Berlin! We traveled to Berlin!

If you are in Germany, never miss the chance to visit Berlin – a city that combines extraordinary diversity of culture, nature, beauty, historical treasures, and even options of public transportation. We, the CIPSEM participants, had a great opportunity to explore the historical, environmental and economic value of this fantastic city. An excursion to Berlin between 29th March and 1st April brought us to the site where major redevelopment projects are ongoing.

Our first stop was in the Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Building and Nuclear Safety. An introduction to the ministry by Ms. Königsberg was followed up with a lively discussion about our impressions on Germany so far. Then we had the opportunity to meet the head of the Division for the United Nations and the Cooperation with Developing and Emerging Countries of the ministry, Mr. Contius. He elaborated on the German position and his experiences from the United Nations Sustainable Development Summit in New York in September last year. The visit was concluded with a guided tour through the headquarters of the ministry.


Before continuing the programme, there was some time for Berlin sightseeing and we visited Potsdam Square, the Holocaust memorial, Brandenburg Gate and the Reichstag (German Parliament Building – “Bundestag”).


Our last stop for this first day was the greywater recycling project at Block 6. The head behind this project, Mr. Nolde, explained the historical background of greywater recycling in Germany, his aim and objectives of the project and his idea of new water concepts.

More stations at our excursion to the German capital during the next days were: the Ecological Institute, the German Emission Trading Authority and the German Energy Agency.


Berlin – truly a(nother) city which never sleeps 🙂


Report by Hiba Mohammad (Syria)

Woche der Umwelt – Week of the environment

CIPSEM has been selected among 600 applicants to participate in the “Woche der Umwelt” (week of the environment) in the park of Bellevue Castle. The main goal of this event: make the general public aware of innovative projects focussing on sustainability and environmental issues.

We will be at the official residence of the German Federal President on June 7 and 8 to present the UNEP/UNESCO/BMUB course program on environmental management.


Discussions on resource efficiency in Berlin

We are in Berlin with the 67th UNEP/UNESCO/BMUB International Short Course on Resource Efficiency – Cleaner Production and Waste Management (SC67).

An important dimension of this course is to examine examples of structures and tools which are helpful or outright necessary for a transition to a circular economy.

With this in mind today we have met Dr. Fasbender with whom we discussed how econsense e.V. functions as a dialog platform for German companies interested in sustainable development and corporate social responsibility.

Afterwards, Ms. Vanessa Bach introduced us to ways of measuring resource efficiency and shared some related project experiences of the Chair of Sustainable Engineering of TU Berlin with us.

In the afternoon we were joined by Mr. Mikael Henzler, managing director of adelphi with long-term experience in development cooperation, Ms. Cosima Stahr, expert for green finance, and Mr. Frederik Eisinger, expert for cleaner production and waste management. After dealing with the concept of green economy in developing countries and emerging economies in general, we discussed project experiences related to

  • resource efficiency (increasing resource efficiency in metal finishing SMEs in India)
    waste (formalising the Indian E-Waste Sector & Developing a Waste NAMA in India)
  • sustainable business (the SEED Initiative)
  • green finance (Implementing green credit lines in India)

From these starting points we have looked into ways of supporting the development of enabling conditions for the path to a green economy.

Sustainability hands-on in Berlin and Potsdam

The water treatment plan in Berlin/Waßmannsdorf combines its core functions with the generation of energy (combined heat and power avoiding approximately the emission of 1000 tons of CO² per year) and phosphorous recycling (fertilizer production for maintaining soil quality).

Such ideas of advanced sustainability are also the core expertise of the Institute for Advanced Sustainability Studies (IASS) in Potsdam – the second stop of the group at this autumn day excursion, where soil related issues were discussed with an international expert panel.

(Photos: Adolfo Lopez Perez)

Approving the treatment facilities in Berlin/Waßmannsdorf
Approving the treatment facilities in Berlin/Waßmannsdorf
Workshop at the IASS (speaker: Dr. Wakene Negassa Chewaka, research fellow Ethiopia)
Workshop at the IASS (speaker: Dr. Wakene Negassa Chewaka, research fellow, Ethiopia)
The Institute for Advanced Sustainability Studies (IASS) in Potsdam
The Institute for Advanced Sustainability Studies (IASS) in Potsdam
Autumn feelings
Autumn impressions


Berlin calling

After the quiet of Vilm, the group plunged into the vivid urban life of Berlin: the first day started with a seminar on sustainable development goals at the Federal Environment Ministry (BMUB) and a guided tour through the ministry. On day 2, climate negotiations at the Ecologic Institute, a visit to ECF Farm, Europe’s largest urban aquaponic farm, as well as a visit to a greywater recycling project were on the schedule.

(Photos: A. Lindner; A. Görner)

Conference ‘Where are we steering the planet – New goals for a more sustainable development worldwide’

Within the framework of the UN ‘2015: Time for Global Action’ campaign, the Federal Environment Ministry (BMUB) organized a conference dealing with different aspects of global sustainable development. After the opening speech given by parliamentary state secretary Rita Schwarzelühr-Sutter (to watch the video, click here), and a speech by the Federal Minister of Economic Cooperation and Development Gerd Müller, three international panels consisting of experts from different fields discussed the significance and implementation of the Post-2015 development agenda.

(Photos: A. Lindner)