SERI

Infomail 01/04

 

Dear Friends and colleagues

 

Welcome to the 1st edition of SERI’s InfoMail of the year 2004 (01/04), the regular published electronic news bulletin of the Sustainable Europe Research Institute (SERI). You are receiving this InfoMail because you indicated an interest in SERI's activities. To unsubscribe see the end of this InfoMail. 

 

The web-edition of our current InfoMail is available at: www.seri.at/infomail. There you will also find the InfoMail Archive.

 

Table of contents

 

 

1. SERI-News General news from SERI and SERI members

 

o        SERI office moved

o        Web edition of Austrian Newspaper Der Standard opens Sustainability section in cooperation with SERI

o        Joachim Spangenberg was reelected as memeber of the Executive Committeee of INES

 

2. Project-Overview: News from our projects, our other work and new research fields

 

o        Der Europäische Forschungsraum und Nachhaltigkeit (The European Research Area and Sustainability)

o        New Project: Inteligent Cities (INTELCITIES)

o        Sustainability Strategies workshop in Rome

o        New Project: Modelling Sustainable Development in Austria (Ansätze zur Modellierung einer nachhaltigen Entwicklung)

 

3. Friends: Seri and (News about co-operation and partnerships)

 

o        Network Meeting on Governance for Sustainable Development

o        Club of Rome

o        DIW (German Institute for Economic Research) workshop on the economic role of private households

o        Sustainable Kazakhstan

 

4. Selected publications: Book reviews and announcements from SERI members and related writers and publishers

 

o        Mario Giampietro (2003), Multi-Scale Integrated Analysis of Agroecosystems, Istituto Nazionale di Ricerca per gli Alimenti e la Nutrizione

       CRC Press, ISBN: 0-8493-1067-9

o        Christian Rammel, Jeroen van den Bergh (2003): Evolutionary Policies for Sustainable Development Adaptive Flexibility and Risk Minimising. Ecological Economics 47, 121-133

o        Stefan Giljum, Klaus Hubacek, Laixing Suh (2004): Beyond the simple material balance: a reply to Sangwong Suh’s note on physical input-output analysis.  Ecological Economics 48, 19-22

o        Joao Rodrigues, Stefan Giljum (2004): The accounting of indirect material requirements in material flow-based indicators. SERI Working Paper No. 3, January 2004

 

 

5. Links + Other: News about other activities, hints and advice on dates, workshops etc

 

o         

 

6. Going on in Vienna

 

o        SERI Brownbag Seminars

 

 

 

 

1. SERI-News: General news from SERI and SERI members

 

SERI office moved

As of 1st January 2004 , SERI changed its postal address. Our new snail-mail address is: SERI, Garnisongasse 7/27, 1090 Wien , Austria . Please use this new address for all mail correspondence. Our phone numbers, as well as our e-mail addresses and URLs, remain the same.



 

Web edition of Austrian Newspaper Der Standard opens Sustainability section in cooperation with SERI

From December 2003 on a special section on Sustainable Development produced in cooper at ion with SERI is online.
In cooper
at ion with SERI the web edition of the Austrian newspaper Der Standard opened a section specialised in the topic Sustainability. All articles can be accessed at derstandard.at/?ressort=Nachhaltigkeit.

 

Joachim Spangenberg was reelected as memeber of the Executive Committeee of INES

INES is the International network of Engineers and Scientists for Global Responsibility, representing some 30,000 concerned scientists worldwide.
On this occasion he gave a presentation at the European Social Forum in
Paris last year; the text is available from SERI.
In December, the
University of Göttingen organised the largest academic forum on peace issues Germany had seen for years. Joachim Spangenberg presented a paper on "Sustainable development and peace - you can't have one without the other" (in German). For any information please contact: Joachim.spangenberg@seri.de

 

For the current news on SERI check also www.seri.at.

 

 

2. Project-Overview: News from our projects, our other work and new research fields

 

Europäische Forschungsraum und Nachhaltigkeit (The European Research Area and Sustainability)

Topic of the month at www.nachhaltigkeit.at

The concept of the ERA is explained, its embedding in the goals of the EU, as well as the contributions sustainability-oriented research can make and will have to make in order to realise this concept over the next decades. The challenges of the gap between market-driven global competition in research and the goal of research for sustainable development are discussed. Austrian sustainability research programs and initiatives with a European focus are also portrayed. The text is available in German only. If you are interested, please click www.nachhaltigkeit.at

 

 

New Project: Inteligent Cities (INTELCITIES)

The project is concerned with advancing e-Governance at the city scale by focusing on a range of citizens’ and business concerns about engagement with decision-making over the (re)generation and management of their local built environment.
SERI is taking part in the eGovernance workpackage and working (among other issues) on analysis and assessment of leading e-governance practices, strategies and policies of European cities and the e-readiness of urban governments and civil services for reform towards e-governance (reinventing government).
More information can be found here http://www.seri.at/intelcities/. If you have any questions please contact Doris Schnepf (doris.schnepf@seri.at)

