News archive 2018

New Socio-Economic Atlas of the Lao PDR

New atlas visualizes socio-economic change in Laos

The new Socio-Economic Atlas of the Lao PDR provides readers with a highly detailed, multidimensional set of insights into geographic and temporal patterns of the demographic, social, and economic characteristics of the country’s population. More information

Sue Wymann

“Mountain communities must be able to pursue their well-being”

Organizers of the Mountain Partnership have chosen #MountainsMatter as the theme for International Mountain Day on 11 December 2018. CDE researcher Susanne Wymann von Dach explains – and highlights current opportunities for mountain regions. More information

Welterbe Jungfrau

Sustainable land use between tradition and innovation

The latest issue of “Einblicke – Ausblicke” shows how various communally organized groups contribute to sustainable use of natural resources at the local and regional level in the Swiss Alps Jungfrau-Aletsch UNESCO World Heritage region. More information in German

Bernese Award for Environmental Researchn 2019

Bernese Award for Environmental Research 2019

The Bernese Award for Environmental Research aims to promote disciplinary and interdisciplinary research in environmental sciences and sustainability at the University of Bern. Deadline for nominations: 11 January 2019. More information

“It’s time to make trade agreements sustainable”

“Trade regulations can be a strong lever for change,” says Elisabeth Bürgi Bonanomi, expert in sustainable trade relations at CDE. How can and should the state promote trade relations that foster sustainable development of agriculture and the food industry? More information

Assessing sustainable mountain development using the Agenda 2030

The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the associated Sustainable Development Goals offer a useful framework for assessing sustainable development in mountain regions and devising strategies for its promotion. In a Working Paper, scientists of CDE and the Mountain Research Initiative discuss gaps in data on sustainable development in mountains and propose possible ways of addressing them. More information

Share more, consume less

Consume different

Share, exchange, repair: Offers and initiatives aimed at sustainable consumption are booming. CDE researchers studied the most promising initiatives aimed at attracting people to sufficient living – and how the public sector can help. More information in German

Dam construction

Infrastructure, people, and nature in mountains

The latest issue of “Mountain Research and Development” appeared: Dam construction is a controversial issue. A study in the Darjeeling Himalayas in India explores local residents’ perception of a new dam 1.5 years after its completion. More information

Universität Mittelstrasse

Open doors to our new premises

On Saturday, 27 October 2018, the doors to University Mittelstrasse will be wide open to anyone interested in looking inside. At CDE, on the 2nd floor, you might be able to check in for a trip to “DanaLand” – if you pass the test in our interactive exhibition. The exhibition will open at 11 am.

Researchers in Bolivia recommend reining in pesticides

In CDE’s project “Towards Food Sustainability”, scientists investigated the relationship between soya production and pesticide use in Bolivia. Their findings have led them to recommend urgent action to the Bolivian Ministry of Agriculture. More information

Hugo Caviola

“The term climate change is a sedative”

How does language shape our perception of landscapes and nature? How does it influence our thoughts and actions? In an interview, project leader Hugo Caviola discusses language and its role in sustainable development. More information in German

World map

New tool for satellite image preprocessing and composition

CDE researchers have developed a user-friendly online tool for easy preprocessing of remotely sensed data. The tool enables users with limited expertise in remote sensing to produce maps for publications or field visits. More information

Annual Report 2017

CDE’s Annual Report 2017: Transformations towards sustainability

How does CDE support implementation of the UN Sustainable Development Goals? What transformations do we initiate with our partners and projects in order to advance the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development? Find out in our Annual Report 2017 and get an overview of last year’s highlights. More information


Water resources in mountain regions – and more

European countries import flowers and vegetables from Kenya. But how does commercial horticulture for export affect water resources in the Mount Kenya area? This is investigated in a study by CDE researchers in the newest issue of “Mountain Research and Development”. More information

Peter Messerli

“Political polarization won’t help us progress on the 2030 Agenda”

Today, Switzerland will present to the United Nations its Country Report 2018 on progress towards the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. But the report has met with criticism within Switzerland. CDE Director Peter Messerli on missed opportunities – but also on positive developments in sustainability issues in Switzerland. More information

Lao Agriculture Atlas

Lao Agriculture Atlas published

The “Atlas of Agriculture in the Lao PDR” was presented in Vientiane on 21 June 2018. The new atlas – the first of its kind – contains detailed data on changes in agricultural production in Laos. The atlas was created jointly by CDE and the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry in Laos. Financial support was provided by the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation. More information

CDE Datablog and Policy Brief

A burning challenge: Sustainable cooking energy for East Africa

As is common in the developing world, people in East Africa still typically cook their meals with wood or charcoal – i.e. locally available biomass. Usually over a simple fire. But resulting deforestation, resource scarcity, and respiratory illnesses mean alternatives are urgently needed. CDE researchers studied the implications of possible short-term improvements. More information

Intensive agriculture Vietnam

Climate change and land grabbing: The example of the Mekong region

A CDE research project in the Mekong region shows how land grabbing and deforestation are linked, and why this matters for global efforts to address climate change. Read more in our new web section. More information


CDE is relocating!

