The Brazil-Germany Symposia on Sustainable Development are a series of successful biennial workshops. Since 2003, these workshops have been alternately held in Germany and Brazil. The theme of the 9th Brazil-Germany Symposium on Sustainable Development is “Integrating Systems for Sustainable Development - Linking Human and Natural Components”. The choice of this theme follows the recognition that most global challenges to achieve United Nations Sustainable Development Goals are interlinked and therefore demanding for interdisciplinary and cross cutting solution statements. However, many of these challenges such as environmental pollution, water scarcity, food security, biodiversity conversation, disease control, clean energy provision, or climate change are rather separately analyzed and managed than using a nexus perspective.

The 9th Brazil-Germany Symposium on Sustainable Development addresses various components of human and natural systems to progress on effective solutions for sustainability challenges, focusing on holistic and integrative approaches. The overall objective of this year´s Brazil-Germany Symposium is to understand the complexity of coupling human and natural components in integrating systems for sustainable development in Brazil and Germany, two societies related to their cultural identity. To achieve this objective, the 9th Brazil-Germany Symposium on Sustainable Development includes focused parallel sessions, oral and poster presentations, and guided field trips.

Participants from science, politics, economy and society are invited to make sure that essential interdisciplinary questions in terms of current sustainability issues are addressed and discussed. As a result, new concepts and common research projects shall be developed. The event will, therefore, contribute to the expansion of binational scientific cooperation.

Symposium Topics

     A1: Managing climate and global system’s processes
     Climate has significant impacts on ecosystems, physical systems and humans. This session welcomes contributions on the sensitivity of earth´s systems to climate forcing, tipping points, climate prevention measures, impacts management under climate change, human reaction to climate changes, techniques to predict climate and estimate precipitations, and other climate related issues.
B1: Sustainable food production systems
     The major agricultural challenges today are to feed the growing number of increasingly affluent people while reducing greenhouse gas emissions and maintaining natural resources. The aspects of sustainable food production systems are complex and differ across regions and countries. This session welcomes studies exploring means to increase sustainability of current food production systems and showing the in many ways interrelated aspects of those systems on different local and global levels.
     C1: Improving human health
     Pharmaceutical Drugs contribute essentially to public health and quality of life. Their contribution of academia becomes more important in this field as big pharmaceutical companies focus less on neglected diseases and diseases of the non-development world as well. Despite a successful landscape in basic biomedical research, there are currently no drugs “invented and made in Brazil” on the market. Joining forces in academic drug discovery between both countries may develop this substantially and sustainably to become less dependent on profit-driven big pharma industries. This session welcomes studies presenting improvement on human health.
     A2: Biodiversity and ecosystem services
     Biodiversity directly affects the delivery of ecosystem services, providing and controlling the support to key processes. This session addresses questions on biodiversity-ecosystem functions, the sensitivity of ecosystem services to the degree and type of variability at various levels of biological organisation, the processes that generate or erode this variability, the complexity in biodiversity-ecosystem interactions and the variability of those interactions under human influence, climate change or any other stressors.
     B2: Forestry systems - renewable resources for growing demands
     Achieving a balance between the growing demands on forests and their sustainable productivity is crucial. Beyond that, it is important to raise awareness of various functions of forests and of the advantages and opportunities of sustainable forestry. This session addresses the adaptation of forests to climate change, the efficient use of raw materials, the relations and impacts of forest management and nature conservation, and the maintenance and the enhancement of the forestry and forest-based industries.
     C2: Ethics for sustainable global change and healthy environment
     Human beings are responsible for their actions and are key elements in any consideration and review of processes of sustainable global change and healthy environment. Current and future questions of justice and responsibility between people and their natural livelihoods arise from this subject. This session debates on the human being in all his responsible freedom and his capacity for action, including awareness, educational and social transformations for environmental sustainability and human well-being.
     A3: Water as a resource for sustainable development
     Water is essential for life. Sustainable development, socio-economic growth, and ecosystems depend on it. This session welcomes contributions on water resources, water management and water technologies. It will be debated the crucial role of water in strengthening the resilience of social, economic, and environmental systems, as well as possible means to manage water resources efficiently and equitably.
     B3: Minor crops and their importance for bioeconomy
     Minor crops are important at a local, regional, and national level; however, at an international level, they are often neglected. This session debates on economically interesting species, with respect to their identification, domestication, production possibilities, and application constraints. In particular, this session discusses the need for integrated (modeling) approaches.
     C3: Migration and communication (Socio-dynamics)
     Through communication, a social space is formed, in which attitudes, social values and norms are negotiated, confirmed, or judged. In the course of the migratory process, hierarchies of power and social status, positions in home and host communities, and work and domestic relationships may be transformed. This session welcomes studies exploring how human communication and mobility are embedded in processes of globalisation and of social and environmental transformation.
     A4: Renewable energy
     Production of renewable energy has the ability to contribute to land restoration, reduced air pollution, fuel supply diversity, abatement of global warming, economic development and employment opportunities, especially in rural areas. This session welcomes studies presenting developments in materials sciences, electronics, biotechnology, and others issues related to renewable energy.
     B4: Combining biophysical and socio-economic models
     Combining biophysical and socio-economic models converges economic viability and environmental protection. Therefore, policy makers and scientists acknowledge the integration of biophysical and socio-economic approaches as an essential component of sustainable land use. This session welcomes studies realizing that land use change is influenced by policy, economy, and the physical environment.
     C4: Human environment interaction
     Interactions between the human social system and the environment are complex and adaptive. The type of society and the available technology influence the impact of people on ecosystems. Humans transform the environment to support increasing populations, technological developments and to supply their lifestyle. This session encompasses a wide range of topics, including air, soil and water pollution, natural hazards, use of mineral and energy resources.