Science-Policy activities of Department
Ecosystem Services

Schema Lebendiger Atlas Deutschland


Citizen Science - Capacity Building

The UFZ led the “GEWISS” (BürGEr schaffen WISSen, or “Citizens create knowledge”) national capacity building program to help strengthen existing partnerships and competencies and to identify gaps and capacity needs for citizen science in Germany. As key output, the “Citizen Science Strategy 2020 for Germany” was developed in collaboration with >700 participants from 350 organisations through a series of 20 dialogue forums/events and an online consultation with over 1000 website visitors, 400 comments and 53 formal position papers submitted on the draft Strategy paper. Furthermore, citizen science guides and films were developed to strengthen citizen science capacities. The Strategy Paper resulted in the establishment of the first funding scheme for Cititzen Science in Germany by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF).
Further highlights:

  • With DFG funding we organised the first European Citizen Science ( ECSA 2016 ) conference in Berlin, May 2016, with more than 360 participants from 30 countries, globally.
  • The German Federal President Joachim Gauck visited our citizen science expert forum at the ‘Woche der Umwelt’ in May 2016
  • Funded by the Federal Ministry of Environment (BMUB) we developed recommendations for a new citizen science funding scheme with experts from NGOs, agencies and microfinancing organisations in January 2018.



Several  members of the department are or were involved in assessments of the Intergovernmental Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES). Aletta Bonn serves as lead author for chapter 7 on scenario development of the IPBES assessment 3b(i) on ‘Land degradation and restoration’ and as review editor of the Deliverable 4c on ‘Policy support tools and methodologies’. In addition, she chairs the IPBES-AG of the Ecological society of ecology of Germany, Austria and Switzerland ( GfÖ ). Former members of the Ecosystem Services department took part in the IPBES regional assessment for Europe and Central Asia.



We are co-leading the German network on ecosystem services ESP-DE of the Ecosystem Services Partnership (ESP). ESP-DE was founded in 2015. Its mission is to make the societal relevance of ecosystem services more visible, to increase expertise within Germany on ecosystem services by connecting different actors, and to promote knowledge exchange among its members.

Deutsche Umwelthilfe
Biodiversity in Good Company

Diskussionsforum Ökosystemleistungen

The „Diskussionsforum Ökosystemleistungen“ (Discussion Forum Ecosystem Services) is a series of events, launched in autumn 2014 in Germany by the environmental NGO Deutsche Umwelthilfe (DUH), 'Biodiversity in Good Company‘ and two partners from academia, the Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research (UFZ) and the German Centre for Integrative Biodiversity Research (iDiv).

The series offers an open discussion forum where interested stakeholders from business, policy and society are invited to debate the opportunities and risks of the ecosystem services approach and of valuing natural capital. We hope to help achieve more clarity on where the economic valuation of nature, ecosystems and their services makes sense and where it has its limits or would even be counterproductive and dangerous. Each events has thematic focus. The series is part of the Federal Conservation Agency Programme ‘Unternehmen Biologische Vielfalt’

Further Links: