Without having any appointment, Louisa Mwenda (Kenya, left) and Isabela Mkude (Tanzania, right) met in the vicinity of the 3rd Meeting of the United Nations Enevironment Asembly (UNEA-3) in Nairobi, both are alumni of the “68th UNEP/UNESCO/BMUB International Short Course on Integrated Waster Resource Management and Health” – sustainability thinking connects!
photo by Louisa Mwenda
There is one of the largest remaining continuous floodplain forests in central Europe – and that’s surprisingly within an urban setting – the city also hosts the second oldest university of Germany (funded in 1409) and was domain to world famous artists like Johann Sebastian Bach and Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, where the ladder was not only a student of the university, but also called the city his “Little Paris” … Leipzig.
The SC-73 course visited the city to get some insights in recent German history in the Forum for Contemporary History in the exhibition “Division and Unity, Dictatorship and Resistance”.
In the afternoon the group had a look into large scale car manufacturing at the BMW production site in Leipzig and according sustainability measures.
The participants of the 73rd UNEP/UNESCO/BMUB International Short Course on Resource Efficiency – Cleaner Production and Waste Management have received a warm welcome at the German Environment Agency in Dessau… as well as lots of input with regard to the topic of our training programme. Please see the image caption for details.
The participating experts with our host Ralph Wollmann in the headquarters of the German Environment Agency in Dessau (Photo by André Lindner/ Eromonsele Akhidenor)
Early Monday morning: we are on our way to Dessau (Photo by CIPSEM)
The UBA office building in Dessau has been designed as an environmentally friendly building … (Photo by Eromonsele Akhidenor)
… , so we are exploring it in detail during our visit (Photo by Eromonsele Akhidenor)
(Photo by Eromonsele Akhidenor)
We also get to see the office workspaces. The height-adjustable desks are a revelation, and immediately pictures are being shared with co-workers around the world. (Photo by Eromonsele Akhidenor)
After an introduction into the tasks and set-up of the German Environment Agency by our host Ralph Wollmann … (Photo by CIPSEM)
… we are being introduced to a number of crucial topics, all of them are discussed intensively (Photo by CIPSEM)
This includes for example the German perspective on sustainable development and Green Economy, which we could discuss with Björn Bünger, … (Photo by CIPSEM)
… and also circular economy and waste management (Photo by CIPSEM)
We also got to discuss Sustainable Resource Use – Strategies and Instruments in Germany with Mr Jens Günther … (Photo by CIPSEM)
… Management of WEEE in Germany with Mr Matthias Fabian, …(Photo by CIPSEM)
… the concept of Best Available Techniques with Ms Almut Reichart (Photo by CIPSEM), and have also learned about UBA activities on waste technology and know-how transfer from Ms Anne Bachmann.
We got to replenish our energy reserves in the UBA canteen (Photo by Eromonsele Akhidenor).
In the evening, we have explored the Bauhaus in Dessau, which is just one of several UNESCO World Heritage sites in the area (Photo by CIPSEM).
Meet the participants of our 73rd UNEP/UNESCO/BMUB International Short Course on Resource Efficiency – Cleaner Production and Waste Management:
Today we have embarked on a 4-week-journey of learning from an with each other how we can move towards a more resource efficient world, in the context of our different countries, communities and institutions.
There is a sense of urgency, as Prof Jeffrey Sachs has pointed out in his keynote talk during this year’s conference of the Partnership for Action on Green Economy, PAGE.
Freiberg has a long mining history. Naturally high background values, mining and ore processing have led to high concentrations of heavy metals in the area, as well as in the downstream flood plains. During our visit to the Saxon State Agency for Environment, Agriculture and Geology, Dr Ingo Müller and Dr Natalja Barth have elaborated on the historic development, as well as monitoring and soil protection efforts by the State Agency. We have received a good overview on farming activities on soils with high heavy metal concentrations and also learned a good deal about the set up of the agency and its interactions with key stake holders.
On Monday, we went to visit the Centre for Agriculture and Environment in Nossen. There, we received a warm welcome by Dr Bergfeld, head of the Agriculture Department of the Saxon State Agency for Environment, Agriculture and Geology (LfULG). After an introduction into the agency and its responsibilities, we got to follow the way soil samples take in the laboratory (see captions for details).
Introduction to the Centre for Agriculture and Environment, Nossen, and the Saxon State Agency for Environment, Agriculture and Geology by Dr. Bergfeld
Dr. Goldstein explains sample preparation at the Saxon State Association for Environment and Agriculture (BfUL).
Destruction of soil aggregates and separation of corse and fine fraction.
Standard soil analysis explained.
Automatic measurement of grain size distribution (based on Köhn).
Here, undisturbed samples are being analysed.
Dr. Mais elaborates on the analysis of organic compounds.
Mr. Nusche explains the analysis of macronutrients.
The optimal pH for low mobility of heavy metals in soils.
After lunch, Dr Trapp and her colleagues introduce us to the test done in Nossen and in other facilities of the LfULG, for example, to give recommendations on the varieties most suitable for local conditions.
Dr. Trapp introduces us to the multifunctional research on crop production done in Nossen.
We also receive insights into the specific challenges in trials related to organic agriculture.
Experiments in the vessel station help with pre-selection prior to large scale test under field conditions.
The art of group selfies 😉
Diversity in, on and around a Saxon loess soil. An interest in land care unites.
The field trials require a set of special machines, such as this one for conservation agriculture. We are lucky because we get to see them all.
A last round of questions and answers with Dr Schmidt.
During our visit to the Helmholtz-Centre Potsdam – GFZ German Research Centre for Geosciences we could upgrade our understanding of how soils and modern landscapes are a highly interconnected part of the Earth system. As director, Prof. Dr Dr h.c. Reinhard Hüttl introduced the manifold research activities of GFZ. Later, we got to build our own Earth system with the fantasic support of Prof. Dr Nils Hovius.
In the end of our stay, we could see firsthand, how climate proxies are being analysed in the GFZ laboratories.