basin management processes. An overview of the prioritized measures is given as well as a summary of BeWater's contributions to future river basin management undertakings. We end the overview with an outlook on how stakeholder participation can improve river basin adaptation.Read more

Social Memory and the Resilience of Communities Affected by Land Degradation

Wilson, G. A., Kelly, C. L., Briassoulis, H., Ferrara, A., Quaranta, G., Salvia, R., Detsis, V., Curfs, M., Cerda, A., El-Aich, A., Liu, H., Kosmas, C., Alados, C. L., Imeson, A., Landgrebe-Trinkunaite, R., Salvati, L., Naumann, S., Danwen, H., Iosifides, T., Kizos, T., Mancino, G., Nolè, A., Jiang, M., and Zhang, P. (2017) Social Memory and the Resilience of Communities Affected by Land Degradation. Land Degrad. Develop., 28: 383–400. doi: 10.1002/ldr.2669.

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Ambitious Climate Policy Through Centralization?

Evidence from the European Union

Striking a balance between centralization and decentralization of competences is a challenge that dates to the start of European integration. There are some drivers that work towards greater centralization of EU climate policies – the need for enhanced climate action, electricity market integration and a realization of the Energy Union. At the same time, centralization in and of itself is not a guarantee for more ambitious or effective climate policies. In a new publication appearing in the journal Climate Policy authors Camilla Bausch and Benjamin Görlach of Ecologic Institute and Michael Mehling of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) trace the evolution and role of the centralization/decentralization debate in the context of EU climate policy. The article looks at emissions trading and the promotion of renewable energy as cases of centralization vs. decentralization, but cautions that this trend is neither smooth nor guaranteed to persist. In the dynamic and reflexive governance system of the EU, there is no one-size-fits-all, optimal balance between centralized and decentralized policy from a climate perspective.

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Implementation of Circular Economy Business Models by Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises (SMEs): Barriers and Enablers

Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) are the backbone of the economy and a key player to steer our economy towards a more circular model. However, their small size means that they face unique challenges on the path to closing loops and improving resource efficiency. In an article published in the peer-reviewed journal Sustainability, under lead authorship by Vasileios Rizos from CEPS, Terri Kafyeke, Dr. Martin Hirschnitz-Garbers, and other members of the GreenEcoNet project consortium explore barriers and opportunities faced by SMEs trying to become greener.Read more

Governance Regime Factors Conducive to Innovation Uptake in Urban Water Management

Experiences from Europe
Innovative ways to manage the urban water cycle are required to deal with an ageing drinking and waste water infrastructure and new societal imperatives. This paper examines the influence of water governance in enabling transformations and technological innovation uptake in urban water management. A governance assessment framework is developed and applied in three case-studies, examining different scales and types of innovations used to tackle challenges in European urban water management. The methodology combines documentary analysis and interviews to reconstruct historical storylines of the shift in the water governance of urban water management for each site. The research provides detailed empirical observations on the factors conducive to innovation uptake at the local level. Critical governance factors such as commitment to compromise, the necessity to build political support, and the role of "entrepreneurs" and coalitions are highlighted. The paper also explores the role of discursive strategies and partnership design, as well as that of regulative, economic and communicative instruments, in creating barriers and opportunities to initiate and secure change. A number of recommendations targeted at innovators and water managers are presented in the conclusion.Read more

Nährstoffkreisläufe in der Landwirtschaft schließen

Herausforderungen und Möglichkeiten in der Region Weser-Ems
Inefficient use of fertilizers in agriculture means that serious environmental problems are still being created 25 years after the entry into force of the nitrates directive. Using the example of the Weser-Ems region, Evelyn Lukat and Sandra Naumann from the Ecologic Institute describing ways to reduce such problems.Read more

A Systemic and Systematic Approach to the Development of a Policy Mix for Material Resource Efficiency

Increasing material use efficiency is important to mitigate future supply risks and minimize environmental impacts associated with the production of materials. The policy mix presented in this paper aims to contribute to reducing the use of virgin metals in the EU by 80% by 2050 without significantly shifting burdens to other material resources, the environmental or other parts of the world. The article, which was written with the collaboration of Dr. Martin Hirschnitz-Garbers (Senior Fellow at Ecologic Institute), is available for download.Read more

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