Coasts and seas both are characterized by intense social-ecological interactions, recently the industrial appropriation of coasts worldwide and oceans as a waste disposal site for port industries and land-based production facilities. In September, White Horse Press' transdisciplinary history journal Global Environment published a special issue dedicated to Coastal Cities and their struggle for coping mechanism to the recent crisis. The special issue was edited by Ecologic Institute and starts with an introductory chapter on the more-than-ever-growing need to consider different ideas, narratives and power relations of coastal and maritime actors and groups in order to shape a coastal management that is ecologically and socially sustainable.
A comparative study indicates that the collective memory of the 1872 storm is related to the background knowledge about floods, the damage extent, and the response to the storm. Flood marks and dikes help to remember the events. In general, coastal flood defence is to the largest degree implemented in the affected areas in Germany, followed by Denmark, and is almost absent in Sweden, corresponding to the extent of the collective memory of the 1872 storm. Within the affected countries, there is local variability of flood risk awareness associated with the collective memory of the storm.
This paper deals with how culture is expressed through the interplay of socially, politically, and economically driven processes and practices in place-based biophysical contexts as well as the role played by narrative expressions in the formation of coastal risk management, knowledge and action. It draws upon ethnographic, comparative, and historical approaches to understand how culture frames what we know and how we respond differently to risks.
Recent and historic high-impact events have demonstrated significant flood risks to many coastal areas in Europe and across the globe. Understanding the behavior of humans in relation to risk management poses grand challenges for both natural and social sciences and humanities. The study analyzes the cultural aspects of coastal risk management and illustrates path-dependencies of concrete disaster risk reduction measures in relation to local contexts in European coastal regions in Northern and South Western Europe. Dr. Grit Martinez from Ecologic Institute co-authored the journal article.
Profound societal transformations are needed to move society from unsustainability to greater sustainability under continually changing social and environmental conditions. A key challenge is to understand the influences on and the dynamics of collective behavior change toward sustainability. In this paper, the authors of whom Grit Martinez of Ecologic Institute is one, demonstrate how affective narrative expressions influence transitions to more sustainable collective behaviors.
In this article, Dr. Grit Martinez ist concerned with the role of culture and history in relation to local knowledge and values, as these are displayed in the interpretations and actions of distinct groups regarding climate change. She argues that it makes sense to communicate the climate in a manner appropriate to the given cultural-historical context and imaginary and to the relevant semiotic and material views of the people in it. The article is available for download.
The volume "Sites of Remembering: Landscapes, Lessons, Policies" of the Rachel Carson Centres' journal called "Perspectives" bridges the gap between humanities research and public policy. It uses a diverse selection of examples from worldwide memory studies to illuminate how society can employ lessons from the past in building resilience to ecological and humanitarian disasters. Dr. Grit Martinez of Ecologic Institute is a co-author. The volume is available for download.
Diffuse Water Pollution from Agriculture (DWPA) and its governance has received increased attention as a policy concern across the globe. Mitigation of DWPA is a complex problem that requires a mix of policy instruments and a multi-agency, broad societal response. In this article - to which Dr. Grit Martinez and Dr. Nico Stelljes of Ecologic Institute contributed as co-authors - opportunities and barriers for developing co-governance, defined as collaborative societal involvement in the functions of government, and its suitability for mitigation of DWPA, are reviewed using seven case studies in Europe, Australia and North America. The article is available for download.
The article illustrates both the potential and challenges of interdisciplinary collaboration amongst researchers from the social sciences/humanities and the natural sciences/engineering in formulating disaster risk reduction measures for coastal regions. The authors, among them Ecologic Institute's Grit Martinez, share their experiences of working across different scientific and engineering disciplines in the EU project RISC-KIT to co-produce disaster risk reduction measures suitable for specific regional and local contexts, in this case two coastal study areas in Europe (Porto Garibaldi, Italy and Rio Formosa, Portugal). The article is available for download.
This study presents information about the storms in 1872 and 1904 that occurred along the coast of Scania that is analysed with respect to the evolution of risk awareness, vulnerability, and societies' resilience over time. The article, to which Dr. Grit Martinez from Ecologic Institute contributed, is available for download.
