News 2018

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Publication of a new working paper

Marianne Heimbach-Steins reflects on her journey to Peru with Caritas International

In working paper No. 11 entitled “Solidarisch, nachhaltig, beteiligungsgerecht: Weltkirchliche Caritas-Arbeit – Notizen einer Peru-Reise mit Caritas International” (engl.: "Solidary, sustainable, participatory: World Church Caritas Work – Notes on a journey to Peru with Caritas International") Prof. Marianne Heimbach-Steins reports on her time in Peru with Caritas International last December. Ι continue

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Earth Overshoot Day and Resource Consumption: The ZIN on air

ZIN-Junior Scholar Carolin as guest in the radio show "Wissen im Gespräch"

On December 7 2018, ZIN junior scholar Carolin Bohn was guest in the radio show "Wissen im Gespräch" on the radio station WDR 5. The interview, conducted with Steffi Klaus, took the Earth Overshoot Day as an opportunity to talk about excessive resource consumption and potential solutions. | Continue

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Rainforest conversation and the fight against poverty

Marianne Heimbach-Steins visited a sustainable land management project in Peru with Caritas International

Münster/Madre de Dios – A project in Madre de Dios in Peru succeeds in conserving the rainforest and simultaneously assisting people in finding a way out of poverty. Marianne Heimbach-Steins, member of the ZIN board and director of the Institute for Christian Social Sciences of the Catholic Theological Faculty of the WWU, visited the project at the end of November as part of a dialogue trip with Caritas International – the international aid organization of the German Caritas Association. | continue

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The ZIN grows – and welcomes four new members in November 2018

Scholars from the natural sciences biology, physics, chemistry and geoinformatics expand the perspective of the ZIN

For the second time this year, the ZIN has welcomed new members. Prof. Bodo Philipp, Prof. Cornelia Denz, Prof. Christian Kray and Dr. Fabian Dielmann join the ranks of the thirteen members. Through their their respective research focuses, they broaden the interdisciplinary perspective of the ZIN by introducing points of views from the natural sciences. | continue

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How is agriculture carried out in Vietnam? How does sustainable urban development work in Hanoi?

ZIN-member Gabriele Schrüfer organized an excursion to Vietnam for students of the University of Münster

From September 1 to September 14, ZIN-member Prof. Gabriele Schrüfer conducted an excursion to Vietnam with students of the Institute for Geography Education at the University of Münster. The excursion took the group both to the capital Hanoi and the surrounding villages, as well as to the south of the country to Ho Chi Minh City. | continue

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Competence Acquisition in the learning area Global Development – workshop by Prof. Gabriele Schrüfer

On 7 November, a conference on the subject of “Bildung für nachhaltige Entwicklung” (BNE) (translation: “Education for sustainable development”) took place in the district government Düsseldorf. At the conference, ZIN-member Prof. Gabriele Schrüfer  hosted a workshop titled “Didaktisch-methodische Hinweise zum Erwerb von Kompetenzen im Rahmen des Lernbereichs Globale Entwicklung” (in English: Didactic / methodological indications concerning the competence acquisition in the learning area global development“). | continue

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Does the new European plastic directive effectively reduce plastic waste? ZIN junior scholar Tobias Gumbert comments

Interview with newspaper Westfälische Nachrichten evaluates the new European plastic directive

On 26 October 2018, an interview with ZIN junior scholar Tobias Gumbert, titled “Plastik-Verbot: Die wichtige Suche nach Alternativen” (in English: “Plastic-ban: The crucial search for alternatives”) was published in the local newspaper Westfälische Nachrichten. The interview, conducted by Anna Spliethoff, focused on the ban on disposable plastic packaging, which was decided by the EU-Parliament two days before. | continue

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DynaMo-Workshop: Mobility on the Move

ZIN junior scholar Berenike Feldhoff discusses mobility questions with DynaMo junior research group and international experts

On October 1st and 2nd, the junior research group DynaMo organized an interdisciplinary and international workshop titled „Mobility on the Move – researching the socio-cultural dimension of the transitions to come“. In numerous discussions, the research group, whose members are settled at the universities of Münster and Stuttgart as well as the Fraunhofer Institute for Industrial Engineering (IAO), won valuable impulses for future work. ZIN junior scholar Berenike Feldhoff also participated in the workshop. | continue

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Clear demands to politicians for the implementation of more nature conservation and a sustainable agriculture

ZIN-member Tillmann Buttschardt participated at the 1st NRW Nature Conservation Day of the NABU in Münster

