Sustainable Consumption for Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services
In Germany today, goods and services are consumed more frequently and in more diverse ways than ever before. The associated material flows are recorded in statistics and have already been investigated in many scientific studies with different objectives. Nevertheless, there are only few quantifying assessments of the effects of these material flows on the environment outside Germany to date. Above all, the consequences for biodiversity and ecosystem services are mostly ignored. The “Konsumwende” project commissioned by the Federal Agency for Nature Conservation (BfN) aims to close this gap. The focus was on the countries of the global South where all major import material flows of agricultural and forestry biomass as well as of mineral and fossil raw materials were initially considered. In the form of a “traffic light system”, the effects for the respective material flows were evaluated. Three case studies, on soy, cotton and lithium, then examined local impacts on biodiversity and ecosystem services. The results are summarised in the project brochure prepared jointly with the Institute for Ecological Economy Research (IÖW).