Minister Gabriel welcomes new fellowship programme for climate protection

Federal Environment Minister Sigmar Gabriel has welcomed the announcement by the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation that it will grant International Climate Protection Fellowships to prospective leaders from newly industrialised and developing countries. "Ecology and economy are not mutually exclusive. Green business is the success model of the future. I am delighted that future decision-makers will be researching and working in Germany in the field of climate and resource protection, and will be able to take valuable experience and know-how back to their own countries", commented Minister Gabriel. Helmut Schwarz, President of the Humboldt Foundation noted, "We want to strengthen expertise and awareness in particular in those countries that will be most drastically affected by the impacts of climate change, or indeed already are. The aim is to create a network in which know-how and technology from Germany meet commitment and expertise in newly industrialised and developing countries."

Each year up to twenty fellows will be sponsored to come to Germany for a year. They will be based at German universities or other suitable institutions and will conduct projects in the field of climate and resource protection geared to the exchange of knowledge, methods and techniques. This will lead to a network in which German and foreign experts can cooperate on a long-term, international basis to combat climate change and its consequences, especially in the fellows' own countries.

Participants will be offered a broad programme including language courses, training and joint meetings. The aim is to strengthen the skills and expertise of the individual fellows, but also the links between them and with the German experts. The foundation's cooperation partners will also contribute to this: the Federation of German Industries (BDI), the Centre for International Postgraduate Studies of Environmental Management at the TU Dresden, the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD), the Deutsche Bundesstiftung Umwelt (DBU), the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Technische Zusammenarbeit (GTZ) and the Renewables Academy, Berlin.

The fellowships are being funded under the Federal Environment Ministry's International Climate Initiative. The programme is scheduled to run for four years. The first fellows will begin their stay in September 2010.