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Publications – Ecologic Institute EU

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The SWITCH-ON Virtual Water Science Laboratory

Facilitating collaborative and reproducible Open Science

This policy brief introduces the SWITCH-ON Virtual Water Science Laboratory, a digital platform for scientific research and collaboration built upon the principles of transparency, community and open access. The Virtual Lab implements Open Science by encouraging collaborative experiment definition and by facilitating the search and upload of open datasets. The SWITCH-ON Policy Brief No.2 is available for download.

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SWITCH-ON Opening Europe to the World to Achieve Sustainability

This policy brief illustrates how SWITCH-ON supports globally-connected science, digital innovation, and the use of open data to help citizens, governments, and businesses in Europe and across the globe move towards a sustainable future. It shows how the 14 SWITCH-ON products are closely aligned to the SDGs by addressing several EU environmental policy objectives. The SWITCH-ON Policy Brief No.4 is available for download.

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SWITCH-ON – Making Open Innovation a Reality

This policy brief illustrates how the SWITCH-ON project has provided proof-of-concept of how product development based on Open Innovation and Open Data can foster environmental and economic benefits in the European Union. This was achieved by transforming Open Databased hydrological science outputs into useful products and services for water managers, researchers, businesses and authorities at multiple levels. The SWITCH-ON policy brief is available for download.

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Adapting to Climate Change

An Assessment of Vulnerability and Risks to Human Security in the Western Mediterranean Basin
The Mediterranean Basin is extremely vulnerable to climate change. It is already experiencing the effects of higher-than-average temperatures and the increasing incidence of extreme events such as unprecedented heat waves, severe droughts, and major floods. A new book co-written by Ecologic Fellow Katriona McGlade examines the water-related impacts of climate and global change in the UNESCO Intercontinental Biosphere Reserve of the Mediterranean (IBRM) that straddles Spain and Morocco.Read more

Creating Networks for the Transition to a Bio-based and Circular Economy

BioSTEP Policy Paper
After two years of research and stakeholder consultation, the BioSTEP consortium, led by Ecologic Institute, finalized the BioSTEP policy paper. This paper concludes five recommendations, aiming to support the revision of the European Bioeconomy Strategy. These recommendations were amended and complemented at the BioSTEP Forum, which was held in Brussels in March 2016. The policy paper is available for download.Read more

RISC-KIT Synthesis Report

This Synthesis Report provides an overview of the achievements, lessons learned and challenges identified through the RISC-KIT project activities, including the development and application of the tools at ten case study sites in a range of coastal regions across Europe. The lessons learned are then fed into a series of recommendations for improved DRR for Europe and beyond. The resulting insights and accompanying recommendations have been considered in relation to their relevance to EU and international processes that both directly and indirectly address coastal DRR. The RISC-KIT Synthesis Report is available for download.

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Analysis of Selected Climate Protection Scenarios for European Countries

This paper explores six climate protection studies, namely for France, Italy, Poland, Sweden, United Kingdom and Germany. The authors, among them Ecologic Institute's Lena Donat, analyze objectives, results, modeling approaches, main assumptions and input parameters. The inclusions of long-term strategies in the Paris Agreement and in the European Commission’s proposal for a new regulation on the "Governance of the Energy Union" make this analysis very topical. The analysis is available for download. Read more

Konzepte zur Minderung von Arzneimitteleinträgen aus der landwirtschaftlichen Tierhaltung in die Umwelt

Veterinary pharmaceuticals and their transformation products have gained increasing attention as environmental contaminants. A research team led by Ecologic Institute analyzed measures that contribute to reduce the input of veterinary pharmaceuticals into the environment. The publication compiles existing approaches and measures for reducing the entry of veterinary pharmaceuticals into the environment, and derives additional measures of relevance for the environment.Over 40 measures to reduce veterinary pharmaceutical input from agriculture into the environment were identified, their effectiveness assessed and given top priority. The publication is available for download.Read more

The Circular Economy

A Review of Definitions, Processes and Impacts
Transforming the linear economy, which has remained the dominant model since the onset of the Industrial Revolution, into a circular one is by no means an easy task. Such a radical change entails a major transformation of our current production and consumption patterns, which in turn will have a significant impact on the economy, the environment and society. Understanding these impacts is crucial for researchers as well as for policy-makers engaged in designing future policies in the field. This requires developing an in-depth knowledge of the concept of the circular economy, its processes and their expected effects on sectors and value chains. This paper reviews the growing literature on the circular economy with the aim of improving our understanding of the concept as well as its various dimensions and expected impacts. On the basis of this review, it attempts to map the processes involved and their application in different sectors. The paper suggests that research on the circular economy is currently fragmented across various disciplines and there are often different perspectives and interpretations of the concept and the related aspects that need to be assessed. This fragmentation is also evident in the available studies that adopt different approaches in calculating the impacts, which makes efforts at comparing the results from different sources very challenging. This paper also suggests that there is limited information on the indirect effects on the economy (e.g. impacts on the value chain and/or changes in consumption spending patterns) as well as the social impacts of the circular economy transition. Read more

