Looking Back at 2016: Highlights of the Exhibition Environment, Conflict and Cooperation (ECC)

The ECC Exhibition at the Manipal University in Karnataka

- Political perspectives on sustainable transition in South America

- Debating environmental change at Almae Matres all around the world

-Reaching a wider audience: from coast dwellers to beachgoers

- Environmental conflict and cooperation: not a game… but a roleplay

- The ECC Exhibition - a valuable instrument of climate diplomacy


Political perspectives on sustainable transition in South America

For the first time, we showed the Exhibition in Spanish with a specific South America module, designed in cooperation with our partner from Quito, the Fundación Futuro Latinoamericano. Audiences in Chile and Peru received the Exhibition’s approach to the nexus of environment, climate and development with great interest.

In May, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) of Chile hosted the exhibition launch event in Santiago, organised together with the NGO Fundación Terram. The event attracted over a hundred participants, demonstrating that the international dimension of environmental and climate change is highly relevant: Chilean foreign policy, defence and environmental decision makers, representatives of several other Latin American countries, Germany and the USA, as well as members of civil society attended the opening.


The ECC Exhibition at Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Chile

The ECC Exhibition at Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Chile | © Fundación Terram/adelphi


The Ambassador of Germany, Rolf Schulze, and high-ranking representatives of the MFA Chile called for ambitious climate action internationally and in Chile in order to speed up a sustainable transformation.

“There is no doubt that the impacts of climate change on our development models will be very profound. A transition towards a sustainable pathway of economic development […] requires structural changes in our consumption and production patterns. […] All the areas human co-existence will be affected by the consequences of climate change. This is why it’s an important topic for all of us. I hope that the Exhibition can contribute to increasing the interest in it.” Rolf Schulze, Ambassador of Germany in Santiago de Chile

After two weeks at the MFA, the legislative branch took its turn. The modules travelled to Valparaíso and were installed at the National Congress of Chile, with support by Deputy Vlado Mirosevic and Senator Antonio Horvath.


The ECC Exhibition at the National Congress of Chile, Valparaíso | © Fundación Terram/adelphi


The year ended with the closing event of the Exhibition in Lima at the Pontifical Catholic University of Peru. Thanks to our co-organisers Sociedad Peruana de Derecho Ambiental and the university organisation Clima de Cambios, over 50 participants got the chance to discuss the role of international cooperation in the low-carbon economic transition with the former Minister of Environment of Peru, Manuel Pulgar-Vidal.


Panel discussion at the closing event in Lima at the Pontifical Catholic University of Peru (PUCP). Manuel Pulgar-Vidal highlights the importance of the Paris Agreement, as well as implementation challenges. | © Sociedad Peruana de Derecho Ambiental (SPDA)/adelphi


“In Peru, we need to start now to build a pathway to become a carbon-neutral country by 2050. We need to create a vision for a carbon-neutral economy. […] The state needs to understand climate change as a cross-cutting issue.” Manuel Pulgar-Vidal, Climate and Energy Lead, WWF and former environmental minister of Peru

Debating environmental change at Almae Matres all around the world

We have always collaborated actively with universities, and 2016 was no exception. Academic debate, as well as raising awareness about the socio-political impacts of environmental degradation among students continues to be the backbone of our initiative. These events were accompanied by discussions on environmental and energy security, interconnections of climate change with the Exhibition topics like water, energy and extractive resources.

The Manipal University in Karnataka organised a series of seminars, lectures and documentary screenings, giving students a comprehensive overview of the most topical and contested environmental issues in India. Involving prominent experts from Manipal and across the country, the Exhibition series provided a unique space for discussing these topics.


Exhibition in the hall of the Kasturba Medical College at the Manipal University | © Dhanasree Jayaram/adelphi


In cooperation with the University of Queensland, Brisbane, we organised the first exhibition event in the Pacific region. The new module on Pacific Islands had been co-designed with the University of the South Pacific. This part of the Exhibition reflects on the dire impact of climate change on the small island states with political implications far beyond them.

