From 7 to 19 December 2022, the international community is scheduled to come together to discuss the future of the Convention on Biological Diversity. One of the key items that will be negotiated at the upcoming COP15 is the post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework. In the light of these upcoming negotiations on 2 November 2022, the Guarini Center on Environmental, Energy and Land Use Law at New York University School of Law and the German Consulate General in New York organized an event with experts from New York City and Berlin to discuss the role of local governments in implementing global biodiversity targets, including the ways in which cities can support urban biodiversity. Sandra Naumann, Senior Fellow at the Ecologic Institute, presented Berlin's strategy to promote urban biodiversity and participated in the final panel.
From 21 to 22 September 2022, the INTERLACE project held the first European Cities Talk Nature Engagement Event in Kraków (Poland). Sandra Naumann, Coordinator of the INTERLACE project and Senior Fellow at Ecologic Institute, opened the conference by presenting the INTERLACE project and its work on the ground to the audience.
In an interview with Sinan Reçber of the Berlin daily Der Tagesspiegel, Rodrigo Vidaurre and Benedict Bueb of Ecologic Institute discussed what measures can be taken in various sectors to lessen the impact of droughts in Germany. In addition to water-sensitive urban development, which increasingly relies on nature-based solutions to store water during dry periods, this includes the cultivation of drought-resistant agricultural varieties as well as the rewetting of peatlands.
Concrete and asphalt make cities up to 10 degrees hotter than the rural areas. In Poland, however, there is a persistent impression that greenspace is a nuisance that is best gotten rid of, says Ewa Iwaszuk of the Ecologic Institute in Berlin. She points out that the situation in Germany is better because nature has been considered an indispensable part of the city since the 1990s. She talks about innovative nature-based solutions that can mitigate climate change in cities and explains the introduction of blue-green infrastructure. Monika Sędzierska from the COSMO editorial office moderated the conversation.
On 4 July 2022, McKenna Davis from the Ecologic Institute spoke to the 2nd step of this methodology: EXPLORING existing urban greening policies, plans and regulations to identify gaps and understand local needs. Representing the CLEVER Cities project, she provided insights on how to ensure coherent and coordinated policymaking and align objectives across sectors and policies. She also highlighted relevant EU policies and initiatives supporting nature-based solutions to contextualise local action towards NBS mainstreaming.
How can European citizens become architects of the cities of tomorrow? The New European Bauhaus is an initiative to make our living spaces and experiences more beautiful, sustainable and inclusive. Nature-based solutions are seen as a key element to achieve this vision. To this end, the hybrid conference 'LIFE in the New European Bauhaus' was held from 15 until 17 November 2021. Sandra Naumann from the Ecologic Institute was invited as an expert to share insights from the H2020 INTERLACE project.
The climate crisis is impacting cities and communities across the globe. As extreme weather events become increasingly frequent, cities must work together to find effective nature-based solutions (NBS) to adapt to their changing climates. As lead partner in the BEGIN project, the Dutch city of Dodrecht welcomed cities, practitioners, researchers and citizens to join the conversation on the future of livable cities. To this end, the NEXT LEVEL 2021 conference was held as a hybrid event on the 20th of October 2021. Ecologic Institute's McKenna Davis was invited as an expert to present on NBS governance and policy.
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 Urban Agenda for the EU recognizes the importance of nature-based solutions as tools for sustainable recovery and development. Yet implementation and mainstreaming at city level remain limited. Can the European Green Deal support these efforts? What role can European research projects play? To answer these questions, McKenna Davis was invited as an expert to contribute to the European Urban Knowledge Network’s (EUKN) Policy Lab on 'The Urban Agenda for the EU, its 'green' actions and the European Green Deal'. The 18 March 2021 event aimed to unravel the 'green' actions of the Urban Agenda for the EU and develop concrete messages for the ministers under Slovenia's Presidency on how to support cities dealing with regulatory obstacles when trying to reach environmental goals.
Invited by the Indian Centre for Science and Environment (CSE), McKenna Davis (Ecologic Institute) joined the "International Knowledge Conclave on Green Infrastructure" and presented on 'Policy instruments to promote urban nature-based solutions in Europe'. She focused on the range of policy, planning and financial instruments relevant for nature-based solution design, implementation and maintenance within a European context. Her presentation slides and a guidance document she co-authored are available for download.
With around 75% of EU population living in urban areas, cites will play a key role in curbing greenhouse gas emissions, reducing vulnerability to impacts of climate change and building resilience. Multifunctional nature-based solutions can be a powerful tool to jointly address climate change mitigation and adaptation in urban areas. A number of innovative pilot projects introduced in Berlin in the last 20 years were able to demonstrate in practice how cities can save energy, cool down buildings, reduce urban heat island effect and sequester and store carbon by working with natural climate solutions.
The Barcelona Centre for International Affairs (CIDOB) and the Àerea Metropolitanade Barcelona (AMB) invited Doris Knoblauch from Ecologic Institute to speak at the workshop "Metropolitan Challenges in the post 2020 European Union" in Barcelona (Spain), on 10 March 2020. In her presentation, the expert discussed the substantive and organisational importance of the European Green Deal for cities and metropolitan areas.
With future climate neutrality in view green activists from Berlin's city districts discussed local climate action at the "#FromVisionToAction!" conference. In her introductory keynote, Dr. Camilla Bausch elaborated on the current global political trends as well as the meaning of "climate neutrality", and discussed options for local action in the subsequent panel discussion with Regine Günther (Berlin Senator), Sascha Müller-Kraenner (DUH), and Clara Herrmann (District Councilor).
On 20 November 2019, Doris Knoblauch of Ecologic Institute was invited as an expert to a hearing on "Climate Protection in the Pankow District" at the Pankow District Assembly in Berlin. The expert's presentation dealt with possible climate protection measures in terms of content (e.g. how the change in mobility or nutrition can succeed), but focused on organisational aspects, such as how climate protection can be anchored as a cross-sectional task in the district administration and within the population.
Hannes Schritt hold a presentation concerning water in Berlin and Virtual Water at the BUNDjugend German-Egyptian Youth Exchange in Berlin. As part of the presentation he explained the water cycle of Berlin: Treated waste water is reused as drinking water to ensure water availability. In addition, Berlin gets drinking water by river bank filtration from Havel, Spree and Dahme. As a result of both, Berlin's drinking water quality depends on good water quality of the effluent of the waste water treatment plants and the rivers crossing the city. After presenting primarily technical aspects Hannes Schritt talked about political conflicts and inititiatives concerning water in Berlin and the concept of Virtual Water. The presentation slides are available for download.
The panel will broach the issue about the impact of climate change on countries, especially in the Global South, many of them former colonies still struggling with the socioeconomic consequences of colonial exploitation. The panel will also examine how cultural relations between states and societies could be an important component of international climate policy and transnational climate action.
This participatory online workshop will assess the current landscape of soil carbon standards and evaluate their suitability as a tool for achieving net zero goals. The workshop will feature scene-setting presentations and exploratory panel discussions from soil carbon sequestration and voluntary carbon experts.
The German Environment Agency (UBA) is pleased to announce the 6th European Resources Forum – "Transformative approaches for sustainable resource use and a circular economy." The preliminary programme is available online. Register now to secure your spot.