German Federal Agency for Nature Conservation (BfN)



A Asiatic wild ass or khulan crossing a previously blocked barrier | Photo: Kirk Olson/WCS

Putbus/Insel Vilm, 26 June 2020: After 65 years, migratory wildlife species in Mongolia have been able to use a newly established crossing to access previously blocked habitat. The International Academy for Nature Conservation Isle of Vilm from BfN was involved in the intensive consultation process with all stakeholders, which was the basis for implementing these changes. more

Cornelia Paulsch | Foto: Tobias Büttner

Putbus/Isle of Vilm, 24 June 2020. Northward bound: in mid-May Cornelia Paulsch, Ph.D. has taken up her new role as head of the staff unit "International Academy for Nature Conservation (INA), Administration Isle of Vilm". In this role, the biologist is responsible for the Academy’s activities, the conceptual and strategic development of the INA and the administration of the Isle of Vilm branch office of the Federal Agency for Nature Conservation. more 

Photo: Christoph Muster

Putbus/Isle of Vilm, 7 April 2020: Spider expert Dr. Christoph Muster made a rare discovery last week on the isle of Vilm: He was able to confirm the presence of the spider species Atypus affinis on the island. According to the biologist, the last evidence of this species in Mecklenburg-Vorpommern dates back more than 30 years.

Photo: Laura Sutcliffe / University of Göttingen

Bonn /Isle of Vilm, 01 April 2020: Species-rich cultural landscapes can best be preserved when nature conservation and agriculture go hand in hand. Demonstration farms for biodiversity are a good example. To ensure that this succeeds on a broad scale, stakeholders from agriculture and nature conservation jointly drew up five requirements at a workshop organised by the BfN at the INA in November 2019.

Photo: Torsten Kellermann / unsplash

Putbus/Isle of Vilm, 31 March 2020: In March, the International Academy for Nature Conservation Isle of Vilm (INA) in cooperation with the Institute for Agro-ecology and Biodiversity (IFAB) invited 18 students to Göttingen for the two-day introductory module of the university course "Agricultural Management and Biodiversity".

25 international students took part in an education programme  on the Isle of Vilm | Photo: BfN

Putbus/Isle of Vilm, 6 March 2020: 25 international students from various German universities took part in an education programme on international nature conservation on the Isle of Vilm, in the week of 23 to 29 February. The module offered by the International Academy for Nature Conservation (INA) is integrated as a compulsory or optional module in 17 master's courses at eleven German universities.

Participants of the workshop | © BfN

Putbus/Isle of Vilm, 6 February 2020: At the invitation of IUCN and INA, 42 experts discussed how guidelines on the quality and effectiveness of protected areas can be incorporated into the Post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework. The outcome paper of the workshop with concrete targets, minimum requirements, indicators and measurement methods will be fed into the international CBD negotiations.

Eastern Mongolian Steppe | Photo: Dr. Hans D. Knapp

Putbus/Isle of Vilm, 30 January 2020: Nature conservation experts from Germany and Mongolia discussed the prospects for nominating the Mongolian steppe as a UNESCO World Heritage Site from 26 to 27 January at the INA. As part of a project with the aim of securing the ecologically important steppes of Eastern Mongolia in the long term, the Michael Succow Foundation (MSF) invited to this expert workshop.

Daniela Danz | Photo: Nils-Christian Engel

Putbus/ Isle of Vilm, 15 January 2020: In January the writer Daniela Danz spends almost two weeks on the Isle of Vilm near Rügen Island and will experience the untouched and rough nature of the Baltic Sea island in winter. The writing residency at the International Academy for Nature Conservation is donated by the Federal Agency for Nature Conservation (BfN) as part of the German Prize for Nature Writing.

Participants of the Alumni meeting (Photo: Rati Japaridze)

Tbilisi, 29/10/2019. Graduates of the Klaus Toepfer Fellowship (KTF) came together from 25 to 29 October 2019 in Georgia g. The aim of the meeting organized by BfN was to strengthen the alumni network and to further expand capacities of the conservationists.

[Translate to en:] Blick zur Südspitze Vilms (Foto: J.Jabs-Ingenhaag, BfN)

Putbus/Isle of Vilm, 26/10/2019. Around 300 visitors defied the rainy weather on 12 October 2019 and accepted the invitation of the branch office of the Federal Agency for Nature Conservation to an autumn walk on the Isle of Vilm. There the guests had the opportunity to walk around the northern part of the island on their own and learn more about the island.

[Translate to en:] Screenshot Infoportal

Bonn, 21/10/2019. The "Infoportal Kirchenland" has emerged from a cooperation between the Federal Agency for Nature Conservation, the German Nordkirche (the Lutheran Church of Northern Germany) and the Michael Succow Foundation. It provides information on how areas owned by the Nordkirche can be managed in a way to promote biodiversity, and is intended to help curb the decline in biodiversity in agricultural landscapes.

[Translate to en:] Foto: Jutta Stadler

47 experts from all over Europe gathered in a workshop on Vilm Island (14.-18.10.2019) in preparation of the 23rd meeting of the Subsidiary Body on Scientific, Technical and Technological Advice (SBSTTA-23) to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD). They discussed the documents which will be negotiated at SBSTTA-23

Group photo of the members of the council (Photo: T.Keichel, BfN)

Vilm, 24/09/2019. In a work meeting held from 23 to 24 September 2019, the INA Advisory Council discussed the direction the academy is to take in the coming years. The president of the BfN, Prof. Beate Jessel, presented the development of BfN and INA in recent years.
The focus of discussions were the medium-term work programme and its relation to global developments, challenges and opportunities, particularly in the focal regions of the INA.

