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Spangenberg J.H.,Sustainable Europe Research Institute SERI Germany E.V. | Fuad-Luke A.,Innovation Center Denmark | Blincoe K.,Innovation Center Denmark
Journal of Cleaner Production | Year: 2010

Nowadays design is faced with the challenge to contribute to the transition towards a sustainable society. Design for Sustainability (DfS) is the response to this challenge. It includes but goes beyond what Design for the Environment or ecodesign provides, by integrating social, economic, environmental and institutional aspects and by offering opportunities to get involved, express one's own identity beyond consuming standardised mass products. DEEDS, a Leonardo research project, had the mission to embed sustainability in design and design in sustainability. For this behalf, the project partners approached the issue from the angles of design, sustainability science and sustainable consumption analysis, developing tools and rules (the SCALES principles) to support DfS and to incorporate it into design education and practice. The paper describes the framework conditions as explored by sustainable consumption research, the obstacles identified by DEEDS and gives hints how to overcome them based in the lessons learnt in the course of the project. © 2010 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

Spangenberg J.H.,Sustainable Europe Research Institute SERI Germany e.V.
Journal of Cleaner Production | Year: 2010

This paper addresses three aspects of 'growth': the discourse, the policy, and the impacts. The growth discourse claims that the central factor for social, economic, political and environmental progress is economic growth - it is assumed to create wealth, and provide the necessary means for social and environmental purposes. On the basis of the growth discourse, different growth policies can be derived, based on different economic and political ideologies. In order to reveal the implications of de facto degrowth, two thought experiments are conducted, for physical and economic end-to-growth strategies. The latter is capable of meeting environmental objectives, but implies significant social tensions and hardships and calls for transition strategies consisting of carefully designed steps. © 2009 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Vaclavik T.,Helmholtz Center for Environmental Research | Vaclavik T.,Palacky University | Langerwisch F.,Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research | Langerwisch F.,Berlin Brandenburg Institute of Advanced Biodiversity Research BBIB | And 12 more authors.
Environmental Research Letters | Year: 2016

Much of our knowledge about land use and ecosystem services in interrelated social-ecological systems is derived from place-based research. While local and regional case studies provide valuable insights, it is often unclear how relevant this research is beyond the study areas. Drawing generalized conclusions about practical solutions to land management from local observations and formulating hypotheses applicable to other places in the world requires that we identify patterns of land systems that are similar to those represented by the case study. Here, we utilize the previously developed concept of land system archetypes to investigate potential transferability of research from twelve regional projects implemented in a large joint research framework that focus on issues of sustainable land management across four continents. For each project, we characterize its project archetype, i.e. the unique land system based on a synthesis of more than 30 datasets of land-use intensity, environmental conditions and socioeconomic indicators. We estimate the transferability potential of project research by calculating the statistical similarity of locations across the world to the project archetype, assuming higher transferability potentials in locations with similar land system characteristics. Results show that areas with high transferability potentials are typically clustered around project sites but for some case studies can be found in regions that are geographically distant, especially when values of considered variables are close to the global mean or where the project archetype is driven by large-scale environmental or socioeconomic conditions. Using specific examples from the local case studies, we highlight the merit of our approach and discuss the differences between local realities and information captured in global datasets. The proposed method provides a blueprint for large research programs to assess potential transferability of place-based studies to other geographical areas and to indicate possible gaps in research efforts. © 2016 IOP Publishing Ltd.

Spangenberg J.H.,Helmholtz Center for Environmental Research | Spangenberg J.H.,Sustainable Europe Research Institute SERI Germany eV | Gorg C.,Helmholtz Center for Environmental Research | Truong D.T.,Hanoi University of Science | And 3 more authors.
International Journal of Biodiversity Science, Ecosystems Services and Management | Year: 2014

Ecosystem services (ESS) are frequently described as natures free gift to humankind. However, the first step of ESS and benefit generation is recognising the usability of structures, processes and outputs of ecosystems. This use-value attribution transforms the ecosystem functions (ESF) into ecosystem service potentials (ESP). By investing physical resources, energy and labour, and frequently money as a means to provide them, agents mobilise (part of) the potentials. Cultural, economic and legal constraints limit the mobilisation. The resulting ESS are appropriated to be directly consumed, exploited to provide other goods and services, or marketed, resulting in monetary income. Changing use-value attribution leads to change service potentials, to different mobilisation and appropriation patterns, and different benefits. Human agency, not ESF determine the services provided. This is illustrated by comparing traditional and current services generated from the same ecosystem in four countries undergoing socio-economic transitions: Kenya, Mongolia, the Philippines and Vietnam. All four cases show that changing habits, preferences and modes of regulation lead to specific services provided. Institutions such as tradition, belief systems, markets or state planning are the key to understand which ESS are generated from any ESF. Value attribution, mobilisation and appropriation are key processes. © 2014 Taylor & Francis.

