Sustainability and resilience

We regard the sustainable development of rural areas and agriculture as the only possible response to global change and the corresponding challenges. In this way, we relate our work to a number of the UN's formulated goals for sustainable development (SDG):

A fundamental approach to achieve the second goal, "No Hunger", is to promote sustainable agriculture. A further key aspect of our work is the protection and sustainable use of soil and land as mentioned in Goal 15 "Life on Land" and the observance of internationally valid rules for environmental protection as required in Goal 12 "Sustainable Consumption and Production". Further priorities of our work are the more intensive use of renewable energies as mentioned in Goal 7 "Affordable and clean energy" as well as the reduction of and adaptation to climate change (Goal 13).

How these aims are operationalised is again reflected in our projects, which deal with questions of sustainability assessment, social change processes (transition) or approaches to achieving greater resilience in rural areas. "Resilience" describes the ability of social, economic and environmental systems to cope with a critical event or trend or a disruption (based on the IPCC 2014).

Contact person at IfLS: Simone Sterly (sterly[at], 069/9726683-15) and Dr. Ulrich Gehrlein (gehrlein[at], 069/9726683-17)


Projects in the field


RETHINK – Rethinking the links between farm modernization, rural development and resilience in a world of increasing demands and finite resources

A transdisciplinary research project supported by the European Commission and national funding bodies under the umbrella of FP7 and the RURAGRI ERA-NET

Important questions need attention: How do market forces, societal demands and resource...

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Sustainable development of cultural landscapes using integrative landscape concept

In cooperation with the Institute for Spatial Planning and Development Planning (IREUS) at the University of Stuttgart, the Institute for Rural Structural Research (IfLS) is developing an integrative landscape model based on the example of the...

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CAP-Biodiv – Addressing biodiversity and habitat preservation through Measures applied under the Common Agricultural Policy

With regard to the biodiversity goals 2020 this study analyzes the biodiversity protection potentials of various agricultural policies. The study is carried out by the Institute for European Environmental Policy (IEEP). As subcontractor the IfLS will...

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Advanced techniques and tools for sustainability assessment (Sustainability A-Test)

To realize progress towards the ambitions regarding Sustainable Development (SD), the EU and others should set wise objectives, and make sure that the implementation is taken care of in an effective way. This requires proper policies and a consistent...

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Development of national indicators for soil conservation: Operationalisation of internationally harmonised indicator concepts based on data available nationally with particular emphasis on practical use in soil conservation policy

Environmental indicators are used for describing the environmental situation, its threats and possible trends. In recent years different indicator concepts have been developed at the international and national levels. The research project is...

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