In our “Spotlight”, you can read articles and updates on

  • CDE research
  • project implementation
  • science/policy issues in the area of sustainable development and the environment


2020 I 2019 2018

17 March 2021

“We need to ask more about what else could have been”

In our hyperconnected world, decisions made far away in one corner of the globe increasingly impact what happens on the ground in another location. CDE researchers have studied how these mechanisms work. Flurina Schneider discusses the results.


Meaty insights: How our language promotes meat consumption

In 2020, meat products hit a new sales record of over five billion Swiss francs as a result of the pandemic. But the fact that people are eating so much meat is not just to do with Covid-19 and low meat prices.


“We would have liked to see more courage from the Swiss government”

The Swiss government has outlined how it intends to achieve the goals of the 2030 Agenda. “We should take the opportunity now to create institutions and procedures that will also support sustainability beyond 2030,” says Stephanie Moser, CDE.


"Hungry mills" and their role in Indonesia’s palm oil industry

The extent to which the oil mills drive forest loss and the role they could play in achieving more sustainable production are the subject of a recent master’s thesis at CDE and the Institute of Geography of the University of Bern.


“Sustainability doesn’t come free”

EFTA trade agreement with Indonesia: What does this agreement achieve with regard to sustainability? And what does it miss? Trade law expert at CDE, Elisabeth Bürgi Bonanomi, explains the pros and cons.


“The tricks of the plantation industry bring to mind the Wild West”

When Switzerland votes on the trade agreement with Indonesia on 7 March, the issue will be palm oil. Heinzpeter Znoj, expert on Indonesia, says: “The latest developments in Indonesia’s palm oil industry directly contradict the goals of the trade agreement.”


Make value chains more sustainable – but how? The case of palm oil

The production of important agricultural commodities often clashes with concerns for sustainable development. One critical case is that of palm oil. Answers to ten frequently asked questions.