Interview with employee Alina Pfleghardt

The catastrophic damages to the environment, which are caused by excessive palm oil plantations in the tropics, were again discussed globally after the dramatic fires in Indonesia in autumn 2015.
Nonetheless, those are not the only consequences of the massive palm oil production: the consumer’s health is directly in danger, too. Glycidyl ester and 3-monochloropropanediol (3-MCPD) are contained in palm oil in significantly higher concentrations than in other vegetable oils. Both are generated during the processing of vegetable oils. A study by the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) confirmed the resulting health risks on 3rd of May.

Find out more about our employee Alina Pfleghardt. In the following interview, she explains why she dedicates herself to nature conservation in general and why she does so together with SAVE. Furthermore, she talks about her experiences at the congress concerning German development work in Bonn.

SAVE: What can you tell us about your personal and professional background?
Alina Pfleghardt: I grew up in Bavaria, in the South of Germany. After I have completed a dual study program in cooperation with the company Siemens and the university in Nürnberg, I continued working for the company for another year until I realized that due to ethical considerations I could not consider working in this area anymore. Now I study the interdisciplinary master program „Ethics – Economics, Law and Politics“ at the university in Bochum. It applies philosophy and ethics to central problems of economics, law and politics. Moreover, I am strongly committed to nature conservation through my work with SAVE.

SAVE: Why do you dedicate yourself to nature conservation?
Alina Pfleghardt: I always loved nature, already as a child and still today. I enjoy being in the mountains, either climbing or hiking. There you can easily see how beautiful and great our planet is, if only we respect it enough. Therefrom, I think, important responsibility results, which we should all bear. I have been a vegetarian for several years now and I am striving for a responsible lifestyle, which protects our environment as well as all living beings alike. Even the littlest things can be essential when it comes to preserving habitats, going easy on resources and consuming sustainably.

SAVE: And why exactly with SAVE?
Alina Pfleghardt: I work for SAVE because I am truly convinced that the foundation‘s nature conservation strategy – thanks to its holistic pillar structure – is a very successful conception. The four pillars „education“, „poverty relief“, „research“ and „direct measures“ allow effective nature and wildlife conservation in the short-, mid-, and long-term. For me the atmosphere at work is a decisive factor and that I am committed to the goals and visions of SAVE.

SAVE: Which work experience was the most exciting one for you lately?
Alina Pfleghardt: The congress about the German development work at the Gustav-Stresemann-Institut in Bonn was very interesting. There were participants of the United Nations (UNO), the Bundesministerium für wirtschaftliche Zusammenarbeit und Entwicklung (BMZ) and the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ). On the agenda was a discussion about the role of multilateral development work, the critical reflection of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by the UNO and the comparison of different approaches to cope with global poverty. The latter was particularly relevant for our work at SAVE. In general it is never boring to work for SAVE because of the diverse project landscape.