German Federal Agency for Nature Conservation (BfN)


Programme structure

The 18-month course consists of four 12-day extra-occupational training modules on the Isle of Vilm, Germany, and assignments between the modules. Each module includes ten days of on-site training and a two-day excursion to leading nature conservation institutions based in Germany. Training language is English.The modules combine joint learning on key conservation topics with management and leadership training.

The 18-month course consists of four 12-day extra-occupational training modules on the Isle of Vilm, Germany, and assignments between the modules.

Informing Conservation

Participants will get to know pathways for obtaining solid baseline information needed for decision making in biodiversity conservation. This includes trends, triggers and root causes of biodiversity loss, and the ability to monitor and recognize relevant changes in the status of biodiversity. The module also familiarises the participants with international best practice on national biodiversity monitoring, including underlying methods and tools such as indicator systems. It also covers knowledge and information management for biodiversity conservation, as well as communication and media relations, and strategic conservation planning and adaptive management.

More information

Conservation Economics and Financing

The module will introduce innovative financing instruments for conservation measures and assist the fellows in exploring their applicability and potential benefits. The growing understanding of the link between biodiversity and economic development is reflected in the studies on The Economics of Ecosystems and Biodiversity (TEEB), which will be also introduced. The module will be complemented by a practical training on fundraising and proposal writing.

More information

Conservation Management in a Spatial Context

The module familiarises the participants with international standards for protected areas, best practice for protected area management and methods to measure and improve the effectiveness of protected areas. The fellows will look at governance and stakeholder participation as important emerging themes in the protected area field. The module will also introduce approaches and methods to plan protected area systems and ecological networks in a systematic way, and to use landscape planning to integrate conservation objectives into the planning and management of 100 percent of the landscape.

More information

Conservation Governance and Policy

The module will address relevant governance structures and processes at local, national and global level. With regard to the local level, innovative participatory governance frameworks to support sustainable natural resources management will be introduced, and their potential applicability to their region discussed by the fellows. Current trends in national conservation governance and policy will be examined through the lens of current policy and legal reform processes in the region. In this context, the participants will also look into Biodiversity-related Multilateral Environmental Agreements (MEAs), such as the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), and their national implementation. Additionally, the module will comprise a negotiation training.

More information

Transfer project and additional assignments

As part of the programme, participants will develop a transfer project with relevance to the work of their home institution. The transfer project, once implemented, is expected to improve the effectiveness of their organisation or project. It should address a technical or management challenge that the home institution is facing and suggest solutions or innovative ways how to overcome this. Participants will receive assistance and technical input by trainers and mentors throughout the entire elaboration process.

During intervals between the modules, participants will be expected to work on their transfer projects and fulfil additional assignments such as e-learning units and work on case studies. The work on transfer projects and additional assignments will require approximately 350 hours of work by participants in between the modules in total.

Due to the health concerns related to the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), the first module of the current programme cycle, planned for March 2020, had to be cancelled. The module conception is being adapted accordingly.

The current module dates are:

20 August – 7 September 2020 (online module)

15–26 March 2021 (online module)

21 August – 3 September 2021

7-18 March, 2022


Photo: T. Garstecki

Logo of the Klaus-Toepfer-Fellowship-Programme

Strategic Partners