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.


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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...

Research project AQUA-Hub

Knowledge transfer on sustainable water infrastructure in India

India’s fast-growing cities need an efficient infrastructure for water supply and wastewater disposal. However, the expansion of water infrastructures can hardly keep up with population growth. A research cooperation, in which ISOE – Institute for Social-Ecological Research is also involved, is...

ISOE Policy Brief

Knowledge transfer is the key to sustainable land use in Namibia 

The state of research on the complex and highly dynamic topics of sustainable development and nature conservation is subject to constant change and expansion from a diverse range of disciplines. A targeted knowledge transfer between science, politics and society thus becomes a special challenge,...

Salatanbau im Forschungsprojekt HypoWave

Water reuse in agriculture

HypoWave+ research project at IFAT 2022

The process of agricultural food production with recycled water, successfully developed in the HypoWave research project, is entering large-scale application for the first time. On a small scale, the model for hydroponic vegetable production with recycled irrigation water will be on display at IFAT...

Staatlich institutionalisierte Recyclinganlagen gibt es in Bangladesch nicht. Häufig sammeln die Menschen Abfälle aus den Müllbergen und trennen diese von Hand. Foto: Florian Wehking, Bauhaus-Universität Weimar

ISOE research project for ocean protection

“SCIP plastics”: Reducing plastic waste in Bangladesh

Every day, around 480 tons of waste end up on the streets of Khulna, the largest city in the densely populated Ganges Delta. This includes vast quantities of plastic that is washed into the oceans via Bangladesh’s neighboring waters. Without countermeasures, marine pollution will continue to...

Himmel mit Sonne und Wolken (Foto: Jose Ignacio Soto -

Energy transition

Heat pumps as a contribution to energy independence and climate protection: how their implementation can succeed

In order to achieve its climate goals and move towards more energy independence, the German government is planning a 100-billion-euro support package. In that context, the CO2 reduction targets for existing buildings are coming into focus. There is great potential in the provision of space heating...

Gewächshäuser in der Region Andalusien, Spanien

UN World Water Day 2022

Groundwater – an invisible resource and (non-)visible problems

The United Nations has declared ‘Groundwater: Making the Invisible Visible’ its theme for World Water Day on 22 March 2022. This is because policies and decision-makers have paid little attention to the global groundwater problem thus far. In many places, this precious resource is contaminated, and...

Mikroplastik und größere Fragmente, aufgenommen am Strand von Famara in Lanzarote, Spanien (Foto: Carolin Völker)

Study on risk perception

Risks from microplastics – public perception not in line with scientific studies 

Microplastics and the possible risks for the environment are highly debated. However, whereas scientists still see many open questions and have yet to complete their risk assessment, the general public ranks the environmental and health risks posed by microplastics as relatively high. Researchers...

Foto: Dmitry Koshelev /

Biodiversity research

The example of the Main metropolis: How cities can contribute to the preservation of insect diversity

While insect extinction is progressing in forests, fields and nature reserves, cities are increasingly providing suitable habitats for insects. Therefore, urban society is  called upon to preserve their diversity as its behaviour has an influence on the biodiversity of dragonflies, bumblebees and...

Demonstration zum Umweltschutz (© S.Kobold -

Environmental awareness

Support for socio-ecological transformation

People in Germany expect politicians to do more for environmental protection and climate action. This might be due to the fact that awareness of the damaging influence of environmental pollution, for example through pollutants, air pollution or noise, has increased over the past 20 years. This is...