Deutsch Intern
Institute of Political Science and Sociology

Summer Term 2022: Workshop "Biodiversity in the Governance Trap?"

During this workshop in summer 2022, the topic of biodiversity was examined from the perspective of social science sustainability studies. The focus was on two main issues. On the one hand, the governance of biodiversity by institutions and actors in the political multi-level system was studied and evaluated for its effectiveness. On the other hand, we discussed the mobilisation of biodiversity issues in social movements and examined approaches for the future of biodiversity policy.

After a tour in the botanical garden with an exciting introduction to the topic of biodiversity by the curator of the botanical garden Dr. Gerd Vogg, we studied the institutional challenges of biodiversity governance. These institutional challenges were presented by Group I (Carina, Julian, Jacqueline and Franziska) based on the literature. Afterwards, various case studies - among others on the protection of the Amazon region in Brazil to the problem of gravel gardens - served for discussion and critical reflection on current developments in the multi-level political system.

After a break outside in the garden, Group II (Lesley, Isabelle, Levi, Kim, Theresa and Vanessa) presented the actors of biodiversity governance and their complex interactions. Here, not only the diversity of civil society, economic, political and scientific actors in decision-making processes on biodiversity became clear, but also the associated conflicts of interest.

The different perspectives on actors and institutions of biodiversity governance were finally brought together in a simulation, which had been developed by Group II for the workshop. The aim was to better understand the local implementations of global biodiversity goals with a role play of the Würzburg Biodiversity Day 2023. The focus was on the interactions of different civil society actors from non-governmental organisations and environmental movements in order to first experience aspects such as collective action, places and forms of protest and questions about the effectiveness of activist initiatives in a playful way and then to reflect on them scientifically.