Information for employers
The Programme is funded by the German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Nuclear Safety and Consumer Protection (BMUV) and implemented by the Federal Agency for Nature Conservation (BfN) in cooperation with IUCN, CBD, CMS, UNEP-WCMC and other international partners.
The training programme catalyzes capacity development through training on international best conservation practice and policy, management training, and the development of personal networks. It is aimed at professionals with strong leadership skills and encourages them to get involved and contribute to the development of their own organisations. The Fellowship is open to early-career conservation professionals (Government, NGOs, Academia or similar), from Central and Eastern Europe, the Caucasus and Central Asia.
The 18-month course consists of four extra-occupational training modules and assignments between the modules. Two of the modules take place on the Isle of Vilm, Germany, including 10 days of on-site training and a two-day excursion to leading nature conservation institutions and sites based in Germany, each. Two modules take place online. Training language is English. The modules combine joint learning on key conservation topics with management and leadership training:
- Module Informing Conservation
- Module Conservation Management in a Spatial Contex
- Module Conservation Economics and Financing
- Module Conservation Governance and Policy
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, while financial support to project implementation is not possible.
Participants will receive free board and accommodation at the training venue and during excursions, as well as a contribution towards their travel expenses for the modules held on Vilm island. Health insurance during stays in Germany and visa application fees will also be covered by the programme. Nevertheless, participants have to make a contribution towards their travel expenses. The proportion of expenses to be covered by participants or their home organizations is based on a scheme, which relates to the gross domestic product of the respective countries. For example, a participant from Georgia has to pay 130 € for transport costs for all modules.
Information for nominating and supporting organisations
In order to apply for the Klaus Toepfer Programme, applicants must be authorised to participate by the institution at which they are currently working through a nomination letter and an endorsement letter. Applicants also have to submit a letter of endorsement from the institution or other reference persons active in the field of nature conservation.
The nomination letter may only be completed by the candidate's employer. It serves as confirmation of the employer institution's support and approval of the candidate. After signing the nomination application form, the employer confirms that the candidate will be released from his/her duties during the participation in four modules (each module consists of 12 days). Between the training modules, the employer will also take into account the candidate's requirement to complete additional assignments and to work on the transfer project.
The institution where the applicant is currently employed and another reference person complete a letter of endorsement in order for the applicant to be selected for the programme. The letter should contain the following information: Main responsibilities, experience, qualifications and motivation of the applicant, and a description of the applicant's leadership potential. The letter should clearly state why the applicant is recommended to participate in the programme and how that would benefit the applicant's institution.