UNU-FLORES Plants Trees in Lusatia Affirming Commitment to the Region in Transformation

  • 2021/04/27     Dresden, Germany

    Image: Karsten Kliebisch/City of Weißwasser

    With its extensive expertise in the field of sustainable management of environmental resources, UNU-FLORES has been engaged in developing strategies to turn Lusatia’s lignite mining region into a model for successful transformation. Cooperation between the Institute and local stakeholders in the region is ongoing in several projects, such as the “Zukunftswerkstatt Lausitz”, and workshops on the topic.

    By Eric Siegmund

    On 16 December 2020, UNU-FLORES planted eight trees – symbolic of the eight years since the Institute’s establishment – near a kindergarten in Weißwasser, Germany, contributing to the city’s efforts to improve air quality and create green public spaces, underlining UNU-FLORES’s commitment to the region.

    The Lusatia region – where the city of Weißwasser is located – has a long history of lignite mining for power generation, employing thousands of people and guaranteeing a good standard of living. To successfully transform the economy of the region, numerous initiatives are in place to develop Lusatia into a region of the future, considering environmental, social, and economic implications.

    Together with around 100 stakeholders from science, politics, and society, UNU-FLORES Sustainability Coordinator Juliane Dziumla contributed to the guidelines “Entwicklungsstrategie Lausitz 2050”, constituting the strategic framework of development for decades to come. At a workshop organised by the city of Weißwasser, UNU-FLORES contributed to the development of a vision for a sustainable future for its residents.

    At Dresden Nexus Conference (DNC2020), UNU-FLORES and partners organised a “Workshop on the Transition in Mining” which served as a platform to promote circular economy practices and engage relevant actors, fostering the transition towards a sustainable society.

    In this context, UNU-FLORES planted eight trees of different variety in an open space in Weißwasser, bordering the public kindergarten “Regenbogen”. The tall trees of around three metres in height consist of the red horse chestnut, hornbeam, lime, and common oak, all of which are typical for the region. They are known for their resilience and require low level of care.

    To foster the understanding of the environment from an early age on, the children of the nearby kindergarten agreed to take care of the trees and thus contribute to the greening of their own surrounding.

    UNU-FLORES thanks the city of Weißwasser for the close cooperation in the course of the initiative, making the city’s administration an essential partner in the ongoing transformation process in Lusatia.