From the beginning of time, mankind has used and altered the land together with its ecosystems and wildlife, benefiting from its biodiversity, intact ecosystems and ecosystem services.
Biodiversity is a biological resource that we use for food, medicine and building materials. Ecosystems purify our air and water systems and have important recreational and aesthetic values, particularly in urban regions. On the downside, many impacts on ecosystems and wildlife impose a long-term legacy on ecosystems with partially irreversible damage.
Admittedly, the appreciation value of biodiversity has increased on many levels, but appropriate action still remains slow. The European goal of halting the loss of biodiversity by 2010 was clearly missed. Therefore it is a question of what kind of a world we envisage for ourselves in the future, with which forms of land use, with how much biodiversity and with which ecosystem services –in the face of climate change, global demographic change and urbanisation as well as an increasing demand for food and energy.
Linking the Helmholtz research fields and Helmholtz research programmes
Most of the research within the UFZ’s core subject "Land use, Biodiversity and Renewable Energies" is carried out in the research programme "Terrestrial Environment" within the Helmholtz research field "Earth and Environment".
Some parts of the core subject are assigned to two research programmes within the Helmholtz research field "Energy". In the research programmes "Renewable Energies" and "Technology, Innovation and Society" scientists at the UFZ work on topics such as geothermal energy, material and energetic use of biomass, artificial photosynthesis as well as issues of acceptance and steering the "German Energiewende".
Energy research at the UFZ is embedded in the Integrated Project (IP) "Energy Land Use".
In so-called Integrated Projects (IPs) and Topics scientists work on and investigate the following themes (Coordination UFZ and Helmholtz Centre Munich):