Spangenberg J.H.,Helmholtz Center for Environmental Research | Spangenberg J.H.,Sustainable Europe Research Institute SERI Germany e.V. | Bondeau A.,Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research | Carter T.R.,Finnish Environment Institute | And 13 more authors.
Global Ecology and Biogeography | Year: 2012

Aim This paper describes a set of integrative scenarios developed in the ALARM (Assessing LArge-scale environmental Risks for biodiversity with tested Methods) project. The ultimate aim of ALARM was to develop and test methods and protocols for the assessment of large-scale environmental risks to biodiversity and to evaluate mitigation options. Scenarios provide a tool for exploring such risks and the policy options to mitigate them; therefore they play a central role within the ALARM project. Methods Three integrative scenarios (liberalization, business as might be usual, sustainability) were developed and illustrated using the econometric model described in a subsequent paper. They are contextualized with projections from climate models and provide the input for model-based assessments of biodiversity trends. Additionally, three shock scenarios were developed (Gulf Stream collapse, peak oil, pandemic) to demonstrate the limits of linear extrapolation. As these extend beyond model capabilities, they are discussed semi-quantitatively based on modelling insights. Results Although the policy impacts on biodiversity are different for different pressures, biomes and species groups, some general trends could be identified. An extension of current EU policies will act as a brake on current trends by slowing down the loss of biodiversity in many cases and in most biomes, but it will be capable of neither halting nor of reversing the loss. Liberalization has the effect of accelerating biodiversity loss across the board, with few exceptions. A coherent sustainability scenario is clearly the most effective at preserving biodiversity, but the variant tested here still does not halt losses in all cases. Main conclusions Current EU policies for protecting biodiversity appear to be insufficient to reverse ongoing losses. Coherent sustainability strategies are effective at conserving biodiversity, but in order to assess losses and then reverse them, measures would need to be introduced that extend beyond the steps tested in the ALARM sustainability scenario. © 2012 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

Chytry M.,Masaryk University | Wild J.,Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic | Wild J.,Czech University of Life Sciences | Pysek P.,Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic | And 13 more authors.
Global Ecology and Biogeography | Year: 2012

Aim Recent studies of plant invasions in habitat types across different climatic regions of Europe have made it possible to produce a European map of plant invasions. Parallel research led to the formulation of integrated scenarios of future socio-economic development, which were used to create spatially explicit scenarios of European land-use change for the 21st century. Here we integrate these two research lines and produce the first spatially explicit projections of plant invasions in Europe for the years 2020, 2050 and 2080. Location The European Union (except Bulgaria and Romania), Norway and Switzerland. Methods We used vegetation plots from southern, central and north-western Europe to quantify mean levels of invasion by neophytes (post-1500 alien plants) for forest, grassland, urban, arable and abandoned land. We projected these values on the land-use scenarios for 2020, 2050 and 2080, and constructed maps of future plant invasions under three socio-economic scenarios assuming: (1) deregulation and globalization, (2) continuation of current policies with standing regulations, and (3) a shift towards sustainable development. Results Under all scenarios an increase in the level of invasion was projected for north-western and northern Europe, and under the first two scenarios a decrease for some agricultural areas of eastern Europe where abandonment of agricultural land is expected. A net increase in the level of invasion over Europe was projected under scenarios 2 and 3. Main conclusions The polarization between more and less invaded regions is likely to increase if future policies are oriented on economic deregulation, which may result in serious future problems in some areas of Europe. However, an implementation of sustainability policies would not automatically restrict the spread of alien plants. Therefore invasions require specific policy approaches beyond the more general ones, which are currently on the policy agenda and were tested in the scenarios. © 2012 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

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