Sharing knowledge with the rest of the world

Climate Fellows; Photo: IKI PB

Climate Fellows; Photo: IKI PB

Transferring knowledge and establishing a global network of experts are at the heart of the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation’s fellowship programme, which is supported by funds from the International Climate Initiative (IKI) of the German Environment Ministry (BMUB). 19 young researchers from 14 countries conducted research into climate change mitigation and resource conservation at German host institutions for a period of one year. The results often have practical relevance for the developing countries and emerging economies the participants come from.

The Parliamentary State Secretary in the BMUB, Rita Schwarzelühr-Sutter, welcomed the International Climate Protection Fellowship holders at the BMUB: ‘This programme enables us to share German know-how at an academic level. Networks of this kind are more important than ever when it comes to working together to create a world that is more sustainable and more equitable. They also provide the seconding countries with tangible options to act with climate policy and resource conservation in mind.’

For example, one fellowship holder from Cameroon worked on a climate change action plan for various West African countries at Trier University in 2017. An Indian process engineer examined the transferability of German waste treatment methods to her home country at the Clausthal Institute of Environmental Technologies.

The current intake of the climate fellowship programme includes young experts from Bangladesh, Cameroon, China, Colombia, Egypt, Ethiopia, Ghana, India, Iran, Kenya, Nigeria, South Africa and Viet Nam. In addition to academics, fellowship holders for the seventh intake include experts from ministries and government bodies that pursue innovative projects. They will stay until February 2018. The eighth intake of fellowship holders is expected to start its research assignment in Germany in March 2018.

The Alexander von Humboldt Foundation has been providing international climate protection fellowships for future executive leaders from developing countries and emerging economies since 2010. The foundation runs the programme in collaboration with the Federation of German Industries, the Centre for International Postgraduate Studies of Environmental Management at TU Dresden, the German Academic Exchange Service, the German Federal Environmental Foundation, the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH and the Renewables Academy, Berlin.

Support is provided for up to 20 fellowship holders annually. During their one-year stay in Germany, they carry out a project in the field of climate change mitigation or resource conservation at a German university or another suitable institution. The objective is to share knowledge, methods and techniques. In this way, the fellowship programme promotes an international network for German and foreign experts in which they can collaborate in the long term on issues of climate change mitigation and environmental protection as well as adaptation to climate change.