Discussing with Dresden citizens about environmental sustainable consumption

Panel discussion on balancing environmentally sustainable consumption and socio-economic development (© Siv-Ann Lippert)

Almost every sphere of our daily life contains products that have their origins in the tropical parts of the world. What do we actually know about the roots and life cycle of these products? Can it be environmentally sustainable to consume products from the other side of the globe? What does sustainable consumption actually mean?
These questions and many more were addressed and discussed by three members of the Chair of Tropical Forestry at TUD and an Indian documentary filmmaker at the 11. Umundu Festival for Sustainable Development, on 29 September at Hygiene Museum Dresden.  The doctoral students Tran van Hiep and Sri Astutik introduces two products that are getting more attention and consumers in the western world : Bamboo and Curcuma. They presented the products’ natural conditions, the production process, the ways of utilization as well as the social and economic impact on the livelihood of the people who depend on it. Afterwards, Nilanjan Bhattacharya screened scences from his film “Johar Welcome to our World”. It presented how indigenous people in India live in balance with their natural environment through appreciation and careful use of what the nature provides to them.

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In the panel discussion, moderated by Maxi Domke, the audience and the presenters engaged with each other and discussed on “how to balance environmentally sustainable consumption and socio-economic development” in a globalized world. (Western) concepts and standards of fair trade, certification but also wealth, as well as the role of traditional vs. modern knowledge has been critically discussed through a local and global lens. The audience’s interest and engagement was very motivating, and therefore the discussion went still on over the lunch break afterwards.

The session has been enriched through a music session where the traditional Bamboo instrument Angklung was taught and played by the team and the audience. Each instrument plays one tone.

We thank the organizers of the Umundu festival and the audience for their participation. We thank Sri Astutik and the Indonesian community to provide several Angklung instruments.

By Maxi Domke

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