Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research (UFZ)

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Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research (UFZ) is the German national center for integrated environmental research. It was established in 1991 and has more than 1,100 employees located in Leipzig, Halle and Magdeburg.

As an international competence centre for the environmental sciences, UFZ investigates the complex interactions between mankind and nature under the influence of global change. In close cooperation with decision-makers and stakeholders, scientists at the UFZ develop system solutions to improve the management of complex environmental systems and to tackle environmental issues.

For example, we work on the management of water resources, the impacts of land use change on human landscapes and biodiversity, the impacts of chemicals in the environment and on human health as well as adaptation strategies for climate change.

Successful solutions require a solid scientific basis. But this is not sufficient. Environmental research, which is usually dominated by the natural sciences, has to become increasingly linked to the human, social and legal sciences.

Environmental research must be guided by environmental issues and has to deal with reference to practice, complexity and uncertainty. This requires exchanging knowledge, developing a common under- standing and communication, consolidating different competences and fields of expertise, integrating decision-makers and stakeholders from politics, the economy and the public – in short the highest level of integration possible.

It is our mission to suggest ways that ensure a balance between economic and societal development on the one hand and the long-term protection of our natural resource base on the other.

In the framework of UFZ’s integrated project (IP) “Water Scarcity”, scientists from 10 different departments work on water related research projects in semi-arid and arid environment. The project aims, inter alia, at suggesting globally sustainable and peaceful methods of management of scarce resources, and at assessing future water scenarios. 

Scientists & Staff

Jan Friesen's picture

Technical Lead