News archive

solidarökonomie

A transnational networking platform linking the solidarity economy and organic farming

17.11.2016
Combining the solidarity economy with organic farming is one possible strategy to make development in the food sector more sustainable. A project at CDE aims to analyse the links between the two and promote knowledge transfer between practitioners, policymakers, and researchers concerned with organic farming and the solidarity economy. For this purpose, the project has launched a transnational networking platform that brings together 28 organizations from five European countries. More information

climate change adaptation

Climate Change Adaptation Strategies – An Upstream-downstream Perspective

14.11.2016
Climate change and the related adverse impacts are among the greatest challenges facing humankind during the coming decades. Even with a significant reduction of anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions, it will be inevitable for societies to adapt to new climatic conditions and associated impacts and risks. This book offers insights to first experiences of developing and implementing adaptation measures, with a particular focus on mountain environments and the adjacent downstream areas. More information

UNESCO World Heritage Site Jungfrau Aletsch

Changes in the UNESCO World Heritage Swiss Alps Jungfrau-Aletsch

10.11.2016
The Publications “Insight and Outlook” document the changes in the UNESCO World Heritage Swiss Alps Jungfrau-Aletsch. The latest editions highlight Alpine habitats and biodiversity in the World Heritage region. More information

Sustainable agicultural imports

Sustainable agricultural imports to Switzerland?

09.11.2016
The Swiss Green Party’s fair food initiative that Swiss citizens will be asked to vote on in the coming two years aims to increase the sustainability of food and feed imports to Switzerland. But should importing states be allowed to treat goods differently based on how they were produced? A study has investigated this question with respect to agricultural products. It shows how the measures proposed by the fair food initiative fit into the broader debate on a sustainable agricultural trade system, and how the initiative can be implemented in accordance with international law. More information

Global Land Programme

Third Open Science Meeting of the Global Land Programme

03.11.2016
The Global Land Programme, one of Future Earth’s core projects, has held the third of its biennial open science meetings. In response to the recently endorsed Agenda 2030 and its Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), the meeting focused on “Land system science: understanding realities and developing solutions”. Close to 700 participants discussed social-ecological interactions around land use, bridging disciplines and different levels of scale. More information

Director CDE

New Associate Professor at CDE

01.11.2016
CDE Director Thomas Breu has been promoted to Associate Professor of the Faculty of Science by the University Directorate, effective 1 November 2016. We warmly congratulate Thomas Breu for this achievement!

Film: Dodhar – the dilemma

31.10.2016
This new film explores outmigration, feminization, and land management in mountainous rural villages of western Nepal. It shows how outmigration affects migrants, their mothers, wives, and children as well as consequences for village life, local agriculture, and the environment. The film is based on the Swiss Network for International Studies-funded project “Sustainable Land Management in Mountain Regions of Bolivia and Nepal in the Context of Outmigration, Climate Change, and Disaster Risk Reduction”. More information

CAS Sustainable Development – Reduction of participation fees

27.10.2016
Those wishing to contribute to sustainable development need to have a solid knowledge basis and space for reflection. Do you have an interest in extra-occupational training with an inter- and transdisciplinary approach, belong to the University of Bern, and have a university degree? If so, you are eligible to benefit from a reduction in the participation fees of CHF 2,300 as part of the University of Bern’s Strategy 2021 implementation. Apply quickly; the first three applications will be considered. More information

Energy consumption

Good intentions, big footprints: Facing household energy use in rich countries

12.10.2016
Scientists agree that emission of CO2 by burning fossil fuels is altering our climate. The risks of maintaining this carbon-burning trajectory – including sea level rise, extreme weather events, population displacements, and resource conflicts – make it imperative to change course. This means drastically reducing our dependence on fossil fuel-based energy as quickly as possible. Households account for a large share of CO2 emissions, especially in rich, consumption-driven economies. But which households consume the most energy and how could their carbon footprints be reduced? More information

