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Western regional congress 2023

24 April 2023 to 29 April 2023



With an ongoing change in our climate european weather has become more and more unpredictable in recent years. As extreme weather events will occur increasingly it is time for societies to face those challenges. We are in urgent need to adapt and
Prepare for the Extreme!

Climate change is incredibly multifaceted and present everywhere – severe weather events, crisis management, urban planning, renewable energies, monitoring systems, tourism, agriculture and emissions are just a few examples. During the congress, we will discuss these challenges in more detail from selected geographical perspectives while the workshops and excursions offered will provide the broadest possible coverage of contexts.


In order to have a direct look at the consequences of climate change WRC23 will take place in Thuringia Forest. In this unique mountainous region in central Germany influences by extreme weather events have been visible for a few years already. With the forest being composed of mainly coniferous trees it is highly impacted by heat waves and droughts and therefore has been facing a massive bark beetle invasion. In addition to that, the region has been facing tremendous economical and societal changes in the past four decades after German reunification. Rural depopulation, sectoral unemployment or sustainable urban development strategies are only a few issues the Thurnigia Forest is confronted with.

Our accommodation will be Ferienpark Thüringer Wald, a beautiful situated recreational park directly in the forest next to the small town of Schalkau. With cozy dorms, plenty of seminar rooms, an assembly hall and a small restaurant attached this accommodation provides everything for a magnificent congress.

Im Waldgrund 1
Schalkau, Thuringia 96528 Germany
+ Google Map
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workshops & Excursions


The workshop will address the question if whether climate change is responsible for the latest natural disasters. We will look at historical and current events and derive connections and differences. Also a look at the origin and the (geographical) conditions of the region are very interesting.

In our workshop ‘PrepR for the X-treme’ our main topic is the increase in temperature and how it affects forest ecosystems, for example through droughts. We analyse these effects by using remote sensing data in combination with the programming language R in a beginner-friendly manner (no programming experience required). If you are looking to improve your data analysis skills, learn about remote sensing or look into forest ecosystems, this is the workshop for you!

Our cities, fragile by nature and by design, have created some of the greatest challenges facing humanity. Rapid urbanization raises the question of adaptability to future social, environmental, technological and economic changes, as most of the population is expected to settle in urban agglomerations. In this workshop we will have a look at the challenges cities are currently facing in a rapidly changing world and what kind of proactive measures are required to not only survive, but prevail.

Climate change causes sea levels to rise and increases the frequency and severity of extreme weather events. Recent catastrophes such as Ahr-River-Valley demonstrate the importance of understanding risk and exposure to flood and measures of mitigation, protection and adaption. In this workshop, we’ll figure out what makes an area prone to damage by flood and the struggle of flood-proofing settlements. Let’s try out a range of tools from QGIS to collaborative planning that can help you to make your community more prepared for the extreme.

Have you ever wanted to take part in a Model United Nations-like discussion? In this workshop you will have the opportunity to train your discussion skills by representing a european nation in a political debate on green policy in Europe. You will receive input on discussion techniques, research arguments and facts on green policy and your respective nation’s interests and, finally, apply all this in a full-on debate in the final session.

The workshop “Climate Adaptation Strategies in Tourism” aims to examine the impacts of climate change on tourism and discuss some solutions. During the workshop, participants will recognize the risks of climate change, understand the current trends in climate adaptation in tourism, develop strategies for climate adaptation measures, and develop an action plan.


This hike is guided by a local expert and includes a cave tour. You will get specific information about our surrounding area and its geological underground as a climate archive.

You will focus on the local environmental impacts. Your guide is an agricultural biologist who will point out connections between ecology and different factors like drought, warming, water deficit, monocultures and large-scale projects such as the nearby ICE route.

City of arms and peace, immense population decline and senior-friendly “health resort” – hardly anywhere else in Germany such great contrasts manifest themselves as in the socialistically transformed former mining and porcelain town of Suhl in the “Green Heart of Thuringia”.

During this excursion we will look for historical traces and discuss questions of future urban development with regard to identity, sustainable climate adaptation strategies and social resilience.

The Hard Hike is our longest hiking route and has been a congress tradition for years. Together we will walk part of the Rennsteig, an historic long distance ridge walk. First we’ll take the bus to our starting point from where we’ll walk back to our accommodation. Of course, there will be a bit of thematic input.

You will visit a bog together with a professor from the University of Jena. On the basis of a bore core with sediments and pollen contained in it, the regional climate and environmental history can be reconstructed.

How did people live in the Thuringian Forest in earlier times, when the environmental conditions were rough and harsh and technical possibilities of modern society did not yet exist? The excursion explores this question through the many traces and relics that can still be found in the region of the conference venue today. These include mills, gold and slate mining, glass production and cottage industry. The single points will be reached by minibuses, shorter walks included.

Travel details

Train: In Schalkau there is a regional train station with connections towards Grimmenthal/Erfurt or Sonneberg/Coburg/Bamberg where you will have further connections to intercity trains. Please fill in this form on your travel details. 

Bus: There are a number of bus stops in the region. Howether, direct access to Schalkau by bus is not possible. You would have to change to a train at some point during your journey. 

Car: Schalkau is reachable by car via Autobahn 73. If you plan on coming by car and there are still free seats you can fill in this form, so that other EGEANs can join the ride.  

Bike: Schalkau is located close to the european bike track “Green Belt”, which runs along the former inner German border. If you choose to come by bike you will not only travel green but also on historic grounds!





Registration will be open until the 12th December 2022.

In case of financial suppport needed please consider applying for Support Fund during the registration period.

Follow the WRC23 instagram and facebook page to not miss out on any new information.

$120.00 Participant Fee WRC23

EGEA Berlin

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EGEA Halle

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  1. Bummer about the new website is that one cannot look who is attending as well to get yourself hyped up even more for the congress. It is understandable though. Whatever the case, I’m signed up. ^^

    1. Répondez s’il vous plaît – Respond, if you please -> basically your answer on whether you are coming to an event or not (or in this case whether you’re interested in attending it) 🙂

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