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Germany

Pan European website – Information on IPBES national platforms

Country: Germany

1) Main contact/ coordination points & website

  • National IPBES Focal Point:

Dr. Almuth Ostermeyer-Schlöder, Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Building and Nuclear Safety (BMUB)
contact: Almuth.Ostermeyer-Schloeder@bmub.bund.de

    
Bjoern Ingendahl, Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Building and Nuclear Safety (BMUB)
contact: Bjoern.Ingendahl@bmub.bund.de

  • German IPBES Coordination Office;
Dr. Mariam Akhtar-Schuster (coordinator)
contact: mariam.akhtar-schuster@dlr.de    www.de-ipbes.de

2) Organisation - How Germany is organised to get engaged in IPBES

The German IPBES Coordination Office was established in April 2014 by the Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Building and Nuclear Safety (BMUB), which acts as the National Focal Point, together with the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF). The German IPBES Coordination Office is located in the German Aerospace Center, Project Management Agency in Bonn. The national Coordination Office supports the work of the ministries associated with the national implementation of the IPBES work programme. In this context, the national Coordination Office supports the integration of national expertise into the IPBES work process. It also improves the information base for deliberations and national decision-making processes related to IPBES activities.

The German IPBES Coordination Office assists in the development of innovative research and environmental policy opportunities that will enable visible and important contributions from Germany to safeguard and sustainably use biodiversity at national, regional and global scales.

The activities of the national Coordination Office are complemented by the scientific work of the German Network-Forum for Biodiversity Research (NeFo), which is a science-based project funded by the BMBF and which has developed a national platform that holds long-term expertise in engaging scientists and other knowledge holders in national and international biodiversity policy-related processes (for further details on the activities of NeFo, see below).

3) Nomination processes

The IPBES calls for experts are analysed and spread by the German IPBES Coordination Office through its extensive and continuously growing national mailing list. The IPBES calls for experts are also published on the website of the national Coordination Office.

In agreement with the ministries, the nation Coordination Office develops and implements a timetable for the national nomination process of experts by the Government in response to the international call for experts, thereby taking into account the deadlines set at the international level.

The current structure of IPBES calls for experts rules out self-nomination. The nomination calls request experts to submit a reference from a Government or from an Organisation. Therefore, the national nomination process foresees the following steps:

1. The National IPBES Coordination Office circulates the IPBES application form and invites German nationals, experts affiliated to German institutions or experts who are working in biodiversity-related initiatives funded by Germany, and who wish to be nominated by the Government to return the completed international application form together with the necessary curriculum vitae within a specified time to the national Coordination Office. In this phase, the national IPBES Coordination Office advises experts on procedural matters.

2. The national IPBES Coordination Office also invites other national research networks and institutions involved in the IPBES process to circulate the national timetable for the nomination process via their mailing lists to attract the wider scientific audience to the international IPBES call for experts.

3. The national IPBES Coordination Office, in collaboration with the BMUB and the BMBF, convenes a meeting of an independent National IPBES Advisory Committee, whose members are representatives of national research organisations, national biodiversity research-related fora, committees, networks and also representatives of networks of non-governmental organizations.

4. The independent National IPBES Advisory Committee analyses the qualifications and the competences of the experts, who wish to be nominated by the German Government.

5. The German Government adopts the list of recommendations provided by the National IPBES Advisory Committee and requests the German IPBES Coordination Office to inform the national experts, who have received a recommendation, to register online at the IPBES website, thereby indicating that Germany will be providing a reference to confirm the nomination.

6. The German IPBES Coordination Office provides references to the National Focal Point at BMUB for submission to the IPBES Secretariat to confirm the nomination of the experts.

7. Based on a small budget that is managed by the German IPBES Coordination Office, Germany provides financial support according to the following procedure:
Experts nominated by Germany and selected by the Multidisciplinary Expert Panel (MEP) are eligible to receive financial support for travel and accommodation if they fulfil the following criteria:

  • They have received an official invitation letter from the IPBES to attend an IPBES expert meeting.
  • They are not affiliated to a national large-scale research centre or association.
  • They can provide evidence that they could not find other funding source/s.

The national IPBES Coordination Office, BMUB and BMBF jointly analyse the situation of an expert and agree on the support mechanism (full or partial coverage of the travel/accommodation costs).

 

4) Support of contribution to IPBES

All calls published by IPBES (experts, review processes) are advertised through the website of the German IPBES Coordination Office, and are also circulated via its mailing list and through national networks.

The German IPBES Coordination Office also commissions expert surveys on IPBES-related issues, such as exploring regional capacity building needs in order to identify ways to enhance the participation of different regions in the process of implementing the IPBES Work Programme.

Upon request, the German IPBES Coordination Office also provides technical support to the IPBES Secretariat in Bonn.

5) Regular activities

The German IPBES Coordination Office supports the work of the ministries associated with the implementation of the IPBES activities through:

  • Coordination of the national nomination processes in response to the international IPBES calls for experts.
  • Provision of administrative and technical support to the experts nominated by the Government and selected by IPBES.
  • Advertising other calls published by IPBES (e.g. call for reviews) via its website and mailing list.
  • Analyses of IPBES documents.
  • Support in preparation of national positions for international negotiations, e.g. by convening national fora prior to the IPBES Plenaries.
  • Scientific advice to the ministries, identification of additional needs for research (also with external expertise), and identification of capacity building needs.
  • Continuously inform the national scientific community about IPBES activities.
  • Organisation and coordination of national IPBES expert meetings.
  • Public relations and media work.
  • Provision of logistic support to the international IPBES Secretariat in Bonn (upon request).

The German IPBES Coordination Office also regularly meets the National Focal Point at BMUB and the senior officer in charge of IPBES in BMBF to discuss progresses in IPBES activities, and to identify and decide on the next steps on IPBES-related activities at the national level.

6) Specific projects: e.g. capacity building projects

The German IPBES Coordination Office is currently identifying pathways on how to strengthen social sciences in its IPBES activities. A national workshop on this topic is being organized by the national IPBES Coordination Office and will be held on 12th November 2015.

In summer 2014, the German IPBES Coordination Office commissioned a study titled “Shaping capacity-building for stakeholder engagement with IPBES according to most urging capacity-building needs, identified with experts from Eastern Europe and Central Asia”. (Paulsch, A., Heubach, K & Paulsch, C. (eds.) 2015). This regional study reveals the capacity-building needs identified by experts from Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Hungary, Moldova, Russian Federation, Turkey, Turkmenistan and Ukraine in Central Asia to improve the participation of this region in the ongoing IPBES activities. The study is downloadable at http://biodiv.de/en/projects/current/ipbes-ost.html

 

7) Type of engagement with stakeholders

The German IPBES Coordination Office engages with various stakeholders. Each year, the national Coordination Office organizes a national IPBES forum prior to an IPBES plenary. The participants attending the forum are scientists, decision-makers, ministerial representatives, and members of NGOs or development and research funding agencies. This national multi-stakeholder community jointly analyses and discusses the IPBES working and information documents, which will be on the agenda of the up-coming international negotiations. Beyond the preparation of an IPBES plenary, the national fora organised by the German IPBES Coordination Office also provide a unique opportunity for experts interested in the IPBES process to meet up with experts, who are already involved in IPBES expert groups and task forces.

 

8) Additional information

The German IPBES Coordination Office invites you to complete its online registration form (“Anmelde-Fenster”) at www.de-ipbes.de in order to be included in its mailing list.

IPBES in Germany: Government-funded national support mechanisms:

 

Information on the German Network-Forum for Biodiversity Research (NeFo):

The programmatic and strategic activities  of the German IPBES Coordination Office which are undertaken for the German Government are complemented by the scientific activities of the German Network-Forum for Biodiversity Research (NeFo). NeFo constitutes a platform that holds long-term expertise in connecting with and engaging scientists and other knowledge holders in national and international biodiversity-focused processes. NeFo supports activities to connect scientists, policy-makers and other stakeholders working in the field of biodiversity and ecosystems research and it analyses policies related to these themes. The German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) sponsors NeFo that was set up as a research project in 2009 to improve national information and knowledge exchange regarding biodiversity both between and within different stakeholder groups and between different research disciplines.

The NeFo team is located at the Helmholtz-Centre for Environmental Research-UFZ, Leipzig, and the Museum fuer Naturkunde, Berlin. NeFo has been very active in the IPBES process since its foundation, and has provided continued and interdisciplinary support for promoting discussions on stakeholder engagement strategies and capacity building needs in IPBES at the national, European and international scales. NeFo supports outreach activities through its workshops and provides free access to the results of these workshops via its web portal (www.biodiversity.de). NeFo invites other interested experts and initiatives to actively participate in its activities. NeFo currently has a focus on capacity-building needs in Eastern Europe and Africa to support these regions in the identification of enabling environments to better support the implementation of IPBES activities. In 2013, NeFo jointly with other national platforms launched a series of pan-European IPBES Stakeholder Consultations. In 2015  collaboration was launched with the French Biodiversity Platform (FRB)  to initiate capacity-building activities, particularly in the sub-regions of Africa.

NeFo regularly invites stakeholder organizations to nominate experts for IPBES positions through its outreach mechanisms (e.g. especially via the NeFo web portal & newsletter) and via its long-term contacts into the biodiversity community.

NeFo also co-founded the Biodiversity Science-Policy Interfaces Network for Early Career Scientists (BSPIN) which aims at fostering the engagement of young academics in the IPBES and in other related processes (http://www.biodiversity.de/images/stories/IPBES/BSPIN/2014-12_BSPIN_objectives__activities.pdf).

Other relevant outreach mechanisms which NeFo has developed or is going to establish are the ‘Biodiversitaetsportal’ and the ‘Forschungsatlas Deutschland’ (online map of biodiversity projects, institutions and actors: http://akteure.biodiv.naturkundemuseum-berlin.de/).

You can find a wide range of information on IPBES on the NeFo web portal (www.biodiversity.de) but also on other related national and international issues concerned with biodiversity research and related policies.

To receive the latest news, you can register for the NeFo Newsletter at http://www.biodiversity.de/index.php/ipbes/news

For detailed information on the following activities supported by NeFo, please take a look at the following sites:

 

 

last modified on 09 Jul 2018