Department: Ecology and Natural Resources Management
ZEF's Department of Ecology and Natural Resources Management has 13 senior researchers, 46 junior researchers (doctoral students) and 14 senior fellows affiliated to ZEF. Thematic and disciplinary foci are Ecosystem services; Sustainable use of biological resources; and Biodiversity. Regional foci are West Africa (WASCAL) and Central Asia.
As noted in the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), biodiversity "…is the fruit of billions of years of evolution, shaped by natural processes and, increasingly, by the influence of humans.
Sustainable use of natural resources
Biological resources as renewable resource are expected to play a more important role in the future economies of both industrial and developing countries. They are the basis for food production and many other uses, such as energy or industrial raw materials. ZEF's research focuses on achieving a balance between increasing the productivity of agriculture and forestry in developing countries, and using the natural resource base in a sustainable way.
The visible components of ecosystems such as land, water and the diversity of plants, animals, and microbes, are linked by invisible relations and interactions.