Mountain Research and Development

Call for papers: Migration and Sustainable Development in Mountains

11.10.2016
Migration is greatly affecting mountain societies and mountain ecosystems. Mountain Research and Development is looking for papers that assess experiences of promoting sustainable development in a context of out- or in-migration; that analyze migration processes and their implications for mountain societies and ecosystems; or that offer agendas for future research or policy on migration out of, into, and within mountain areas. Abstracts are due by 25 November 2016, full papers by 31 March 2017. More information

land matrix report

New report by the Land Matrix initiative takes stock of situation

11.10.2016
Around the world, 26.7 million hectares of agricultural land have been transferred into the hands of foreign investors since the year 2000. This means that these investors possess approximately 2 per cent of the arable land worldwide. This finding comes from a new report entitled Land Matrix Analytical Report II: International Land Deals for Agriculture, to be released today. The report provides detailed information on who is buying up farmland in which regions of the world and how this land is being used. It also highlights the economic, social, and political impacts of land grabs. More information

Berner Umweltforschungspreis

Call for applications: Bernese Award for Environmental Research 2017

05.10.2016
The Bernese Award for Environmental Research aims to promote disciplinary and interdisciplinary research in environmental sciences and sustainability at the University of Bern. The prize money in 2017 totals CHF 15,000. The award, granted every two years, targets researchers whose work makes a relevant contribution to society or lays the foundations for a better understanding of environmental and sustainability problems and their solutions. More information

erle ellis, professor university of maryland

Professor Erle Ellis, expert on the Anthropocene, at CDE

04.10.2016
Erle Ellis, Professor at the Department for Geography and Environmental Systems at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County, is on leave for one year and visiting CDE. He is working with the Global Land Project and other partners on a research project that couples local and global data to enable new scientific workflows that accelerate global collaboration, data integration, and synthesis for global change research. Ellis is a leading theorist on the Anthropocene. His research investigates the ecology of anthropogenic landscapes at local to global scales with the aim of informing sustainable stewardship of the biosphere in the Anthropocene. More information

Mountain Research and Development

Mountain Research and Development, Vol 36, No 3, available online and open access

27.09.2016
Papers analyze photovoltaic power generation in Tajikistan, new highlander entrepreneurs in Switzerland, farmers’ perceptions of farming in Norway, large-cardamom production in Sikkim, land use and land cover changes and grazing intensity in Nepal, swidden agriculture in Myanmar, plant species composition in Pakistan, forest assemblages in southwest China, pasture condition assessment in Kyrgyzstan, and knowledge for climate adaptation worldwide. More information

Madagascar

Conservation or agricultural development in Madagascar?

26.09.2016
On the east coast of Madagascar, small-scale farmers’ push for land to grow rice and cash crops is causing loss of rainforest. International nature conservation organizations have long sought to protect these forests. But their aims differ from those of the local population, leading to conflict over what development in the region should actually entail. In her PhD study, CDE researcher Julie Zähringer analysed land changes and current demands for ecosystem services to create an evidence base for future negotiations. More information

Think global, teach local: Integrating education for Sustainable Development into your teaching

19.09.2016: The University of Bern aims to increasingly integrate the topic of Sustainable Development into its teaching, to better prepare students for global problems. In this course, teaching staff will address the interface between their own discipline and Sustainable Development, based on which they will develop innovative teaching and learning scenarios. The course is part of the CAS (Certificate of Advanced Studies) in Higher Education. More information

Socio-Economic Atlas of Kenya available online

15.09.2016
The second, revised edition of the “Socio-Economic Atlas of Kenya: Depicting the National Population Census by County and Sub-Location” is now available free of charge for online viewing and downloading.
The Atlas is the first of its kind to offer high-resolution spatial depictions and analyses of data collected in the 2009 Kenya Population and Housing Census. More information

