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Bundesamt für Naturschutz

About the INA

The Inernational Academy for Nature Conservation Isle of Vilm (INA) is a centre for capacity building and dialogue in global conservation. Our dedicated staff ensures inspiring and productive events.

A platform for dialogue

The International Academy for Nature Conservation Isle of Vilm (INA) is a centre for capacity building and dialogue on issues with relevance to nature conservation on national and international level. The unique natural setting of the academy and the transdisciplinary, international orientation of various workshops have attracted around 45,0000 people from 150 countries to Vilm since the establishment of the INA in 1990.

Our main focus

The INA provides a forum for ideas, capacity building and networking.

The Academy is a space to grow ideas and for interdisciplinary dialogue on fundamental issues of nature conservation. Meetings on Vilm generate momentum for and their results feed into the further development of international conventions and nature conservation concepts.

The INA is a recognised training centre in the field of nature conservation. It focuses, among others, on supporting actors in nature conservation from Eastern Europe, the Caucasus and Central Asia.

Promoting dialogue, building networks and forming new partnerships for nature conservation are core goals of the INA. A prerequisite for this is entering a dialogue based on mutual respect with representatives from sectors beyond nature conservation.

The Academy is part of a branch office of the German Federal Agency for Nature Conservation (BfN). The Academy and the central administration of the branch office Isle of Vilm form the staff unit "International Academy for Nature Conservation, Administration of Vilm".

People sit outside, one person presents content on a whiteboard
The unique nature of the island provides a place for productive and undisturbed work.


In a team of eleven committed employees, we design, organise and lead workshops, seminars and training courses, and also compile results and feed them into international discussions.


Dr. Cornelia Paulsch
Head of Department I 2.5 International Academy for Nature Conservation, Event Management, Administration of Vilm
+49 38301 86-110
Evelyn Rohde
Secretariat International Academy for Nature Conservation, Event Management, Administration of Vilm
+49 38301 86-146

Event planning team

Carmen Ahrend
Office Management Assistant
Office administrator
+49 38301 86-188
Annette Pahl
Biology laboratory technician, agricultural engineer for animal productio
Office administrator
+49 38301 86-138

Event design and facilitation team

Asja Bernd
M.Sc. Global Change Ecology
Scientific officer, current focus: postgraduate programmes, climate change, communication and public relations
+49 38301 86-157
Ute Feit
Scientific officer, current focus: law, digitalization, bioeconomy and youth participation
+49 38301 86-131
Andrea Höing
M.Sc. / M.I.N.C. Master of International Nature Conservation
Scientific officer, current focus: conservation in development cooperation, international nature conservation
+49 38301 86-115
Jutta Stadler
Diploma in Biology
Scientific officer, current focus: CBD, ipbes, climate change, health, Vilm summer academy
+49 38301 86-134
Andrea Strauss
Diploma in Landscape Ecology and Nature Conservation
Scientific officer, current focus: programme coordination Klaus Toepfer Fellowship, CMS
+49 38301 86-147

Additionally, 20 employees in administration, reception, kitchen, service, building services and boat service ensure your stay on Vilm is a pleasant one.


INA Advisory Board

The INA Advisory Board advises the BfN Directorate on the strategic orientation and further development of the Academy. The members of the INA Advisory Board bring their experience from research institutions, international and national non-governmental organisations, the private sector and the German Parliament.

In April 2012, the constituent meeting of the newly founded advisory board took place on the Isle of Vilm. The Advisory Board meets once a year and develops recommendations to advance the work of the INA and to ensure its quality.



The INA closely collaborates with different national and international organisations. They contribute their scientific expertise, practical experience and valuable contacts to experts in specific fields. This way, they not only contribute to the high quality of INA events, but also ensure that the results of workshops on Vilm are widely disseminated and applied in other forums and processes.


Through close cooperation with international organisations we can join forces and, therefore, be more successful in achieving the globally agreed nature conservation goals.

In 2006, BfN signed an agreement with the Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity (SCBD) and other nature conservation organisations to support the objectives of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) through training activities. This Memorandum of Understanding provides the basis for the Academy's activities in capacity building for the CBD.

Since 2016, the INA has been working with the Convention on Migratory Species (CMS) within joint 3-year work programmes, which build upon years of joint activities in the region. The collaboration focuses on the Central Asian Mammals Initiative (CAMI).

partnership agreement between BfN and the International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources (IUCN) was established in 2017. Joint activities of BfN with the IUCN World Heritage Programme and the IUCN Global Programme of Protected Areas form the core of the agreement. Within a 3-year work programme, the partners develop new methods, instruments and training courses related to protected areas and World Heritage together.

In 2019 BfN has formed a partnership agreement with BirdLife International. Since then, the two organisations plan to cooperate more closely, particularly to strengthen nature conservation organisations in Eastern Europe and Central Asia. BirdLife International is well connected with its national partner organisations in the region and strives to ensure the continuance of the efforts.

BfN and INA have been cooperating with the following organisations for many years in planning and implementing conferences and workshops together:

We also collaborate with many other associations, authorities, international organisations and scientific institutions in the planning and implementation of individual workshops.

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