Disaster Risk Reduction Strategies in EU Coastal Areas

Recommendation for EU, National, and Regional Policy Makers
Europe's coastlines are a product of human cultivation. Since settling on the coast, humans have engineered the coastal characteristics to suit the purposes of states, the economy and human recreation. At the time of the Treaties of Rome, Europe had just emerged from the devastating aftermath of the Second World War with a 'great hunger' for a liberal life style, leisure activities and travel. The diverse and scenic views of Europe's coasts offered the ideal destination for such endeavors. Soon, a rapid coastal urbanization coupled with a steady increase in mass tourism emerged. Spurred by the trust in technical and engineering capacities, new bold attitudes about building and living on the sea often interfered with the natural sediment transport of coastal systems, leading to erosion. Today, more than 42% of Europeans live in coastal regions with coastal infrastructure worth about 959 billion EURO. Recent and historic high-impact storm events have demonstrated that weather events pose a significant risk and can immobilize cities and countries. The FP7 project, Resilience-Increasing Strategies for Coasts – toolKIT (RISC-KIT), recently issued a policy brief to communicate lessons learned and to support the dissemination of tools, which coastal managers to improve coastal resilience in Europe and elsewhere.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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Monitoring and Verification Platform (MVP) for Energy Efficiency

How can European countries better monitor and calculate energy savings and CO2 emission reduction? This short video tutorial, produced by Ecologic Institute presents functionalities and benefits from the use of an innovative Monitoring & Verification Platform (MVP). This IT tool has been designed to provide EU member states with an easy-to-use and cost-effective system to assess the impact of their implemented energy saving measures and plans.Read more

International Yearbook of Soil Law and Policy 2016

The first volume of the International Yearbook of Soil Law and Policy includes an important discussion on the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals that are the basis for the post-2015 development agenda up to the year 2030; the Yearbook focuses in particular on Goal 15, which includes achieving a "land degradation-neutral world." It also provides a comprehensive and highly informative overview of the latest developments at the international level, important cross-disciplinary issues and different approaches in national legislation. Ecologic Institute's Timo Kaphengst contributed to the chapter on "The UN Convention on Biological Diversity and Soils: Status and Future Options". Elizabeth Dooley had been involved as advisory editor.

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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

Sicherung der Konsistenz und Harmonisierung von Annahmen bei der kombinierten Modellierung von Ressourceninanspruchnahme und Treibhausgasemissionen

Reader on the exchange of experience during the SimRess Modeling Workshop, 7/8 April 2016, Berlin
Simulation models play an important role for assessing the potential effects of policy instrument. This publication documents the presentations and discussions held during the two-day expert workshop "Simulation of resource use and resource policy", which discussed the reasons and conditions under which different simulation models yield similar or different results. The reader is available for download. Read more

EU Climate Policies for the 21st Century

The Case for a Strong EU Long-term Target and a Robust Review

A new note by the Ecologic Institute summarizes why a quantitative, binding and ambitious EU long-term climate target is essential for the EU to meet its obligations under the Paris Agreement. This long term target should be supported by a robust review mechanism. The note is available for download.

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Koordinierte Weltinnenpolitik: Zusammendenken im atlantischen Raum

The book, "Germany's New Responsibility" (Deutschlands Neue Verantwortung), contains contributions from 144 key political, practical and scientific thinkers, whose joint message underlines the challenges to and necessity of a new German foreign policy. In his article, R. Andreas Kraemer, founder and director emeritus of Ecologic Institute, explains how Germany, Europe and other western powers should react in the face of withdrawal and isolationist foreign policy by the USA. His contribution emphasizes the opportunities that arise through enhanced cooperation with countries in the South Atlantic and demonstrates how Germany can do justice to its global responsibility.Read more
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Updated Inventory and Assessment of Soil Protection Policy Instruments in EU Member States

Based on a comprehensive analysis of EU laws and nationally initiated policies in 28 Member States, a new study led by Ecologic Institute assesses how existing EU legislation protects soils, identifying gaps and incoherencies in policy coverage. Nationally initiated policies do not consistently address these gaps in EU legislation, leading to a situation where requirements for soil protection can vary significantly across Member States. The study provides an up-to-date understanding of soil protection policies in Europe, delivering a baseline on which to discuss further EU soil policy action. The study is available for download.Read more

Web-based Management Guide

The RISC-KIT Web-based Management Guide is one of the five RISC-KIT tools designed to highlight key principles recommended for the planning of local DRR measures using examples from the case studies and elsewhere to provide practical illustrations. It is intended to give guidance to coastal managers in Europe and those facing similar challenges beyond the region as well as other groups concerned with coastal management (i.e. coastal resource users, technical and scientific experts and policy makers). The guide includes prevention, mitigation, protection and preparedness measures with recommendations for their use in various socio-economic, cultural and environmental settings. The RISC-KIT Web-based Management Guide is available for download.

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Environmental Change and Human Security in Africa and the Middle East

For many populations that are already socially marginalized, resource dependent, and with limited capital assets, human security will be progressively undermined by environmental change. A new book, co-edited by Katriona McGlade, Fellow and Coordinator of International Development at Ecologic Institute, examines interactions between environmental change and human security in the Middle East and Africa. The collected volume, published by Springer, demonstrates that global environmental change in general, and climate change in particular, are putting both human security and human rights at risk.Read more

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