Netzwerk

Sustainability Day of Bern’s Institutions of Higher Education

05.09.2016
On 6 April 2017, Bern’s institutions of higher education – i.e. PHBern, the University of Bern, and the Bern University of Applied Sciences – will hold their first jointly organized Sustainability Day. Its theme will be “Sustainability3: Networking and Creating Synergies – Sustainability Day of Bern’s 3 Institutions of Higher Education”. Students, researchers, and staff of the three schools are kindly invited to present their sustainability project or to hold a workshop. More Information

exhibit

Let’s go DanaLand

Have you ever wondered what a liveable future might look like and how we can continue to lead good lives while using fewer resources? The game “Let’s go DanaLand”, part of an interactive exhibit, enables visitors to learn more about sufficient lifestyles. It will be hosted by the Umwelt Arena in Spreitenbach from 1 September to 30 November 2016. Beginning in January 2017, the mobile exhibit will travel to different communities and schools. More information

wocat database

WOCAT launches new global database on sustainable land management

08.08.2016
World Overview of Conservation Approaches and Technologies (WOCAT) – a global network dedicated to documenting and promoting sustainable land management – have revamped their global database on sustainable land management practices. The questionnaires for documenting the practices have been revised. The WOCAT database is advocated by the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification as the primary recommended database for documenting best practices in sustainable land management. More information

Suffizienz

Enough is enough: How a sufficient lifestyle leads to a good life

04.08.2016
What is life like for people who strive to consume as few resources as possible and try to live sufficiently or modestly? What perspectives or values motivate them to live this way? What factors help them and what factors hinder them? Can a sufficient lifestyle lead to more life satisfaction and promote a good life? Learn more in the new book by CDE researchers: “Enough is Enough” (Genug genügt). More information

CDE datablog on Switzerland’s Dominance in the Commodities Trade

28.07.2016
Switzerland has recently emerged as one of the world’s most important hubs in the global trade of commodities. But its rise has been accompanied by concerns about transparency, appropriate regulation, and risks to resource-exporting developing countries. What is the extent of Switzerland’s responsability? Could policy changes in Switzerland make the commodity sector more sustainable and its impact more mutually beneficial? More information

Sustainable Development Guidelines

26.07.2016
“Integrating Sustainable Development into tertiary education”: Guidelines containing concepts, tools, examples, links, and teaching materials. The guidelines are aimed at teaching staff wishing to integrate the cross-cutting topic of Sustainable Development into university courses. They were created in collaboration with the Vice-Rectorate for Quality, University didactics, and iLUB of the Centre for Development and Environment (CDE). More information

Finance and its systemic risks: how can we create sustainable financial markets?

25.07.2016
While the stock market celebrates record gains, in the real world the consequences of the last financial crisis have not yet been overcome. Promoting a sustainable development towards more stable financial markets: this is the topic by Marc Chesney, professor of finance known for his critical views, in the CAS Module, Finance and its systemic risks. More information

UN high-level science policy forum

Peter Messerli at the UN High-Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development

14.07.2016
CDE Director Peter Messerli represented Swiss science at this year’s United Nations High-Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development in New York. The Forum is expected to provide political leadership, guidance, and recommendations on implementation and follow-up of the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. More information

CDE Annual Report 2015

13.07.2016
In 2015, the global community established a new framework for financing global sustainable development in Addis Abeba, adopted 17 Sustainable Development Goals in New York, and agreed on climate objectives in Paris. Achieving these goals will require equal efforts in politics, science, society, and the economy. We believe the main task of science consists in exploring and identifying pathways to these goals. Where are compromises required? Where is there room for manoeuvre? And what sorts of synergies are possible? In our CDE Annual Report 2015, we shed light on these questions using four examples in the areas of land use, migration, poverty reduction, and commodities trading. Link to Publication (PDF, 4.3 MB)

Transport and spatial development: Getting around sustainably

05.07.2016
The way we get around and the way our built environment develops: these are things that don’t just “happen”. Current debates show that we can become more active in shaping these processes to ensure a sustainable and liveable future. Learn the necessary skills in our CAS Module "Transport and spatial development: Getting around sustainably"!

