Sustainable Use of Natural Resources

We investigate our environment through an interdisciplinary lens of sustainability science, in which we consider landscapes as interfaces between nature and human activities.

Ongoing human population growth, their changing ways of living and concomitant changes in the environmental spheres put landscapes and their multiple resources for nature and humans increasingly under pressure. While rural abandonment challenges nature conservation in landscapes that are characterized by low agricultural intensity, urban encroachment and overexploitation of goods and services jeopardizes many of the last remaining biodiversity refuges.

At the nexus between nature conservation and human well-being, our research targets at identifying mechanisms that support successful conservation through formal and informal institutions, taking into account the reciprocal relationships between ecological conditions and the social system at different spatial scales.

Through a combination of quantitative and qualitative approaches, we thus strive to provide and consolidate evidence on effective ways towards sustainability, that is, a development that seeks to achieve justice within ecological limitations over the long term.