Headline: Completed Projects

Recently Completed Projects

Towards a Contemporary Vision for the Global Seafloor - Implementing the Common Heritage of Mankind

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Interest in the exploitation of deep sea mineral resources located in areas beyond national jurisdiction has grown significantly in recent years. The International Seabed Authority (ISA), which is tasked with organizing, regulating and controlling all mineral-related activities in the international seabed area, has already issued 29 exploration licenses and is currently developing a regulatory framework (the so-called "Mining Code"). The international debate around deep seabed mining has focused on its technical feasibility, profitability, and potential environmental impacts - rather than the question of whether deep seabed mining should take place at all and which development pathways could otherwise be explored. These questions are the subject of a new study commissioned by the Heinrich Böll Foundation: "Towards a Contemporary Vision for the Global Seafloor - Implementing the Common Heritage of Mankind".

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Exploring the nexus of decentralized renewable energy supply and digital technologies for productive use in Africa

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Access to affordable and clean electricity is a central ingredient for social and economic development in remote rural communities in Sub-Saharan Africa. Digital technologies also play an increasingly important role in facilitating access to education, information, services and new opportunities for income generation. The project will explore the nexus of a decentralized energy supply and the use of digital technologies.

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Democratic Anthropocene

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How can we create institutions with the capacity to attune contemporary political time, with its focus on election cycles, to the realities of planetary time and the development of life-sustaining resources over centuries? The project investigates questions such as this. It explores the emergent challenges presented by the Anthropocene and considers how they might be addressed within democratic societies.

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Environmental Guidelines for German Arctic Policy: ecologically sustainable activities with high environmental standards in the Arctic

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As a result of the depletion of Arctic sea ice, the geopolitical and geo-economic significance of the Arctic is growing. Building on the German Arctic Policy Guidelines adopted in 2013, this project develops concepts and implementation strategies for an ecologically sustainable German Arctic policy with high environmental standards.

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Development of standardised guidelines for the techno-economic assessment of carbon dioxide conversion processes

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Research on Carbon Capture and Utilisation (CCU) is increasingly becoming important in industry, research, and politics. The result is a greater number of new technologies, for instance to produce chemicals, fuels, and minerals. However, to date there has been no comprehensive and standardised way of assessing these technologies from a technical or economic point of view. This project aims to close that gap by developing guidelines for determining the economic feasibility of emerging CCU technologies.

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Norderstedt City of the Future - Project phase II

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How can motorised traffic be reduced in a prosperous city of 80,000 inhabitants located in a busy metropolitan area? How can public spaces be revitalised? These are the kinds of questions raised by the implementation of the UN sustainable development goals and the pursuit of local sustainability objectives in Norderstedt. IASS researchers are helping the city find effective and practical answers to them.

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Promoting Acceptance of Renewable Energies

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For a successful energy transition, it is vital that the general population supports the expansion of renewable energies. This project asks whether a more environmentally friendly expansion could lead to greater acceptance of renewable energies.

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An Assessment of the Impact of Black Carbon on Air Quality and Climate in the Kathmandu Valley and Surrounding Area - A Model Study (BERLiKUM)

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Parts of Nepal are among the most heavily polluted areas in the world. In a model study, this project assesses the impact of black carbon on air quality and the regional climate. Researchers are also engaging with local scientists and experts to identify which measures to reduce emissions lead to improvements in air quality.

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Governance and Participation

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This project investigates diverse forms of political and economic participation within the context of socio-ecological transformations like the energy transition, the German environmental movement, and the transformation of agriculture. The project aims to generate a nuanced understanding of the interdependencies of actors and structures experiencing change.

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Implementing the Paris Agreement - Overcoming Barriers and Identifying Drivers for Effective Climate Governance

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The Paris Climate Agreement has been in force since November 2016. The countries that have adopted the agreement must now develop a regulatory regime for its implementation, deliver on their proposed commitments, and develop these further as the process progresses. This project analyses the main barriers to and drivers of implementation and examines the courses of action open to different actors.