Mountain Research and Development

Mountain Research and Development, Vol 36, No 2

15.06.2016
Papers address modernization and sustainable development, showing that some aspects of modernization can lead to sustainability – e.g. improved energy use in Europe, multilocal livelihoods in Pakistan, biosphere reserves in Europe, agrotourism in Thailand, or improved governance in Nepal. Further papers deal with carbon storage in Thailand, forest composition in China, stump debarking in the Czech Republic, treelines in the Andes, and hydropower energy storage in Europe. Read more

commodities

Making the Commodity Sector Work for Developing Countries

24.05.2016
Switzerland occupies an important position in the global trade of hard and soft commodities. Companies headquartered within its borders directly or indirectly shape commodity extraction practices around the world, some of which carry considerable negative environmental and social risks on the ground, particularly in fragile contexts. This factsheet examines these issues locally in developing countries – complementing a previous factsheet that focused on Switzerland’s role as a trading hub. Read more

Module: Business sustainability – do business sustainably!

09.05.2016
The future belongs to entrepreneurs who find answers to our current ecological, social, and economic challenges. How can global sustainability trends be integrated and employed in strategic business management? Learn the necessary skills in our CAS Module: Business sustainability – do business sustainably! Read more

MRD 36 1

Mountain Research and Development, Vol 36, No 1, available online and open access

20.04.2016
Papers offer insights into sustainability assessment of the built environment in China, community-based risk screening in Nepal, science communication for awareness raising in Ladakh, natural disturbances in Italian protection forests, grazing impacts in the Georgian Caucasus, climate and vegetation cover in Bhutan, sustainable land management trade-offs in Tajikistan, and applying Ostrom’s “design principles” in Kyrgyzstan and Kenya. Read more

horticulture kenya

Commercial Horticulture in Kenya: Adapting to Water Scarcity

24.03.2016
Commercial horticulture is Kenya’s second largest foreign exchange earner, exporting flowers and vegetables to Europe in particular. Other African countries seek to emulate this export-driven model. But its economic benefits must be weighed carefully against relevant social and environmental risks, including competition over precious water. Read more

Land Matrix development

Land Matrix in the top 10 sources of data for international development research

22.03.2016
Where should you go if you want reliable, detailed data on fragile states, land grabs or trade deals? The Land Matrix has been hailed as one of the Top 10 sources of data for international development research. Learn more

Agriculture and Water

Large-Scale Land Acquisition and Its Effects on the Water Balance in Investor and Host Countries

21.03.2016
This study examines the validity of the assumption that international large-scale land acquisition (LSLA) is motivated by the desire to secure control over water resources. We analysed the effects of 475 intended or concluded land deals recorded in the Land Matrix database on the water balance in both host and investor countries. We also examine how these effects relate to water stress and how they contribute to global trade in virtual water. Read more

Africa Partnership Programme

ESAPP: Highlights from 15 Years of Joint Action for Sustainable Development

16.03.2016
The Eastern and Southern Africa Partnership Programme (ESAPP) was launched in 1999 and concluded in 2015. This publication summarizes experiences and knowledge gained from 15 years of partnership-based research and action in Africa. It presents 24 representative highlights selected from over 300 small-grant projects carried out in Madagascar, Mozambique, Tanzania, Kenya, Ethiopia, and Eritrea. Read more

GLP

CDE hosts the GLP’s International Project Office

15.03.2016
The Global Land Project is an interdisciplinary community of science and practice that promotes the study of land system changes as a cause, consequence, and solution to global change processes. As of January 2016 the GLP International Project Office is hosted by CDE. In this new role CDE is engaging with a variety of land-related programmes, networks, and stakeholders throughout the global environmental change community. Read more

