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Internship at the German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety (BMU)

From March 12 to April 20, 2018, Rebekka Riebl, a student in the M.Sc. Global Change Ecology program at the University of Bayreuth, took part in a six-week internship at the Division N I 4 “International Cooperation on Biodiversity” of the German Federal Environment Ministry (BMU) in Bonn, Germany.

Foto: Elisabeth Erber

This divison deals with international treaties on nature conservation such as the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), the Ramsar convention on Wetlands, the UNESCO natural World Heritage sites, and the funding area "conserving biological diversity" of the International Climate Initiative (ICI).

Rebekka Riebl had already worked as a volunteer for the "Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services" (ipbes) secretariat at ipbes-5 in 2017, before her internship at BMU. During the ipbes-6 conference in Medellin, Columbia, Rebekka was also involved in event coverage of the media release of the "summaries for policy makers" in national and international press, social media and via webcast. From day one of her internship, she participated in all meetings of the BMU with other divisions and federal organizations such as the Federal Agency for Nature Conservation (BfN) as well as consultations with other Ministries. Furthermore, she engaged with the administrative activities of the BMU, e.g. leading up to the next Ramsar Conference of the Parties (COP) and coordination meetings of the European Union.

One of the main tasks during her internship was to update the official brochure for the World Heritage site "Ancient and Primeval Beech Forests of the Carpathians and Other Regions of Europe". She also got the opportunity to learn about the preparations for the next CBD COPs in 2018 and 2020, and participated in a national stakeholder workshop on this topic with experts from research organizations and NGOs in Berlin.

Overall, during her internship at the BMU, she had a great opportunity to gain insights into how international cooperation for biodiversity conservation works. She also gained a better understanding of the kinds of efforts leading up to COPs of the various international conventions that assure biodiversity conservation is more adequately addressed. In addition, she also learned a lot about the proceedings of a federal institution dealing with global issues.

Text: Rebekka Riebl

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