Integrative geothermal energy potential in the eastern part of the Inn Valley: A key demo case for resilient geothermal energy supply in Alpine regions
GeoEN-Inntal investigates the possible use of geothermal energy for heating, cooling, heat storage and electricity production in Alpine settlement areas. In times of climate change and required substitution of fossil fuels, the implementation of renewable energy is essential and complies with the aims of the UN Sustainable Development Goals (//sdgs.un.org). Alpine regions might benefit from the availability of on-site renewable energy sources like hydropower, biomass and solar energy, but are often confronted with the limitation of available surface space, strong impact of the surface relief (e.g., shadowing) and a higher risk of negative impacts on health, biodiversity and landscape. Geothermal energy represents a space saving, on-site available and sustainable energy source, which is moreover independent of weather conditions and seasonal changes. Using geothermal energy helps to mitigate the dependency on energy imports, reduces the impact of renewable energy use on surface space consumption, landscape and health. It is moreover capable to provide base load supply not affected by varying external factors. However, geothermal energy still covers a niche inside the energy sector, although it has the potential to make significant contributions to the resilience and sustainability of the energy supply in Alpine regions.
The current agricultural and food system is dominated by transnational corporations that are based on competition, economic growth and the maximization of profits. This corporate food regime is contested by social movements and producers, which are often locally based and aim for a more sustainable production based on values such as solidarity or trust. In our research project, we focus on those small- and mid-scale initiatives that we understand as values-based modes of production and consumption. Our two concrete examples are community supported agriculture (CSA) and regional food chains. We are interested in the question to what extend these small- and mid-scale bottom-up initiatives have the potential to change the corporate food regime (i.e. the dominant value chains in food production).
Our team comprising Christina Plank (Political Sciences), Rike Stotten (Sociology), and Robert Hafner (Geography) presented our new research approach on values-based modes of production and consumption by applying it to Austrian CSA cases.
Thank you very much for having us – and the interesting questions afterwards!
Understanding cultural contexts of SDG implementations was at the core of two AGEF projects, financed by ASEA UNINET. In close cooperation with the Universitas Gadjah Mada in Yogyakarta and the Sebelas Maret University in Surakarta, local-regional implications of Sustainable Development Goals 11 (Sustainable Cities and Communities) and 15 (Life on Land) have been analysed and put in a South-North-South (South America – Europe – Indonesia) comparison. Continue reading “Project with Indonesia: Cultural contexts of SDGs in a South-North-South perspective”
Foodways are socioeconomic and cultural practices related to food production and consumption. Food heritage is a strong identity source for alpine populations. It goes beyond products to include productive landscapes and traditional knowledge on production techniques, consumption customs and rituals, and the transmission of ancient wisdom. Depopulation, ageing population and globalization put Alpine food heritage at risk of disappearing. The project will create a sustainable development model for peripheral mountain areas based on the preservation/valorization of Alpine Space cultural food heritage and on the adoption of innovative marketing and governance tools. It will also foster the emerging of a transnational alpine identity based on the common cultural values expressed in food heritage. Continue reading “AlpFoodway”
A comparative study of rural mountain regions in the Global North and South
[2015 – 2016]
Societies around the world are facing several challenges resulting of persistent problems like climate and demographic change, environmental pollution or economic restructuring in the face of globalization. In order to deal with these problems the normative concept of sustainable development has emerged in the last decades. The transdisciplinary project “Transitions towards sustainable regional development” wants to identify processes which lead to more sustainable forms of society. Particularly we focus on transition processes in peripheral rural areas of Northwest-Argentina (Valles Calchaquíes) and Vorarlberg (Großes Walsertal) using the heuristic framework of transition studies. Continue reading “Transitions towards sustainable regional development”
Regionalität und Nachhaltigkeit spielen für Gesellschaft und Unternehmen eine immer wichtigere Rolle. Unsere Idee ist, den aktuellen Stand Nachhaltigkeitsforschung als Beratungsdienstleistung in die Praxis umzusetzen. Wir beraten Unternehmen bei der Optimierung ihres Geschäftsmodells hinsichtlich ökonomischer, ökologischer und sozialer Nachhaltigkeit und ihrer Verantwortung für ihre Region. Continue reading “regionalverantwortlich.at”
Northwest-Argentina is, due to its physiographical settings and specific historical development, a strongly heterogeneous and fragmented region. In the context of Global Change, new and manifold political, social as well as ecological risks arise. The resulting contradictory results are being analysed to identify chances and potentials for sustainable regional development. Continue reading “Risks and Chances of Global Change in NW-Argentina”
Observatory of the Dynamics of Interactions between Societies and Environment in the Amazon
[2016 – 2020]
Achieving a sustainable development trajectory in Amazonia is one of the key challenges facing Brazil, and is also an important international concern. ODYSSEA assembles an internationally renowned European and Brazilian multidisciplinary and intersectoral team. We aim to produce fundamental science and tools in order to build an innovative multi-and interdisciplinary observatory to monitor and assess dynamic interactions between Amazon societies and their environments. This observatory will serve as a basis for policy development that integrates social, environmental, political-economic and human health dimensions. Our methodology puts the society at the heart of the observatory’s building process, engaging stakeholders and decision makers in the research to favour advancement of their objectives and commitment to sustainable development issues. Continue reading “MSCA-RISE Project: ODYSSEA”
Socio-ecological conflicts and environmental justice viewed from the Chaco Occidental, a soy frontier of globalisation
[10/2012 – 06/2017]
The cultivation, commodification and distribution of soy have, particularly in Latin America, undergone enormous growth and internationalisation processes. Driven by its high lucrativeness new territories for GM soybean monocultures are explored. Here, the example of the Chaco Occidental, a traditionally peripheral region with high deficits in terms of economic and infrastructure is presented. Due to globalisation processes and favoured by climate change, significant structure and power shifts are observed at the new frontier of globalisation, leading to socio-ecological conflicts among old and new regional actors as well as varying interests groups. Continue reading “The Risk of Inclusion”
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