The Man-Society-Environment Programme encompasses various aspects of the sustainable management of resources. One facet includes projects on the protection and the sustainable use of water and aquatic ecosystems. Additionally, considerable research is being undertaken in the field of fish and other aquatic organisms. Another facet of the programme focuses on the topics of consumption and energy. Interdisciplinary as well as transdisciplinary approaches characterise our research and teaching. The Man-Society-Environment programme heads the transfaculty “Sustainable Development” programme (TQNE) and is in charge of the natural sciences courses for the Master's degree in Sustainable Development MSD at the University of Basel.
In 1986, large amounts of agrochemicals entered the Rhine following a fire in the Sandoz storehouses in Schweizerhalle (german), resulting in a massive disturbance of the aquatic ecosystems downstream. The Man-Society-Environment Programme was founded in 1992 as part of the efforts to come to terms with this incident. The programme (german) offered a wide range of interdisciplinary, applied approaches to environmental issues and sustainability in terms of training as well as research. The programme was incorporated into the University of Basel in 2005. Today, it is part of the department of environmental sciences.