Ellen Brauers

picture-ellen What an honour to be part of the SDD community! Since I was a little girl I’ve been very interested in how people have an influence on the environment and the wellbeing of the earth. When I was 8 I made a ‘documentary’ (mainly imagination…) with my neighbourhood friend; we took our bikes to different places in town and photographed the garbage on the streets, in the forests and the rivers. Though this ‘documentary’ never received widespread attention (which is probably for the best) I knew back then, that when I would be older, I wanted to learn about environmental problems and how to solve them. Therefore I am delighted to take part in the SDD program and to learn as much as I can about environmental policy and sustainable development challenges.

I have a background in International Development Studies with a specialization in economics of development and management studies (Université de Bordeaux). Currently I am enrolled as a master student of International Development Studies, but my focus is shifted towards policy and governance. I am very interested in the way policy is created and especially how all kinds of actors at different levels come to an agreement. As environmental problems are not limited to borders, it is important to cooperate at the international level in the best possible way. Here lies a role for diplomacy as well, more specifically Sustainable Development Diplomacy.

My interests reach further than the environment only. When volunteering for the ‘Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom’ I discovered the importance of women’s empowerment as gender inequality still is part of the everyday lives of many women. Furthermore, I learned a lot about peace negotiations and the enormous high (social and economic) costs of war. Furthermore, during my bachelor thesis I discovered an interest for the governance of natural resources and the extent to which political actors are held accountable for sustainable use of natural resources.
All these interests are, in my eyes, connected. For instance, many conflicts arise because of a lack of well enforced property rights over natural resources in which gender roles play a role as well. I am very curious to find out more on these issues as well.

In short, I am very happy to start a new challenge and to learn as much as I can. Let’s see what the future will bring J