+ Department News
– Job announcements
– Science: “No man is an island”
– Habilitation Helga Weisz
+ Upcoming Events
– 2006 ConAccount Conference
– ISEE 2006 Session on ‘Social Metabolism’
– ‘Knowledge and Learning in Participatory Processes’
– The sustainable hospital – Proving phase
– Development of material use in the EU-25 time series
– European Resource Strategy
– LTSER Eisenwurzen
– Footprints: Integrated research of the Ötztal region
– MFA consultancy (PHARE)
+ New Publications
We hope you’re enjoying your summer!!!! Extreme climatic events are becoming more frequent. My personal traditionalism makes me expect summer
each year only once, at roughly the same time. My expectation was rewarded. I wish all of you the weather you like, extreme or not, and encourage you
to make use of it for holidays, days of rest, pleasure and reflexion.
+ Department News
We are searching for additional members for our team: have a look at the job announcements on our website: http://www.iff.ac.at/socec/index.php and http://www.uni-klu.ac.at/career.
Science: “No man is an island”
Who has managed to be personally praised in the Journal Science while still being perfectly alive? Exactly this happened to Simron Singh for his work on the Nicobar Islands dedicated to helping the indigenous people there reconstruct their lives after the tsunami. He has been able to make good use of the Sustainable Indigenous Futures Fund (SIF) to which so many of you contributed.
Details on: http://www.iff.ac.at/socec/index.php
Habilitation Helga Weisz
Dr. Helga Weisz received what in the German-speaking academic world is called a ”habilitation“ in Social Ecology at the University of Klagenfurt, with great praise by the international reviewers.
+ Upcoming Events
2006 ConAccount meeting September 13 to 14, Vienna, Austria
We would like to draw your attention to the 2006 ConAccount meeting in Vienna. The conference programme has been finalised and registration is now possible.
You’ll find the full programme on the conference website:
‘Social Metabolism’ ISEE 2006 Session organized by the Social Ecology Team
Indicators and Indices such as Human Appropriation of Net Primary Production, Material Flow Accounting, Energy Accounting. Relations between Ecological Economics and Industrial Ecology. Physical Input-Output Tables.
Coordinators: Heinz Schandl, Helga Weisz, and Helmut Haberl, who has been invited to give a keynote as well.
The Ninth Biennial Conference of the International Society for Ecological Economics (ISEE) on ‘Ecological Sustainability & Human Well-Being’ will be held at the India Habitat Centre, New Delhi, India from the 15th to the 18th of December 2006.
The main theme of the conference will be ‘Ecological Sustainability & Human Well-Being’. http://www.isee2006.com/index.php
‘Knowledge and Learning in Participatory Processes ‘
The closing workshop “Formalised and Non-Formalised Methods in Resource Management (Knowledge and Learning in Participatory Processes)” of the “PartizipA“ project will be held at the University of Osnabrück, Germany, 21.-22.9.2006. Its jointly organized by the Institute of Social Ecoology and the University of Osnabrück, namely by Prof. Dr. Claudia Pahl-Wost, Dr. Jens Newig and Prof. Dr. Helmut Haberl.
Contact: heidi [dot] adensam [at] uni-klu [dot] ac [dot] at
The sustainable hospital – Proving phase
Health is for sustainable development a prerequisite and at the same an outcome of it. Based on this assumption of strong links between health and sustainable development this project is intervening into a hospital as an example for the health care system for the benefits of both. The feasibility study “The sustainable hospital” (funded by BMVIT “Fabrik der Zukunft”) has provided the foundation for the follow-up project “Proving phase of the sustainable hospital” (funded by FFG and BMVIT “Fabrik der Zukunft”). The project goal is to integrate sustainable development criteria into the hospital’s decision making at the normative, strategic und operative levels of management. The project is performed by a cooperation of an interdisciplinary team of researchers, namely the Ludwig Boltzmann Institute for the Sociology of Health and Medicine, and Arecon (Austria Recycling & Co. Consulting), together with an Austrian Health Promoting Hospital, Vienna’s Otto-Wagner-Hospital, the Vienna Hospital Association (KAV) and Berlin’s Immanuel Diakonie Group.
The feasibility study “The sustainable hospital” is available at: http://www.fabrikderzukunft.at/results.html/results.html?id=3780
Contact: willi [dot] haas [at] uni-klu [dot] ac [dot] at
Development of material use in the EU-25 time series
The Institute for Social Ecology and the Wuppertal Institute have jointly won an Eurostat tender to work on a four-year contract to develop material flow time series for the 25 member states of the European Union. Since the European statistical office (Eurostat) and the national statistical offices of the member states (including Statistics Austria) should provide these data as a standard routine, we will develop a “guide for beginners” to support this task. The availability of EU 25 material flow accounts is an essential base for deriving key indicators and for discussing Europe’s environmental performance together with its economic performance.
