How much of the German forest can we still save? Together with Staatsoper Berlin, iHeartBerlin is trying to find a constructive solution through our new event series Sustainable Listening. Check out the recap of the climate performance from early January.
Last summer was considered a so-called forest fire summer. That year alone almost, 4300 hectares of forest were destroyed in large fires throughout Germany. Of course, many of these were hectares around Berlin, for example, in the Berlin Grunewald, where in August 2022 a blast from ammunition caused the accidental destruction of about 42 hectares.
But even without natural disasters, drought and heat are huge problems for forests and urban trees. 40% of Berlin’s forest area currently shows significant damage with no prospect of improvement. The last summers were the warmest and sunniest since the start of the weather recording. Fortunately, there are already people who are actively dealing with these issues and trying to develop tangible solutions. And these people urgently belong on the stage. So that others can learn about their ideas and exchange thoughts with them.
That’s why we have launched the Sustainable Listening concert series with the Staats Oper Berlin. In this event, climate experts and visionary minds from Berlin join forces with musicians from the Staatskapelle and the DJ duo Gebrüder Teichmann. Together they will create an evening full of music and ideas about our ecosystems in the face of the climate catastrophe.
After the first episode about how to save the ocean, the second event about the forest took place at the beginning of January. As a climate expert, Ole Seidenberg told us more about his ideas. The co-founder of the startup Skyseed started with the vision of being able to reforest dying forests with climate-resistant species via drones. But the startup quickly found that their original idea didn’t really pan out. True, the drones did a good job of distributing seeds over the dying areas. But no trees grew from them, because rain washed them away or animals ate them. The interrupted natural cycle of death and regeneration was not so easily solved by a drone flight.
Their new approach: Instead of planting trees, they first want to let the undergrowth, shrubs and bushes grow again to give the small trees enough protection from weather and animals. It remains to be seen whether this approach will work. And it was precisely this openness to talk about how many trials and failures we will all face in our efforts to combat climate change that made Ole Seidenberg’s keynote so honest and thoughtful. Our nature is not a company, nor a business case, which has to be optimized in order to be back in shape. If we want to save the forest, we have to try a lot and must not give up so fast. That is for sure!
The spoken contributions alternated with sounds of clarinets, French horns and percussion instruments. Final highlight was the minimalist piece by Steve Reich “Music for pieces of Wood”. Electronic interventions came again from the Gebrüder Teichmann, who added a few dystopian touches to the harmony of the classical music. At the bar you could get a Co2 neutral beer from BRLO for a donation. This Berlin-based company is also always trying new ways to act as carbon-neutral as possible.
This recap is also a way for us to say thanks to the participating artists, to Ole Seidenberg from Skyseed and BRLO and German Zero and to all the other supporters and sponsors that made this event possible.
By the way, the next episode of Sustainable Listening is very soon: On 13.4. it is about sun and wind and the question of how we get away from fossil fuels. You can already buy tickets here.
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