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Boris Heinz, Head of Programme at Hudara

I grew up with nature close by and appreciate the impact it has on us humans and our well-being in so many ways. There are various good memories of working in the woods with my grandfather, a forest worker, of playing in the meadow with my brother and the boys from the neighborhood. The nearby lake was a popular spot to cool off in summer, while in winter we enjoyed playing ice hockey on its frozen surface. Now the lake hasn’t really frozen for many winters. It was cold enough for a too short time and many temperature fluctuations took place as well.

Connectedness with our natural and biological surroundings supports human life, from nutrition to physical and mental health, to many other things that affect us and contribute in the end even to the peaceful coexistence on our planet. Being out of balance risks conflict over resources and disrupts our very existence. The latter currently affects people in the countries of the Global South in particular, where coping with everyday life in a changing, hotter climate with frightening imponderables has become a reality.

Since the majority of greenhouse gas emissions are caused in the Global North, it is primarily up to us to reduce our consumption patterns and ensure that our beautiful planet remains habitable. In this context, the justice component is very important to me. I would like to make a critical contribution to oppose the exploitation of our environment in global capitalism and to support people affected by climate catastrophes in leading a fear-free and fulfilled life.

With this in mind, I am committed to initiate and implement bottom-up actions with Hudara that put the people and communities involved first. I am also a professor of Community Energy and Adaptation to Climate Change at the Berlin Institute of Technology (Technische Universität Berlin) and a founding member of the Environmental Peacebuilding Association. I believe there is a need to collaborate across with academics, policymakers, activists and practitioners to tackle the countless challenges of climate change and mitigate what has already happened and will continue to do so in the near future.