In the context of the BMBF-funded research project Practical Challenges of Climate Change (PRACC) the DRZE presents the the interdisciplinary symposium:

Biodiversity in the Anthropocene – Restore or Design?

16 October 2023, 4 pm – 7 pm 
Afterwards: Reception in the lobby of the Universitätsclub

Universitätsclub Bonn
Konviktstraße 9
53113 Bonn

Topic of the Ethik-Forum:

The Anthropocene refers to the geological epoch in which humans are the major factor influencing the Earth's biological, geological, and atmospheric processes. This epoch is also characterized by a serious loss of biodiversity, exacerbated by anthropogenic climate change. There is widespread consensus that biological diversity is a natural good worth protecting. Biodiversity is, for example, a prerequisite for the provision of various ecosystem services that are indispensable for human life. Moreover, in many cases, the loss of certain species leads to harm to other living things that depend on them for their own survival. Although it therefore seems clear that biodiversity is worth protecting, major challenges arise for concrete conservation measures, especially under the conditions of the Anthropocene. After all, what kind of nature is it that we want and should protect? Is it ecosystems that have developed independently and long before the advent of humans? Is it generally the environment cultivated by humans since time immemorial in which they exist, or specifically natural capital in the form of, for example, cultivated plants and animals? Depending on which concepts and notions of nature are taken as a basis, very different practical approaches to biodiversity conservation result.

Conservation efforts therefore often come into conflict with various individual, societal, and economic interests, which must be mediated in political-societal processes in order to achieve sustainable solutions. Since, on the one hand, it is partly impossible to restore former states of biodiversity under the conditions of climate change and, on the other hand, even the preservation of existing natural goods requires human intervention, the question arises acutely as to which forms of interventions in nature do justice to people living in the future. Accordingly, it must be clarified which forms of biodiversity conservation are suitable, which natural goods can and should be protected, and how much space should be given to nature itself. Since the German Nature Conservation Act focuses on restoration and preservation, the additional question arises to what extent biodiversity conservation could benefit from a more dynamically oriented understanding of nature conservation.

In the context of the 13th "Ethik-Forum", renowned experts will shed light in a panel discussion on how an appropriate understanding of biodiversity conservation can be developed under the conditions of the Anthropocene. Should natural processes be managed for the purpose of restoration and preservation with as little human intervention as possible, or must a greater claim to design be derived in the age of the Anthropocene?


Welcome and Introduction:
Prof. Dr. Dirk Lanzerath (Head of the DRZE, University of Bonn)

Welcome Speech:
Prof. Dr. Andreas Zimmer (Vice Rectorate for Research and Early-Career Researchers, University of Bonn)

Keynote Lecture:
Prof. Dr. Dr. Udo Di Fabio: Der Schutz natürlicher Gemeinschaftsgüter als Verfassungsauftrag
(The protection of natural commons as a constitutional mandate)
(Former Judge of the Federal Constitutional Court / Institute for Public Law, University of Bonn)

Panel Discussion:

Prof. Dr. Dr. Udo Di Fabio (Institute for Public Law, University of Bonn)
Prof. Dr. Ulrich Schurr (Institute of Bio- and Geosciences, Forschungszentrum Jülich)
Prof. Dr. Sandra Venghaus (Institute for Energy and Climate Research, Forschungszentrum Jülich)
Prof. Dr. Maximilian Weigend (Nees-Institut for the Biodiversity of Plants, University of Bonn)

Host: Prof. Gert Scobel (ZDF/3sat)

Note on media recording:

Please note that photo, video and audio recordings will be made during the Ethik-Forum.

The video recordings will be used for our YouTube channel. The audience will not be explicitly filmed, but might be seen from behind in some camera shots.

The audio recordings will be used for a podcast.

The photos of the event will be used for our websites, brochures, posters and social media channels. If you do not agree with a recording, please give us a hint in advance or on site.

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