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The Thünen Institute at the Green Week

From 19 to 28 January, the International Green Week, the world's largest food and agricultural trade fair, will take place in Berlin. The Thünen Institute is involved in many ways.

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© Michael Welling

Green Week fair in Berlin

For years, the hall of the Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture (BMEL), Hall 23a, has been one of the most popular sites for visitors at the fair. This is not only due to the visually appealing ambience with large, colourful flowering areas, but also to the stands of the research institutes, which present a wide variety of applied research. The Thünen Institute will be presenting a wide range of topics at the Green Week.   

What role do peatlands play in the climate? Why does it make sense to rewet drained peatlands? And what alternative forms of agricultural utilisation are possible on these areas?  This is what the stand of the Thünen Institute of Climate-Smart Agriculture in Hall 23a is all about. Visitors can check how much greenhouse gas CO2 escapes invisibly from drained peat soils. Researchers of the Thünen Institute will explain the different types of peatlands and explain their new project of nationwide peatland monitoring for climate protection (MoMoK).

Two of the Thünen Institute's stands are dedicated to the topic of wood and wood utilisation. What initially sounds romantic with "The scent of wood" has a serious background. Wood is a popular material in house construction.  In addition to its numerous ecological benefits, it creates a cosy atmosphere and a pleasant indoor climate. However, the odour impression is perceived differently depending on various factors: All people have a different perception of odour and the conditions under which it is smelled also has an influence on this. The experts at the Thünen Institute of Wood Research provide information about interesting wood odours and how they are perceived.

At the neighbouring stand, the focus will be on the identification of wood species in products that we encounter in many different ways in our daily lives - not only as furniture, musical instruments or wooden toys, but also as chipboard, barbecue charcoal or paper. Wood from countries outside the EU is often used for this purpose. It is important to ensure that the wood is correctly labelled and comes from legal and not dubious sources. A tricky task, especially with highly processed products. At their stand in Hall 23a, the wood detectives at the Thünen Centre of Competence on the Origin of Timber will explain how they tackle this task and what role artificial intelligence (AI) can play in the process.

The soil of the year 2024 was proclaimed just a few weeks ago: It's the wood soil. On 20 January, three renowned soil experts will present it on stage: Nicole Wellbrock (Thünen Institute of Forest Ecosystems), Karl-Heinz Feger (TU Dresden, German Soil Science Society) and Winfried Rieck (University for Sustainable Development) will explain why wood soil is particularly worth protecting.

Fishing will also be a topic in the BMEL hall again this year, more specifically fishing techniques with the aim of being as selective as possible and minimising bycatch. Researchers from the Thünen Institute of Baltic Sea Fisheries will be presenting a gillnet they have developed that is recognisable to harbour porpoises and is designed to prevent them from becoming entangled and drowning. The secret: small, woven-in acrylic glass beads. A fish trap will also be presented as an alternative to conventional bottom-touching trawls.

The Global Forum for Food and Agriculture (GFFA) will once again take place in the run-up to Green Week from 17 to 20 January. This year's motto: "Food systems of the future: Together for a world without hunger". The Thünen Institute is involved in several events as part of the Collaboration Initiative Food Loss and Waste. On 19 January, Thünen Research Coordinator Stefan Lange will moderate expert panel no. 9 on the topic of food loss and waste. On the same day, Felicitas Schneider from the Thünen Institute for Market Analysis will take part in expert panel no. 14 of the European Federation of Food Banks. Simultaneous translation into German will be available for both English-language expert panels.

On 18 and 19 January, members of the Thünen Institute and partners will be looking after stand no. 15 of the Innovation Forum. There will be information on hermetic and non-hermetic forms of storage, selective fishing, harvest losses, the pact against hunger, the redistribution of surpluses and voluntary agreements with wholesalers and retailers.

At the Zukunftsforum Ländliche Entwicklung (Future Forum for Rural Development), Christian Hundt from the Thünen Institute of Rural Economics will give a keynote speech on 25 January in expert forum 19 "People, Cooperation & Successful Value Creation".



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