Knowledge for sustainable development

ISOE is one of the leading independent institutes for sustainability research. For more than 30 years, we have been developing scientific bases and future oriented concepts for politics, civil society and the economy – regionally, nationally and internationally.


International Day of Forests on 21 March

Conflicts of interest over the forest of the future

With the International Day of Forests on 21 March, the United Nations draws attention to the value of forests and to the worldwide loss of this important habitat. The effects of climate change are also taking their toll on Germany’s forests. The pressure to adapt is great and time is pressing. But...

Spiegelung von Gebäuden und Bäumen in einer Pfütze (© romeo ninov/EyeEm -

UN World Water Day 2023

How municipalities can accelerate the water transformation

The United Nations is proclaiming the motto “Accelerating Change” for World Water Day on 22 March. The message: because the pressure on drinking water reserves is increasing worldwide, the change towards sustainable water use must be accelerated. The last summers of persistent heat and drought have...

In den untersuchten Gebieten ergaben schon geringe Anpassungen beim Verhältnis von Wald- und Wiesenflächen das für alle Beteiligten bestmögliche Landschaftsszenario – größere Veränderungen dagegen würden sich nachteilig auswirken. Foto: Peter Manning/Senckenberg

Biodiversity study shows conflict potential of land use concepts

Finding a 'happy medium' for the local stakeholders of rural landscapes

An international research team led by Dr. Margot Neyret of the Senckenberg Biodiversity and Climate Research Center in Frankfurt investigated how land in rural areas in Germany could be best used so that all user groups get as many benefits as possible, and equitably. The interdisciplinary study, in...

Gelbe Paprika in Plastikfolie verpackt

New publication

Living with synthetic materials in the “plastic age”

Since their invention in the 19th century, plastics have revolutionized almost all areas of daily life due to their versatile properties. However, in the “plastic age”, mass consumption poses far-reaching problems for society and nature. For sustainable solutions, plastics and their risks require a...

Nahaufnahme Quark-Proton, Elementarteilchen, Materie, intrinsische Eigenschaften, hyperdetailliert

ISOE Lecture with Karen O’Brien at the Goethe University Frankfurt

Quantum theory in sustainability research

The numerous global environmental crises of our time call for profound change. But how can we realize this change at the pace, scale and depth required? How can the necessary transformations be achieved in a fair and sustainable way? Karen O’Brien, internationally renowned expert on climate change...

Mitglieder des NABU Regionalverbandes „Mittleres Mecklenburg“ e.V.  bei der Datenerhebung am DINA-Standort Riedensee


DINA study shows loss of insect diversity in nature reserves due to surrounding farmland

Insect decline is also progressing in German nature reserves. One reason for this is the intensification of agriculture. In a study recently published in the journal “Biodiversity and Conservation”, a team of authors led by biodiversity researchers Florian Dirk Schneider of ISOE – Institute for...

Libellenpanorama (© Schüßler)

UN Biodiversity Conference in Montreal

ISOE researchers support “Frankfurt Declaration for the UN Biodiversity Conference (COP15)”

In the run-up to the UN Biodiversity Conference in Montreal, a broad alliance of German scientific and non-governmental organizations has called for an end to economic activity against nature. Researchers at ISOE – Institute for Social-Ecological Research support these and other demands, which were...

Weidetiere in der Savanne, Namibia

World Soil Day on December 5, 2022

African savannas: social-ecological research with the aim to protect soils

Savannas are underestimated and endangered ecosystems. These drylands cover almost half of the land surface and make an important contribution to biodiversity conservation. But due to climate change and unsustainable land use, already up to 20 percent of these ecosystems worldwide are no longer...

Mähweide Schaf ungedüngt


Study shows benefits of high grassland biodiversity for a variety of ecosystem services

In a long-term study, a team of biodiversity researchers from Frankfurt has demonstrated the importance of grassland biodiversity for a wide range of ecosystem services and various stakeholder groups. The study now published in the journal “Nature Ecology & Evolution,” is the first to expand the...

Dirty used colored plastic bottle pile ready to be recycled (©sebasnoo/shutterstock)

Goethe University Award

Frankfurt Prize for Environment and Sustainability awarded to ISOE researchers

In 2022, Goethe University Frankfurt once again awarded young researchers for outstanding qualification work in the field of environmental and socio-ecological sustainability research. This year, the two main prizes went to Lisa Zimmermann and Lukas Sattlegger from the ISOE research group “PlastX –...