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Adaptive Conservation Site Management


Adaptive Conservation Site Management (6 ECTS)

a step towards sustainable management of natural resources

For full text with pictures click here

Are you interested in nature conservation or in sustainable land and resource use?
Do you want to learn and apply an internationally applied method of project management?
Do you like interactive learning?

By using the example of the biosphere reserve Schorfheide-Chorin in the north of Berlin (which we will visit), we will take initial steps for developing an adaptive management plan for this area. For this reason you will learn to apply the "Open Standards for the Practice of Nature Conservation", an international management method for nature conservation projects, developed and used by leading NGO's such as the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF), The Nature Conservancy (TNC), Conservation International (CI) and more.

Practically this means that we will discuss central questions on biodiversity and the sustainability of land use, like for example:

What does biodiversity have to do with our wellbeing and how can we protect it?
What is the impact from climate change on ecosystems in Brandenburg?

What are the conflicts between nature conservation and land uses such as tourism and agriculture?

How do interests of nature conservation and the local population interact?

How does the German "Energiewende" affect the landscape in Brandenburg and its local population?

How can Nature Conservation be integrated in different land use methods?
What are possible strategies to protect conservation objects like species or ecosystems?

We will work in groups in order to discuss and better understand complex interdependencies between resources, ecosystems, ecosystem services, relevant regional actors and the three pillars of sustainability.

In order to structure and visualize these complex contents we will use a planning software called Miradi TM. This is helpful when we develop strategies to conserve ecosystems and its services.


Credits: 6 ETCS (Elective), not graded
Relevant for: Bachelor and Master
Language: English
Exam: Group presentation and group report (10 pages in total)
Format: 2 weekend blocks and excursion, intense group work
Application: Until the 18th of November 2016 via mail
Room: TU Berlin, EB 418
Learning objectives: "Open Standards" method and terminology, regional and general knowledge about Nature Conservation issues, nature conservation and environmental planning in the Biosphere Reserve Schorfheide - Chorin, "Miradi" software, group work and teambuilding
Contact: Anna (anna.steger@hnee.de) and Marion (m.tiemann@posteo.de)

Learning Objectives:

“The Open Standards for the Practice of Nature Conservation”

The „Open Standards“ is a cyclic project planning and management method based on the principles of

adaptive management (http://cmp-openstandards.org/).

The tool has been developed by the „Conservation Measures Partnership“ (CMP), a network of leading international Nature Conservation Organisations like “WWF International”, „The Nature Conservancy“, „Foundations of Success“, „Conservation International“ and others. The aim of the network is to increase the efficiency of nature conservation measures and to create a common base to cooperate beyond political borders. The method brings together experiences, concepts and approaches from all over the world to standardize different terminologies as well as planning, maanagement and monitoring practices in order to share a common language.

The result is a five steps management cycle. Within the Projektwerkstatt we will learn and apply phase 1 (Conceptualization and Situation Analysis) and phase 2 (Situation Planning and Monitoring) of the cycle for the case study are a Biosphere Reserve Schorfheide - Chorin in the north of Berlin. For every single step of the two phases, we will give a detailed introduction followed by the application of the step by the groups. During phase 1 we will define the framework of the project like the vision, the scope and the conservation targets based on group discussions about nature conservation priorities. In the next steps a situation analysis is conducted by determining possible threats to the conservation targets and the reasons for those threats.

After discussing what we want to conserve in phase 1, we work on the question of how we can

conserve it in phase 2. Therefore goals, strategies and objectives will be developed and the groups

are asked to get creative. We will learn strategic techniques of testing assumptions in project management to be able to develop an action and monitoring plan. All the steps of phase 1 and 2 will be

spatially arranged in a management model with a special colour code of the “Open Standards” that helps the groups to maintain an overview about the complex contents of the model. You can imagine the “Open Standards” as a common language for nature conservationists.

Case study “Biosphere Reserve Schorfheide - Chorin” (Brandenburg)

The Biosphere Reserve "Schorfheide - Chorin” in the north of Berlin is one of the largest conservation areas in Germany. It is a model region for integrated land, water and biodiversity management, testing  out and demonstrating how to combine the three pillars of sustainability within the same area. It contains one of the largest remaining continuous areas of woodland in Germany on about half of the entire conservation area. Furthermore it represents an impressive cultural landscape with more than 320 lakes, thousands of bogs and mires, extended forests, meadows and arable land. The surviving near-natural beech forests were declared UNESCO world heritage.

In addition, 75 communities and three small towns with a total of 35.000 residents are situated in the protected area. The main concept is the consideration of human impact on the land in order to encourage producers to work in a sustainable way. To protect natural resources, priority is given to organic agriculture and forestry and to an extensive-pasture economy.

As not all inhabitants are in line with the main concept, conflicts between nature conservation and economic land use interest arise within the region. For further information you can have a look at www.schorfheide-chorin-biosphaerenreservat.de.

The Biosphere Reserve is a good example for opportunities and limitations of the balance between

social, economic and ecological sustainability and the realization of sustainable land use, keeping in mind the differing interests of various actors and stakeholders. We will discuss important nature conservation objects to conserve native flora and fauna as well as ecosystems and ecosystem services to conserve the biodiversity, keeping in mind contradictory interests of different stakeholders in the area.

In group work, we will develop first steps of an exemplary management plan for the area. To deepen the knowledge about the Biosphere Reserve and its stakeholders, we will visit the ecovillage Brodowin and talk to different actors from different sectors like ecotourism, organic farming, forestry, nature conservation etc.

We will use the case study of the “UNESCO Biosphere Reserve Schorfheide - Chorin” to apply the single steps of phase 1 (Conceptualization and Situation Analysis) and phase 2 (Action Planning and Monitoring) of the “Open Standards cycle”.

Software Miradi TM

The application of the „Open Standards” is facilitated by the software Miradi TM. All important results of the planning and management process will be structured and visualized by the software. At every time it enables the project team to get an exact overview about the project state, required next steps and the potential need of adapting measures. Moreover it facilitates the exchange of data between the students.

For further information have a look at www.miradi.org.

Teambuilding and group work

The work will be done in groups of 4 to 6 students. All steps of the two phases of the “Open Standards cycle” are realized in group work sessions within the two weekend blocks. As the group work can become quite intense we integrate teambuilding measures and energizer to strengthen the group cohesion and to have some fun together.


Friday 26/5/2017 2pm - 8pm

Saturday 27/5/2017 10am - 6pm

Sunday 28/5/2017 10am - 6pm

Friday 9/6/2017 (time to be announced)

Saturday 10/6/2017 (time to be announced)

Sunday 11/6/2017 (time to be announced)

Friday 14/7/2017 2pm - 8pm

Saturday 15/7/2017 10am - 6pm

Sunday 16/7/2017 10am - 6pm

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