 

 

Sustainability Strategies workshop in Rome
The project held its next workshop in Rome, December 2003, discussing the contribution of science to societal processes and the demands to scientists resulting from this perspective. SERI presented a research map of sustainability strategies research in Europe which will be available as a separate project publication after having been accepted by the EU Commission. If you need more information go to www.sustainability-strategy.net or  contact Joachim.spangenber@seri.de

 

 

New Project: Modelling Sustainable Development in Austria (Ansätze zur Modellierung einer nachhaltigen Entwicklung)
Based on national and international experiences the project will formulate necessary criteria for an Austrian modelling framework for integrated sustainability analysis. Bearing in mind the formulated criteria will support future efforts in model building in Austria . In cooperation with the Austrian Institute for Economic Research (WIFO).


Project homepage: www.seri.at/a-modell

 

 

 

For more information on our projects check also www.seri.at/projects.

 

 

3. Friends: Seri and (News about co-operation and partnerships)

 

Network Meeting on Governance for Sustainable Development

In the field of "Governance for Sustainable Development: Options and choices in a knowledge-based society" the network held a meeting in Vienna from December 14th to 16th. The meeting was focused on governance issues. The General objective of the project is to explore the development of a resource-optimised knowledge-based service society in relation to all dimensions of sustainability by way of applying a backcasting methodology to identify (1) gaps between desired futures and current trends, and (2) policy requirements.

For any information go to www.gosd.net or contact friedrich.hinterberger@seri.at

 

Club of Rome
Fritz Hinterberger gave a presentation (in German language) at a meeting of the Austrian chapter of the Club of Rome on the role of (man-made, natural, financial, social and cultural) capital for sustainable development
The presentation can be obtained from: www.seri.at/download/CoR_2003.pdf.

 

 

DIW (German Institute for Economic Research) workshop on the economic role of private households

Sylvia Lorek and former SERI volunteer Matthias Deutsch participated in a DIW workshop to identify research needs in economics on the role of private households in sustainable development. The meeting followed the guiding questions: In how far can economic research on private households - that goes beyond their role as consumers - contribute to explaining household decisions and behavior in the context of sustainable development? What conclusions for policy design with respect to "sustainable household behavior" can be drawn from the discussed research approaches?

For further information see http://www.sustainabilityeconomics.de/workshops_future.html  or contact sylvia.lorek@seri.de

 

 

Sustainable Kazakhstan
Joachim Spangenberg carried out a project for UNDP, g at hering the intern at ional experience and developing proposals for a n at ional sustainability plan, council and indic at ors for the republic of Kazakhstan . The results are based on workshops held in Alm at y and Astana and will be available in English and Russian in Spring 2004. For more inform at ion on th at project please contact Joachim.spangenberg@seri.de

 

For more news please check also www.seri.at.

 

 

4. Selected publications: Book reviews and announcements from SERI members and related writers and publishers

 

Mario Giampietro (2003), Multi-Scale Integrated Analysis of Agroecosystems, Istituto Nazionale di Ricerca per gli Alimenti e la Nutrizione CRC Press, ISBN: 0-8493-1067-9

Abstract

Ecologists, agronomists, and others who may question the validity of current models for determining sustainable growth of agroecosystems, need a new set of analytical tools that more effectively address the complex nature of related processes. Those who challenge traditional assumptions of optimization and static factors in agricultural modeling demand new methods beyond differential equations and traditional statistical tests.
Multi-Scale Integrated Analysis of Agroecosystems explores alternative ways to study agricultural sustainability, presenting new approaches to organizing data and applying complex systems theory to actual cases. This innovative text recognizes the changing dynamics of the multiple processes and cross-relations within an environment, proposing a clearer analysis of agroecosystems than that which can be provided by rigid, reductionist methods.
Main concepts, new vocabulary and narratives, and practical examples open the book, followed by technical chapters that provide a more detailed explanation of concepts. The final section of the book presents a tool kit based on these concepts, resulting in strong support of empirical observations that challenge traditional notions regarding the sustainability of farming systems, food systems, and agroecosystems.

For more information have a look at http://www.crcpress.com/shopping_cart/products/product_detail.asp?sku=1067

 

Rammel, C., van den Bergh, J. (2003): Evolutionary Policies for Sustainable Development Adaptive Flexibility and Risk Minimising. Ecological Economics 47, 121-133

Abstract:

An evolutionary perspective on policies to foster sustainable development is presented. It is argued that policies suggested by the traditional economic theory of environmental policy can stimulate unsustainable socio-economic structures and patterns. In addition, they are unable to remove undesired locked-in systems and technologies. Drawing on evolutionary thinking, characterised by diversity, selection, innovation, path-dependence and bounded rationality, an alternative, partly complementary theory of environmental policy is suggested. Specific attention is given to the role of strategies that are aimed at increasing diversity and adaptive flexibility, and at reducing risk.