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Ecological Safeguards for Deep Seabed Mining

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The deep seabed is the least understood ecosystem on Earth and is known to contain mineral resources in some areas. These ores also contain small amounts of minerals used in the production of batteries for electric cars, mobile telephones, and other electronic devices. Their extraction presents significant technical challenges and is not as yet financially viable. Environmental reviews have shown that deep seabed mining could result in irreversible harms on a large scale. Efforts continue to promote the development of deep seabed mining despite low commodity prices and the resulting uncertainty around its economic benefits. At present, the extraction of mineral resources in Areas Beyond National Jurisdiction is not the subject of a comprehensive legal framework with the capacity to protect marine ecosystems from the anticipated impacts. The project Ecological Guardrails for Deep Seabed Mining evaluates potential environmental impacts and advises the German Federal Environment Agency on the development of environmental standards to safeguard the sustainability of deep seabed mining under the supervision of the International Seabed Authority.

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Soil Protection and Rehabilitation for Food Security

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Limited access to financing, insecure land tenure, and insufficient agricultural services – the factors that constrain the uptake of sustainable land management techniques by farmers in developing countries are well known. But how can smallholder farmers in developing countries be best supported in their efforts to manage their lands sustainably? The project Soil Protection and Rehabilitation for Food Security aims to address this question. Working alongside diverse stakeholders and local populations, researchers are developing new approaches to facilitate the uptake of sustainable land management techniques. This project partners with organisations on the ground in Benin, Burkina Faso, Ethiopia, Kenya and India.

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Global Soil Week

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This annual event draws attention to the poor state of soils around the world. A vital resource, soils underpin human and ecosystem health and are not renewable within human time frames. Soils form the basis for more than 95 per cent of all food produced worldwide and are an enormous source of biodiversity. Despite this, billions of tonnes of soil are lost to erosion or are sealed over every year. Famine and growing conflicts over land use are just some of the consequences. The Global Soil Week brings together policymakers and stakeholders from the private sector, science, and civil society to develop strategies and measures that support sustainable soil management. A particular emphasis is placed on the roles of states, government agencies, and local authorities in responsible land governance.

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Arctic Ocean Ecosystems - Applied Technology, Biological Interactions and Consequences in an Era of Abrupt Climate Change (ArcticABC)

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How will the decline in Arctic sea ice affect fish stocks in this region? What are the likely consequences of this development for the regulation of Arctic fisheries? Contributing to the IASS project Global Change and Arctic Sustainable Transformations, this project will examine the stakes of Arctic and non-Arctic actors in Arctic fisheries and assess the existing Arctic fisheries governance framework as to its appropriateness for peaceful and environmentally sustainable management. The project aims to create a better understanding of global-local interconnections between stakeholders within and beyond the Arctic region in the area of fisheries and to identify deficits in the governance of Arctic fisheries.

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Norderstedt City of the Future - Project phase I

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How can motorised traffic be reduced in a prosperous city of 80,000 inhabitants located in a busy metropolitan area? How can public spaces be revitalised? These are the kinds of questions raised by the implementation of the UN sustainable development goals and the pursuit of local sustainability objectives in Norderstedt. IASS researchers are helping the city find effective and practical answers to them.

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AGORA – Acting Together Now for Pro-poor Strategies against Soil and Land Degradation

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Swathes of valuable farming land are lost each year to the effects of land degradation, erosion, and soil salinity. Sixty-seven per cent of all arable land in Africa is currently endangered. What could be done to halt or even reverse this trend? What steps could be taken to improve the livelihoods of impoverished rural populations? These questions are the focus of the research project AGORA – Acting Together Now for Pro-Poor Strategies Against Soil and Land Degradation. This joint research effort brings stakeholders from the fields of science, policymaking, and civil society together with local populations to develop strategies for sustainable land use and management.

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