Welcome to the 4th edition of SERIsInfoMail (04/03), 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:
General news from SERI and SERI members:
Joachim Spangenberg has been entrusted with the function of an external UNDP expert
Fred Luks has been elected as chairman of the VÖÖ, VereinigungfürÖkologischeÖkonomik
·Friedrich Hinterberger has been re-elected to the board of the ESEE
News from our projects, our other work and new research fields
ARTEMIS (Assessment of Renewable Technologies on Multiple Scales; former MCE-RET Project): started with a Kick-off Meeting on 25th and 26th of August in Vienna
Thematic NetworkSustainability Strategies workshop in Berlin 7th/ 8th of October
Environmental self-assessment of consumptive behaviour
3. Friends: Seri and (News about co-operation and partnerships)
·The Pignans Set of Indicators - Carnoules Statement on Integrated Objectives and Indicators for Sustainable Development
Kick-off meeting on a local sustainable development project, Stockholm
4. Selected publications: Book reviews and announcements from SERI members and related writers and publishers
·Andreas Metzner, Die Tücken der Objekte - Über die Risiken der Gesellschaft und ihre Wirklichkeit2002, 539 Seiten, ISBN: 3-593-37026-3
·Sylvia Lorek, Rainer Lucas (2003): Wuppertal Paper Nr. 130, Towards Sustainable Market Strategies A Case Study onEco-textiles and Green Power
Friedrich Hinterberger, Stefan Giljum, Mark Hammer (2003): Material flow accounting and analysis (MFA). A valuable tool for analyses of society-nature interrelationships. Internet Encyclopaedia of the International Society for Ecological Economics (ISEE) and SERI Background Paper Nr. 2.
Stefan Giljum (2003): Biophysical dimensions of North-South trade: material flows and land use. PhD thesis. University of Vienna. Fred Luks, Mark Hammer (2003): Material flow analysis, discourse analysis and the rhetorics of (ecological) economics. NEDS Working Paper Nr. 1, March 2000
Mark Hammer, Stefan Giljum, SilviaBargigli, Friedrich Hinterberger (2003): Material flow analysis on the regional level: questions, problems, solutions. NEDS Working Paper Nr. 2, April 2003
·Joachim Spangenberg (2003): Integrating economic, social and environmental policies: who calls the tune? A Background Paper for the EU Spring Summit. SERI Background Paper Nr. 3.
Joachim H. Spangenberg (Ed.) Vision 2020, Arbeit, Umwelt, Gerechtigkeit - Strategien für ein zukunftsfähiges Deutschland. ISBN 3-936581-07-X.
Statement of the Club of Rome to the World Summit on the Information Society Geneva 2003: Towards a New Age of Information and Knowledge for All.
Gudrun Linne, Michael Schwarz (Ed.): Handbuch Nachhaltige Entwicklung. Wie ist nachhaltiges Wirtschaften machbar? Opladen: Leske + Budrich, 2003, ISBN 3-8100-3758-3.
The Green-8 publication: Towards a green EU Constitution.
5. Links + Other:
News about other activities, hints and advice on dates, workshops etc
Documentation of the care conference MarktplatzderEffizienz (marketplace of efficiency)
·Third Biannual Emergy Evaluation and Research Conference
24th Annual Meeting of the International Association for Impact Assessment (IAIA)
Conference on Eco-Efficiency in Leiden
6. Going on in Vienna
Lecture of Jonathan Lash (President of the World Resources Institute, Washington) on 8th of October
Seminar by Daniel Mittler (BUND Germany) on 3rd of November
Vienna Science Days 2003, 19th to 30th of October
1. SERI-News: General news from SERI and SERI members
Joachim Spangenberghas been entrusted with the function of an external UNDP expert, advising the environmental minister of the Republic of Kazakhstan regarding sustainability strategies, setting up of a SD council and an indicator based reporting scheme for September-November 2003.
Fred Luks has been elected as chairman of the VÖÖ, VereinigungfürÖkologischeÖkonomik (German association of ecological economics).
For more information have a look at www.voeoe.de (in German language only)
Friedrich Hinterberger has been re-elected to the board of the ESEE-European Society for Ecological Economics.