For more information see: http://www.elsevier.nl/locate/ecolecon

 

Stefan Giljum, Klaus Hubacek, Laixing Suh (2004): Beyond the simple material balance: a reply to Sangwong Suh’s note on physical input-output analysis.  Ecological Economics 48, 19-22

For more information see: http://www.elsevier.nl/locate/ecolecon

 

Joao Rodrigues, Stefan Giljum (2004): The accounting of indirect material requirements in material flow-based indicators. SERI Working Paper No. 3, January 2004

Abstract:

One important question in the field of Material Flow Accounting (MFA) is the accounting of indirect material flows, via an appropriate indicator and computation methodology. Several indicators and computation methodologies are currently in use, which complicates the articulation and comparison between different empirical studies. In this paper we present an input-output model that puts different MFA indicators in a common framework. We present a methodology for the computation of MFA indicators that assigns indirect material requirements to economic flows and is valid at both the macro and the micro levels. We argue that our socio-economic methodology is superior to purely physical approaches because it avoids methodological problems connected with physical input-output analysis, requires less problematic data acquisition and is theoretically more satisfying. From our model a new indicator arises, Total Material Production (TMP), a counterpoint to the familiar indicator of Total Material Consumption (TMC). TMC and TMP are the only indicators (of those discussed) that account for indirect material requirements and are additive.

The full paper is available at http://www.seri.at/workingpapers/

 

 

For other interesting activities and links click http://www.seri.at/publications.

 

 

5. Links + Other: News about other activities, hints and advice on dates, workshops etc.

 

 

For other interesting activities and links click www.seri.at.

 

 

6. Going on in Vienna

 

SERI Brownbag Seminars

The series of SERI Brownbag Seminars continues! In a loose series of lectures, we want to present and discuss results from our own work and that of our colleagues. Please bring your own (brown) lunch bag! Drinks are provided by SERI.

 

Next Events:

Tue. 27.01.2004 12.30-14.30 Mark Hammer on "Sustainable development between Throughput and Symbolism" (NEDS): The project analyses the development of three European regions ( Hamburg , Leipzig , Vienna ) during the past ten years. Different scientific approaches like material flow analysis (MFA), discourse analysis or structural analysis will be combined. In the brownbag seminar, results for the MFA of Hamburg will be presented. We want to discuss the following questions: What can we learn from regional MFA? How can we link such different approaches like discourse analysis and material flow analysis? What will we gain from this combination for sustainability-oriented research?

 

Tue. 24.02.2004 12.30-14.30 Stefan Giljum on "Modelling opportunites and limits for restructuring Europe towards sustainability (MOSU)" and the "Concerted Action on Trade and Environment"
MOSUS applies an integrated ecological-economic simulation model to quantify the interrelations between socio-economic driving forces and the state of the environment. The analysis uses a multi-country, multi-sectoral macroeconomic framework, including trade flows within
Europe and between Europe and all other world regions. The model will be the first such tool to directly integrate comprehensive biophysical data (materials, energy, and land use data) in simulations to the year 2020, putting them in relation to indicators of social and economic development. MOSUS will formulate EU development scenarios and evaluate the economic and social impacts of key environmental policy measures and will present quantified policy recommendations for implementing sustainable development in the EU. As international trade relations play an important role in MOSUS, links to the Concerted Action on Trade and Environment (CAT&E) will be highlighted in this brownbag seminar

For more information on SERI related events in Vienna pleas surf to www.seri.at/events. 

 

 

 

These were our messages and news for this month. Please don’t hesitate to contact us for detailed information on our projects and for possibilities in co-operation and partnership. It’s a challenge to start an interactive dialogue of exchanging experiences. You are all invited to participate in this process.

 

SERI is the first "virtual" research institute on sustainable development with associated researchers all over Europe . If you want to get more detailed information on the Institute and its members please visit our website: www.seri.at.

The Sustainable Europe Research Institute, together with a supporting legal association, exists since September 1999 according to Austrian Law. The headquarters have been established in Vienna . We would like to invite you to participate in this undertaking.

 

The Sustainable Europe Research Institute (SERI) is a Pan-European think tank aiming to explore sustainable development options for European societies. SERI's research agenda and methodology is based on previous work carried out by Friends of the Earth and the Wuppertal Institute. The Institute aims to develop the concept of environmental space and shows ways to substantially reduce the resource throughput of modern industrial societies. The research carried out by members of SERI supports the dialogue within European civil society. It specifically aims to further develop the exchange of ideas between environmental citizens organisations, governments, trade unions and industry. The scientific dialogue SERI aims to engender is supported by its web page and this newsletter, conferences, meetings as well as publications.

 

All InfoMail editions from the year 2000 are downloadable as pdf-Files at www.seri.at/infomail. On this website you’ll also find all editions from the year 2001 as well as the current InfoMail, offering the advantage of easy and fast navigation through the InfoMail’s topics. You’ll have easy access to all downloadable files, links and other resources of the SERI Internet-presentation.

 

Have a nice day – your SERI-Team.

 

 

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SERI-Infomail 01/04 Distributed by Doris Schnepf (Managing Editor).

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