Centre for Development and Environment (CDE)

CDE series

Spotlight archive 2021

28 September 2021

“Large land deals have become a risk factor for pandemics”

The Land Matrix Initiative warns that the land rush and its consequences have taken on “in part alarming” proportions. This would also increase the risk of new pandemics, says CDE scientist Markus Giger, one of the main authors of the report.

16 September 2021

Education, a lever for far-reaching change

Without them, education for sustainable development at the University of Bern and CDE itself would not be what they are today. Anne Zimmermann and Karl Herweg are now handing things over to the next generation.

24 June 2021

“State recognition of commoners’ organizations is extremely important”

Communal property has been a tradition in Switzerland since the Middle Ages. But what about today – are collective bodies and their resources still relevant in mountain regions? And if so, how do they contribute to sustainable development?

1 June 2021

New app points the way to sustainable consumption in Bern

Students at Bern’s universities have developed a website and app that guide users to over 170 sustainable shops and restaurants in Bern and surroundings.

1 June 2021

“We have to move back away from promoting industrial logic”

Bettina Scharrer, historian of agriculture at CDE, explains how use of synthetic pesticides became widely established in Switzerland and why the country today has the third highest animal density in Europe.

25 May 2021

“We are outsourcing many of the problems of our food system”

Finland is striving to make its entire food system climate-friendly. Could this approach work in Switzerland? CDE researcher Theresa Tribaldos discusses the importance of looking beyond our own borders as well as addressing questions of justice.

19 May 2021

“Right now, Switzerland has a chance to formulate a food policy”

Industrial agriculture requires use of mineral fertilizers and pesticides. But what would happen if it were discontinued? CDE researcher Johanna Jacobi discusses viable alternatives and the necessary transformation to a sustainable food system.

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.

9 March 2021

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.

12 February 2021

“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.

3 February 2021

"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.

28 January 2021

“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.

27 January 2021

“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.”

20 January 2021

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.