Research needs to cooperate closely with relevant actors from governments, economy, and civil society, in order to curb the loss of ecosystems, biodiversity, and their services worldwide. Such transdisciplinary research cooperations with partners from tropical coastal countries contribute directly to the conservation and sustainable use of tropical coastal ecosystems.
ZMT has established the Office for Knowledge Exchange (OKE), in order to facilitate its cooperation with non-scientific stakeholders from the tropics and Germany. Being the interface between science and practical contexts, the OKE supports the transdisciplinary dialogue with partners, engages actors on equal levels within the research projects of ZMT, and creates innovation, knowledge, and capacities for national and local sustainable development in the tropics and Germany.
In line with ZMT’s mission, the OKE focuses on priority stakeholder groups to connect research and environmental affairs:
ZMT will further extend its many research cooperations with tropical coastal regions and improve the joint transfer of practical solutions for concrete and urgent environmental problems. These experiences and concepts may also benefit other institutes within the Leibniz Association.
ZMT conducts research projects in close cooperation with the partners from the tropics. In order to provide a clear guidance to these projects to implement the cooperation goals, ZMT has developed specific criteria. These "Bremen Criteria" contribute to meeting the scientific and developmental needs of the tropical partner countries by promoting the establishment of long-term projects with intensive involvement of partner scientists and unrestricted exchange of data and information.