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.
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.
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.
Building on knowledge framed around ongoing bilateral projects, ODYSSEA brings together several independent networks of international and Brazilian researchers which all have long-term experiences in the Amazon of environmental and social research, each with their own expert skill-sets. We expect significant advances in our understanding of the different feedbacks and linkages between the panoply of pressures exerted on the environment, the factors determining the vulnerability of local populations to environmental shocks and in the evaluation of governance and institutional arrangements aiming at promoting adaptation. We aim to enhance the capacity of Brazilian institutions to assess and reduce the vulnerability of populations in Amazonia.
ODYSSEA will help unify an increasing number of bilateral arrangements for research and innovation between individual European countries and Brazil. Whilst these connections are proving fruitful in their own right there is a largely untapped opportunity to upscale the intensity and diversity of connections between Europe and Brazil on all levels of education, research and development.
Socio-Economic Dynamics – Adaptation Strategies – Regional Sustainability
[2011 – 2013]
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.
Socio-ecological conflicts and environmental justice viewed from the Chaco Occidental, a soybean frontier of globalisation
[10/2012 – 06/2017]
The cultivation, commodification and distribution of soya 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.