Contact: helga [dot] weisz [at] uni-klu [dot] ac [dot] at
European Resource Strategy
In a recent project, Heinz Schandl, Helga Weisz and Willi Haas have advised the Austrian Federal Ministry for Agriculture, Forestry, Environment and Water Management in finding a position of the environment section towards the European Resource Strategy. Because the strategy of the EU Commission for the Sustainable Use of Natural Resources remained rather vague in guiding member countries towards rational and environmentally friendly resource use, in a background paper developed jointly with representatives of the Ministry the Institute of Social Ecology has suggested strengthening the effectiveness of the strategy by defining natural resources quite narrow in terms of materials input and focusing on pressures from resource use rather than on related impacts in order to allow for measuring the EU performance. This would also allow the use of material flow indicators available for the EU-15 at Eurostat.
Contact: heinz [dot] schandl [at] uni-klu [dot] ac [dot] at
This feasibility study, commissioned by the Austrian Federal Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry, Environment and Water Management, aims at conceptual advances in the field of national carbon accounting. The combination of socio-economic parameters (e.g. System of National Accounts, SNA) with socio-economic and ecological material and substance flows is a central element of the study. On the basis of empiric examples, the advantages and intricacies of a combination of two established accounting tools – namely the Material Flow Accountings (MFA) and the Full Carbon Accountings (FCA) – to form an integrative indicator system, an “Economy-Wide Flow Accounting (ECA)”, will be explored and discussed. Such an integrative indicator system will contribute to the evaluation of environmental consequences of socio-economic activities, or decisions in energy, environmental and regional policy making. Involving Austrian experts in the field of carbon accounting, the study will particularly elaborate on the policy relevance of such an accounting system.
Contact: karlheinz [dot] erb [at] uni-klu [dot] ac [dot] at
The project aims at producing an integrated model which will be able to simulate changes in income and workload of farmsteads, land use, social/economic/ecological material/substance flows as well as selected ecological indicators. Dynamics in the model will be driven by assumptions about changes in the socio-economic framework conditions. The model is developed in an intensive interdisciplinary collaboration between natural and social scientists.
Contact: helmut [dot] haberl [at] uni-klu [dot] ac [dot] at
The Austrian Science Fund donated substantial resources to What it calls a “translational project” (that means it bridges from basic research to application) on the reconstruction of long-term sustainable livelihood for the Nicobar Islands. Marina Fischer-Kowalski, Willi Haas and Simron Singh will be dealing with the challenge of supporting the transition of a hunting-and-gathering culture into a new mode of subsistence.
Contact: marina [dot] fischer-kowalski [at] uni-klu [dot] ac [dot] at
The purpose of the REXSECO project is to understand and quantify the historical role of natural resource consumption and technological change in generating long-term economic growth in industrialised economies undergoing structural change. By so doing we expect to provide the basis for more robust forecasts of future rates of growth and natural resource consumption to serve as guides for economic and environmental policy makers. The core hypothesis of the REXSECO project is that the economy can be regarded as a materials/energy conversion system, wherein the energy delivered in useful form to the economy is a justifiable factor of production (together with capital and labour). Within this evolutionary non-equilibrium paradigm we suggest that technological progress can be quantified as proportional to the efficiency of the conversion of raw materials (including fossil fuels) into useful work (in the engineering sense) and finished materials.
Contact: nina [dot] eisenmenger [at] uni-klu [dot] ac [dot] at
What are the ecological, economical and social impacts of the Common Agricultural Policy of EU? Are women and men on the farms affected differently by the reform? Scientists, farmers and stakeholders try to integrate a gender perspective into an agent-based model built to answer these questions and to work on future scenarios and strategies. The project is commissioned by the Austrian Federal Ministry for Science in its programme on transdisciplinary research.
Contact: barbara [dot] smetschka [at] uni-klu [dot] ac [dot] at
Footprints: Integrated research of the Ötztal region
An interdisciplinary team is working in Obergurgl and Vent together with local stakeholders to better understand, if the locally intended developments are in line with an UNESCO biosphere park – or, in other words, if the developments are “formally“ sustainable. On the one hand the researchers want to apprehend the social preconditions of a local community to manage its future in a sustainable manner. At the core of the project is a discourse-based valuation of ecosystem services like water supply, climate regulation, production of fodder, tourism and recreation, traditional uses of nature (e.g. sheep herding), etc. On the other hand the local stakeholders will gain knowledge of various consequences certain developments will have under varying external factors (climate change and EU agricultural policies). The three-year project is commissioned by the “Man and Biosphere National Committee” (MAB national committee). The consortium consists of the Department for Conservation Biology (University of Vienna), Faculty of Biology (University of Innsbruck), the Swiss Federal Institute of Snow and Avalanche Research (Davos, Switzerland) and is led by the Institute for Social Ecology.