News from our projects, our other work and new research fields
Topic of the Month: Ethics and sustainable development at www.nachhaltigkeit.at(in german language only)
The topic of the Month of September Ethics and sustainable development at www.nachhaltigkeit.at deals with ethical questions, arising out of uncertainties, due to technical progress and globalisation issues. We do live in a time of big changes with immense consequences for economy and society. But what do these consequences mean in detail? It is both a question of the individual as well as the collective responsibility, which constantly deepens because of the ongoing progress of technical possibilities.
The topic of the month ethics and sustainability tries to inspire a dialogue about these kind of questions. Based on the background information given about ethics and sustainable development, the authors tempt to activate an interactive discussion at www.ethikundnachhaltigkeit.info
ALARM (Biodiversity assessment and analysis of pressures on biodiversity)
The ALARM project has been negotiated successfully with the EU Commission and will be funded under the 6th framework programme of the EU Commission, starting in early 2004. SERI will contribute to the analysis of socio-economic pressures and develop indicators for this purpose, as well as coordinating the work of the socio-economic group, consisting of the Autonomous University of Barcelona, C3ED at Versailles
University, Stockholm Environmental Institute, TallinOffice and SERI itself.
ARTEMIS (Assessment of Renewable Technologies on Multiple Scales; former MCE-RET Projet) started with a Kick-off Meeting on 25th and 26th of August in Vienna.
On 25th and 26th August the Kick-off Meeting of the SERI project ARTEMIS, funded by the Austrian Science Fund (FWF), took place in Vienna. The project team (Friedrich Hinterberger, Katharina Kowalski, ReinhardMadlener, Ines Omann and Sigrid Stagl) discussed the structure and procedure of the project. The aim of the research project is to apply, critically assess and develop further participatory multi-criteria evaluation of three selected future energy scenarios and of individual renewable energy technologies based on sustainability criteria of different dimensions (social, economic, environmental, institutional) in two Austrian case studies (one reginal and one national).
Thematic Network Sustainability Strategies workshop in Berlin 7th/8th of October
The 2nd official meeting of the Thematic Network Sustainability Strategies will take place at the FreieUniversitätBerlin, from 7th to 8th of October. The invited experts will discuss the topics sustainability science and sustainability governance. You find more information on this project at www.sustainability-strategy.net, or contact email@example.com.
AIRP-SD project successfully finished
The EU-STRATA project "Adaptive Integration of Research and Policy for Sustainable Development" (AIRP-SD) has officially ended on 30th of June 2003 and the Final Report was sent to Brussels on 31th of August 2003.
Environmental self-assessment of consumptive behaviour: English version of questionnaire online! The SERI has developed a questionnaire for the self-assessment of the consumptive behaviour especially for the younger generation. On the basis of the Material Flow Analysis a questionnaire was created so the interested public can self assess there material requirement in the consumption clusters food, construction/housing, transport and lifestyle. As consumptive behaviour is a key to dematerialisation, the awareness of this fact by consumers is crucial, as it is necessary to have an idea of the environmental stress potential of specific consumption goods to be capable to personally evaluate the impacts of decisions.
3. Friends: Seri and ... (News about co-operation and partnerships)
The Pignans Set of Indicators -Carnoules Statement on Integrated Objectives and Indicators for Sustainable Development
This statement is the outcome of a meeting of 16 European experts in sustainability research. It represents the state of the art in integrated sustainability indicator development. To monitor any development and its compliance with sustainable development (SD) principles, an appropriate set of indicators for sustainable development is essential. As an overarching objective of SD, the paper suggests to secure and increase the quality of life for all people as a precondition for individual happiness. This objective is based on a long-term perspective (many generations), which requires a co-evolution of the anthroposphere and the biosphere. This means that the evolution of the anthroposphere towards a better life for all must not take place at the expense of the biosphere. Furthermore, it requires human rights, gender equity, cultural identity, absence of discrimination and diversity. Sustainable development refers to a process and not to an end state and is therefore positively concerned with change.
Kick-off meeting on a local sustainable development project, Stockholm
The Baltic University Programme and the Baltic Urban Program held the Kick-off meeting on a local sustainable development project on Sept. 5th - 7th in Stockholm;
Joachim H. Spangenberg introduced the participants into the topic of sustainability measurement and participative indicator development.
