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News | Robert Bosch Junior Professorship 2018: species protection and the sustainable use of resources in Africa

Robert Bosch Stiftung’s Junior Professorship for the “Sustainable use of natural resources” goes to Dr. Jacqueline Loos

How can the natural environment be protected without causing the local population to go hungry? When it comes to species protection and the maintenance of biodiversity in developing countries, this is a central question. The environmental scientist Dr. Jacqueline Loos of Leuphana University in Lüneburg, Germany, aims to answer this question with her research. The recipient of the Robert Bosch Junior Professorship 2018 is working on a research project entitled: “Wildlife, Values, Justice: Reconciling Sustainability in African Protected Areas.” Her research focuses on the effectiveness of nature reserves in Zambia and Tanzania, where more than a third of the surface area is protected.

 

Dr. Jacqueline Loos, Robert Bosch Junior Professorship 2018 (Photo: Robert Bosch Stiftung / Robert Thiele)

 

Conservation and the sustainable use of resources

Addressing population growth in Sub-Saharan Africa is a major challenge. Loos has concluded that a nature reserve can only function and fully serve its purpose if the local population does not suffer as a result of it. A balance must thus be struck between protecting the environment and making sustainable use of local natural resources. With her research, Loos aims to help draw a realistic picture of local realities, and to reconcile them with conservation and species protection initiatives.  “The fight to maintain biodiversity cannot succeed if the local population is starving,” says Dr. Loos. “If we want to ensure that nature reserves function properly, the local population must also benefit. We must thus take their needs into account and involve them in decision-making process.” Loos also uses modern technology for her research, such as drones and automated image processing. Her aim is to gather information on animal populations at her study site. Loos is set to receive a total of one million euros in funding from Robert Bosch Stiftung over a period of five years.

More than a million euros in funding

Robert Bosch Stiftung aims to strengthen sustainability science in Germany. To this end, it has offered the Robert Bosch Junior Professorship for the “Sustainable use of natural resources” since 2008. The initiative funds research at German universities or research institutions with up to a million euros over a period of five years, and aims to help solve urgent socio-ecological challenges that are relevant especially in developing or emerging countries. The research findings should contribute to achieving the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

The following video presents more information about the research project.

News | COP 22: Doing sustainable business

At a panel discussion of the International Chamber of Commerce, Bosch discussed climate protection concepts for emerging markets

Last year, the average global temperature was about 1.2 degrees warmer than before industrialization, making 2016 the warmest year on record. During his presentation at the 22nd World Climate Conference (COP 22) in Marrakech, Petteri Taalas, Secretary General of the World Meteorology Organization (WNO), emphasized the urgency of implementing the Paris climate agreement that global leaders signed last year. 

 

 

One of the biggest challenges of climate protection lies in transforming the economy. The topic was addressed at a panel discussion entitled “On the way to a resilient, low-carbon future”, which was organized by the International Chamber of Commerce during the World Climate Conference. Panelists from academia and business discussed a range of ways in which existing climate protection solutions could be applied in new markets, as well as how sustainable innovations could be made market ready. Markus Thill, President of Bosch Africa, was among the panelists. He argued that emerging markets in Africa offered many opportunities for sustainable economic growth. For instance, smart networking in agriculture could lead to more efficient use of water and help reduce crop losses. In mining,  start/stop systems have the potential to reduce the CO2 emissions of work vehicles by up to 20 percent. 

 

Panelists (from left to right): Russell Mills, Vice-Chair Energy and Climate Leadership Group, ICCA; Dr. Markus Thill, President Region Africa, Bosch Group; Mohamed Ourdedi, moderator and Secretary General of Morocco’s Chamber of Commerce and Industry; and Stuart Neil, Senior Executive Director of the World Energy Council.  

 

With its population of more than one billion people, Africa is a major growth market for Bosch. The company has been active on the continent since 1906, and currently employs some 700 associates in ten countries. With its local presence, Bosch is paving the way for the use of sustainable solutions in the areas of mobility, industrial technology, and consumer goods. Not only does the company provide technology, it also invests in infrastructure and individual education and training programs. For instance, Bosch is involved in the “Afrika kommt!” (Africa is coming!) initiative, which offers young executives from sub-Saharan Africa scholarships in Germany.

The recording of the press conference on the International Chamber of Commerce’s event can be found here and here.

More information on sustainable Bosch solutions can be found here.

Current information on the 22nd World Climate Conference can be found here.

 

 

Image sources: Bosch and COP 22.