At the theme day on plastics in the environment on 6 May, children, young people and adults could inform themselves at more than 20 interactive exhibition stands and talk to researchers from all over Germany. In addition to a photo exhibition, a science and poetry slam, improvisation theatre and discussion rounds, participants had the opportunity to get involved in exciting hands-on activities. For example, water samples will be taken directly from the Spree to test for microplastic contamination.
On November 2020, over 40 international experts with research and governance backgrounds on marine Arctic conservation and its governance frameworks discussed the protection of the Arctic maritime ecosystems as subject of the "Arctic Marine Conservation Dialogue". The experts converged in working groups on "Area-based management" under climate change, sustainable fisheries in the Arctic and oil, gas and biodiversity protection, identified the Status Quo and the specific challenges of the respective subject areas and turned towards potential solutions. The workshop proceedings are available for download.
Launched on 8 June 2020 by our Commissioner for Environment, Oceans and Fisheries, Virginijus Sinkevičius, the EU4Ocean Coalition, which aims at supporting collective ocean literacy in Europe, is moving to action! You are invited to join the first "EU4Ocean workshop Designing Ocean Literacy actions in Europe" on 24 and 25 September 2020 (online).
On 8 June 2020, the first Virtual Ocean Literacy Summit was organised on the occasion of the World Oceans Day. There was no better chance to celebrate the creation of the "EU4Ocean" coalition and its dedication to ocean literacy, together with Commissioner for Environment, Oceans and Fisheries, Virginijus Sinkevičius, and IOC-UNESCO. Because of the circumstances of the COVID-19 pandemic, we met virtually to officially announce and celebrate this launch and share ideas and perspective for the protection of our blue planet.
COACCH Project (CO-designing the Assessment of Climate Change Costs) has launched a webinar series to share its results on economic assessment of climate change and adaptation. The second COACCH webinar was held on 14 May 2020 and focused on "Insights from the COACCH project II: Climate impacts on labor productivity and energy." The webinar presented results on sectoral economic assessments.
COACCH Project (CO-designing the Assessment of Climate Change Costs) launched a webinar series to share its results on economic assessment of climate change and adaptation. On 30 April 2020, the project hosted its first webinar "Insights from the COACCH project I: Climate change impacts on agriculture, forestry, fisheries and coastal areas" and focuses on sectoral economic assessments.
On 25 October 2019 the Ecologic Institute supported the Federal Environment Agency (UBA) in a webinar on the IPCC Special Report on "The ocean and the cryosphere in a changing climate" (SROCC). The Ecologic Institute, together with the project Partner Climate Analytics, supported the UBA in defining and formulating the core messages of the SROCC published in September 2019.
On 10 September 2019, the final conference of the project "Mikroplastik im Wasserkreislauf" (Microplastics in the Water Cycle, MaWi for short) took place in Karlsruhe. The project results were presented and discussed at the event. A poster exhibition was also organized as part of the conference. Some of the posters are available on the event website.
The widespread use of plastics, the mass consumption of disposable plastic products and the longevity of plastics lead to a waste volume that can hardly be managed anymore. Many people are particularly alarmed by the pollution of the oceans by microplastics and plastic waste. Despite all this, the volume of packaging per capita continues to rise and has doubled over the last twenty years – to 213 kilograms in 2015. The intense public debate has also called for a political response: A European plastics strategy is currently aimed at banning straws and plastic tableware. But can this solve the environmental problem? How serious are the effects of plastic waste and microplastics on the environment? What are the right steps to take to reduce the impact on the environment and the use of plastics?
On 9 and 10 April 2019, the status conference of the research focus "Plastics in the Environment – Sources • Sinks • Solutions" of the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) took place in the Kalkscheune in Berlin. The coordinators of the 20 joint projects funded within the research focus presented their projects and explained first results as well as challenges of their projects. The conference proceedings, presenting the joint projects and cross-cutting topics, are available for download.
Marine science is often still understood narrowly as a specialization of the natural sciences, to the exclusion of social sciences and humanities. Yet contributions from social sciences and humanities in marine research are necessary to explain what happens in the ocean and on the coasts. In order to help broaden perspectives on marine research, Ecologic Institute hosted a Strategy Group meeting to take stock of social sciences and humanities in marine research, and explore research needs, theoretical frameworks, and methodological approaches.
On 10 and 11 October 2018, the AQUACROSS Final Conference on "Ecosystem-Based Management for the Protection of Aquatic Biodiversity – Practice and Lessons Learnt" took place in Brussels. AQUACROSS project team members presented different tools and results regarding aquatic biodiversity protection developed during the project. Conference participants from 21 countries received the eight AQUACROSS Case Studies and the Case Study Gallery with posters, photos and information material with particular interest. The presentations held during the conference are now available on the AQUACROSS project conference website.
The World Water Day, was introduced by the United Nations in 1992 to remind people of water as an essential resource for life. For this year's theme "Groundwater – making the invisible visible", Ecologic Institute co-organized a webinar to present an augmented reality app that was developed as part of the project Digital Water City (DWC). The webinar was moderated by Alexander Sperlich (BWB) and Dr. Ulf Stein (Ecologic Institute).
Ecologic Institute together with the ICLEI African Secretariat and Durham University co-organized a session 'Urban Action Towards a New Deal for Nature' at the IUCN World Conservation Congress on 7 September 2021. The session, moderated by Ecologic Institute's McKenna Davis, demonstrated the success of urban action for biodiversity through evidence and experiences from around the world.
The objective of transformative research is to find out, together with actors from the corporate sector, politics and civil society, how our economic and social system can be made more sustainable, and to jointly test possible solutions. Transformative research is thus also transdisciplinary - it involves actors beyond academia as equal partners. This kind of research involves certain methodological challenges and questions; some of these were discussed at the tF Symposium 2021: From Experiment to Mainstream. Martin Hirschnitz-Garbers and Christiane Gerstetter, both Senior Fellows at the Ecologic Institute, contributed to the online symposium, which was held in German language.