SERI was invited to give a presentation at the conference McPlanet.com - the environment in the globalisation trap, organised by attac, Greenpeace, Friends of the Earth and the Heinrich-Böll Foundation in Berlin, 27th to 29th of June (for details on the conference see www.mcplanet.com). Stefan Giljum gave a talk on international trade, economic growth and (un)sustainable development from the perspective of ecological footprints and material flows. The presentation (in german) can be downloaded www.seri.at/Data/personendaten/sg/mcplanet.pdf.
4. Selected publications: Book reviews and announcements from SERI members
and relatedwriters and publishers
Andreas Metzner, Die Tücken der Objekte - Über die Risiken der Gesellschaft und ihre Wirklichkeit2002, 539 Seiten, ISBN: 3-593-37026-3
Environment, technology and risk - we relate with that a pathology, existentially critical for modernity. So far goes unity; controversial are diagnosis and therapy. Can the risk problems of industrialised societies be traced back to the intensification or extensification of nature usage? Or do cultural changes predominate in the perception of uncertainties? Following those questions, problems of research, of social theory and of risk management are discussed. www.itas.fzk.de/tatup/031/bans03a.htm
Sylvia Lorek, Rainer Lucas (2003) Wuppertal Paper Nr. 130: Towards Sustainable Market Strategies A Case Study on Eco-textiles and Green Power
The study focuses on the economic, market-related context of consumption patterns and incorporates the regulatory settings and values. The aim is to systemise the influences on sustainable consumption patterns. Special attention is drawn to the question how existing niche markets could be extended to mass markets. This question is deepened by case studies on the green textile and the green power markets. The results emphasise the different key factors which influence the successful pathways for an extended green market volume. Looking at the case of the green power market it can be seen how important it is to create an economic and institutional context for adoption. Looking at the case of green textiles the importance of new lifestyles and cultural impacts are obvious. Looking at the interfaces between institutional settings, supply structure, societal values and consumers decision-making, it can be seen that consumers demands are not only a product of individual needs. Therefore sustainable consumption strategies will have to face not only the change of needs, but also the change of structures which influence individual choices.
Friedrich Hinterberger, Stefan Giljum, Mark Hammer (2003): Material flow accounting and analysis (MFA). A valuable tool for analyses of society-nature interrelationships.Internet Encyclopaedia of the International Society for Ecological Economics (ISEE) and SERI Background Paper Nr. 2. Abstract
This paper aims at summarising methodological foundations and the state of the art in the rapidly emerging field of material flow accounting and analysis (MFA). It gives a short description of the method starting with
the historical development, presenting a general model of economy-wide material flow analysis, illustrating indicators that can be derived from MFA accounts, and explaining methods for the calculation of so-called ecological rucksacks. It then illustrates main areas of applications of MFA and describes the shortcomings of this method. Finally, selected empirical results taken from recently published MFA studies for the European Union are discussed and an outlook on possible extensions and future methodological development of the MFA approach is given.
Stefan Giljum (2003): Biophysical dimensions of North-South trade: material flows and land use. PhD thesis.University of Vienna. Abstract
Despite the large number of existing biophysical accounting studies on the national level, data availability concerning resource flows and land appropriation in North-South trade is still very limited. In the literature, only very few empirical studies investigating the interrelations between trade and the environment take a systemic perspective of the economy-environment relationship and explain environmental implications as a consequence of the so-called biophysical metabolism of societies. This doctoral thesis aims at integrating the two research fields of biophysical accounting on the one hand and trade and environment on the other hand. The thesis attempts to further develop methods for the calculation of indirect resource requirements in international trade and introduces a new approach, applying input-output analysis based on physical input-output tables. In addition, the study addresses main shortcomings of material flow accounting and analysis (MFA) and provides suggestions for methodological improvements and possible extensions of the MFA framework, intending to develop this method into a more powerful tool for policy use. Empirical work contributes to the improvement of the data situation by presenting and analysing case studies on resource use in international trade for both a Northern world region (the European Union) and a Southern country (Chile). Finally, frequently suggested policy measures to reconcile trade, environment and sustainable development are evaluated from a biophysical perspective. Results illustrate that intensification of international trade stimulated by trade liberalisation efforts raises absolute levels of resource use on a worldwide scale and reinforces tendencies towards increased global inequality with regard to the distribution of environmental goods and environmental burdens between North and South. It is concluded that biophysical accounting methods are particularly suitable to elucidate environmental consequences resulting from economic specialisation processes through the international division of labour, as they clarify implications for both the use of natural resources and the generation of waste and emissions in a consistent and comprehensive manner.
