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Working Group

International Agricultural Trade

The import and consumption of agricultural and forestry products in the European Union and Germany often entails profound consequences for local land use and ecosystems in the countries of origin. Germany's "footprint" in terms of acreage required for cultivation, deforestation, and biodiversity losses is substantially larger in the Global South than in Germany itself.

While the European Union's Green Deal is tightening standards for agricultural products grown within the EU, the share of imports is increasing without any aim at sustainable production in the countries of origin. The planned statement intends to address this discrepancy and initiate a discussion on the equitable use of resources.

Global land use is increasingly shaped by international agricultural trade. The surface area associated with globally traded products is expanding rapidly, and the significance of foreign trade of agricultural products has also risen within the European Union and Germany. Furthermore, global agricultural trade is characterised by increasingly complex interdependencies and supply chains. This often entails profound environmental consequences for the products' countries of origin. The working group analyses the conditions under which international agricultural trade can contribute positively to biodiversity protection, climate protection and food security.

Spokespeople of the Working Group

  • Prof. Dr. Katrin Böhning-Gaese ML, Senckenberg Biodiversität und Klima Forschungszentrum und Goethe Universität, Frankfurt
  • Prof. Dr. Harald Grethe, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin

Members of the Working Group

  • Prof. Dr. Almuth Arneth, KIT Karlsruhe
  • Dr. Thomas Kastner, Senckenberg Biodiversität und Klima Forschungszentrum, Frankfurt
  • Prof. Dr. Alexandra-Maria Klein, Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg
  • Prof. Dr. Thomas Potthast, Eberhard-Karls-Universität Tübingen
  • Prof. Dr. Matin Qaim ML, Universität Bonn
  • Prof. Dr. Katrin Rehdanz, Christian-Albrechts-Universität zu Kiel
  • Prof. Dr. Joachim von Braun ML, Universität Bonn
  • Prof. Dr. Cathrin Zengerling, Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg



Dr. Christian Anton

Scientific Officer, Department Science - Policy - Society

Phone 0345 47 239 - 861
Fax 0345 47 239 - 839
E-Mail christian.anton (at)leopoldina.org



Dr. Henning Steinicke

Scientific Officer, Department Science - Policy - Society

Phone 0345 - 47 239 - 864
Fax 0345 - 47 239 - 839
E-Mail henning.steinicke (at)leopoldina.org