In June 2018, CDE will be moving to new premises on Mittelstrasse 43 in Bern, together with several other centres and institutes of the University of Bern. CDE will be located on the second floor. Phone numbers and e-mail addresses will remain unchanged. More information in German


Language Compass Landscape and Environment: now available as a book

How does language shape our perception of landscapes and nature? And how does it influence our thoughts and actions? CDE researchers examined key German terms used to describe landscapes and nature. The results are now available in book form. More information

Making value chains work for mountain farmers

Promoting sustainable development in mountain regions usually means strengthening agricultural value chains – and ensuring the inclusion of small-scale producers, farm labourers, and ethnic minorities. The newest issue of “Mountain Research and Development” provides examples of how inclusive value chains can reduce poverty. More information

The 2030 Agenda requires coherent policies

The second goal of the United Nations’ 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development is to end hunger worldwide by 2030. A simulation developed by CDE uses the example of food security to illustrate the complexity of implementing the 2030 Agenda. It also demonstrates that this type of tool can be useful in finding optimal and coherent policy solutions. More information

Guided visit to Zapotillo dam participating State authorities and villagers advisers

The Power of Participation - «Bottom-up institution building in natural resource governance»

It is possible to build institutions for the management of natural resources through legitimate bottom-up participatory processes – if the concept of constitutionality is applied. Articles were published in a special issue of Human Ecology on the links between societal structures, power relations, and participation – a hotly debated topic in the field of sustainability governance. More information

1st Swiss-UN Day

“Every country must put the welfare of the whole Earth above all else”

Whether the environment, business and trade, migration, or institutional development: the international community faces immense challenges. Now, 15 years after it officially joined the UN, Switzerland, too, must re-examine its global role: Does it wish to act as a bridge builder for a better world? How does it help enable real solutions? At the 1st Swiss-UN Day on 23 March 2018, representatives from science, policy, international organizations, and civil society met at the University of Bern to discuss the way forward. More information

Berner Umweltforschungspreis 2018

Presentation of the 11th Bernese Award for Environmental Research

On 22 March 2018, the recipients of Bernese Award for Environmental Research 2017/18, Dr. Miriam Zemanova and Rahel Jud, publicly presented their honoured works. The award is granted every two years to up-and-coming researchers at the University of Bern for outstanding contributions in the area of environmental sciences and sustainability. The event was organized by the University of Bern together with co-sponsors CSL Behring AG and Energie Wasser Bern.


Master’s open days, 6–8 March 2018

Information events on the master’s minor programme in sustainable development will take place on 6 and 8 March 2018, from 13:15 to 13:45, in Room 215 at the University of Bern’s main building. More information

High-level delegation visited CDE project in Myanmar

A Swiss delegation led by Manuel Sager, Director General of SDC, and Paul Seger, Swiss Ambassador to Myanmar, has visited the Technical Unit Office of the OneMap Initative. Supported by SDC through an 8-year project mandate to CDE, OneMap Myanmar is an initiative to democratize access to land-related data and information.


1st Swiss-UN Day

To mark 15 years since Switzerland joined the United Nations, the Gesellschaft Schweiz-UNO association, the Centre for Development and Environment (CDE) and the World Trade Institute (WTI) of the University of Bern are co-hosting the first Swiss-UN Day on 23 March 2018. More information

SDSN Launch

SDSN Switzerland officially launched

What would it cost to create a genuinely sustainable Switzerland? At the international level, what is our responsibility as a country to ensure that the objectives of the UN Agenda 2030 are achieved? 250 participants from politics, business, science, think tanks and civil society debated these issues at a conference to launch the Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN) Switzerland, co-hosted by CDE and Biovision. More information

Picture Circle Sustainable Development Goals

SDSN Switzerland's official launch conference

About 250 representatives and decision-makers will meet in Bern on 15 February in order to drive forward implementation by Switzerland of the global Sustainable Development Goals. They discuss how to effectively implement the 17 SDGs in and by Switzerland. The conference officially launches SDSN Switzerland, co-hosted by CDE and Biovision. It will be reported live on 15 February on SDSN Switzerland’s Twitter and Facebook account. More information


11th Bernese Award for Environmental Research

The Bernese Award for Environmental Research aims to promote disciplinary and interdisciplinary research in environmental sciences and sustainability at the University of Bern. The public award ceremony will take place on March 22 2018. More information

Mountain Research and Development

Conservation vs local livelihoods in Madagascar?

Northeast Madagascar’s tropical rainforests are recognized as one of the world’s most important biodiversity hotspots. But protected areas threaten the needs of local subsistence farmers who live off the land and depend on forests for various ecosystem services. While no simple solution exists, several policies show promise. More information

Mountain Research and Development

Migration and sustainable development in mountains

Mountains are frequently associated with outmigration. More recently, some mountain regions are seeing the opposite trend: in-migration. The latest issue of «Mountain Research and Development» looks at drivers, such as structural poverty, depopulation, and amenity migration. Papers analyse social, environmental, and economic implications of migration in mountains based on examples from four continents. Further topics are vegetation, wildfire observation, and hydro-sociology. More information