Press releases

31 May 2023

Climate neutrality: The Oberland-Ost region steps forward with a vision

How can a whole region become climate neutral? The just published German-language brochure “Climate Neutral Region Oberland-Ost” presents the vision pursued by the Oberland-Ost region in the Swiss canton of Bern and shows how the goal of climate neutrality can be achieved. The vision and development pathways were formulated in a scientifically supported process involving regional representatives from business, civil society, and public authorities. The brochure is intended as a compass to help people take action and initiate change.

2 May 2023

Solutions for a d(r)ying world? Reaching land degradation neutrality by 2030

On 10 May, the University of Bern will host a high-level event with Ibrahim Thiaw, Under-Secretary-General and Executive Secretary of the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD). The topic could hardly be more pressing: How can we achieve land degradation neutrality by 2030?

12 April 2023

Researchers call for consideration of social aspects when implementing the 30x30 biodiversity conservation target

To achieve the global biodiversity conservation goals formulated at the end of 2022, the social and socio-economic impacts of protected areas must be taken into account. That’s the view of 30 researchers, including Julie Zähringer of the Wyss Academy for Nature and CDE. The researchers are calling for the necessary foundations to be laid now.

7 February 2022

Land use scientists urge policymakers to adopt new approaches to addressing global crises

Climate change, biodiversity loss, and other global crises require new approaches. That's the conclusion of 50 leading international land use researchers, including experts from CDE. In a groundbreaking study, they call on policymakers to act on behalf of sustainable, equitable solutions to our most urgent global challenges.

14 December 2021

Fostering agility to diversify science, music, and society

Tensions often emerge when research and practice come together. These tensions can either hinder progress or be constructively engaged to enable transformation of thought and action. In a new publication, a group of researchers, including from CDE, outline critical processes for turning tensions into new relations that foster sustainability transformations. They reflect on what it means to navigate differences in agile ways at the intersection of science, music and society.

30 November 2021

Government of Lao PDR launches new digital data sharing platform for development planning

The Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry, on behalf of the Government of the in Lao PDR together with the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation launched a new inter-ministerial online information platform. Developed through the Lao Knowledge for Development initiative. The platform releases official data and information from across thematic sectors at an unprecedented level of detail and thematic breadth. Through support by the Government of Switzerland and the Center for Development and Environment (CDE), the platform expands on the success of the Lao DECIDE info project and platform.

29 October 2021

Conference on commodity and gold trading: How can illicit financial flows be curbed?

At the invitation of several research institutes, a conference on illicit financial flows in commodity trading was held today at the University of Bern. The results of two research projects were discussed with representatives from science, policy, industry and civil society, and courses of action were identified.

24 June 2021

Runder Tisch zu Handel, Klimawandel und Nachhaltigkeit

Auf Einladung des Staatssekretariats für Wirtschaft SECO, des Centre for Development and Environment CDE und des des World Trade Institutes WTI der Universität Bern fand am 23. Juni 2021 in Bern ein Runder Tisch zu Handel, Klimawandel und den Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) statt. Expertinnen und Experten aus Wissenschaft (u.a. CDE-Wissenschaftlerin Elisabeth Bürgi Bonanomi und die CDE-Direktor*innen Thomas Breu und Sabin Bieri), Zivilgesellschaft, Wirtschaft und Verwaltung diskutierten handelsbasierte Massnahmen zur Verringerung von Treibhausgasen mit dem Ziel, die öffentliche Debatte zu diesem Thema in der Schweiz zu bereichern.

Summary report (PDF, 888KB)

27 April 2021

Digital advisory services for smallholder families in Africa and Asia

A research and innovation project at CDE and the Insitute of Sociology, University of Bern, aims to strengthen sustainable farming methods among smallholder families in Africa and Asia using digitally supported agricultural extension services. Its overall goal is to improve the families’ productivity, incomes, and climate resilience. The project is being conducted together with international partners and is supported by the TRANSFORM programme of the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) with five million Swiss francs.

29 March 2021

Management of woody weeds may yield significant livelihood benefits

A new study suggests that clearing the invasive woody weed Prosopis juliflora and grassland restoration in Baringo County, Kenya, may have significant financial benefits for local stakeholders and contribute to climate change mitigation.

25 February 2020

Investments by the super-rich drive deforestation

Wealthy individuals are increasingly investing in agriculture. Their investments boost production of plant-based raw materials for human consumption, industrial uses, and animal fodder. The resulting capital flows directly contribute to deforestation in the global South, especially in the tropics. That is the conclusion of a new study by the University of Bern’s Centre for Development and Environment (CDE).

13 February 2020

Study calls for rapid action to stop spread of woody weeds in Eastern Africa

Invasive alien species are threatening large tracts of rangeland and causing biodiversity loss in Eastern Africa. An international team of scientists, including of CDE, are now warning that woody weeds like Prosopis juliflora risk invading vast new areas. They recommend a coordinated management plan to curb their spread.

21 March 2019

Shaping coherent policies across silos

Switzerland has committed itself to achieving the goals of the 2030 Agenda. But implementation of the agenda is proving difficult. At its annual meeting in 2019, SDSN Switzerland, led by CDE and Biovision, presented a report titled “The importance of interactions between the SDGs for a far-sighted sustainability policy in Switzerland”. In it, the authors highlight the potential that the 2030 Agenda offers for its implementation in Switzerland, and recommend concrete measures to the Federal Council and the new interdepartmental Agenda 2030 steering committee. (More information available in German.)

13 March 2019

Mekong region: Scientific report shows urgent need for transformation

The report “State of Land in the Mekong Region” was launched today in Vientiane, Lao PDR. The first publication of its kind in the Mekong Region, it brings together key data and information on the current status of, and changes in, land resources, their social distribution, and the conditions of governance that shape them. The report stresses the need for urgent action towards transformational change. It was co-produced by the Centre for Development and Environment (CDE) of the University of Bern and the Mekong Region Land Governance Project (MRLG). Funding was provided by Switzerland, Germany, and Luxembourg.

14 December 2018

New Socio-Economic Atlas of the Lao PDR visualizes changes over the last decade

The new "Socio-Economic Atlas of the Lao PDR – Patterns and trends from 2005 to 2015" was presented today in Vientiane. The Atlas reveals the changes that have taken place throughout the country in the past decade and is intended to serve in future planning and decision-making. It was created jointly by the Lao Statistics Bureau of the Ministry of Planning and Investment and the Centre for Development and Environment of the University of Bern, Switzerland. The Atlas constitutes a major result of the Lao DECIDE Info project, funded by the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation.

21 June 2018

Lao Agriculture Atlas to help in decision-making towards SDGs

The Atlas of Agriculture in the Lao PDR. Patterns and trends between 1999 and 2011 was presented today in Vientiane. The new atlas – the first of its kind – contains detailed data on changes in agricultural production in Laos. The atlas is intended to serve in planning, decision-making, policymaking, and implementation of sustainable agriculture and sustainable rural development. The atlas was created jointly by the Centre for Development and Environment (CDE) of the University of Bern and the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry (MAF) in Laos. Funding was provided by the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC).

30 April 2018

Ridge planting: How does use of the “Dyker” affect soil erosion and waterlogging?

During an evening excursion on 24 May 2018, researchers of the University of Bern’s Centre for Development and Environment (CDE) will present their findings on the effects of a tillage device called “Dyker”. Representatives of Agroscope will present insights from long-term erosion monitoring in the Frienisberg area, and the Canton of Bern’s soil protection unit will provide an update on the enforcement of erosion control measures.