Issue: October 2018, Sustainability – An Export Success? – Environmental protection and human rights: the international dimension


The Oeko-Institut: the international dimension

Editorial by Michael Sailer, CEO, Oeko-Institut

Much of our current thinking and work on the environment, climate and resource conservation relies on transnational cooperation. The international climate process, the sharing of ideas across borders about the risks associated with nuclear energy and appropriate phase-out strategies, energy efficiency standards at European level, knowledge transfer on the introduction of eco-labels in Asia: the Oeko-Institut’s work already has an international dimension. We are engaged in intensive dialogue with colleagues from a range of disciplines – through our current research projects, through cooperation in intergovernmental bodies or at international conferences. We advise decision-makers who operate within democratic structures, but we also work on systems which have some way to go. And last but not least, we support groups which oppose government policy, assisting them to find ways of improving the environment and reaching the people for whom it provides a living space.

In other words, we already have a wealth of experience in this area, and I believe this aspect of our work will only intensify in future. Yes, it is laborious and time-consuming and requires a sensitive approach; it is also important to have – or to acquire – a good knowledge of the local situation. That’s why we almost invariably work with people who are well able to assess the structures in place in their countries and regions and who, in most cases, have already spent a good many years working intensively on the issue at hand. We support them by sharing the knowledge that we have gained in broader project contexts and the experience that we have acquired by addressing problems at home, and we work with them to find consensus-based solutions. In this issue of eco@work, we explain how we did this in Ghana, Thailand and Kenya – and, closer to home, in the EU. We also talk to Desmond Appiah, tasked with restructuring the waste management system in Accra, Ghana.

We are pleased that you are joining us on this short voyage of discovery and hope you find the insights into our international engagement interesting.

I wish you an enjoyable read.


Michael Sailer

CEO, Oeko-Institut

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