Dear Subscribers,

GAIA – Ecological Perspectives for Science and Society 4/2014 has just been released. We thank authors, reviewers and board members for their contributions to our journal.

The latest issue of GAIA features, amongst others, articles on Trends in Water Governance, on Civic Movements for Climate Protection, and on Land Use Planning in the Bavarian Alps. For more information, please browse the table of contents below.

Since the year is drawing to a close, we would like to seize the opportunity to thank you, our readers, for your continued interest in GAIA – and we are looking forward to presenting you again the current state of environmental sciences and their contribution to solving environmental problems in 2015.

Season's greetings,
Your Editorial Team
Almut Joedicke, Ulrike Sehy, Tobias Mickler, Martina Blum

We invite article submissions related to inter- or transdisciplinary environmental and sustainability research. For further information click here.


Kann Wasser gerecht verteilt werden? (reading sample)
Can Water Be Shared Fairly?
Armin Grunwald

Research Caps, Not Rebound
Blake Alcott

Eine Weltbürgerbewegung ohne Realitätsbezug. Zum WBGU-Sondergutachten Klimaschutz als Weltbürgerbewegung (reading sample)
A World Citizen Movement that Has Lost Touch with Reality. Reflections on the Report Climate Protection as a World Citizen Movement by the WBGU
Achim Brunnengräber

The international UN climate negotiations have ground to a halt; this is also held by the German Advisory Council on Global Change (WBGU). Thus, in its current Special Report Climate Protection as a World Citizen Movement the WBGU advocates "laboratories for active climate protection" and "modular multilateralism" as means to promote climate protection. If only everybody practiced "interaction", everything would be alright. However, the experiences of climate NGOs, climate movements and their networks demonstrate that it is obviously not that simple – yet it is precisely these experiences that the WBGU report ignores.

Energetische Sanierung: Sozialräumliche Strukturen von Städten berücksichtigen
Energetic Retrofit: Considering Socio-spatial Structures of Cities
Katrin Großmann, Anja Bierwirth, Stephan Bartke, Thorben Jensen, Sigrun Kabisch, Christian von Malottki, Ines Mayer, Johanna Rügamer

Many cities push the energetic retrofit of residential buildings. What makes sense in terms of energy efficiency could lead to the driving-out of long-time residents due to rising rents. In order to prevent that energetic retrofit might increase social inequality in cities and neighbourhoods, social policies and promotion instruments are needed. However, a sound database does not yet exist that could serve as a resource for developing appropriate recommendations.

Stärkung der Wasser-Governanceforschung. Impulse aus der Forschung zum Integrierten Wasserressourcen-Management
Strengthening Water Governance Research. Impulses from Research in the Field of Integrated Water Resources Management
Sabrina Kirschke, Nina Hagemann

Water governance research needs to be fundamentally strengthened if the goal of sustainable water resources management is to be achieved. Apart from context-specific as well as abstract analyses, research should increasingly focus on problem-structural approaches, that is, on refining operationalization of problem structures, on establishing a clearer relationship between these structures as well as on testing systematically and comparatively the relevance of the latter for different problem contexts. Only then will it be possible to accomplish the required transfer of research results.

Cap-and-trade of Water Rights. A Sustainable Way out of Australia's Rural Water Problems?
Doreen Burdack, Anne Biewald, Hermann Lotze-Campen

Trading water rights is a tool for re-allocation of water resources in water-scarce regions such as Australia. Tradable water rights help farmers to act flexibly when facing high fluctuations in water availability and to use the water in a sustainable and environmentally friendly manner. A precondition is that the quantity of water rights is capped at an appropriate level. The institutional arrangements and market structures in which water-right trading is embedded are key factors for the success of such water management instruments. By analysing the structure of the water-right market and water caps as well as using results from explorative expert interviews, the article sheds light on potential problems with the Australian cap-and-trade scheme concerning sustainable water usage. It also asks whether the Australian scheme provides lessons to be learnt by other countries facing similar problems.

Mode und Ökologie: Schnittmuster mit Webfehlern
Fashion and Ecology: The Flaws in the Pattern
Ines Weller, Lene Stöwer

Although in recent years there has been some movement in the field of eco fashion, sustainable clothing still remains a "niche market". This paper summarizes the results of a research project analyzing the interrelations between fashion and ecology. With reference to the "circuit of culture", the project explores how these interrelations have changed as seen from the perspectives of textile production, purchasing, certification and consumption as well as environmental research and consumer protection. The results indicate that, on the one hand, fashion needs are compatible with ecological requirements. On the other hand, the different actors involved were observed as continuing to reproduce the unfashionable image of eco clothing. Changing this process of the cultural production of meaning continues to be a key challenge in the field of eco fashion.

Die beste Idee, die Bayern je hatte: der Alpenplan. Raumplanung mit Weitblick (open access)
The Best Idea Bavaria Ever Had: the Alpenplan. Land Use Planning of Vision
Hubert Job, Marius Mayer, Felix Kraus

The Alpenplan (AP) was implemented as an area-wide zoning tool for the Bavarian Alps in 1972. The AP regulates transport infrastructure and leads tourism development towards stronger sustainability. Its top-down approach is based on the rational, technocratic planning paradigm of the 1970s unlike today's governance approaches which are mostly footed on bottom-up concepts. As the empirical results show the AP prevented the Bavarian Alps from an overdevelopment of tourism infrastructure and provided important improvements for nature protection – without restricting tourism, its economic impact or recreational function. The AP today faces another problem: It is not suitable for solving issues arising from the post-Fordist recreational demand which leads to a stronger differentiation and individualization of outdoor recreation activities.

Forschung für Nachhaltige Entwicklungen
Research for Sustainable Development
Oliver Krauss, Günter Reuscher, Frank Betker

Dynamik der Energiewende erhalten und erweitern
Maintaining and Expanding the Dynamics of the German Energy Transition
Thomas Schomerus, Erik G. Hansen, Stefan Lechtenböhmer

Helmholtz-Allianz ENERGY-TRANS
Innovationswirkungen der Energiewende
Innovation Impacts of the Energy Transition
Klaus Rennings, Sascha Rexhäuser

Der ETH-Studiengang Umweltnaturwissenschaften: auch nach 25 Jahren auf Kurs
The ETH Study Programme in Environmental Sciences: Still on Course after 25 Years
Regula Steiner, Christian Pohl

Umgang mit erneuerbaren Ressourcen: Herausforderung Nachhaltigkeit
Management of Renewable Resources: The Challenge of Sustainability
Andreas Kläy

Allianz Nachhaltige Universitäten in Österreich
Österreichischer Sachstandsbericht Klimawandel 2014
Austrian Assessment Report Climate Change 2014
Helga Kromp-Kolb
Aktuelle Nachrichten
Thomas Lindenthal, Lisa Bohunovsky

Fleischkonsum im 21. Jahrhundert – ein Thema für die humanökologische Forschung (open access)
Meat Consumption in the 21st Century – an Issue for Research in Human Ecology
Susanne Stoll-Kleemann


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