artec Forschungszentrum Nachhaltigkeit

Das artec Forschungszentrum Nachhaltigkeit ist ein interdisziplinäres Zentrum der Universität Bremen. Zweck der Einrichtung ist die Forschung zu nationalen und internationalen Themen der Nachhaltigkeit sowie die wissenschaftliche Beratungstätigkeit in diesbezüglichen Fragen. Beides zielt darauf ab, nachhaltige Entwicklungen in relevanten Handlungsfeldern zu unterstützen. Aktuelle Projekte befassen sich mit Fragestellungen des globalen Wandels, der nachhaltigen Gestaltung sozio-technischer Systeme sowie Themen aus dem Bereich Arbeit und Gesundheit.

Das Zentrum hat derzeit rund 40 Mitglieder, darunter Wissenschaftlerinnen und Wissenschaftler aus der Soziologie, der Humangeographie, den Politik- und Wirtschaftswissenschaften, der Produktionstechnik, den Kulturwissenschaften, der Umweltwissenschaft sowie der Human- und Gesundheitswissenschaft.

© Silja Klepp

Conference "Denaturalizing Climate Change"

Today, while the reality of anthropogenic climate change is widely recognized, the different ways to tackle and cope with its consequences are highly debated. The concept of climate change adaptation has become central in the last decade. Particularly since the discursive refashioning of mitigation as adaptation in the climate change discourse of the first decade of this century, adaptation has come to be regarded as allegedly indispensable and as a supposedly neutral driver of action. Alternative points of view – e.g. perspectives including cultural diversity, environmental justice, human rights, postcolonial and intersectional perspectives – are often neglected.

The workshop "Denaturalizing Climate Change" de-centers Western perspectives and brings together critical viewpoints from social research. 

The Workshop has two goals: First, we want to discuss the conceptualization of climate change adaptation used in academia as well as in international co-operation and climate change negotiations. Which ways of thinking are predetermined by notions such as adaptation, resilience, vulnerability and lately social innovation? Secondly, we want to gain insights into empirical research findings that analyze adaptation policies and projects on the ground. We are especially interested in emerging legal orders and institutions against the background of climate change, feminist approaches in adaptation research and knowledge politics that include postcolonial and indigenous perspectives.

© artec/ Universität Bremen
© artec/ Universität Bremen

Science-Policy Workshop in Cilacap, Java, Indonesia on environmental governance in the Segara Anakan lagoon and its catchment area

Jill Heyde and Martin C. Lukas conducted a science-policy workshop in Cilacap on the Indonesian island of Java on the 12th of January 2016. This workshop was part of a longer-term research engagement focussing on land use changes and environmental governance in the Segara Anakan lagoon and its catchment area in the frame of the research programme SPICE (Science for the Protection of Indonesian Coastal Marine Ecosystems). The workshop, entitled Tata Kelola Lingkungan di Laguna dan Daerah Aliran Sungai Segara Anakan, brought together representatives of various governmental and non-governmental organisations. These included lagoon, river and watershed management authorities; forest and fisheries management authorities; agricultural extension services; land registration agencies; district and village governments; community groups; environmental groups; and land rights and land reform movements. The aims of the workshop were to share and discuss research results with policy makers and civil society and to open a discussion about corresponding policy and management implications. The workshop was one of the project’s main efforts to foster science-policy interfaces.

More information about the research project:

© Bostjan Selinšek

New Regional Formations Project: Regional Conference on Rapid Environmental Change and Migration in Coastal Regions in Accra, Ghana

On November 17th-18th, the first of two Regional Conferences on Rapid Environmental Change and Migration in Coastal Regions took place at the Yiri Lodge, Institute for African Studies at the University of Ghana, Accra. The workshop was organized by Prof. Dr. Felicitas Hillmann and PhD candidate Usha Ziegelmayer from the Leibniz Institute for Regional Development and Structural Planning (IRS) in Erkner, Prof. Dr. Michael Flitner and Dr. Johannes Herbeck from the artec Sustainability Research Centre of the University of Bremen in collaboration with Prof. Mariama Awumbila and Dr. Joseph Teye from the Centre for Migration Studies of the University of Ghana.

The two-day workshop was held within the framework of the New Regional Formations Project, funded by the Volkswagen Stiftung, and discussed the dimensions and dynamics of the nexus between coastal environmental change, migration and mobility in West Africa, with a special focus on Ghana. Besides the presentations on regional perspectives of migration and policy dynamics held by the workshop organizers, project-related contributions were provided by Prof. Dr. Volker Heins and PhD candidate Jan Schuster from the Institute for Advanced Study in the Humanities (KWI) in Essen on risk cultures. ZMT research within the project was represented by PhD candidate Carina Goldbach and Prof. Dr. Achim Schlüter on household economics, and Prof. Dr. Hildegard Westphal, Dr. Alessio Rovere, Dr. Thomas Mann and the MSc candidates Aleksandra Serwa and Benjamin Lasalle on coastal morphological changes. Besides that, numerous contributions by researchers from Ghana shed light on related aspects, e.g. the interrelations between coastal erosion and the development of tourist infrastructure, on the connections between climate change and health, or on the relevance of theatre for communicating research findings to affected communities in Ghana.

The workshop brought together scientists and actors from governmental and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and was perceived as a great success from all participants. It provided an excellent platform for networking and discussions dealing with the adaptive capacities with respect to migration and mobility in response to long- and short-term environmental changes on regional scales.

A second regional conference is planned to take place in Indonesia in March 2016, then focusing on similar issues in the second of the two research areas within the project context.

Contact: Johannes Herbeck (general project coordinator)

Further information on the project