Workshop #3

Building on experience: Lessons learned from initial operationalizations

The Planetary Boundaries concept (and the safe operating space) have been applied at different political levels, including regional (EU: European Commission & European Environment Agency), national (Germany, Switzerland, Sweden, South Africa) and local levels (municipalities in South Africa and Chinese provinces). The concept has been used for different purposes: e.g. as part of environmental communications and outreach, as a benchmark for measuring environmental performance, and to set social development goals in relation to environmental goals. This workshop focuses on lessons learned from these initial experiences – on barriers to and requirements for operationalization, necessary improvements to the concept, and benefits of using the concept. It presents and discusses different cases of planetary boundaries concept application.

Chair

Jörg Mayer-Ries, BMUB / IASS

Speakers

Andreas Hauser, FOEN
Hy Dao, UNEP-GRID / University of Geneva
John Dearing and Gregory Cooper, University of Southhampton
Megan Cole, Oxford University


Guiding Questions

  • What are the main lessons learned from the discussed operationalization cases a) in the academic sphere b) in the transfer/communication to societal/economic/political actors c) in policy making?
  • What have been the main challenges for operationalization, in terms of physical, spatial, temporal, economic or political dimensions and in making boundaries nationally, regionally or locally operable?
  • What are core messages for policymakers? And what are potential next steps, both politically and academically?