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Sustainability | Strategies | International matters

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).

Another toy awarded with the Blue Angel

Bioblo-bausteine vor einem Logo des Blauen Engel

The Federal Ministry for the Environment (BMU) and the German Environment Agency (UBA) awarded the Blue Angel ecolabel to the Bioblos children's construction blocks from Austria at a ceremony in Berlin today. It is the second toy to be awarded the Blue Angel. read more

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Federal Government strengthens relations between urban and rural areas

Kind auf einem Feld schau auf die entfernte Stadt.

The city and the countryside are closely interlinked, for example through daily flows of traffic and goods. In everyday practice, however, problems are common. The Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) is now launching the “Stadt-Land-Plus” funding measure and already providing support for twelve collaborative projects between science and practice across Germany to implement new ideas. read more

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UBA supports design for a circular economy

Discussion panel at the Circular Design Forum 2018

Keeping materials in circulation and preventing them from becoming waste is only possible if the design of a product is adapted accordingly. The possibilities offered by ecodesign were the topic of the Circular Design Forum in Berlin. Here, the results of the project “EcoDesign Circle” were presented, in which the UBA plays the leading role. Documentation and additional materials are now online. read more

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UBA Key Prioirities for the new EU Long-term Climate Strategy

solar park, wind energy plants, sun flowers

Since the Paris Agreement invites parties to provide their low carbon development strategies by 2020, the European Union is currently preparing its respective mid-century long-term climate strategy. Within a public consultation the German Environment Agency (UBA) provided recently its submission on key priorities relevant for the new EU strategy. read more

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Climate-ADAPT first-stop-shop for adaptation knowledge in Europe

green roof

Climate-ADAPT, an online knowledge platform provided by the European Environment Agency (EEA) and the European Commission since 2012, has grown into the most important place for information when it comes to adaptation to climate change in Europe. A report of the EEA informs about the experiences and effectiveness of the platform and points to ways of further improving it. read more

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Discussion in Brussels: materials in contact with drinking water

water tap

With Karl-Heinz Florenz (member of the European Parliament, European People's Party), Ingrid Chorus, director of the department for drinking water at the UBA, opened a breakfast session on the topic of materials in contact with drinking water. On 7 June 2018, 50 experts from EU institutions, the EU member states and associations discussed the controversy surrounding the proposal by the Commission. read more

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Environmental- and health impact of 3D printing

3D printer producing a little plastic tree

Dental bridges, car bodies, construction components for homes: with 3D printing, it is possible to make almost anything. The technology is conquering ever more branches of industry – and even ringing in a new era of manufacturing. The efficiency of raw materials, greenhouse gases, pollutants: a study by the UBA highlights the challenges and opportunities for the environment and health. read more

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The Umweltbundesamt

For our environment