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Centre for Development and Environment (CDE)


Sustainable development research

CDE policy brief: Land deals intensify competition for scarce resources
Since the worldwide food price crisis of 2008, foreign investors have rushed to acquire large amounts of agricultural land in poorer countries. Some observers welcome this, claiming that outside investment in ostensibly underused land will jump-start local development. Others regard such investments as land grabs, stressing that the areas are rarely empty and that local people have little say. This brief identifies the types of land targeted by investors and reveals key socio-ecological patterns of such deals. The evidence indicates that foreign investments are intensifying competition for the best land. Ensuring that such deals instead contribute to sustainable, inclusive use of land requires strong public guidance and oversight.

Swiss Alps UNESCO World Heritage site: an inspirational space

​Awful or awesome: the impressive alpine landscape has fascinated and inspired for hundreds of years. For the Jungfrau-Aletsch region in the Swiss Alps, its beauty and ability to inspire were criteria for its acceptance onto the UNESCO World Natural Heritage List. The region has an immense influence on artistic creation.

From Growth to Sustainable and Inclusive Development: A Shift in Paradigm

​In recent years the development debate has witnessed a paradigm shift, away from purely growth-oriented policies to broader concepts of sustainable and inclusive development. A round-table debate on Thursday, 13 November 2014 at the University of Bern will inquire to what extent this paradigm shift has already materialized in different development concepts and policies. The event is organized by the Swiss Network for International Studies and CDE. The debate will be followed by the award ceremony for the winners of the International Geneva Award 2013.

Mountain Research and Development, Vol 34, No 3 on Gender and Sustainable Development in Mountains

A decade after MRD’s last issue dedicated to mountain women, this special issue shows clear progress in gender research on sustainable development in mountains. On the other hand, it offers important insights into how gendered impacts of development efforts often inadvertently benefit men more than women. Articles also explore the different ways in which women and men in mountain regions worldwide negotiate change, development interventions, and migration, and how this influences their daily lives.

Incentive, scarcity, and sustainability. Economic perspectives on sustainable development

Productivity, efficiency, technological progress, and competitiveness: these are the hallmarks of successful projects in business, and – increasingly – in other areas. CDE’s Forum on Development and Environment sheds light on the relevance of business logic for sustainable development. How can analyses, theories, and practice provide insights for realistic and pragmatic strategies for action, triggering social and economic transformation processes?
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