Tag: Environment

IGCS conducts Summer School 2022 in Aachen

IGCS Summer School 2022: Sustainable Waste Management in The Nexus of Climate Change and Low Carbon Economy

This edition of the IGCS Summer School, in the IGCS focus area of Sustainable Waste Management, specialized in designing a set of interdisciplinary lectures and an integrated approach that covers advances in research and technological implementations in Waste Prevention, reuse, and recycling approach, management, and regulatory aspects, as well as the socio-economic and environmental considerations. It connected concepts of sustainable waste management with clean energy, energy efficiency, reducing CO2 emissions, bio-based economy, and restoration of the ecosystem and its services.

The Summer School brought together students from Indian and German academic institutions with nationalities from across the world, comprising a pool of diverse specialization backgrounds, who jointly and interactively develop their skills with the following learning outcomes:

1. Identifying measures and opportunities in the circular economy to contribute to climate protection
2. Developing a fundamental and holistic understanding of different waste management systems and technologies
3. Proposing innovative solutions to strengthen the circular economy

Participants were engaged in interdisciplinary on-site and hybrid (online + on-site) lectures on the state-of-the-art practices and emerging waste management strategies in Germany and India, such as composting of biodegradable wastes, handling of construction debris, incineration of residual waste, and plastics upcycling methods, liquefaction of unsegregated municipal solid wastes and recycling of industrial wastes. They were also encouraged to learn from their peers and colleagues through working groups on specialization topics, intercultural workshops, student panel discussions, and entrepreneurship workshops.

Alena ̶ IGCS Winter School 2022 Student Mini-Lecture Presenter Testimony

The IGCS Winter and Summer schools have open platforms for our participants to engage in peer learning. During our Student Mini-Lecture series, selected participants present their research project, area of expertise and recent findings.

Alena Spies (RWTH Aachen University) proves a testimonial from their presentation during the Student Mini-Lecture series:

In order to transform our current linear economic system into a circular economy, material flows that were previously declared as waste must be recognized and made usable as raw materials. The project EnEWA (saving energy in paper production by opening up the value chains of waste paper from lightweight packaging, residual waste, and commercial waste) addresses this issue precisely. Paper from mixed waste streams is currently mainly used for energy recovery.

The main reason why the paper is not used for material recovery is its contamination. The Chair of Anthropogenic Material Cycles (ANTS) at RWTH Aachen University is researching a solution. Project partners are the Chair of International Production Engineering and Management (IPEM) at the University of Siegen and the industrial partners Tomra Sorting GmbH, STADLER Anlagenbau GmbH and PROPAKMA GmbH as well as the paper producer LEIPA Group GmbH. The project EnEWA is dealing with the collection and the recovery of paper from mixed waste streams as well as the processes for recycling the paper fibers. Following an analysis of the recovered paper grades and paper composites, the necessary sorting technology will be developed and adapted. Subsequently, a process for the hygenization and preparation of the paper fibers will be designed. The application-oriented research helps to optimize the recycling of paper and gives an essential contribution to closing the loops in terms of a circular economy. The material characterization is essential for the development of all further process steps and therefore the necessary first step. The first results of the characterization of paper from lightweight packaging waste show that more than 45 % of the wastepaper could have disposed of in a separate paper collection system.

Launch of the documentary on ‘Chennai – A Global South Metropolis in the Peri-Cene


As the human population increases, so does the pressure for urbanization…. Around the world, metropolitan regions are haphazardly “sprawling” past their effective borders and into the sub-optimal peri-urban areas. The planet has entered the ‘Peri-cene’ phase – a new global human-environment system shaped by peri-urbanization.

The Indian city of Chennai shows many challenges, with a combination of climate risk, socio-economic divisions and disruptions, and sub-optimal governance. Here the Indo-German Centre for Sustainability (IGCS) at IIT Madras has focused on three critical areas – water, land use, and governance – in collaboration with the University of Manchester and KTH Royal Institute of Technology (Stockholm) on the global project Peri-cene.

Around the world peri-urban settlements suffer the impacts of climate-driven weather extremes – cyclones in South East Asia, wildfires in Australia, riverine flooding in China. On the positive side, there are many examples of peri-urban resilience, via novice solutions or “adaptive pathways”, with transformational agro-ecology, natural flood management or eco-tourism. With peri-urban land areas around the world now doubling every 24 years, there is an urgent need to steer the peri-urban towards resilience and sustainability. But this raises challenges both for science and for policy.



