Facilitating the transfer of knowledge and building a global network of experts are the key objectives of the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation fellowship programme, which is financed with funds from the Federal Environment Ministry’s International Climate Initiative. In 2017, 19 young researchers received fellowships to carry out projects on climate action and resource conservation at German host institutions. Many of the findings are of practical relevance for the developing countries and emerging economies from which the participants come. Rita Schwarzelühr-Sutter, Parliamentary State Secretary at the BMUB, met with the 2017/2018 cohort of fellows at the Ministry today.
Rita Schwarzelühr-Sutter remarked: "The programme allows us to transfer German know-how at a scientific level. Forming networks is more important than ever in order for us to jointly make the world fairer and more sustainable. Through the programme, fellows can present their home countries with concrete options for climate policy and resource conservation strategies."
For example, a participant from Cameroon working at Trier University developed a climate action plan for a number of West African countries. A process engineer from India, working at Clausthaler Umwelttechnik Forschungszentrum (CUTEC), examined the applicability of German waste treatment methods in her home country.
Current programme participants come from Bangladesh, Cameroon, China, Colombia, Egypt, Ethiopia, Ghana, India, Kenya, Nigeria, South Africa and Viet Nam. The seventh cohort of fellows includes scientists as well as specialists from ministries and government offices; all pursue innovative projects. They will stay in Germany until February 2018. Participants in the eighth round of the fellowship programme are expected to commence their stay in March 2018.
Since 2010, the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation has awarded International Climate Protection Fellowships to young leaders from developing countries and emerging economies. The Foundation organises the programme. Cooperation partners include the Federation of German Industry (BDI), the Centre for International Postgraduate Studies of Environmental Management at the TU Dresden, the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD), the Deutsche Bundesstiftung Umwelt, the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) and the Renewables Academy in Berlin.
The fellowship programme funds up to twenty fellows every year. During a one-year stay in Germany, each fellow carries out a project in the field of climate action or resource conservation at a German university or other appropriate institution. The goal is to facilitate the exchange of knowledge, methods and techniques. The fellowship programme thus promotes an international network of German and foreign experts, in which members can work together in the long term on issues of climate and environmental policy and on adaptation to climate change.