ACCTING - First Results and next steps

26. May. 2023

ACCTING relates to a fair Green Deal and its aim to do not leave anybody behind!

The ZSI is partner in ACCTING (AdvanCing behavioural Change Through an INclusive Green deal) produces knowledge and innovations to advance behavioural change for an inclusive and equal European Green Deal.

The ZSI leads the ACCTING Research line 2: Biodiversity and land use restrictions, we are exploring behavioural change appearing with the establishment of protected areas, with the aim to understand the match of biodiversity land use restrictions and socio-economic needs of vulnerable groups from a gender+ perspective. We cover in the Research Line 2 five countries: Bulgaria, Hungary, Portugal, Romania, Turkey and our researchers at ZSI cover the first two countries directly.

The first Research cycle consisted of a preparation pase, a fieldwork phase and an anylytical phase. During the fieldwork missions we have collected 50 narratives, in the analytical phase main findings of this work are:


Our analysis emphasises the significance of nature conservation, the role of policy and economy, the influence of traditional values, and concerns about the future. The findings highlight the challenges of overcoming barriers such as distrust and lack of understanding, underscoring the need for education and effective communication to drive positive change. Our research underscores the central role of individuals and communities in shaping a more sustainable future, stressing the importance of cooperation and coordination between different social groups and levels of government.

The main messages from our first research cycle are here summarised into five key issues:

  1. Nature and Awareness: Our findings highlight the importance of raising awareness about nature conservation through education and training. This holds true also for vulnerable groups in the society.
  2. Nature and Policy: We observed frustrations regarding inadequate policies and identified the potential of community-led initiatives and social media activism in bringing about environmentally-friendly policies. This also relates to the specific administrative setting in the covered countries.
  3. Nature and Economy: Our research reveals a conflict between short-term economic interests and long-term environmental values, with industrialisation and consumerism impacting smaller communities. Balancing the utilization of natural resources with preservation and conservation is crucial. Here tha trole of public goods has to be underlined (water bodies, meadows, forests etc)
  4. Nature and Society: We found that traditional practices and values play a crucial role in promoting environmentally conscious behavior. There is a sense of distrust and lack of understanding between different social groups and levels of government, hindering cooperation for nature protection. The traditional knowledge also relates to disaster preparedness and available knowledge.
  5. Nature and the Future: Our research indicates a general concern for the future and a desire for change, but hesitations exist depending on the situation (and relates to specific vulnerabilities). Climate change and environmental degradation are seen as having negative consequences for future generations. However, optimism prevails regarding the potential for positive change through individual and community actions, as well as policy-making.

Following the findings we are currently:

Developing recommendations related to valorising traditional knowledge ; define possible future research agendas that go beyond the current research directions or add to exisitng; specify our own research directions for the upcoming second research cycle in ACCTING! In addition we are preparing a call for applications and formulate the thematic directions in ToR´s.

Beyond this findings for this research line ZSI also contributed to two more research lines with leaders from Norway and Portugal.

Stay tuned for more results and the upcoming call planned to be announced in July and open till September 2023!

For more information please refer to the project members at ZSI, Martin Felix Gajdusek ( and Gabor Szudi (


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Tags: environment, gender equality, green deal, inclusion, nature, social inclusion

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