71st UNEP/UNESCO/BMUB International Short Course on Ecosystem Management –Biodiversity Conservation and Ecosystem Services

Participants in botanical garden © A. Lindner Participants in botanical garden © A. Lindner
Participants in botanical garden

© A. Lindner

  • The closing date for applications for this course has passed - thanks for your interest!


In a time of global biodiversity loss and climate change with rising pressures on ecosystems and the services they provide for human well-being, today’s societies are in urgent need to improve the management on the human-biosphere interface. This is a challenge, which among others is reflected in the efforts of institutions and programmes like the United Nations Decade on Biodiversity 2010-2020, the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES) and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), just to name a few.

Renaturation © T. Karp Renaturation © T. Karp

© T. Karp

There are complex relationships in the form of synergies and trade-offs between biodiversity conservation and the demand for ecosystem services (e.g. pollination, carbon storage, soil formation, etc.). In any case, biodiversity is essential for the functioning of ecosystems and thus biosphere integrity, but is still declining at a tremendous rate. The rate of biodiversity loss has been identified as one out of nine important Earth-system processes where planetary boundaries have been defined and is estimated to exceed its safe operating space most seriously. Therefore this course, in accordance with the SDG number 15, contributes to “taking urgent and significant action to reduce the degradation of natural habitats, halt the loss of biodiversity and, by 2020, protect and prevent the extinction of threatened species” and work towards the overarching target to “ensure the conservation, restoration and sustainable use of terrestrial and inland freshwater ecosystems and their services.”
The course will cover important ecosystem assessments, introduce participants to a range of different methodologies from the natural and social sciencesmethodologies of assessing and valuing ecosystem services in different societal contexts and convey basics of biodiversity and ecosystem governance. This knowledge is crucial for the conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity, ecological restoration, and the continued provision of ecosystem services for human well-being. It is essential for public and private decision-making and part of the agendas of many institutions including intergovernmental organisations, federal, state, and local governments, non-profit environmental protection and further advocacy organisations, as well as business and private consulting firms.


This short course will train participants in important concepts and methods relevant to the interrelationship between biodiversity, ecosystem functioning and ecosystem services as well as in different approaches of defining and categorizing them. Participants will be familiar with important concepts and methods in the field of biodiversity conservation and ecosystem services research and governance. The combination of participatory methods, expert knowledge and methods to design, implement and monitor sound management strategies at different scales are presented in this short course to provide the necessary tools to approach the impacts of biodiversity loss in the context of ecosystems and the services they provide. The participants will be introduced to state-of-the-art ecological theory and learn to apply this knowledge within a socio-economic framework.

Target Groups

This course is designed mainly for managers and decision-makers with a biodiversity-related background  and a strong interest in deepening their knowledge and competencies on biodiversity conservation, environmental policies and/or social, economic and political aspects regarding the conservation and sustainable use of natural resources. To be eligible for this training course, a first university degree (BA, BSc, e.g.) is absolutely indispensable as well as the ability to communicate actively and efficiently in English. The nomination by the delegating institution is a mandatory prerequisite. The specific requirements can be found in our FAQ section.


Our International Steering Committee selects the 21 participants of this course by June 2017. Participants stay in our comfortable private studio apartments and receive a stipend to cover basic living expenses. Flights, health insurance etc. will be provided. Our course office provides further manifold assistance. Participants successfully completing this course will be awarded a Certificate of Proficiency in Biodiversity Conservation and Ecosystem Services.

Course date: 30 August 2017 - 26 September 2017
Application period: 20 February 2017 - 13 April 2017
Notification of selected participants: June 2017

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Tamara Karp
Letzte Änderung: 03.05.2017