German Federal Agency for Nature Conservation (BfN)


Klaus Toepfer Fellowship Programme

Promoting excellence and leadership among emerging nature conservation leaders from Central and Eastern Europe, the Caucasus and Central Asia

At the International Academy for Nature Conservation. Klaus Toepfer Fellowship. Klaus Töpfer Fellowship.

The Klaus Toepfer Fellowship Programme aims to strengthen organisations from the nature conservation sector in Central and Eastern Europe, the Caucasus and Central Asia, by developing the personal capacity of early-career conservation professionals to overcoming global biodiversity loss. The training programme catalyzes personal capacity development through training on international best conservation practice and policy, management training, and personal network development.

Key features of the Klaus Toepfer Fellowship Programme:

  • The only extra-occupational training programme for established conservation professionals from both governmental and non-governmental organizations of the region
  • Putting a broad focus on biodiversity policy
  • Promoting professional excellence
  • Focusing on technical, management and leadership skills
  • Considering the ecological, historical and political linkages among the transition countries of the Eurasian region
  • Fostering a professional network in support of regional cooperation in biodiversity conservation
  • Combining highly interactive seminars held in English language, field trips and inter-sessional assignments, e-learning as well as a transfer project.

The Klaus Toepfer Fellowship Programme is implemented by the German Federal Agency for Nature Conservation (BfN) in partnership with IUCN, the CBD Secretariat, the Secretariat of the CMS, and UNEP-WCMC. Funding of the programme is provided by the Federal Ministry for Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety (BMU).


Due to the health concerns relating to the coronavirus (COVID-19), the modules planned for 2020 will take place online, with a modified module conception.

Logo of the Klaus-Toepfer-Fellowship