Each week, the Office of the UN Decade of Biodiversity awards a project which works in an exemplary manner to conserve biological diversity. Smaller-scale efforts and activities (such as action days and book projects) can also be recognised for their contribution to the UN Decade of Biodiversity.
The aim of the competition is to present best-practice examples, publish them and inspire others to develop their own project activities. Recognition as an official UN Decade Project or UN Decade Contribution highlights the quality of the initiative in question and increases public awareness to it. The UN Decade promotes outstanding projects by providing materials for use in public relations work. Here are just a few of the projects that have been recognised so far.
The title UN Decade on Biodiversity Project/Contribution is awarded for a period of two years starting from the official date of the award. Projects can reapply for a subsequent award, the only stipulation being that the project has continued to have a positive impact and the associated efforts have been enhanced.
An expert jury decides which projects to recognise as UN Decade projects using a catalogue of criteria. The jury meets twice a year. Additionally the Office of the UN Decade on Biodiversity and the Federal Agency for Nature Conservation decide, which contributions should be awarded as UN Decade Contribution. The rewarded projects and contributions can then use their newly awarded title of UN Decade Project or UN Decade Contribution when issuing publications or promoting upcoming events.
A Project of the Month is chosen every month. Anyone can vote for the monthly project. Voting takes place online. And from the monthly winners in a given year, the jury selects a UN Decade Project of the Year.
To begin with, the jury assesses whether the project contributes to the aims of Germany’s National Strategy for Biological Diversity (NBS). It then awards points according to the following criteria:
Contribution to conserving biodiversity: the project makes a significant contribution to either conserving biodiversity or to biodiversity research – for example by conserving species and habitats, or by using biodiversity in a sustainable way. The positive effects are listed and described (quantitative).
Multiplier effect: the project communicates the value and use of biological diversity, a responsibility to conserve it and for its sustainable use, and also serves as a best-practice model for replication.
Cooperation: the project involves affected stakeholders, takes a collaborative and participative approach, and considers issues specific to the target group.
Innovation: the project is particularly original and imaginative, contains a new idea, solution, methodology or measure, addresses new partners and target groups, or adopts new forms of communications and information dissemination work.
Sustainability: the project is based on a long-term plan in respect of its sponsor, general approach and funding.
Reference to the focus topic: in its communications and measures, the project refers to the current UN Decade focus topic and the project developer stems from the intended target group. The term biological diversity or biodiversity must be included in the project description and be explicitly used on the project website.
Recognition as a UN Decade Project or a UN Decade Contribution is valid for a two-year period from the date of the award. Project developers can reapply to receive a subsequent award at any time. Examples of continued positive impact and project enhancement include:
Extended cooperation (new cooperation partner, intensifying existing partnerships)
Improved communications (introduction or expansion of educational and public relations work, new target groups)
More extensive biodiversity conservation (introduction or expansion of nature conservation measures covering new areas or species)
Greater external presence (new website or enhancement of existing online presence), a new and exemplary approach