German Federal Agency for Nature Conservation (BfN)


Informing conservation

Decision making for biodiversity conservation and sustainable natural resources management needs to be supported by information on the distribution, trends and drivers of biodiversity. However, many conservation professionals find it difficult to find this information, since it is often outdated, monitoring systems are non-functional, and available data are stored in inaccessible formats and not used effectively for decision making and communication. This module of the programme supports the participants to develop solutions to overcome these challenges.

A strong baseline knowledge about biodiversity and ecosystems, triggers and root causes of biodiversity loss, the ability to monitor, recognize and communicate relevant changes in the status of biodiversity and to plan strategic conservation responses are prerequisites for effective conservation activities. While all fellows have basic and often extensive conservation knowledge, this module familiarizes them with current international best practice methods and tools.

In the first module participants have the opportunity to

  • Acquire or refresh their baseline knowledge about basic terms and concepts of biodiversity and ecosystems, their distribution, as well as threats to biodiversity and ecosystems including their root causes.
  • Place the biodiversity concept of their own field of work into a global context and to identify and close knowledge gaps.
  • Develop their skills in the assessment (e.g. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species, key biodiversity areas, important plant areas, important bird areas etc., ecosystem-based site prioritization schemes) and monitoring of biodiversity including its distribution, trends and influencing factors.
  • Familiarize themselves with successful national biodiversity monitoring systems (e.g. OECD DPSIR model) and explore the uses of biodiversity information.
  • Learn and/or improve their use of practical tools, databases and methods for researching and managing information in support of conservation programmes.
  • Get to know strategic conservation planning and adaptive management with the Conservation Standards and MIRADI.
  • Deepen their understanding of communication as a strategic management area and develop their media and presentation skills.
  • Take a final decision about the theme and work plan of their transfer projects and prepare a first outline of their contents.


An excursion will lead the fellows to the official opening of the programme at the Ministry of Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety (BMU) in Berlin and on questions of biodiversity monitoring to Rügen island.

Photo: BfN

Logo of the Klaus-Toepfer-Fellowship-Programme

Strategic Partners