Contact: willi [dot] haas [at] uni-klu [dot] ac [dot] at
MFA consultancy (PHARE)
The objective of this PHARE project is to train experts of National Statistical Institutes of the beneficiary countries on currently used methodologies for the different modules of environmental accounting and to introduce data surveys and existing reporting in the European Union. Priority is given to the following modules: NAMEA air emissions account, economy-wide material flow accounts and environmental protection expenditure and environmental industry accounts. Forest accounts, subsoil asset accounts and water accounts will be treated with lower priority. Pilot projects of the NSIs on the environmental accounting modules are supervised, supported and evaluated with the aim of improving existing data collection or establishing new data collections where those did not yet exist. Data collection and methods are developed in accordance with current EUROSTAT handbooks under consideration of possible adaptations based on the experience of Member States and beneficiary countries.
Contact: nina [dot] eisenmenger [at] uni-klu [dot] ac [dot] at
+ New Publications:
The following contributions from Team Social Ecology are part of the new Encyclopedia of Land-Use and Land-Cover Change:
Erb, Karl-Heinz: Ecological Footprint. Biomass. Colonization.
Turnover. Ecological Colonization
Haberl, Helmut: Threshold. Metabolism. Cascades
Krausmann, Fridolin: Industrialization. West Central Europe
All in: Geist, Helmut J. (Ed.) (2006): The Earth’s Changing Land: An Encyclopedia of Land-Use and Land-Cover Change. Westport, CT:
Greenwood Publishing Group
Haberl, Helmut (2006): Wandel von Kulturlandschaften: Von der Biomasse zur Fossilenergie – und wieder zurück? In: Eisenbeiß, Gerd et al. (Eds.): Bioenergie: Zukunft für ländliche Räume. Bonn: Informationen zur Raumentwicklung,
Heft 1/2.2006, Bundesamt für Bauwesen und Raumordnung, pp. 111-123.
Haberl, Helmut, Jasch, Christine, Adensam, Heidi, and Gaube, Veronika (2006): Nicht-nachhaltige Trends in Österreich: Maßnahmenvorschläge zum Ressourceneinsatz. Wien: IFF Social Ecology (Social Ecology Working Paper; 85).
Haberl, Helmut (2006): Human Appropriation of Net Primary Production. In: Geist, Helmut J. (Ed.): The Earth’s Changing Land: An Encyclopedia of Land-Use and Land-Cover Change, Volume 1 A-K. Westport, CT: Greenwood Publishing Group, pp. 292-294.
Haberl, Helmut (2006): The global socioeconomic energetic metabolism as a sustainability problem. In: Energy – The International Journal 31(1), pp. 87-99.
Haberl, Helmut and Erb, Karl-Heinz (2006): Assessment of Sustainable Land Use in Producing Biomass. In: Dewulf, J. and Langenhove, H. V. (Eds.):
Renewables-Based Technology: Sustainability Assessment. Chichester: John Wiley & Sons, pp. 176-192.
Haberl, Helmut, Fischer-Kowalski, Marina, Krausmann, Fridolin, Weisz, Helga, and Winiwarter, Verena (2006): Progress Towards Sustainability? What the conceptual framework of material and energy flow accounting (MEFA) can offer. Reprinted from: Land Use Policy 21(3), pp. 199-213. In: Pretty, Jules (Ed.): Sage Environment Major Work. Volume II: Managing the environment. Essex: SAGEBd. B15
Singh, Simron J. and Lehmann, Oliver (2006): The Nicobar Islands – Cultural choices in the aftermath of the tsunami. Vienna: Czernin Verlag
Weisz, Helga and Duchin, Faye (2006): Physical and monetary input-output analysis: What makes the difference? In: Ecological Economics 57(3), pp. 534-541.
Weisz, Helga (2006): Accounting for raw material equivalents of traded goods: A comparison of input-output approaches in physical, monetary, and mixed units. Vienna: IFF-Social Ecology (Social Ecology Working Papers; 87).
Weisz, Helga, Krausmann, Fridolin, Amann, Christof, Eisenmenger, Nina, Erb, Karl-Heinz, Hubacek, Klaus, and Fischer-Kowalski, Marina (2006): The physical economy of the European Union: Cross-country comparison and determinants of material consumption. In: Ecological Economics 58(4), pp. 676-698.
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