Building a green Belt and Road Initiative? First steps on a long road ahead.

Cover Photo: Moračica Bridge of the Bar-Boljare Highway in Montenegro / photo taken by Johanna Coenen By Johanna Coenen and Simon Bager China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) is a young, yet fast developing framework of activities aimed at improving regional and trans-continental cooperation and connectivity through investments, trade, and infrastructure projects. In fall 2013,…

Which forests could be protected by corporate zero deforestation commitments?

By Floris Leijten Background Agricultural expansion is the most important driver of global forest loss. Commodities that are most commonly associated with agriculture-driven deforestation include palm oil, soybean, beef, and timber. Recognizing the need to halt deforestation, over 480 companies involved in the production, processing, or distribution of these commodities have therefore issued commitments to…

What if diets in western countries were about to change? Let’s imagine the outcomes for global agriculture and local ecological conditions

By Perrine Laroche Livestock products constitute 29% of the energy content of Western diets. Because animals swallow large amounts of feed to produce the calories that are finally ingested by humans, land use for feeding Western citizens is considerable. The CO2 emissions cumulated along the food production process translate into environmental burdens that our planet…

Economic growth is not compatible with biodiversity, but conservation policies advocate it

A team including COUPLED researchers Jonas Østergaard Nielsen, Helmut Haberl and Beatriz Rodríguez‐Labajos analyses the relationship between economic growth and biodiversity conservation. The authors show that by increasing resource use and emissions, economic growth contributes to biodiversity loss. The paper also shows that most international policies on biodiversity and sustainability advocate economic growth. To solve this…

Responsible travel in sustainability science: How to overcome our dilemma of studying global connections and the urge to travel less

By Louise Marie Busck Lumholt, Johanna Coenen, Perrine Laroche, Nicolas Roux, Kathrin Trommler Travel-related emissions and the proportion of academia’s carbon-footprint has become a debated issue, especially among researchers working on sustainability. While some “walk the talk” and fly less individually, others urge for stronger collective government action. Our European Innovative Training Network (ITN) COUPLED aims to…

Hope, risk and gold mining

By Anna Frohn Pedersen Together with my research assistant Patric Mkai, I set out to explore the mining practices and livelihoods of artisanal and small-scale gold miners in Tanzania, during the summer and autumn of 2019. The overall aim of the research is to understand how Nyarugusu, a small mining village in the northern part…

Looking back into the fire

This is a blog post based on an earlier text from September 2019. It was published here as an engament with the contributions by COUPLED fellow Tiago Reis on his fieldwork in Brazil. Cover photo: NASA Earth Observatory images by Joshua Stevens, using MODIS data from NASA EOSDIS/LANCE and GIBS/Worldview, Fire Information for Resource Management…