Photo: Martin Zimmer, ZMT

18/07/2022 | In one of its annual Summer Academies, the Swiss Study Foundation recently addressed one of the ZMT's programme area topics: under the direction of Dr. Véronique Helfer, Prof. Dr. Nils Moosdorf, and Prof. Dr. Martin Zimmer, and with the participation of ZMT scientists Dr. Marie Fujitani, Rebecca Lahl, Dr. Annette Breckwoldt and Dr. Sebastian Ferse, as well as Marie Bonnin from the Institut de Recherche pour le Développement (IRD) in Brest and Dr. Gesche Krause from the Alfred Wegener Institute in Bremerhaven, a six-day intensive discourse addressed the question "Ecosystem Design - sustainable solution or surrender of environmental management?"

Students from a wide range of disciplines in the natural sciences, humanities and social sciences, who are fellows of the Swiss, Austrian and German Study Foundations, controversially discussed the concept of ecosystem design from different professional perspectives. ZMT partners from Ghana (Dr. Joshua Adotey, Dr. Paul Botwe) and Brazil (Dr. Tallita Tavares) presented case studies from their respective regions in video conferences with the students. They also assisted the students in developing exemplary plans for social and ecological enhancement of tropical coastal ecosystems disturbed by human activities.

In addition to these project ideas that could potentially find their way into actual actions in the respective regions, one outcome of the Summer Academy even affects the naming of the corresponding programme area of the ZMT: In order to emphasize the close involvement of the local population and regional stakeholders in the development and planning process of the measures, which is essential for success, Ecosystem Design will be renamed "Ecosystem Co-Design" in the ZMT programme area in the future.