All posts filed under: Generally

Rituraj Phukan: Indigenous communities are at the front line of climate change

Rituraj Phukan in conversation with denkhausbremen on the way indigenous people are affected by climate change and how their cultures and management practices can help to restore and preserve degraded natural lands. Rituraj Phukan is an environmental activist and writer based in Assam (India) and the founder and president of the Indigenous People’s Climate Justice Forum. denkhausbremen: When you think about climate justice, what are the first thoughts coming to your mind? Rituraj Phukan: Well, first I would say that by default, climate justice is crucial to social justice. Indigenous people and the poorest of the poor are some of the worst affected by climate change and they don’t have the means to do anything about it. They have contributed very little to the accumulation of greenhouse gases. To make sure they have the resources to live a humane life – I think that defines the aspect of climate justice. For indigenous communities this is also very much connected to the way they live. I belong to the Tai-Ahom community in Assam in the Eastern …

Consequences of the Ukraine war for the bioeconomy

Consequences of the Ukraine war for world food supply: German government must rethink bioeconomy Download position paper as PDF here! The Ukraine war is causing immeasurable suffering: Civilians are being displaced or even killed. The fighting soldiers also suffer trauma, torture and death under the cruelty of war. Beyond this horror, the war once again exposes failures of the world food system and further increases the chronic global crisis of hunger. Most affected are states and people in the Global South who have lost food sovereignty. For the world‘s 828 million hungry, it becomes evident once again that global supply chains are not designed to feed them. These developments clearly show how hunger is further exacerbated when agricultural commodities are made scarce and expensive by nervous markets. An industrialized countries’ shift from a fossil-based economy to a bioeconomy would result in similar negative effects, if the industrial agricultural system and our resource overconsumption remain unchanged. Wealthy countries as well as transnational corporations would buy all they can to keep their „green“ economy going. The German …

Alternative Bioeconomy Summit

Far more than 100 experts from civil society, ministries, federal agencies and academia had dialed in to the Alternative Bioeconomy Summit on February 23, when Silvia Bender, State Secretary at the Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture (BMEL), opened the event with her keynote address: “How much bioeconomy can our globe cope?” is exactly the right question, she believes. In addition, Bender warned not to repeat the mistakes of the so-called energy transition in the bioeconomy and, above all, to ensure that fewer primary raw materials are used in the future. It is about saving resources and not about ‘business as usual’! This provided the framework for this online summit. “How should a future bioeconomy be organised within planetary boundaries?” was accordingly also the key question for the high-level panels and working groups. For the future it is crucial not to get lost in abstract debates. The bioeconomy must be regulated with concrete and effective instruments. Panelists (from top left to bottom right): – Silvia Bender, State Secretary at the Federal Ministry of Food and …

Bioeconomy exhibition “On the wrong track” officially opened

Cover photo: Ana Rodríguez On Wednesday, December 8th, 2021 the photo exhibition “On the wrong track – Overexploitation of Humans and Nature for the Bioeconomy” was opened at the Institut français Bremen. At the beginning of the evening, the audience had the opportunity to take a first look at the exhibition. Afterwards, the program began in the large hall of the Institut français. denkhausbremen project manager Jana Otten gave an introduction to the topic of bioeconomy and explained the background of the exhibition to the audience. According to this, the production of renewable natural resources is not sustainable per se and often linked to human rights violations and environmental destruction in the Global South. In a video message, the tropical forest activist Sylvain Angerand from the French organization Canopée, reported on a French success story: In France, palm oil in so-called biofuels has been legally banned since 2020. Fenna Otten, tropical forest officer of Robin Wood, then gave insights into her research trips to Sumatra and highlighted, among other things, the devastating environmental impacts of …

Biodiversity at risk

A study by denkhausbremen and BUND examines the possible impacts of the bioeconomy. Bioeconomy could become a catalyst for the already dramatic extinction of species if no immediate and consistent action is taken to reverse the trend. This is the disturbing conclusion of the study “Bioeconomy in the Light of Planetary Boundaries and Biodiversity Conservation” published today, in which denkhausbremen and BUND focus on the impacts of the bioeconomy on biodiversity conservation. The two authors – Dr Joachim Spangenberg (BUND) and Wolfgang Kuhlmann (denkhausbremen) – summarise the main scientific findings on the poor conservation status of many species and ecosystems in Germany. In particular, industrial agriculture is a major driver of species extinction. Furthermore, the non-ecologic management of many forest ecosystems is detrimental to biodiversity. The study also provides a detailed insight into the current status of biomass use in Germany and derives possible opportunities and risks for a future bioeconomy. The sobering conclusion: replacing fossil raw materials with biomass is not an option – at least if raw material consumption is not drastically reduced. …