I haven't been focussing much on environment related aspects in my research in geopolitics. But the programme made me realise how important it is for geopolitics, and has therefore made me think more about the growing scope of the area. The exhibition, I should say, was quite attractive and different from the normal ones I have been to.” – Exhibition visitor, Department of Geopolitics and International Relations, Manipal University

At the Beijing University of Technology, high-level representatives of the university, the Chinese Society for Sustainable Development and the Chinese Society for Corrosion and Protection gathered on the occasion of the fifth anniversary of the Exhibition in China. In his keynote speech during the event, adelphi’s Managing Director Alexander Carius drew attention to the compound climate and fragility risks, based on the the findings of the G7-commisioned report A New Climate for Peace (2015).



Reaching a wider audience: from coast dwellers to beachgoers

Throughout the year, we displayed the Exhibition in different contexts in order to reach audiences beyond politics and science communities. To support European public diplomacy, the Exhibition was shown during the EU Climate Diplomacy Week in the public park Herastrau in Bucharest. It completed a wide spectrum of activities that engaged inhabitants of the Romanian capital in discussions, workshops and competitions, all organised by Environ Association and the Embassy of Germany in Bucharest with the support of the European Commission Representation in Romania. In 2015, the Exhibition had already visited Eastern Europe – back then as part of the activities by the German Embassy in Sofia.



Both in Chile and Peru, the ECC stories and messages were not only presented to national decision makers and academia, but also received public acclaim at the municipalities of Puchuncaví on Chile’s coast and of Los Olivos (a district in Lima, Peru).

Last but not least, 40,000 visitors of the Naturerbe Zentrum Rügen, a centre for environmental education, got the chance to see the Exhibition in German in summer 2016. The island Rügen located in the Baltic Sea is a popular tourist location in Germany.

Environmental conflict and cooperation: not a game… but a roleplay

Even though the touring Exhibition is available in five different languages and has six regional modules, it is far from omnipresent. Since 2015, the online version was launched to expand its reach.


screenshot, ECC Exhibition, online
A screenshot of the ECC Exhibition online.
A screenshot of the ECC Exhibition online.


To make the most of this advantage, we have developed a roleplay for which the participants work with the exhibition material on their mobile devices. By slipping into the different actors’ roles, participants can experience the connections between natural resources, environmental change and conflict. Submerging in a fictional scenario they understand how shared natural resources can be both a potential source of conflict as well as a point of departure for dialogue and cooperation.

We inaugurated the roleplay in August 2016, in Berlin, with international high-school students as part of the Elbe Green Summer Session organised by AFS Interkulturelle Begegnungen e.V. The lively two-hour discussion revealed much enthusiasm and surprising negotiating skills. Participants named the roleplay as one of the highlights of the session.


Participants of the ECC Exhibition roleplay in Berlin during the final negotiation phase | © AFS Interkulturelle Begegnungen e.V./adelphi


The concept was adapted to the case of the Western Ghats by Manipal University. As a result, participants co-authored an article reflecting on the Western Ghats conflict and opportunities to solve it for the ECC Platform.


Participants of the roleplay on the Western Ghats, based on the ECC Exhibition | © Dhanasree Jayaram/adelphi


The ECC Exhibition - a valuable instrument of climate diplomacy

Last year, the Exhibition was shown in versatile settings and discussed by different audiences. The regional expertise and efforts of our partners as well as support by the speakers and interest of the event participants made the 2016 exhibition journeys a success. Offering a chance to come together, debate and generate ideas, it proves to be a well-received means of climate diplomacy to reach out to politics, science, young people and the general public. As new ECC issues emerge, political frameworks develop and discussion of problems and appropriate solutions continues, we will seek to reflect the state of the art in the Exhibition modules and accompanying events. Climate change links to food security, migration and urbanisation are on our radar for 2017, so stay tuned for updates!


Explore the ECC Exhibition online! If you are interested in showing the Exhibition or organising a roleplay based on the online version, please find more information here.

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