CDE Datablog Poverty and welfare in Kenya

CDE datablog on welfare, poverty and inequality in Kenya

07.03.2016
Where in Kenya are most people poor, and where are the most poor people? Is Kenya’s richest county also the one with the greatest inequality? Check out the latest CDE datablog on welfare, poverty and inequality in Kenya. Read more

World Overview of Conservation Approaches and Technology

WOCAT tablet app

01.03.2016
The WOCAT tablet app is an educational tool that introduces you to SLM. It illustrates how land users around the globe care for their land and maintain healthy natural resources: soils, water, and vegetation. Good practices are presented, ranging from orchard-based agroforestry in Tajikistan to rooftop rainwater harvesting in Nepal and sand dams in Kenya. Read more

MRD Call Mountains

Call for papers: Mountain Forests and the Sustainable Development Goals

23.02.2016
Mountain forests provide key ecosystem services that are essential for achieving the SDGs. Mountain Research and Development is seeking papers that assess experiences of how to manage forests so that they can provide such services; that analyze the state of mountain forests; or that offer agendas for future research or policy in support of sustainable mountain forestry. Notices of intent are due by 1 April 2016, full papers by 25 June 2016. Read more

commodity switzerland

Switzerland and the Commodities Trade

22.02.2016
Switzerland has recently emerged as one of the world’s most important hubs in the global trade of commodities. This factsheet outlines key challenges, knowledge gaps, and research questions centring on Switzerland’s role and potential responsibility as a leading commodity hub. Read more

investing in sustainable mountain develpment

Investing in Sustainable Mountain Development

17.02.2016
Achieving the goals formulated in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development calls for future investments in mountain regions. This publication looks at investments from the perspective of sustainable development. It presents 19 case studies from mountain regions, covering efforts by diverse public and private actors, and ranging from examples of development investments to innovative financing mechanisms. Read more

New professorship at CDE

16.02.2016
The University of Bern has created a new professorship in sustainable development at the Centre for Development and Environment (CDE) and has appointed Peter Messerli, Director of CDE, to the post. The new professorship at CDE is also affiliated to the university’s Institute of Geography. Read more

master information day

Master’s open days, March 8th till 10th

08.02.2016
Why don’t you become a master in your field? Get more information about the requirements, the potential focus and curriculum of your degree program at the info events. Read more

 

university of bern

Workshops on integrating sustainable development into university teaching

08.02.2016
Education for sustainable development has a high priority at the University of Bern. Any course of study can link up to the topic of sustainable development. Ways of doing this will be developed in a series of workshops entitled “Integrating Sustainable Development into University Teaching: Courses of Study at the University of Bern on Their Way to the Global Future”. Read more

UN sustainable development solutions network

CDE is a member of the UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network

21.01.2016
The Executive Committee of the UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN) has approved CDE’s membership in the Network. The organization aims to mobilize global scientific and technological expertise to promote practical problem solving for sustainable development, including the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Read more

parks of europe

Parks of the Future

13.01.2016
Climate change, declines in biodiversity, increasing consumption of resources, and urbanisation continue to challenge the regions of Europe. In response, there has been an unmistakeable boom in parks in Europe since the 1990s. In this new book, authors from all over Europe analyse and comment on experiences of tackling the challenges of regional and global change in parks. Read more

Call for Papers for IASC Regional European Meeting

07.01.2016
Call for Papers for the IASC Regional European Meeting in Bern, Switzerland, 10-13 May 2016: Commons in a “Glocal” World - Global Connections and Local Responses. Read more

 

mountain research and development

Mountain Research and Development, Vol 35

04.01.2016
The first paper presents a participatory process implemented in North Korea. Next, modeling-based papers look at permafrost in China, forest cover change in Romania, and glacial lakes in the Himalaya. Further papers discuss a fog collection system in Eritrea, threatened plant species and wildlife conservation attitudes in India, and the need for high quality and reliable data in the Himalayas. Read more