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The opportunity for the bioeconomy lies in taking into account its socio-ecological limitations from the outset.

Dr. Joachim Spangenberg

Chairman of the Scientific Committee of BUND/Friends of the Earth Germany

The most important stages of the career

since 2/2023 
Jülich Research Centre, Senior Scientist, Jülich, Germany

SERI Germany, Cologne. Senior Researcher, Vice-Chairman

2006-2009, 2011-2018 
Senior Scientist, Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research, Department of Community Ecology, Halle, Germany

Université Versailles St.-Quentin-en-Yvelines, Agent contractuelle, REEDS Institute

Professeur invite, Université Versailles St.-Quentin-en-Yvelines, Centre C3ED

Director of the Sustainable Societies Group, Sustainable Europe Research Institute, Vienna.

Programme Director Sustainable Societies, Wuppertal Institute for Climate, Environment, Energy, Department Material Flows and Structural Change 

1987, 1989 
Institute for European Environmental Policy, Bonn

In between: Consultant for US, German and Chinese institutions and organisations on pandemic scenarios, the role of biodiversity and the CBD COP in Montreal/Kunming preparation process. Scoping team for the EU-China Policy Dialogue Support Facility (PDSF) on TEEB (The Economics of Ecosystems and Biodiversity). International expert for the EU-China Biodiversity Cooperation Programme (EU, UNEP, UNDP), UNDP int. expert Central Asia 2000, Kazakhstan 2002, PR China 2008/09, ...

Dissertation in economics, Dr. rer. pol., University of Bremen

Post-graduate studies in ecology, University of Essen GHS

Master studies in biology, Dipl. Biologe, University of Cologne

Activities and Memberships

Member of the German Bioeconomy Council

ESP Ecosystem Services Partnership Steering Committee co-chair

European Environment Agency Scientific Committee member

IUCN CEM Commission on Ecosystem Management, member

And in the past: 
Board member, ISDRS Int. Sustainable Development Research Society

2011- 2014
European Commission, High Level Economists’ Expert Group on Resource Efficiency

OECD (WGs on sustainability indicators, sustainable consumption indicators, circular economy, green growth & sustainable development task force 

UNDESA Expert Groups on Sustainable Consumption & Production CCPP, Sustainability Indicators, and Sustainability Strategies 


Joachim Spangenberg studied biology in Cologne, ecology in Essen and did his PhD in economics in Bremen. He has been professionally working in sustainability and biodiversity research for more than 30 years, and voluntarily in environment and nature conservation, in scientific policy advice (most recently as co-author of the Global Assessment of IPBES) and in scientific professional organisations.


  • Sustainable source of biomass supply
  • Mandatory use option hierarchies
  • Limiting biomass demand as sustainability condition

Future Challenges

  • Just transition to sustainability
  • Restoring biodiversity (GBF)
  • Phasing out the drivers of unsustainable economic development
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