Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin - Ressourcenökonomie


Governance of marine ecosystems and biodiversity of the German Baltic See from a political economy perspective

Start: December 2021
End: November 2024

The cumulative effects of anthropogenic uses of coastal marine ecosystems in the Baltic Sea, such as fishing, offshore energy production, shipping, sediment dredging and agricultural production, are increasingly degrading marine ecosystem and leading to conflicts of use. Addressing these issues and achieving marine conservation goals requires a governance system capable of regulating competing human uses and their cumulative effects. CREATE-HU contributes to addressing this challenge by generating solution-oriented knowledge for the integrated and sustainable governance of marine ecosystems and biodiversity from a political economy perspective in the context of a real world laboratory in the German Baltic Sea. Towards this end, local formal and informal governance structures are analysed in terms of institutional performance and change, and results are fed back into the transdisciplinary process in the real world laboratory.

This project is part of a large-scale collaborative research project CREATE “Concepts for reducing the effects of anthropogenic pressures and uses on marine ecosystems and on biodiversity”, which develops actionable knowledge on how to evaluate, manage and protect coastal ecosystems under multiple stressors and usages. CREATE integrates researchers from 18 institutes in an unprecedented effort to provide solution-oriented knowledge for policy makers, business and civil society, which serves as a scientific basis for political and social decision-making processes with regard to the protection and sustainable use of coastal and marine areas. In order to effectively co-create science-based action knowledge in a dialogue with users, policy makers and other stakeholders, CREATE is constructed around four principles:

  1. Co-design, co-development, knowledge exchange and transformation: All activities in CREATE follow a transdisciplinary approach based on an explicit stakeholder engagement process as integral part of the project.
  2. Regional focus on Living Labs (LLs): In order to allow for co-design and co-development, CREATE focuses on two regions (Baltic Sea, North Sea). In each region, LLs will be established.
  3. Strategic combination of strengths: CREATE combines interdisciplinary expertise across a broad range of universities and non-university institutions and thereby develops a new interface for integrative marine research approaches at the highest scientific level.
  4. Strengthening capacity development and promoting young talent: CREATE puts major effort in providing a hub for early career researchers, nationally and internationally, whereby the transformative and transdisciplinary nature of the project builds the capacity to work on future questions of solution-oriented marine research.


Lead HU-Subproject: Privatdozent Dr. Jochen Hinkel, Humboldt University and Global Climate Forum


Lead Overall Project: Prof. Dr. Helmut Hillebrand, University Oldenburg



CREATE is funded by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) within the research programme “MARE:N – Küsten-, Meeres- und Polarforschung: Forschungsmission „Schutz und nachhaltige Nutzung mariner Räume“ der Deutschen Allianz Meeresforschung“