Background – why is transformative change necessary to protect global commons

Industrie International assessments – especially the global report of the Intergovernmental Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES) – come to the conclusion that the decade until 2030 will be decisive if it would be possible on a global scale to significantly slow down both man-made climate change, as well as high global losses of biodiversity and to enable a reversal in safe planetary boundaries.
Essential for this purpose, according to the global IPBES assessment, is a social transformative change toward a sustainable use of natural resources as a fundamental part of a sustainable economy.
The implications of these claims for the regulation of protection and use of the so-called global commons has been barely worked out concretely; this also applies to development cooperation. Although almost all assessments promote radical, in other words transformative change, there is no consensus on how this can be achieved or fostered and what should be done differently from previous attempts to promote development. As global commons can be successfully protected only in a global context, it also follows a need for the restructuring of development cooperation in the field of biodiversity and ecosystems conservation and restoration.
This project would like to close this gap. To do this, the knowledge and recommendations of international studies should be summarized and interpreted, in order to then develop, based on project examples, what kind of future-proof approach toward global commons will follow from it.
One of the challenges consists of identifying which changes in which social subsystems are successful, in order to foster transformative change for the conservation of biodiversity and functioning ecosystems. Furthermore, it is necessary to analyze how to foster this change in interaction with the national and international political framework. This analysis identifies implications and first recommendations for mainstreaming in national policies and the role of international treaties. Finally, together with development experts (e.g., from the Gesellschaft für internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ), the KfW and the ZMT), we will derive recommendations for the German and international development cooperation.