Settlement contraction is a possible measure to adapt to climate change and address the issue of flooding which will become more frequent in future. In shrinking rural areas it could help eliminate the consequences of demographic change. But is law already developed to the point that such measures could be enforced? read more
Inasmuch as most problems related to the environment and sustainable development are multi-facetted and cross-border in nature, solutions and strategies need to be found not only here in Germany but internationally as well. The 1992 UN Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED) in Rio de Janeiro addressed the issue of sustainable development at the international level, largely influencing the debate in the intervening years. The numerous treaties and institutions, as well as German and European strategies, that have come into being since then, today form a key basis for sustainable development strategizing.
We simply cannot pillage the earth’s resources in perpetuity. There are natural limits to what the ecosphere can tolerate, and we need to observe these limits. Hence at the UBA we use the metaphor of a river waterway containing buoys, whereby ships represent socioeconomic development and buoys the limits that ships are not allowed to venture beyond. In other words, the ships can move freely within the limits set by the buoys, but cannot venture outside the confines of the waterway. Against this backdrop, our national sustainable development strategy, which defines sustainable development objectives and indicators, is a pivotal component of German sustainable development policy.
The UBA elaborates strategies aimed at exercising long term influence over social trends in a predictive manner that factors in all relevant processes and resources. Our aim in doing this is no less than to successfully catalyze the process of change and enable change to be incorporated at all social and political levels, whether the issue in question is governance, citizen participation or futures studies. We develop and use economic, legal, investigative, planning, informational and institutional instruments in the interest of fostering socioeconomic change that will bring us closer to a world where sustainable development and ecological justice reign.
Because problems in the sustainable development and environmental spheres are usually multi-facetted and attributable to cross-border factors, we need to find solutions with an international reach. International cooperation in the field of environmental protection has taken on ever growing importance over the past two decades. In this arena, we mainly work with EU and UN institutions, the OECD, and Central and Eastern European governments. The UBA also acts as the liaison with the European Environmental Agency (EEA).
Environmental and nature conservation associations can gain recognition pursuant to art. 3 Environmental Appeals Act (Umwelt-Rechtsbehelfsgesetz, UmwRG) and thereby acquire special participation and litigation rights. The German Environment Agency (UBA) and the competent authorities at federal state (Länder) level are responsible for granting recognition. read more
Although the Antarctic does not "belong" to anyone as such, anybody travelling to the territory covered by the Antarctic Treaty must comply with certain rules during their stay. Any German national planning an activity in the Antarctic or organising a journey which originates in Germany must be granted approval from the German Federal Environment Agency. read more
Roald Amundsen said, “We must not cease to remember with gratitude and admiration the first seafarers who navigated their ships through storms and fog to augment our knowledge of the land of ice in the south”. Since discovery of the Antarctic our knowledge of it has grown steadily, and so has our responsibility for this fragile ecosystem. read more
Environmental protection continues to be a significant economic factor in Germany's economy, says the latest report by UBA on the environmental industry. read more
Since the year 2000, the Federal Ministry for the Environment (BMUB) has been using funding from the Advisory Assistance Programme (AAP) to support projects aimed at strengthening environmental protection in the countries covered by the programme. The target regions of the programme are the states of Central and Eastern Europe, the Caucasian countries and Central Asia. read more
Blue Angel Prize 2015 distinguishes companies serving as role models of environmental and climate protection
This year's Blue Angel Prize goes to the telecommunications service provider Telekom Deutschland GmbH. During the ceremonies for the German Sustainability Award, Mr. Ralph Caspers, environmental ambassador for the Blue Angel, conferred the award on 27 November in Düsseldorf. read more
The German Environment Agency has published its Data on the Environment 2015 report. Action is needed with regard to greenhouse gases, raw material efficiency and nutrient pollution, good news in recycling and drinking water quality. read more