Ecosystems and biodiversity

Flamingos at Lake Natron, Tanzania. View on the volcano Ol Doinyo Lengai, the "Mountain of God". Photo: Albrecht Ehrensperger


Ecosystems provide us with sustenance and raw materials, purify water and air, and offer habitats for people, animals, and plants. But their overuse has led to dramatic species loss and severe impairment of many ecosystem services. These developments also threaten human welfare. Conservation of nature and species is an urgent matter. For conservation to be effective, it must be approached holistically and brought together with social benefits.

CDE works at the interface of people and nature. The aim is to use natural resources sustainably so as to ensure the long-term well-being of everyone. CDE researchers examine the causes and consequences of changes in ecosystems and the services they provide for people. Together with those affected, the researchers consider the values and needs attached by stakeholders to the ecosystem services in question. This opens up ways of integrating different interest groups and finding solutions that equally consider protection of nature and human needs.