21/03/2024 | At its meeting on 19 March 2024, the Senate of the Leibniz Association made far-reaching decisions a number of funding formats across institutes. For the first time, the Senate has approved three Leibniz Labs. The Leibniz Centre for Tropical Marine Research (ZMT) is a member of one of the new Leibniz Labs, in which Leibniz institutes work together on an interdisciplinary basis and with stakeholders from society, politics and business in order to develop practical solutions for major societal challenges. The joint kick-off meeting for the Leibniz Labs will take place in Berlin on 16 May 2024.

The following Leibniz Labs will be funded over a period of three years from 1 April 2024 with a total of three million euros each

  • "Pandemic Preparedness - Preparing for future pandemics by networking inter- and transdisciplinary research: One Health, One Future",
  • "Systemic Sustainability - Biodiversity, Climate, Agriculture and Nutrition within Planetary Boundaries",
  • "Upheavals and Transformations".

ZMT is part of the Leibniz Lab "Systemic Sustainability - Biodiversity, Climate, Agriculture and Nutrition within Planetary Boundaries" to which the inistitute will contribute its interdisciplinary expertise in research on tropical coastal ecosystems from a natural and social science perspective.

Professor Raimund Bleischwitz, Scientific Director of ZMT, played a key role in the application for the new Leibniz Lab. "The collaboration within the Leibniz Lab focusses on major contemporary issues. For example, the Leibniz Lab 'Systemic Sustainability' is concerned with the question of how we can effectively protect biodiversity and the climate while ensuring food security," says sustainability researcher Bleischwitz. "The seas and oceans play a crucial role here. Not only do they harbour immense biodiversity, they also absorb around a third of the man-made greenhouse gas carbon dioxide and are therefore our allies in climate protection. Furthermore, 40% of the world's population lives within 100 kilometres of the coast - millions of them in tropical coastal regions. We want to find ways to bring marine biodiversity and food from the sea closer together in the future."

"ZMT's expertise in the natural and social sciences in tropical marine and coastal research can therefore provide important answers and impetus, especially in questions of marine resource conservation and biodiversity. We are looking forward to strengthening our team on the issue of innovative future paths and regional networking with tropical regions," Bleischwitz continued.

With the new "Leibniz Labs" format, the Leibniz Association is strengthening its interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary excellence.

In a separate project, the three newly-funded Leibniz Labs will be accopanied by a special project allowing for networking and reflection in order foster knowledge for future community initiatives. This special project will run for three years from 1 April 2024 and is funded with a total of 700,000 euros.

About the Leibniz Lab "Systemic Sustainability - Biodiversity, Climate, Agriculture and Food within Planetary Boundaries"

The current socio-ecological crisis reveals a clear conflict between biodiversity and climate change on the one hand and agriculture and food on the other. The global intensification of agriculture is accelerating the loss of biodiversity and climate change. Conversely, this increases the risks for agriculture and food security as well as the need for adaptation. The achievement of existential goals for sustainable development is thus jeopardised and several planetary boundaries have already been exceeded. There is an urgent need for a more systemic and action-oriented approach in science and an in-depth dialogue with society in order to arrive at transformative solutions.

The Leibniz Lab specifically addresses this need by systematically integrating scientific findings in the field of "Biodiversity, Climate, Agriculture and Food" and identifying innovations. In pilot areas in different parts of the world, the Lab addresses regional requirements. It links these with global developments in order to understand the complex interrelationships from a holistic perspective and identify appropriate solutions

The Lab acts as a link between the relevant scientific communities and promotes dialogue between science and society. By pooling the expertise of 41 research institutions and 11 research clusters of the Leibniz Association, a central knowledge and advice hub on issues of biodiversity, climate, agriculture and nutrition is being created.

Further information: https://www.leibniz-gemeinschaft.de/forschung/leibniz-labs/systemische-nachhaltigkeit

About the Leibniz Labs:

The Leibniz Labs aim to make the best possible use of the Leibniz Association's interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary experience, expertise and potential in order to make a strong contribution to solving pressing social issues. Leibniz Labs primarily rely on the integration of the diverse existing knowledge of all Leibniz institutions. Leibniz Labs cross disciplinary boundaries and incorporate knowledge and perspectives from politics, business and society to develop products that support stakeholders in solving problems.

Further information: www.leibniz-gemeinschaft.de/forschung/leibniz-labs/