On 6 October 2018, the Association of Nature and Biodiversity Conservation NRW (NABU NRW) organized the 1st NRW Nature Conservation Day at the Institute for Landscape Ecology under the topic “Blühende Land(wirt)schaft – Ist das Natur oder kann das weg?”. ZIN-member Prof. Tillmann Buttschardt attended the conference, which constitued the prelude to an annual series and that dealt with the problem of threatened species through the extensive agricultural use of land. | continue

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„Transformation to Sustainability“ in retrospect – a conference report

Symposium of the ZIN and the Katholische Akademie Franz Hitze Haus on the 4th and 5th of October in Münster

On the 4th and 5th of October, the interdisciplinary symposium “Transformation zur Nachhaltigkeit. Hindernisse – Wege – Strategien” ("Transformation to Sustainability. Obstacles - Paths - Strategies "), organized jointly by the ZIN and the Katholische Akademie Franz Hitze Haus, took place. The event, which was attended by people both with a background in science and practice, focused on the profound socio-economic transformation that is urgently needed to safeguard the natural foundations of human life. However, the conference not only analyzed the obstacles that currently slow down a successful transformation, but also put a special focus on discussing ways of action and implementation within the ever-shorter remaining time. | continue

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ZIN members contribute to Congress of the German Sociological Association

The ZIN staff members Benjamin Görgen and Björn Wendt participated at the 39th Congress of the German Sociological Association in Göttingen with an ad-hoc group on “Die Nachhaltige Gesellschaft. Sozial-ökologisches Wissen als neue Herrschaftsideologie oder systemsprengende Utopie?” (English: “The Sustainable Society. Social-ecological knowledge as a new ruling ideology or system-splitting utopia?“). | continue

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Challenges of Energy Policy and “green” Freedom – ZIN-contributions to DVPW-conference 2018

Four ZIN members take part in the triennial conference of the German Political Science Association from 25. – 28. 09. 2018

From 25. 09. – 28. 09. the 27. Scientific Congress of the German Political Science Association, dedicated to discussions about the “Limits of Democracy” takes place in the Goethe-University Frankfurt.
On this four-day congress, the ZIN is represented by Jun.-Prof. Antonia Graf as well as by the ZIN staff members Pia Buschmann, Tobias Gumbert and Carolin Bohn. | continue

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Fair and Global Environmental Policy with Prof. Doris Fuchs and Prof. Sabine Schlacke

From 24. – 25. 09. 2018, the Akademie Franz Hitze-Haus, the Akademie Die Wolfsburg and the Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung organize the conference “Umweltpolitik: global und gerecht” (in English: “Environmental Policy: global and fair”) as part of the series “Sozialethik konkret” (translatable as: “Social Ethics in Practice”). The ZIN is represented twice at the interdisciplinary event by ZIN-spokeswoman Prof. Doris Fuchs and ZIN-member Prof. Sabine Schlacke. | continue

Call for Papers: E-Journal "Soziologie und Nachhaltigkeit" is looking for articles on "Sustainability between Ideology and Utopia"

In its 4th Call for Papers of the series "Soziologie und Nachhaltigkeit – Beiträge zur Sozial-ökologischen Transformationsforschung", the online journal "Soziologie und Nachhaltigkeit" is looking for contributions (in German) on the topic "Sustainability between Ideology and Utopia". Against this background, articles are welcome that deal with the ideological and/or utopian functions of the discourse on sustainability from the following perspectives... | continue

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Utopia within our reach? Contributions of utopia research to the transformation to sustainability

ZIN-member Björn Wendt connects sustainability and utopia research in his newly released monograph

A new monograph by ZIN-member Björn Wendt titled “Nachhaltigkeit als Utopie. Zur Zukunft der sozial-ökologischen Bewegung“ (in English: Sustainability as Utopia. On the Future of the Social-Ecological Movement“, own translation), was published on August 16th in the publishing company Campus-Verlag. | continue

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Dangers and consequences of climate change – how to design fair climate policies?

WBGU hands over new recommendations to the Federal Minister for Environment, Svenja Schulze

The German Advisory Council on Global Change (WBGU) handed over a policy paper titled “Just & In-Time Climate Policy: Four Initiatives for a Fair Transformation” to the Federal Minister for Environment Svenja Schulze and the State Secretary at the Federal Ministry of Education and Research, Georg Schütte. ZIN-Member Prof. Sabine Schlacke is a Council Member of the WBGU since 2008 and a chairwoman since 2016. In this role she fundamentally influenced the development of the document. | continue

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Sustainability standards and certificates – solution for problems in the coffee sector?