Fred Luks, Mark Hammer (2003): Material flow analysis, discourse analysis and the rhetorics of (ecological) economics. NEDS Working Paper Nr. 1, March 2003 Abstract
Scientific analysis of processes leading to (un-)sustainability often focus on either the material aspects (environmental impact assessment, material flow analysis) or far less often on the symbolic aspects of the issue. The concept of discourse offers the chance to pay attention to both material and symbolic dimensions of socio-economic development. While material approaches such as material flow analysis are established within the community of ecological economists, this is not true for analytical frameworks that concentrate on the discursiveness and social construction of scientific and political facts. Combining these tools promises a better understanding of how decision processes are embedded in a field that has material aspects, but is often dominated by symbolic structures and processes. In focussing on the link between material flow analysis and discourse analysis, we show how this combination can contribute to a methodological critique of MFA and a better understanding regional discourse on sustainable development.
Mark Hammer, Stefan Giljum, Silvia Bargigli, Friedrich Hinterberger (2003): Material flow analysis on the regional level: questions, problems, solutions. NEDS Working Paper Nr. 2, April 2003 Abstract
This paper aims at developing a method for applying the framework of material flow accounting and analysis (MFA) on the regional level. Starting from a discussion on the state-of-the-art in MFA on the national level, already published regional case studies are reviewed and details concerning the different methodological approaches discussed. The review reveals that existing studies differ considerably with regard to the size of the investigated regions, the methods applied and the data generated. Based on this review, a method for compiling regional MFA accounts is derived, which is compatible with the standard method for national MFA. Special focus is put on the description of possible estimation methods to overcome expected data gaps, in particular with regard to international and intranational trade flows. Finally, interlinkages between material flow accounting and land use accounting are discussed.
Joachim Spangenberg (2003): Integrating economic, social and
environmental policies: who calls the tune? A Background Paper for the EU Spring Summit.SERI Background Paper Nr. 3.
Integrated politics for macroeconomic objectives has a remarkable tradition in the European Union. Given the politics of the last decade, the adoption of the EU sustainable development strategy EUSDS at the European Council in Gothenburg in June 2001 is a decisive political step towards implementing the sustainable development orientation of the Union as spelled out in article 6 of the Amsterdam treaty. The integration of the economic dimension with social, employment aspects and finally environmental aspects was made operational by including it into the Lisbon process, with the annual Spring Council serving as one central control institution of the results. The dimensions of sustainable development are so far not on equal footing a challenge for the future not only of the EUSDS, but for policy integration, synthesis reporting and structural indicators as a whole. The integrative approach is lacking in the definition of integrated goals, and respectively the "translation" of priorities contained in the EUSDS in concrete goals for the synthesis report. The first stock- aking of the process was carried out at the Barcelona Council of March 2002. The sustainability coordination in the Commission, its internal assessment procedures and the improved coordination of Commission services, together with the presentation of an Annual Environmental Report 2 are first important steps into the right direction, towards a "true" sustainable development strategy and policy.
Joachim H. Spangenberg (Ed.) Vision 2020, Arbeit, Umwelt, Gerechtigkeit -
Strategien für ein zukunftsfähiges Deutschland. ISBN 3-936581-07-X.
The book includes contribution (in German) by SERI members Joachim H. Spangenberg,
Sandra Striewski, Ines Omann, Sylvia Lorek, and Friedrich Hinterberger.
Statement of the Club of Rome to the World Summit on the Information Society Geneva 2003:
Towards a New Age of Information and Knowledge for All
The emergence of a networked knowledge society in the next twenty to thirty years is a major paradigm shift from the industrial model of the nineteenth and twentieth century. This transition is of crucial importance in opening up new opportunities for education, social inclusion, and more efficient use of resources. Information and communication technologies are the effective tools of this transition. They are a tool for development, not a reward for development. They have the potential to empower billions of people; to enable sustainable development, and enhance human dignity. They can offer new access to education for and by the people even in the most remote regions; bring improved health care; help eradicate poverty, empower women and build sustainable communities. They can enable self-expression, new knowledge creation and cultural diversity, and continued and sustainable economic growth. They must be harnessed to the goal of globally sustainable development. Since the debate on the first report commissioned by the Club of Rome, Limits to Growth, in the 1970s and the Earth Summit in 1992, the deterioration of the earths environment has been of growing concern. In the 1990s, the challenges of poverty and have risen to the top of the political agenda. The integration of these concerns in international debates on world trade and finance now constitutes the agenda for Sustainable Development. It has been developed through the adoption of the Millennium Development Goals in 2000, through the launching of the Doha Development Agenda in 2001, and at the World Summit on Sustainable development in 2002.