[Translate to en:] Gruppenarbeit im Masterkurs (Foto: K.Bockmühl, BfN)

Vilm, 19/09/2019. In September, the INA, in cooperation with the Institute for Agroecology and Biodiversity (IFAB), organised the four-day event "Nature Management on Agricultural Land - University Course for the Interface of Agriculture & Nature Conservation/Ecology". Eighteen students from all over Germany studying different disciplines in the field of agricultural sciences and nature conservation came to Vilm to learn how they can successfully cooperate with farmers in their future careers as nature conservation agricultural advisors.

[Translate to en:] UNEP-SC Stipentiaten (Foto: A.Lindner)

Vilm, 10/09/2019. Every year, young professionals from Asia, Africa and Latin America who work in environmental protection and nature conservation in their home countries receive scholarships from UNEP, UNESCO and BMU for a postgraduate training in environmental and nature conservation management at the Centre for International Postgraduate Studies of Environmental Management (CIPSEM) at the Technical University Dresden.

Group photo of the participants (Photo: G.Stolpe, BfN)

Vilm, 10/08/2019. Experts from diverse countries working for the German development cooperation came together in August 2019 for an intense workshop on ecosystem-based adaptation to climate change (EbA). The seminar addressed the fast growing interest and demand for such projects.

Photo: Harry Jonas

The IUCN World Commission on Protected Areas Task Force on Other Effective Area-based Conservation Measures hosted its 4th meeting of experts on Vilm Island (Germany) from 11-15 June 2019. The workshop was organized in collaboration with the Federal Agency for Nature Conservation Germany (BfN).

Logo German Prize for Nature Writing

German Nature Writing Award 2019 goes to Daniela Danz and Martina Maria Kieninger

Vilm, 29.08.2019 In 2019, the publishing house Matthes & Seitz Berlin will for the third time donate the German Prize for Nature Writing, endowed with 10,000 €, which is awarded annually to selected German-language authors. This year two authors will again be awarded the prize. The recipients in 2019 are Daniela Danz and Martina Maria Kieninger. A three-week writing stay on the Isle of Vilm at the International Academy for Nature Conservation of the Federal Agency for Nature Conservation, donated by the Federal Agency, is part of the prize. During their stays next year, the prizewinners will use the inspiring nature and beauty of the island for their own work and give public readings on Vilm.


[Translate to en:] Drei junge Teilnehmende diskutieren

Application for the fifth cycle of the Klaus Toepfer Fellowship Programme is now open. The extraoccupational training provides conservation professionals from Eastern and Central Europe, the Caucasus and Central Asia, essential technical knowledge as well as vital leadership skills and options for network building.


 Additional information on the programme

Monitoring on National Natural Heritage Sites

Thomas Stephan / © Bundesamt für Naturschutz

The National Natural Heritage stands for the initiative of the Federal Government to exempt federal-owned land of high nature conservation value from privatisation and to transfer it free of charge to the federal states, nature conservation organisations. Some of the NNE areas have remained with the Federal Government.

Photo: Holtmann

From Mid-June, the writer Sabine Scho will be inspired by the wild nature and graceful beauty of the Isle of Vilm for a total of three weeks. The writing visit is part of the German Prize for Nature Writing and is donated by the Federal Agency for Nature Conservation (BfN).


[Translate to en:] Logo: Transboundary Conservation Areas

Gland, June 04 2019
Actors involved in the initiation of cross-border protected areas can now download training documents and adapt them for their own workshops. The materials are intended to support actors in the planning, initiation and institutionalisation of such areas.

[Translate to en:] Foto: Olesya Petrovych

There is a great potential to create synergies for maintaining ecosystem services of peatlands. Peatlands play an important role for the protection of climate, biodiversity, prevention of floods etc. This is what the participants of the Workshop "Exploring Synergies for Peatlands - Detecting and enhancing the global importance of peatlands in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals", that took place from 21.-24. of May 2019 on Vilm, agreed on.

Spring forest of Vilm

Vilm, 02.05.2019 Year after year in spring, before the first soft green leaves of the beech trees and oaks of the forest of Vilm unfold, a magical miracle takes place on the small Baltic Sea island. Under the first warming rays of the spring sun, a charming carpet of flowers spreads on the forest floor.

Photo: Gisela Stolpe

The Target 11 Partnership aims to facilitate the achievement of Aichi Biodiversity Target 11 by October 2020 through decentralized implementation of focused actions, in a concerted manner, with comprehensive coordination among all relevant partners. 10 regional implementation support networks have been established to coordinate and align national activities, bring partners together and identify gaps and opportunities so that maximum possible progress is achieved.

Beate Jessel, President of the BfN and Patricia Zurita, CEO of BirdLife International signing the partnership agreement. (Picture: U. Euler)

On 24 April 2019, Patricia Zurita, CEO of BirdLife International, and Beate Jessel, President of the BfN, met in Bonn at the BfN premises and agreed to strengthen their collaboration.


[Translate to en:] Foto: Pauline Mische

Between 8 and 12 April 2019, Vilm became a forum for Privately Protected Areas when a seminar jointly organized by the IUCN WCPA Specialist Group on Privately Protected Areas and Nature Stewardship and the International Academy for Nature Conservation took place here.

Photo: Pauline Mische, BfN

This week, a joint workshop on the Saiga antelope of the Bonn Convention (CMS), the Washington Convention (CITES) and the BfN took place on Vilm.
Representatives of governmental and non-governmental organisations as well as veterinarians and scientists used the meeting to exchange about current population trends, threats and conservation approaches for the Saiga.

Last Change: 07/11/2019