Prof. Dr. Christine Fürst
Institute for Geosciences and Geography, Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg, Germany
Past and the most recent COVID-crises brought back to our minds the intense global social and environmental interdependencies we are faced with in the age of the Anthropocene. Most of the resulting challenges regarding not only human health, but also sustainable development, are related with questions in how to organize best human-environmental interactions under the pressures of climate change, (uncontrolled) population growth, urbanization in sensitive areas and the needs to organize sustainably material and energy fluxes across the globe. Crises such as the current one may bear and reveal manifold weaknesses in global cooperation, but aside from risks they bear also some chances to rethink our strategies in ensuring basic demands. Taking the North-South cooperation in achieving the UN Sustainable Development Goals as an example, this talk will shed a light on how basic principles of landscape ecology could contribute to improve the coherence of global problems and local solutions. For instance, global food chains are considered to be the riskiest component when it comes to human health and well-balanced nutrition. Most of them are motivated by economic considerations, while local capacities are often not sufficiently exploited. Assessments how local and regional capacities can be managed prior to compensate gaps in resource provision are largely missing. This talks will raise future research and research cooperation questions how to overcome such problems through coherent multi-scale and multi-sector based approaches that contribute to better connect humans with their local and global environment.