Humboldt Tipping II – Social Ecological Tipping Points of the Northern Humboldt Current Upwelling System, Economic Repercussions and Governance Strategies

Ein Fischer in einer gelben Wathose steht an Bord eines blau gestrichenen Fischerboots und zieht an einem Seil, das ins Wasser reicht. Vor ihm stapeln sich gefüllte Netze.

Project staff
Michael Flitner (project leader), Gerardo Hector Damonte (Pontificia Universidad Católica de Perú, PUCP, & Grupo de Análisis de Desarrollo, GRADE, co-project leader), Isabel E. Gonzales (PUCP, GRADE), María Garteizgogeascoa, Sara Doolittle Llanos

09/2023 – 08/2025

BMBF FONA, GlobalTip – Tipping Points, Dynamics and Interdependencies of Social-ecological Systems

Project partners
GEOMAR Helmholtz Centre for Ocean Research Kiel, Universität Kiel, Universität Hamburg, Centre for Marine Tropical Research (ZMT) Bremen

During the first phase of Humboldt Tipping we studied how different challenges (environmental, health, political, economic) are entangled and interacting in the Northern Humboldt Upwelling System (HUS) as a scenario of “concatenated crises” (Biggs et al., 2011). The term crisis thereby contains a broad value judgment that some social-ecological relations are at peril or degrading, with problems that may be linked to tipping points, regime shifts or social disruptions (Craig, 2016). Crises can be regarded as threatening, but they can also be windows of opportunity for transformational social-ecological change leading to sustainability transitions (Loorbach et al., 2017).
At present, the crisis scenario is (still) shaped by the COVID-19 pandemic’s direct and indirect impacts and the recurrent political changes in Peru. These factors have reconfigured existing vulnerabilities and tensions (e.g., between fishing fleets), yet at the same time they have catalyzed transformative processes leading to changes in policy frameworks and formal as well as informal institutions, with strong social and environmental repercussions.
In the second phase of Humboldt Tipping, we will focus on the options for just social-ecological transformations precisely in the context of concatenated crises: How could the needed transformations and governance options look like, for different actors? What experiences in this sense exist in particular among the small-scale fishers and scallop producers, and how can they be further developed? How can we situate these options in globally consistent and regionally anchored HUS-SSPs scenarios?

Project lead

Michael Flitner


Universität Bremen
Forschungszentrum Nachhaltigkeit
Enrique-Schmidt-Straße 7
28359 Bremen

Phone +49 (0) 421 / 218-61844
Fax +49 (0) 421 / 218-9861844
E-Mail: flitnerprotect me ?!uni-bremenprotect me ?!.de