02.05.2016

IKI promotes nature awareness with projects around the world

Nursery of coffee seedlings

Coffee seedlings in nursery in Gojeb town. Photo: Bruno d’Amicis

On 27 April, Federal Environment Minister Barbara Hendricks joined Beate Jessel, President of the Federal Agency for Nature Conservation, to present a new study on nature awareness in Germany. The study shows that nature conservation is considered highly important by a majority of the German population. 93% of those surveyed consider it to be humanity’s duty to protect nature.
Building awareness of the value of nature is also an international focus of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), one of which is Germany. The first Aichi Biodiversity Target calls for people to be aware of the values of biodiversity and the steps they can take to conserve and use biodiversity sustainably.

The International Climate Initiative (IKI) of the Federal Environment Ministry (BMUB) supports the achievement of this target through a variety of projects around the world. The project Regional Child-Centred Climate Change Adaptation in South-East Asia aims to increase awareness primarily among young people about climate issues. Information about climate change should therefore be integrated into curricula in the Philippines, Thailand and Indonesia. In this way, children and adolescents will be able to share their knowledge with their families and communities in order to develop locally appropriate climate change adaptation measures. Plan International Germany has been commissioned by IKI to handle local implementation of this project in the three countries. The areas where Plan International is active are severely affected by extreme weather events such as floods, storm surges and landslides. The project areas located in the Philippines, for instance, were heavily damaged by Typhoon Haiyan in 2013. The development of strategies that can mitigate the impact of such catastrophes is therefore of vital importance for the people.

In the Bolivian city of La Paz, people are also feeling the impacts of climate change. Due to glacial melting, water supply is becoming an increasingly severe problem. Therefore, from 2011-2014 IKI supported the Project in La Paz in developing management plans for protected areas and creating environmental education programmes for civil society. The project helped to develop land use plans for the areas of Zongo and Hampaturi, and to establish a compensation mechanism fund. Local communities also signed an agreement on nature protection. The project was implemented by The Nature Conservancy (TNC), an environmental organisation, and supported by IKI with EUR 400,000.

In Ethiopia, IKI is supporting a project on Community-based Strategies for the Protection of Wild Coffee’s Region of Origin. The objective is to restore the cloud forests and wetlands of the Kafa Biosphere Reserve. Development and educational programmes are being developed in order to increase understanding of the unique biological diversity in the region. The project is being locally implemented by the Nature and Biodiversity Conservation Union (NABU) together with local partner institutions. IKI is supporting this work with EUR 2.4 million in funding.

In order to increase public awareness for best practice examples for environment and nature conservation, IKI supported the multimedia project “Global Ideas” in cooperation with Deutsche Welle. Short internationally broadcasted TV-reports display projects in developing and emerging countries that for example encourage the conservation of flora and fauna. With a multitude of multilingual multimedia elements and through the distribution on different platforms, the project reaches a worldwide audience, especially among internet users, and therefore contributes to nature awareness worldwide. The project was awarded prizes several times, including the UmweltMedienpreis 2015 of Deutsche Umwelthilfe in the category “online”.

In order to raise awareness about climate change and to further develop scientific methods and techniques, IKI and the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation are jointly awarding International Climate Protection Scholarships for Young Management Professionals from Developing and Emerging Countries. Nearly 60 scholarship recipients from 37 countries have already participated. During research stays in Germany, they focus for instance on rainwater usage regulations, global climate simulations and corporate sustainability strategies. 



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