Christina Mumm introduces herself
Four questions for Christina Mumm, who joined corsus as a consultant in November 2021:
What did you do before you came to corsus?
Most recently, I worked in the field of renewable energies and sold small wind turbines to dairy farmers in Northern Germany. I have been responsible for all processes from acquisition to expert assessments, construction planning, and building applications up to the installation of the turbines. In earlier years, I studied biology in Hamburg and Ulm, with a focus on behavioural research. This allowed me to do wonderful and highly memorable trips to the most remote places in the world. I took care of confiscated new world monkeys in the Ecuadorian jungle. Later on I conducted a research project on giant otters in the heart of the Peruvian Amazon. I do not want to miss these experiences and I appreciate the opportunity and the privilege of realizing this kind of work. Afterwards, I wanted to focus on nature conservation and ecology in Germany. However, I only did this on a voluntary basis and attended further education in geographical information systems proceed in my career. Now that I finally arrived at corsus, I am very happy.
corsus advises on sustainability. What do you associate with sustainability?
For me, sustainability is the creation of values and foundations that have a long-term impact and benefit everyone. For me, “all” actually includes all living beings, even though as a zoologist I feel most connected with mammals. The question must be how we as humanity can manage to escape the traditional and outdated concept of the “tragedy of the commons” in a creative and adaptable way, towards a community that truly cares for everyone.
The idea of sustainability can only be realized through a combination of nature conservation, environmental protection, and social justice. Poverty and education are an enormously important factor in this context. From a family receiving social benefit, I will not ask to buy organic food items for several € if there is the conventional alternative for less than one € in the supermarket. But we need to thoroughly revise this extreme discrepancy: how can it be that food, products in general, that have been produced extremely unfair and in an exploitative manner, continue to be cheap and bought en masse, while at the same time, many if not most people want sustainable production and the well-being of humans and animals to be taken into account.
Another aspect is that jobs and value can be created by protecting nature. Organic agriculture needs more employees, protected areas need rangers and management, there is a huge market in product and material recycling, innovations in degradable materials need research, and so on.
Last but not least, if we humans ruin this planet, we ourselves will also become extinct. So, one could also approach the matter from a purely selfish point of view. But there is no other solution than taking action.
Is there an issue that is particularly close to your heart?
The acute threats of climate change, species extinction, pollution and land consumption can feel so overwhelming that one would rather bury their metaphorical heads in the sand, or even take refuge in unrealistic sideshows. That’s exactly what I don’t want. I want to encourage all people that everyone can do something. That each of our actions has consequences and that it is time to take responsibility. Whether this happens through own consumer behavior, political commitment or knowledge transfer, everybody can decide his or her contribution according to own preferences and abilities. Doing good together is fun and rewarding.
What are you working on at corsus right now?
I am working on two big projects so far. I accompany a moderation process for the creation of basic guidelines for future development of a marshland area in the district of Minden-Lübbecke. A solution is sought which is shared by all stakeholders. On one hand, there are already protected areas, on the other hand, intensive agriculture is taking place. In this area of tension, it is a challenge to create a shared vision. Therefore, corsus comes in as a neutral consultant. For me, it is exciting to have the conversations, to get to know the different actors and the landscape and to develop strategies on how to meet the diversity of needs without losing sight of the overall goal. So far, I have a very positive impression and believe that this is going to be a constructive and productive process.
The second project is promoted by the German ministry of environment and is called “Climate Impacts of Food”. It is about the creation of a globally applicable communication tool on environmental impacts of food. I am reviewing literature, sound out the current state of research and look for state of the art methods. We will conduct exemplary studies in three partner countries and I am responsible for our partner region South Africa. It fills me with positive excitement and joy to be part of such a large and significant project.