The World Summit on the Information Society must be the next transition to a networked knowledge society, based on wide use of information and communication technologies, cannot be a separate process driven by our fascination with technology for its own sake or for short-term competitive advantage.
Gudrun Linne, Michael Schwarz , 2003 (Ed): Handbuch Nachhaltige Entwicklung. Wie ist nachhaltiges Wirtschaften machbar? Opladen: Leske + Budrich , ISBN 3-8100-3758-3 (Handbook of sustainabledevelopment. How can sustainable and economic matters be translatedinto praxis) (in german language)
The aim of sustainable development is widely accepted as a programatic claim. However, the implementation into praxis still does not work very well. The Handbook of Sustainable Development brings together experts of various disciplines and showsHOW sustainable development can be translated into the praxis.
The Green-8 publication: Towards a green EU Constitution
This publication summarizes their demands on the Constitution.
Third Biannual Emergy Evaluation and Research Conference,
January 29-31, 2004 in Gainesville, Florida
The purpose of the conference is to provide a venue and forum for discussion expressly dedicated to theory, principles, and applications of the emergy methodology.
For more information see the conference web site: www.ees.ufl.edu/cep/
Conference on Eco-Efficiency to be held on 1-3 April 2004, in Leiden, Netherlands
A group of scientists, supported by industry, has taken the initiative to cross the boundaries of the different disciplines and scientific societies dealing with eco-efficiency, by organising a scientific conference on this subject. The aim of the conference is to better understand and align different scientific approaches and to promote the broader application of eco-efficiency analysis in decision making, with a focus on quantified methods.
More information on the conference is available at the conference website: www.eco-efficiency-conf.org
24th Annual Meeting of the International Association for Impact Assessment (IAIA) 26-29 April 2004 in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
The Vancouver Conference will focus on the role of the private sector in impact assessments, including implications for improving the professional practice and processes of impact assessment. The IAIA04 conference event offers an opportunity for experts, decision makers, industry, and professionals of different visions and expertise to explore this issue.
Lecture of Jonathan Lash (President of the World Resources Institute, Washington) on 8th of October
On Wednesday, 8th of October, Jonathan Lash, President of the World Resources Institute, Washington, will hold a lecture in Vienna, which will be jointly organised by SERI and the Institute for Interdisciplinary Studies of Austrian Universities (IFF)/Social Ecology. The lecture will take place at the main auditorium of the IFF in 1070 Vienna, Schottenfeldgasse 29, and will start at . The topic of the lecture will soon be announced on the SERI events website at www.seri.at/events.
Seminar by Daniel Mittler (BUND Germany) on 3rd of November On 3rd of November 2003, 18.00 to 20.00, Daniel Mittler, Head of International Campaigns at BUND/Friend of the Earth Germany, will hold a seminar at SERI, in which the outcomes of the World Summit in Johannesburg 2002 will be presented and discussed from the perspective of Friends of the Earth's international campaigns.
For more information on the work of BUND and Friends of the Earth Germany see www.bund.net.
Vienna Science Days 2003 SERI is taking part at the Viennese Science Days 2003 with which the city of Vienna wants to show and strengthen its role as a active and engaged "Science-City".
Vienna has the great advantages of possessing a high quality and innovative science and research scene. The series of events from the 19th until the 30th of October 2003 and the event website shall communicate this fact to the broader public.
These were our messages and news for this month. Please dont hesitate to contact us for detailed information on our projects and for possibilities in co-operation and partnership. Its 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 youll also find all editions from the year 2001 as well as the current InfoMail, offering the advantage of easy and fast navigation through the InfoMails topics. Youll have easy access to all downloadable files, links and other resources of the SERI Internet-presentation.
You are receiving this InfoMail because you indicated an interest in SERI's activities. Please tell friends and colleagues about SERI and its work. Anyone can sign up the InfoMail for a free subscription. If you have any suggestions to improve our InfoMail please let us know. If you would prefer not to receive our InfoMail, please send an Email with the subject unsubscribe to firstname.lastname@example.org