The UNU Institute for Integrated Management of Material Fluxes and of Resources (UNU-FLORES) joined the family of UNU institutes in 2012.
The mission of UNU-FLORES is to contribute to the development of integrated and sustainable management strategies for the use of water, soil and waste resources in particular in developing and emerging countries in scientific, educational, managerial, technological and institutional terms. The institute will develop innovative concepts for target- and region-specific knowledge transfer as well as appropriate methodologies and approaches for postgraduate and professional education.
UNU-FLORES became operational in 2012, and is located in Dresden, Germany. The institute is situated in the World Trade Centre, close to the historic city centre of Dresden. The institute will be closely collaborating in both research and training with its partner university, Technische Universität Dresden (TUD), in particular with the faculty of Environmental Sciences. Joint study programmes are currently under development. A twin institute to be established in Maputo, Mozambique is under preparation.
The ongoing and expected future changes in the global and regional climate, current land-use changes and substantial alterations of the demographic structure in and between urban and rural societies challenge the paradigms of sustainable development and integrated resources management. As one key feature and observable consequence of these changes, the global hydro cycle is accelerating. Water is not only a resource itself, but a potent dissolver and transport agent. As a consequence, soils, nutrients (e.g. phosphorus) and recyclable organic material and waste may migrate with water and ultimately can be lost in unwanted places like oceans and other recipient water bodies. Thus, sustainable use of the resources soil, water, and recyclable organic matter and fertilizers in wastes is of growing importance for mitigating and adapting to the future changes of climate, land-use and demography.
The complex relations between demands, resource availability and quality, and financial and physical constraints can only be considered through knowledge-based policies and professional practice. High priority is to be given to capacity development in order to generate and transfer knowledge using innovative methods.
The challenges outlined so far were the background against which the establishment of a new institute devoted to the integrated management of material fluxes and of resources was proposed. UNU-FLORES is supposed to extend and upscale the concept of integrated resource management by adopting a truly integrative perspective by explicitly considering interrelated resource (water, soil and waste) and by emphasizing fluxes of resources between phases and between compartments. Consequently, the integrated and interrelated assessment, tracing and management of the resources water, soil and waste, based on a coherent systems approach to flux analysis while considering conditions of global change in itself is considered a challenging but very promising task and an innovative concept, clearly requiring a global perspective.
Given that the overarching theme of UNU is sustainability, the topic of UNU-FLORES is at the heart of UNU´s overall aim to foster sustainable solutions to pressing issues that are the concern of the United Nations and its member states.
United Nations University
Institute for Integrated Management of Material Fluxes and of Resources
T: +49 351 892193 70