The aim of the UN Decade on Biodiversity 2011–2020 in Germany is to inspire as many people for the protection and conservation of biological diversity as possible. At the end of the decade, more people should understand what biodiversity is, why we need it and how one can contribute to its conservation.
There is a strong decline in biodiversity in Germany and the whole world, mainly caused by human activity. To stop this decline, the United Nations have declared the decade 2011–2020 the UN Decade on Biodiversity. The Decade supports the goals and global activities of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), which in Germany are anchored in the National Biodiversity Strategy. Within the framework of the UN Decade in Germany various activities take place in order to raise awareness for the conservation of biological diversity, our natural basis of life.
The German UN Decade of Biodiversity was officially launched on November 8, 2011. It will be implemented by the office of the UN Decade on behalf of and in close collaboration with the Federal Ministry of the Environment (BMUB) and the Federal Agency for Nature Conservation (BfN). The central instrument—in addition to public relations, newsletters, social media activities, website and media relations—is a contest for UN Decade projects and contributions. Good examples are intended to serve as a model. For this reason, the UN Decade honours projects and contributions which work in an exemplary manner to conserve biological diversity, and presents them on the website and in the newsletter of the UN Decade.
Entries are assessed by an expert panel on the basis of transparent criteria, which are explained on the German UN Decade website. The project’s contribution to the National Strategy and conservation of biodiversity, the multiplication effect, cooperation with other actors, the degree of innovation, the sustainability and the reference to the main topic are part of the evaluation.
Awarded projects are dedicated to use the title "Awarded UN Decade Project" for two years from the date of the award. After two years they can apply again. They receive a certificate, an award and diverse public relations material. Everyone who works for biodiversity by protecting, sustainably using, doing research or teaching is invited to participate in the contest and apply with a project. The award is not connected to financial support.
Prominent ambassadors represent the UN Decade and advocate for biodiversity. The current ambassadors of the UN Decade are Anja Backhaus, Ralph Caspers, Maren Eggert, Janus Fröhlich, Arved Fuchs, Cornelia Funke, Peter Maffay, Florian Möller, Shary Reeves, Norbert Rosing, Nina Ruge, Sabine Spitz, Cassandra Steen, Willi Weitzel, Sarah Wiener and Gabriela zu Sayn-Wittgenstein-Sayn.
Five youth ambassadors particularly speak to the younger generation. Youth ambassador of the UN Decade are: Svenja Fox, Justin Müller, Svana Rogalla, Christian Schwarzer and Zarah Thiel. They are regularly blogging for the UN Decade website.
During the years 2012 to 2014, a photo competition was arranged by the UN Decade. It stood each with a different topic. The winning photos were awarded by professional nature photographers and UN Decade ambassadors Norbert Rosing and Florian Möllers and presented on the website. A selection of photos from the 2012 and 2013 competitions are featured in a traveling exhibition, which can be borrowed for free from the office.
“Maintaining diversity—as a partner of nature“ is the main topic of the UN Decade in 2015/2016. The focus rests on exemplary commitment to intact natural and cultural landscapes as well as individual species and habitats. The general idea is to encourage people to actively engage in biodiversity—each according to their own capabilities. The aim is to mobilise all social groups to get involved as a partner of nature for the preservation of natural resources.
UN Decade of Biodiversity – office | nova-Institut GmbH | Chemiepark Knapsack | Industriestraße 300 | 50351 Hürth | Phone: +49 (0) 2233 481 463 | E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org