ZIN-member Prof. Thomas Dietz critically analyzes voluntary coffee standards

ZIN-member Thomas Dietz investigates the effectiveness of voluntary sustainability standards in the coffee industry as part of the research project TRANSSUSTAIN. Now he explains some results of the project in the article “Fairtrade? Bio? Für viele Kaffeebauern sind die Siegel ein Unglück” by Marius Hasenheit, which was published on 13th August 2018 in the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung. | continue

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Interdisciplinary conference “Transformation zur Nachhaltigkeit. Hindernisse – Wege - Strategien”, 4th – 5th October, Münster

The conference, organized by the ZIN and the “Akademie Franz Hitze Haus”, analyses challenges and options related to the “Great Transformation”

On Thursday, 4th and Friday, 5th October 2018, the Center for Interdisciplinary Sustainability Research (ZIN) of the University of Münster and the catholic academy “Franz Hitze Haus” hold a scientific symposium titled “Transformation zur Nachhaltigkeit. Hindernisse – Wege - Strategien” in Münster. | continue

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Project “Form your Future” trains young people to become sustainability ambassadors

The ZIN supports the upcoming sustainability research project working with young people

Starting in autumn 2018, the laboratory MExLab ExperiMINTe of the WWU Münster carries out a project training students to become sustainability ambassadors. The project, funded by the German Federal Environmental Foundation (DBU) and the UNESCO-Global Action Program Education for Sustainable Development (ESD), is, among others, supported scientifically by the ZIN. | Continue

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What are the central concepts and perspectives of sustainable consumption? What concrete progress is there in its implementation?

Doris Fuchs and Frederike Boll answer these and other questions in a chapter in the newly edited volume “Global Environmental Politics”.

ZIN –Spokesperson Prof. Doris Fuchs, together with Frederike Boll, contributed a chapter dealing with “Sustainable Consumption” to the second edition of the edited volume “Global Environmental Politics. Concepts, Theories and Case Studies”. In their chapter, the authors identify relevant actors and changes in global Sustainable Consumption Governance. | Continue

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Several ZIN-contributions submitted to the Third International SCORAI – Conference in Copenhagen

Five members of the ZIN contributed papers on participation for sustainability, driving bans and new consumption practices

ZIN-spokeswoman Prof. Doris Fuchs, ZIN-member Jun.-Prof Antonia Graf  as well as ZIN junior scholars Carolin Bohn, Berenike Feldhoff and Tobias Gumbert attend the international conference “Sustainable Consumption Research and Action Initiative (SCORAI)”, from the 27th – 30th June in Copenhagen. The SCORAI initiative, founded in 2012, aims at promoting innovative research in the field of sustainable consumption and networking with practice and politics. In 2018, an international conference organized by SCORAI has taken place for the third time. Numerous renowned scholars will join the conference, as well as five ZIN members who present papers on various sustainability-related topics and, in some cases, also organize own sessions. | Continue

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Linden trees, cherry trees and winter barley come into blossom earlier – climate change manifests in Münster

ZIN-member Prof. Tillmann Buttschardt explains how seasons currently shift due to global warming in the TV magazine “Lokalzeit Münsterland”

In 1976 linden trees came into blossom at the end of June – this year, however, it is the end of May but cherry trees and winter barley are already further developed than in the last years. These observations clearly indicate that the seasons have changed, a development caused by climate change. The TV magazine “Lokalzeit Münsterland” focused on them in their show on June 7th. | Continue

„Green Faith“? – ZIN-speaker Prof. Doris Fuchs and Prof. Katharina Glaab investigate the Role of Faith-based Actors in the Global Sustainable Development Discourse

The researchers from the University of Münster and the Norwegian University of Life Sciences discuss faith-based actors’ contributions to the debate on sustainability

Research often covers ethical questions on sustainable development and governance with regards to civil society. On the contrary, less attention has been paid to the role of faith-based actors in this context even though many of these actors actively participate in debates on sustainable development. A newly published article by ZIN-speaker Prof. Doris FUchs and her co-authos Prof. Katharina Glaab exmines norms and ideas that are introduced to the global development discourse by faith-based actors. | Continue...

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Prof. Andreas Löschel will contribute as a Lead Author to IPCC’s Sixth Assessment Report (2018-2022)

ZIN-member Prof. Andreas Löschel will take over the important function of being Lead Author of the Sixth Assessment Report (AR6) of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). Together with colleagues from all over the world Prof Löschel will summarize the global state of knowledge on climate change. The report will be published in 2021/2022. Its results will also play an important role in implementing the Paris Agreement of 2015. | Continue...

