The sustainable use of our natural resources and the vital development of rural areas are central social goals. These goals will not be achieved by themselves. That is why parliaments and governments have created a comprehensive set of rules that must be constantly developed and adapted to new challenges.
This involves complex questions, such as: How should we adapt our forests to climate change? What impact does the designation of nature reserves have on fish stocks? How can we shape the "green architecture" of agricultural policy in such a way that the various social goals are achieved in the best possible way? Why do some rural regions prosper while others fear being left behind?
In order to find scientifically sound answers to such questions, the Thünen Institute has been established as a scientifically independent research institution at the interface of science, politics and society.
We conduct extensive monitoring activities, develop options for action to better manage our livelihoods, and assess the likely consequences. We cooperate with more than 500 university and non-university research institutions worldwide, participate in scientific competition and are committed to promoting young scientists. We publish our research results in scientific journals, but also in a target-group-oriented manner vis-à-vis politics, business, civil society and the general public.
We have developed an interdisciplinary profile to carry out our core tasks. Our 15 institutes have scientific, technological and socio-economic expertise, which we pool in 19 thematic areas across the institutes. How we bring this ambitious approach to life with a view to the coming years can be clearly seen in the Thünen Medium-Term Concept 2021.
On our website, we make our activities and results accessible in two ways: on the one hand, structurally via our specialist institutes, and on the other hand, thematically via 19 Thünen topics that offer a cross-institutional perspective.
Since the Thünen Institute emerged from various institutions (see History), there are several support associations that support the Institute as a whole or in specific subareas.