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Protecting Aquatic Biodiversity in Europe

How much do EU environmental policies support ecosystem-based management?

As part of the Horizon 2020 project AQUACROSS, Ecologic Institute and consortium members have published an article in the peer-reviewed journal Ambio examining the potential of Ecosystem-Based Management as an integrative policy concept for improving the integration of freshwater, coastal and marine policies. The article further examines synergies, barriers and opportunities between key European environmental policies to protect aquatic biodiversity across the three water realms. The article is available for download.Read more

Social Memory and the Resilience of Communities Affected by Land Degradation

Wilson, G. A., Kelly, C. L., Briassoulis, H., Ferrara, A., Quaranta, G., Salvia, R., Detsis, V., Curfs, M., Cerda, A., El-Aich, A., Liu, H., Kosmas, C., Alados, C. L., Imeson, A., Landgrebe-Trinkunaite, R., Salvati, L., Naumann, S., Danwen, H., Iosifides, T., Kizos, T., Mancino, G., Nolè, A., Jiang, M., and Zhang, P. (2017) Social Memory and the Resilience of Communities Affected by Land Degradation. Land Degrad. Develop., 28: 383–400. doi: 10.1002/ldr.2669.Read more

Ambitious Climate Policy Through Centralization?

Evidence from the European Union

Striking a balance between centralization and decentralization of competences is a challenge that dates to the start of European integration. There are some drivers that work towards greater centralization of EU climate policies – the need for enhanced climate action, electricity market integration and a realization of the Energy Union. At the same time, centralization in and of itself is not a guarantee for more ambitious or effective climate policies. In a new publication appearing in the journal Climate Policy authors Camilla Bausch and Benjamin Görlach of Ecologic Institute and Michael Mehling of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) trace the evolution and role of the centralization/decentralization debate in the context of EU climate policy. The article looks at emissions trading and the promotion of renewable energy as cases of centralization vs. decentralization, but cautions that this trend is neither smooth nor guaranteed to persist. In the dynamic and reflexive governance system of the EU, there is no one-size-fits-all, optimal balance between centralized and decentralized policy from a climate perspective.Read more

Supporting Stakeholder Participation in Adaptive River Basin Management

Participation in the adaptation processes of river basin planning is necessary for sustainable water management. The article supports this statement by providing an overview of the work carried out within the framework of the BeWater project. We illustrate the methodology applied in the project, which resulted in four river basin adaptation plans for catchments in Cyprus, Tunisia, Spain and Slovenia. Furthermore, the project's case studies are presented as well as the challenges that stakeholders identified within their respective river basins. We show how the project was initiated in the case study basins and how it influenced their river basin management processes. An overview of the prioritized measures is given as well as a summary of BeWater's contributions to future river basin management undertakings. We end the overview with an outlook on how stakeholder participation can improve river basin adaptation.Read more

Implementation of Circular Economy Business Models by Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises (SMEs): Barriers and Enablers

Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) are the backbone of the economy and a key player to steer our economy towards a more circular model. However, their small size means that they face unique challenges on the path to closing loops and improving resource efficiency. In an article published in the peer-reviewed journal Sustainability, under lead authorship by Vasileios Rizos from CEPS, Terri Kafyeke, Dr. Martin Hirschnitz-Garbers, and other members of the GreenEcoNet project consortium explore barriers and opportunities faced by SMEs trying to become greener.Read more

Nature-based Solutions to Climate Change Mitigation and Adaptation in Urban Areas

Perspectives on Indicators, Knowledge Gaps, Barriers, and Opportunities for Action
Nature-based solutions promoting green and blue urban areas have significant potential to decrease the vulnerability and enhance the resilience of cities in light of climatic change. They can thereby help to mitigate climate change-induced impacts and serve as proactive adaptation options for municipalities. We explore the various contexts in which nature-based solutions are relevant for climate mitigation and adaptation in urban areas, identify indicators for assessing the effectiveness of nature-based solutions and related knowledge gaps.Read more

Nährstoffkreisläufe in der Landwirtschaft schließen

Herausforderungen und Möglichkeiten in der Region Weser-Ems
Inefficient use of fertilizers in agriculture means that serious environmental problems are still being created 25 years after the entry into force of the nitrates directive. Using the example of the Weser-Ems region, Evelyn Lukat and Sandra Naumann from the Ecologic Institute describing ways to reduce such problems.Read more

A Systemic and Systematic Approach to the Development of a Policy Mix for Material Resource Efficiency

Increasing material use efficiency is important to mitigate future supply risks and minimize environmental impacts associated with the production of materials. The policy mix presented in this paper aims to contribute to reducing the use of virgin metals in the EU by 80% by 2050 without significantly shifting burdens to other material resources, the environmental or other parts of the world. The article, which was written with the collaboration of Dr. Martin Hirschnitz-Garbers (Senior Fellow at Ecologic Institute), is available for download.Read more

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