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E.ON takes over Innogy from RWE - Consequences for the energy market consumers

An interview with Prof. Dr. Andreas Löschel

The deal was virtually made over night. This morning two of the four major electric utilities companies active on the German market, RWE and E.ON, revealed that RWE’s subsidiary Innogy, responsible for the production of sustainable electricity, had been divided. Prof.  Andreas Löschel comments on the background circumstances of this deal and possible consequences for energy market consumers in an interview on radio station Deutschlandfunk Kultur. | Continue...

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Power and inequality as neglected dimensions of sustainability research

ZIN-Junior Scholars Benjamin Görgen and Björn Wendt focus on the relation between sustainability and responsibility in their contribution to a collected volume on "Reflexive Responsibilisation"

Many actors from politics, the sciences, the economy and civil society agree on the necessity of a societal transformation towards sustainability.In their contribution “Power and social inequality as neglected dimensions of sustainability research. Reflections on the relationship between sustainability and responsibility” ZIN-Junior Scholars Björn Wendt and Benjamin Görgen point at this blind spot of sustainability research. | Continue...

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Conference on pollinator decline at the Institute for Landscape Ecology

Institute of Landscape Ecology and NABU NRW will host a conference on pollinator decline on the 17th of February 2018

The Institute of Landscape Ecology together with NABU North-Rhine-Westphalia will organize a conference on pollinator decline taking place in Münster at the 17th of February 2018. The conference is hosted by the Animal ecology and multitrophic interactions lab at the Institute. Participants will discuss current research projects on pollinator decline as well as possible counter strategies taking into account all relevant groups. | Continue...

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Closing conference: Wet forests and climate change – current state and future developments

Symposium on the conclusion of the “Fit for climate change” project

The final conference of the “Fit for climate change” project will be held on the 15th and 16th of February 2018 at the Institute for Landscape Ecology. Results of the project will be presented and external experts will supply context to these results at the conference. The research project monitored measures to adapt wet forests to climate change taken in the south of Münster since 2014. | Continue...

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Sustainable Urban Development by Civil Society Groups and Local Initiatives?

ZIN-member Prof. Grundmann und ZIN-associates Benjamin Görgen und Björn Wendt are among the co-authors of a new study on sustainable urban development and local initiatives

How are civil society groups joining forces in order to advance sustainable urban development? This question is at the center of the currently published study “Nachhaltige Stadtentwicklung durch zivilgesellschaftliche Zusammenschlüsse und lokale Bewegungen? Ergebnisse einer soziologischen Begleitforschung” (Sustainable Urban Development by Civil Society Alliances and Local Initiatives? Results of sociological accompanying research) by Benjamin Görgen, Matthias Grundmann, Niklas Haarbusch, Jessica Hoffmann, Dieter Hoffmeister and Björn Wendt. They studied this question based on the example of a local initiative from Münster. | Continue...

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The ZIN is growing…and welcomes three new members in 2018

Professors from the research areas Global Environmental Governance, Religious Pedagogy and Sustainable Urban Development join the ZIN

The ZIN welcomes three new members who will enrich the sustainability research at the center. Jun.-Prof. Antonia Graf, Prof. Judith Könemann and Prof. Samuel Mössner joined the current ten members from seven departments at the ZIN. | Continue...

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The COP23 – a stopover?

ZIN-Member Prof. Sabine Schlacke takes stock of the climate summit COP23 in Bonn

In her contribution to the journal “Zeitschrift für Umweltrecht” ZIN-member Prof. Sabine Schlacke reflects upon the climate conference COP23 that took place in November 2017 in Bonn. Many ZIN-Members participated in different events during the conference. According to Prof. Schlacke, the past conference in Bonn acted as a stopover on the way to the following conference COP24 that will be hold in Poland in December 2018. | Continue...

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Call for Action: Scientists warn against environmental degradation and its consequences

ZIN-spokeswoman Prof’in Doris Fuchs counts among 15.000 endorsers from 184 countries

The article “World Scientists’ Warning to Humanity: a second notice”, published in the scientific journal “Bioscience” has gathered support from more than 15.000 scientists from 184 countries. The warning calls on humankind to rethink and act in order to prevent the catastrophic damages of current environmental degradation. ZIN-Spokeswoman Prof’in Doris Fuchs counts among the endorsers of this declaration. | Continue...