  • 4.30-6.00 IST
    ‘Urbanization, Disaster Risk Reduction & Adaptive Pathways: Chennai in global context’

4.35: Introduction & global context: disaster management in the ‘peri-eco-urban Anthropocene (chair: Joe Ravetz, University of Manchester)

4.40: Introduction to the film & the Peri-urban Initiative (Christoph Woiwode, IGCS, IITM)

4.45: Screening: Chennai – a global south metropolis in the global peri-cene

5.20: panel responses: Dr Loraine Kennedy, French Institute Pondicherry: Prof. Ismu Rini Dwi Ari, University of Brawijaya: Dr Lakshmi Ragajendran, University College London:

5.35: open discussion – challenges & ways forward

5.55: wrapping up & next steps: (Prof. Chella Rajan, IGCS, IITM Chennai).
The film is also available on “Chennai – A Global South Metropolis in the Peri-Cene”
Any queries & comments: joe.ravetz@manchester.ac.uk

Cover Photo Credits: Chait Goli: https://www.pexels.com/photo/bird-s-eye-view-of-city-during-dawn-2093323/

IGCS Scholarship Grantee Testimonial – Veronika Fendel

I was in South India for two months, conducting research for my doctoral degree. I carried out surveys with farmers, workers, and plant managers at the Nilgiris Mountains in Tamil Nadu and Bangalore in Karnataka. 

While the preparations were longer than usual due to the global pandemic, I was fortunate to receive an opportunity to travel to India. My visa caused some problems, and I received them just in time even though I applied early. Thus, I recommend applying at least two months in advance or simply driving straight to the consulate instead of sending the application by post.

On arrival, I booked a hotel and made other logistical decisions based on recommendations or the hosts. Personally, I would recommend the Liwa Hotel near the airport and the Agricultural University in Bangalore for accommodation. It is both excellent and inexpensive, and the breakfast is delicious.

I worked with the local organizations who supported me immensely through my research. None of this would have been possible and easy without their support and hospitality. Each time I was given a lot of tea with even more sugar and not allowed to leave until I had a minimum of biscuits. The interviews with the farmers and plant managers, which were documented with the help of local translators, turned out to be incredibly useful. Even though things were busier than my regular schedule in Germany,  I learned to be more relaxed, like the locals I worked with, and in the end, all my goals were achieved.

My experience was a bit chaotic, but it can be the perfect place combined with the colleagues’ support, hospitality, and open-mindedness. The food was, of course, excellent and spicy. Public transportation was cheap and comfortable because of buses, trains, and Uber. As a woman travelling alone, I always felt comfortable venturing into South India. I would recommend travelling during the day and confirming all logistics during long travels. I also noticed that the personal space seemed smaller than I am used to at home. It was a bit strange at first, but I grew normalcy to this different approach after a while and found it pleasant and comforting.

This was my fourth stay in India. It solidifies my previous impression that there is more to see every time; one is always surprised. It was an excellent opportunity to do local research and meet all the inspiring people and places, and I highly recommend it. In summary, it was a very enriching stay, both personally and professionally.

For more information on IGCS scholarship opportunities visit our webpage.

IGCS Research Brief 01/2022 Published

Peter Volz and Christoph Woiwode conducted a study about the agro-food system of Chennai and its surrounding region in 2021 in order to see how it can be made more sustainable.
The outcome of this participatory research is published in this IGCS Research Brief 01/2022. They are hoping to continue this exciting process with an action-oriented workshop to reflect upon these recommendations and discuss with stakeholders the potential for an agroecological transformation of the Chennai region.

Featured Image on the post by Pixabay.

Application Deadline Extensions

The IGCS Team has decided to extend the deadlines for our two upcoming events-

1. IGCS-motan Workshop

New deadline: 22 November 2021 for more information visit the link- https://www.igcs-chennai.org/igcs-motan-workshop-2021/

2. IGCS Winter School 2022

New deadline: 03 December 2021 for more information visit the link- https://www.igcs-chennai.org/teaching-2/igcs-winter-school/We look forward to reading your application!image: Freepik.com

Jugendkonferenz 2021

Goethe Institute Bangalore and the German School Board Abroad in New Delhi is organizing an online event Jugendkonferenz (Youth Conference) starting November 14th until November 20th, 2021 in the virtual rooms of the Goethe-Institut Bangalore. The theme of this year’s conference is “Future: We can do it.” The focus is on how we can enable every single person to live in dignity, freedom and peace in an intact and functional environment in the future.

IGCS’ postdocs: Dr Christoph Woiwode, Dr Khulud Alsouleman, Dr Daniel Rosado, and Dr Gabriela Garcés Sánchez will offer workshops at the event.

The objective of the workshop and lectures is to provide suggestions as to which sustainable measures one can take to shape our collective future together sustainably. In addition, participants will receive first-hand experiences in a practical exchange with fellow colleagues and find opportunities to act responsibly together.

For more information visit the website here.