Center for international Development and Environmental Research (ZEU)
Climate change, protection of resources, food security and water scarcity: today, none of these global problems can be described, treated or even solved in their entirety by one subject discipline alone. For this reason, the Center for International Development and Environmental Research (ZEU), which has been conducting applied developmental and environmental research on an international scale at Justus Liebig University since 1998, mainly works in an interdisciplinary manner.
Its orientation – with respect to subject and content – towards environmental and developmental aspects is based on the idea that ecological and economic influencing variables are mostly interdependent and should thus be treated in an interdisciplinary way. Who would, today, dispute the connection between poverty and the destruction of the environment? Sustainable solution strategies require a just access to resources for everyone, which can only be realised via the appropriate institutional parameters. Hence, the ZEU's problem-oriented approach focuses on providing an interface between social and natural sciences.
More than twenty different disciplines, institutes or research institutions are involved in the third-party funded research projects. Those are active in the four focal areas "Use of Natural Resources and Environmental Protection“, "Food Security", "Education and Development" and "Institutional Foundations of Regional Development Processes".
On an educational level, the ZEU offers the master programme "Transition Management". This is a postgraduate course whose subject-related content is organised in cooperation by five faculties of Justus Liebig University. Additionally, the ZEU runs two independent graduate schools which deal with mastering climate change and with options of land use and of the protection of resources. The component of doctoral education is organised as a sandwich programme, as the ZEU sets great store by intensive technical supervision in an interdisciplinary environment, which, at the same time, offers enough space for and encourages individual initiative. In addition, the ZEU offers a learning platform with e-lectures, expert forums and project databases within its research network.
The ZEU is open to all scientists and working groups of the JLU intending to carry out multidisciplinary research projects. Furthermore, a broad co-operation with other universities and research institutions in Germany and worldwide is welcome and essential.