This November, the latest climate report for Germany, titled "Climate Change in Germany: Development, Consequences, Risks and Perspectives", was published. For the first time, climate change in Germany has been assessed from an interdisciplinary and comprehensive perspective, taking all societal issues and sectors into account. The 126 authors covered issues such as already-observed and prospective changes, weather calamities and their consequences, risks for the future and options for the advancement of adaptation strategies. Dr. Grit Martinez of Ecologic Institute is co-author of the report's chapter on story line options for a transformative climate adaptive society in Germany. The climate report is available for download.
It is widely recognized that national or regional efforts to restrict the damage of climate change are insufficient and hence that environmental and climate protection needs a global concept. Paradoxically, the way environmental and climate change is perceived and damage is handled is linked to local and regional patterns of perceptions. Dr. Grit Martinez from Ecologic Institute and Prof. Michael Paolisso from the University of Maryland investigate the ways local knowledge and the values of major cultural groups shape understanding and perceptions of climate change risks, and in turn the consequences of that cultural knowledge in terms of vulnerability, adaptation and resilience.
In the article "Why do we decide to live with risk at the coast?" recently published in "Ocean and Coastal Management", Dr. Grit Martinez of Ecologic Institute and Susana Costas and Prof. Oscar Ferreira of the University of Algarve explore risk perception in a community found in the vulnerable coastal region, Praia de Faro, on the southern coast of Portugal. The study addresses the identification of factors shaping risk perception and the reasons leading to settlement of high-risk coastal areas.
The BACC II (Second Assessment of Climate Change for the Baltic Sea basin) is an updated assessment of ongoing climate variations in the Baltic Basin for the period 2009-2014. The book is an update of the first BACC assessment, published in 2008, and offers new and updated scientific findings in regional climate research for the Baltic Sea basin. The evidence collected and presented in BACC II shows that the regional climate has already started to change and this is expected to continue. Dr. Grit Martinez from Ecologic Institute is co-author of the article 'Climate Science and Communication for the Baltic Sea Region'. BACC II is a project of the Baltic Earth research network and contributes to the World Climate Research Programme.
Over 123 million Americans and nearly half of European citizens live on or near their respective coasts. What coastal stakeholders in Europe and the U.S. learn from each other to safeguarding their shores has been explored in a publication by Dr. Grit Martinez from Ecologic Institute in collaboration with colleagues from Duke and Humboldt University.
The German Bundesländer Schleswig-Holstein and Mecklenburg-Vorpommern both lie on the Baltic Sea coast. Their attitudes towards a) climate change adaptation and b) the way in which local communities and industries shape their climate change adaptation measures are different. Doris Knoblauch and Dr. Nico Stelljes, both Fellows at Ecologic Institute suggest in their article that there are cultural settings, which influence the perception of climate change and, consequently, the proposed adaptation measures in the two states.
In their book "Social Dimensions of Climate Change Adaptation in Coastal Regions" Grit Martinez (Ecologic Institute), Peter Fröhle, and Hans-Joachim Meier address often overlooked but key societal aspects that influence stakeholders to engage or not to engage in adapting to a changing climate. Therefore sociocultural and ecological dimensions of adaptation to a changing climate in coastal regions are the focus of the anthology.
Recent Multimedia Publications by Ecologic Institute
This international conference provides an opportunity to learn and exchange knowledge on the topic of microplastics in soils and is aimed at scientists and decision-makers alike. The first day of the event focuses on the state of the science, the second day on identifying policy solutions and recommendations for action at the European and international level. This hybrid event will take place on 19 and 20 October 2022 in Berlin (Germany), allowing for both in-person and online participation. We are looking forward to your registration.
Nature-based Solutions (NBS) for EU cities and regions represent an integral part of the EU's transition to achieving climate neutrality. In this panel, moderated by Ecologic Institute's McKenna Davis, experts will discuss effective, just and inclusive strategies to design, implement and manage NBS, while engaging under-represented or marginalised stakeholders. Panellists will discuss successful, inclusive NBS co-creation processes and opportunities for upscaling through concrete public commitments under the European Climate Pact. The event is part of the European Week of Regions and Cities, we look forward to your registration.
This webinar presents and discusses a report by Ecologic Institute on national frameworks for CDR. The report assesses the CDR policy frameworks of all 27 Member States and makes recommendations on how to improve them.