Andreas Wilhelm Mues | 25.10.2016 | 4 pm

Society and Environment: Nature Awareness in Germany and the Role of Mindfulness

Picture: A. W. Mues. Source: C. Liepe, Fotostudio Lichtblick, Bonn
Picture: A. W. Mues. Source: C. Liepe, Fotostudio Lichtblick, Bonn

Public talk | 25.10.2016 | 16:00 - 17:30 | Uni Freiburg | Tennenbacher Str. 4, 79106 Freiburg, Germany | Herderbau, Room 400.


About: Andreas Wilhelm Mues (* 1981) is a Bonn based researcher in the fields of nature awareness, communication, nature conservation and ecology. He is holding Diploma degrees in biology and psychology. Andreas is working as a scientific officer for the Federal Agency for Nature Conservation since 2010: he is carrying out the Nature Awareness Studies of the Federal Ministry for the Environment and the Federal Agency for Nature Conservation as well as research and communication projects on environmental ethics and religions. Andreas is also part of the staff of the Nees institute for Biodiversity of Plants, Bonn. His PhD-project at the Nees institute is focusing on plant-pollinator communication and interaction and its function for the shaping of plant biodiversity.


Talk: The ‘Nature Awareness Studies’ of the Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Building and Nuclear Safety and the Federal Agency for Nature Conservation are a series of comprehensive surveys on the relative importance of nature, biodiversity and nature conservation in our society, carried out every two years with over 2,000 respondents. The results provide an important basis for communicating matters of nature conservation, both in general and to specific target groups.


One of the core building blocks of the surveys is the question of nature as a personal priority: the people in Germany demonstrate a strong appreciation of nature. In 2015, 94 percent of citizens take the view that nature is part and parcel of a good life. For 92 percent it means health and recreation, and 85 percent feel at home in the natural environment. Only 8 percent of citizens say that nature is alien to them.


While this holds true for the total average of the population in Germany, large differences emerge when results are differentiated and analyzed according to sociodemographic sub-groups and social milieus: it is mainly the socially advantaged milieus that have a particularly close relationship with nature while people belonging to socially weaker milieus often lack a sound relation to nature and only have limited access to its resources.


Is there a possibility that the concept of mindfulness might be helpful in bridging this gap and contribute towards social integration in society? Starting from this question, the public talk will discuss the relationship between mindfulness and nature awareness and present findings from psychological research. Recommendations for the communication with specific target groups will be given.


This seminar does not require registration. However, we would be very pleased if you would inform us about your possible visit here. The seminar will be held in English.