German Federal Agency for Nature Conservation (BfN)


Module 1: 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 However, many conservation professionals find it difficult to find this support since information is often outdated, monitoring systems are non-functional, and available data are stored in inaccessible formats and not used effectively for decision making and communication. Module 1 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, and the ability to monitor and recognize relevant changes in the status of biodiversity are prerequisites for effective conservation activities, and are taught during the module. The module also familiarizes the participants with international best practice on national biodiversity monitoring, including underlying methods and tools such as indicator systems, Red Lists and related schemes. The module also covers knowledge and information management in general, as well as communication and media relations, and conservation planning and adaptive management.

In the first module participants have the opportunity to

  • Acquire or develop the necessary 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. They will be enabled to place the biodiversity of their own sphere of work into a global context and to identify and close knowledge gaps.
  • Develop their skills in the assessment and monitoring of biodiversity including its distribution, trends and influencing factors, familiarize themselves with successful national biodiversity monitoring systems and explore the uses of biodiversity information. They will also learn and/or improve their use of practical tools, databases and methods for researching and managing information in support of conservation programmes.
  • Deepen their understanding of communication as a strategic management area and develop their communication 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.

Technical training areas

  • Basic concepts and terms of biodiversity and ecosystems; distribution of biodiversity; trends, triggers and root causes of biodiversity loss; basic concepts and intervention strategies in biodiversity conservation.
  • Methods for the description and evaluation of biodiversity (IUCN Red List of Threatened Species, analysis of key biodiversity areas, important plant areas, important bird areas etc., ecosystem based site prioritization schemes) and their application.
  • National biodiversity monitoring (international commitments on biodiversity monitoring, OECD DPSIR model, international best practice in data collection, analysis and presentation/publication, examples of monitoring systems from transition countries).
  • Using monitoring information in policy, management and communication.

Management training areas

  • Information and knowledge management (research methods and tools, documentation of information, online tools for knowledge management, people-based knowledge networks).
  • Strategic conservation planning and adaptive management with the CMP Open Standards and MIRADI.
  • Communication and public relations management (presentation and media skills, internet based communication tools, use of social networks).
  • Support to the design, finalization and initiation of transfer projects (agreement on focus, scope and structure, work planning etc.).

Photo: BfN

Logo of the Klaus-Toepfer-Fellowship-Programme

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