Groundwater is the main source of drinking water and irrigated food production worldwide. The invisible resource is, however, under stress from climate change, societal water withdrawals and long-distance effects – telecouplings. Virtual water trade, that is the water contained in traded products, and remote water supply are two examples of how society manages groundwater in such de-localised contexts. The junior research group ‘regulate’ examines the social-ecological regulation of groundwater against telecoupling effects in an inter- and transdisciplinary research setting. Case studies in Germany, Spain and Croatia provide the empirical basis to inform sustainable groundwater governance in Europe.
Addressing complex sustainability problems requires more than scientific knowledge. Researchers must collaborate with societal actors from government, business and civil society, and engage in the co-production of knowledge and action. Sustainability-oriented networks can help to foster this co-production as they link different types of actors across various scales. But how can such networks effectively facilitate co-production? The ‘network compass’ offers guidance in supporting networks to reflect on effective strategies for sustainability transformations.
Ocean plastic pollution presents a common environmental paradox: despite an exponential increase in awareness, flows of plastic into global oceans are only expected to increase. What might it be about the kinds of knowledges circulated, and about the kinds of solutions that follow, that are preventing more systemic change? What if the problem isn’t individual choices, or even the plastic industry’s monumental efforts to continue to produce waste alone, but an even more entrenched constellation of capitalism, colonialism and cultural assumptions about plastic itself?
The coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic put the human-wildlife interface under the spotlight. Said to emerge from a wildlife market in Wuhan, China, the outbreak of COVID-19 has caused a global public health emergency that has not only disrupted economies but also claimed hundreds of thousands of lives. COVID-19 has disproportionate impacts on some racial and ethnic minority groups, the poor, and the elderly and these are seen to be a function of social inequalities.