Sustainable Development in European and Latin American Societies

The complex interaction between human societies and natural resources and processes is the overall theme of the 7th German-Brazilian Symposium for Sustainable Development, to take place from 4 to 10 October 2015 at Heidelberg University. The event, to which over 220 researchers are expected from different countries, will focus particularly on the differences between sustainable development in Europe and in Latin America. Ulrich A. Glasmacher, from the Institute of Earth Sciences and the Heidelberg Center for the Environment (HCE) at Heidelberg University, is in charge of planning and organizing the symposium, with support from the Brazil Centre of the University of Tübingen and Baden-Württemberg International. Speakers will include Herman Voorwald, education minister of the federal state of São Paulo, and Theresia Bauer, Baden-Württemberg’s minister of science, research and the arts.

"How human societies can develop sustainably using the resources of Planet Earth is influenced by many different factors. Focusing on select examples, the German-Brazilian Symposium aims to shed light on the specific cultural identities that lead to differences between Europe and Latin America in terms of the interplay between the natural environment and human social and economic action," explains Prof. Glasmacher, head of the research group on Thermochronology and Archaeometry.

The topics for presentation and discussion include climate change and palaeoclimate, water and oceans, energy, ore deposits, and mining. Further aspects of the overall theme are biodiversity, bio-economy, politics and social action, environmental law, regional development and megacities, as well as sustainable agriculture and forestry. Other topics are the role and methods of sustainable development in education, and the medical impacts of non-sustainable human actions. "One outcome of the symposium could be outlining a development plan for sustainable action within and between the different cultures," Prof. Glasmacher underlines.

The 7th German-Brazilian Symposium is entitled "Interaction between Earth resources and processes and Human societies". The programme includes over 200 lectures, and poster presentations, as well as two guided field trips offering examples of sustainable development in Germany. The opening session on 4 October will feature a panel discussion on "Sustainable development in education - education in sustainable development". Besides the education minister of São Paulo, Prof. Voorwald, and science minister Theresia Bauer, the panellists will also include Bernhard Eitel, president of Heidelberg University. One lecture open to the general public is that of Jürgen Kesselmeier from the Max Planck Institute for Chemistry in Mainz, entitled "ATTO, a giant tower for climate research in the Amazon: the adventure of planning, construction and use". This event will be on 6 October in the Alte Aula, starting at 7pm.

The interdisciplinary German-Brazilian Symposium on Sustainable Development takes place every two years, alternating between Baden-Württemberg and Brazil. It is forum for discussing the latest environmentally issues in the field of sustainable development. The German’s are the inter-university Brazil Centre of Tübingen University that initiated this series, and Baden-Württemberg International.

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