Barbara Unmuessig is currently Co-President of Heinrich Böll Foundation and in this capacity in charge of the activities of the foundation in Latin America, Africa, Asia and the Middle East.
Her unique contribution to the environmental debate in Germany and beyond consists in linking environmental with development issues. Thus she successfully stressed that problems of environmental degradation, climate change, pollution etc. are not mere technical problems, which deserve technical solutions but political problems, which effect especially the lives of poor people in countries of the south and thus need political solutions.
In order to promote this approach and provide intellectual input, she was the founding member of the organisation "World Economy, Ecology & Development" (WEED) in 1990. As executive member of the board of WEED she developed this organisations as a think tank on globalisation issues, as a consultant for social movements and actors of civil society and active player in campaigns. The guiding principle of all those activities was to change economic and environmental policies in order to achieve sustainable development for all.
Barbara used her extensive knowledge on those issues a co-ordinator of the German environment and development organisations in the UNCED-process and participated actively in the Rio conference. In 1993 she co-founded the German NGO-Forum Environment and Development and became its spokeswoman till March 2002.
As Co-President of Heinrich Böll Foundation she is not only looking into the regional activities but put a lot of her energy in linking globalization and environmental with the gender issues. This is based on the understanding that economic and ecological problems can only be solved when gender relations are take into account.
Barbara Unmuessig Heinrich Böll Foundation Hackesche Höfe Rosenthaler Str. 40/41 10178 Berlin Germany