Current projects



Involved Researchers:

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Economics of climate adaptation for biodiversity conservation (Ecoclimb)

Climate change is a major threat for biodiversity. For many species, existing habitats will be lost partially or completely, but at the same time habitat suitability in previously unsuitable regions (new climate space) will increase. Ecologists have developed two types of climate adaptation strategies to protect biodiversity: supporting migration towards new climate space with appropriate land use measures and improving habitat quality in existing habitats to create climate refugia. Economic research on climate adaptation has until now largely ignored the threat to biodiversity.

Ecoclimb will conduct pioneering research in the emerging field of "economics of climate adaptation for biodiversity conservation". Ecoclimb will develop exemplarily novel dynamic ecological-economic models to analyse three key conservation policy instruments – incentive payments, offsets and land purchase – in terms of ecological effectiveness and cost-effectiveness in a changing climate. Approaches from ecological and economic research that deal with risk and uncertainty are identified, compared and integrated into the models. Ecoclimb will work in the sample regions of Lower Saxony and Schleswig-Holstein with a focus on the protection of endangered grassland species.

Involved Researchers:

  • Projektmanager: Charlotte Gerling
  • Dr. Astrid Sturm


  • BTU Cottbus-Senftenberg, Chair of Environmental Economics
  • Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research UFZ, Department of Ecological Modelling
  • BTU Cottbus-Senftenberg, Chair of Environmental meteorology

Funding: Federal Ministry of Education and Research (economics of climate change), period 2018-2020


The project „The Economics of Climate Change – theme coordination: ‚Dealing with climate risks‘ (KlimaRisk)“ of the Department of Environmental Economics coordinates the theme “Dealing with climate risks” within the Dialogue on the Economics of Climate Change, the accompanying process to the BMBF funding measure Economics of Climate Change II.

The aim of the project is to communicate findings of economic research on climate change adaptation to decision makers in politics, business and civil society and to facilitate the exchange between science and society.

The theme “Dealing with climate risks” of the BMBF funding measure focusses on economic and social consequences and costs of climate change and strategies to adapt to climate change impacts. More information is available on the website of the Dialogue on the Economics of Climate Change.

Project leader: Professor Dr. rer. pol. Frank Wätzold

Project manager: Dr. Lutz Philip Hecker

Funding: Federal Ministry of Education and Research (economics of climate change), period 2019-2022


IAWAK-EE (Information-supported anticipatory waterhousehold-based adaptation to climate change Elbe-Elster, German: Informationsgestützte antizipative wasserhaushaltsbasierte Anpassung an den Klimawandel Elbe-Elster) in cooperation with the Research Institute for Post-Mining Landscapes (FIB).

Involved Researchers:

  • Projektmanager: Dr. Lutz P. Hecker
  • Dr. Astrid Sturm
  • Johanna Witt

Project Website:


Innovative grassland utilization for sustainable agricultural intensification at the landscape scale

Involved Researchers:

  • Project manager: Dr. Oliver Schöttker
  • Dr. Astrid Sturm
  • Karmand Kadir
  • Johanna Witt

Project duration: 2019-2024

Project website:


  • Universität zu Köln
  • Universität Hohenheim
  • Feindt Humboldt Universität Berlin
  • Universität Kassel
  • Humboldt Universität Berlin
  • Brandenburgische Technische Universität Cottbus - Senftenberg
  • Justus-Liebig-Universität Gießen
  • Agrargesellschaft Emsterland/Brandenburg
  • Grünlandzentrum Niedersachsen/Bremen
  • Horizont Group GmbH
  • Texas Trading GmbH

Funding: German Federal Ministry for Education and Science (BMBF) ("Agrarsysteme der Zukunft")


The project "Incorporating trophic interactions into the optimization of cost-effective agri-environment schemes for biodiversity conservation in grasslands (TrophCost) is a sub-project of the DFG Programme "Biodiversity Exploratories".

The aim of the project is to combine ecological-economic modelling with data and information from the DFG-biodiversity exploratories to obtain novel insights for the cost-effective design of agri-environment schemes. A research focus is the integration of trophical interactions into existing approaches. Further information can be found at the DFG-website at

Principal Investigators:Prof. Dr. Klaus Birkhofer und Prof. Dr. Frank Wätzold

Involved Researchers:

  • Dr. Astrid Sturm

Funding: DFG, 2020-2023


Co-Design of ecologically and economic efficient policy instruments and measures for the protection of biodiversity and ecosystem services in cultural landscapes

Involved Researchers:

  • Nonka Markova-Nenova
  • Charlotte Gerling
  • Dr. Astrid Sturm



  • TU Dresden
  • BTU Cottbus-Senftenberg
  • Landschaftspflegeverband Nordwestsachsen e.V.
  • Nationale Naturlandschaften e.V.

Funding: BMBF (1. Phase, Sept 2020 - Okt 2021)


Regional Centre for Sustainable Adaptation to Global Change in the Middle East (SAGE-Centre)

The SAGE-Center works on finding science-based solutions to adapt to climate change in the Middle East. This is based on interdisciplinary research that is relevant for decision-makers in the region. A large focus lies on capacity building and the empowerment of societies. More information on the SAGE-Centre can be found here:

At the Chair of Environmental Economics, two PhD students will be working on topics of climate and land use change in the Middle East.

Ahmed Shaqfa

Rangelands in Jordan have a valuable role from an economic, environmental, and cultural point of view. It’s a source for livestock products, carbon sequestration, and biodiversity, and they also serve as catchment areas that receive rainfall and surface water runoff. Rangelands also have a high cultural value for the Bedouin community. Climate change and water scarcity are two major challenges that threaten Jordan’s rangelands. Contour ridges, an on-farm storm water harvesting technique, are a promising adaptation measure in the region. In his PhD, Ahmed Shaqfa will conduct a cost-benefit analysis to assess the socio-economic impacts of using contour ridges as a tool to rehabilitate degraded rangelands in Jordan. Based on this research, in a second step a payments for ecosystem services (PES) scheme will be developed.

Mai Nusir

The management of common pool resources such as rangelands differs between different areas in Jordan. The differences lie, for example, in the management tools, outcomes, local community engagement and feedback. These differences were the inspiration for Mai Nusir’s research project: to investigate the management of common-pool-resources and institutional change that three chosen locations in Jordan went through, and to assign the institutional change to a framework to explain the process and the development of the common-pool-resources management options and policies in these locations.

Involved Researchers:

  • Ahmed Shaqfa
  • Mai Nusir
  • Charlotte Gerling