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Tasks of the Alfred Toepfer Academy for Nature Conservation (NNA)

Education, research and public relations for nature conservation are responsibilities of the NNA, as well as organisation of the Voluntary Ecological Year in Lower Saxony. The Academy sees itself as a knowledge broker and discussion platform between science, administration, economy and the population.

Consciousness comes from knowledge. Nature conservation is only successful if it manages to bring nature closer to the people. You only preserve what you appreciate and love.

Administrators, decision makers and disseminators come to us. The NNA is the state institution which provides comprehensive and professional education activities for more nature conservation. Furthermore, as a regional environmental education centre we offer an educational programme specifically designed for children and teenagers.

We are particularly concerned with the networking of education work. We consider it our task to carry out conceptual work on this. It has to take into account complex contents, versatile existing structures and the necessity to adjust to new developments.

Nature conservation is boundless. The integration of the various research disciplines is a major task of the NNA. Whether humanities, economics, social sciences or natural sciences - all have to work together. The NNA initiates research tasks, supports them, analyses their results and provides them to third parties. Some research projects are carried out on our own doorstep in the Lüneburg Heath Nature Conservation Area in collaboration with universities.

Public relations
Making the general public remember to think and act for nature conservation is the aim of the NNA. Promoting interest – nature conservation is fun – is as important as the collaboration with the media. You can get information about possibilities in practical nature conservation in person. Opportunities to do so are provided by guided tours, exhibitions and nature conservation information at Hof Möhr.

The press releases of the NNA regularly provide journalists and editorial offices with news. Two scientific journals give information on current developments in nature conservation. The "NNA Berichte" (NNA Reports) and the "Mitteilungen aus der NNA" (Information from the NNA) are available for a small fee.

Responsible body for the Voluntary Ecological Year (FÖJ) in Lower Saxony
From the Harz Mountains to the North Sea coast – from the Elbe to the Emsland: the so-called Voluntary Ecological Year (FÖJ) provides an optimal opportunity for any young person who is interested in nature conservation and environmental protection.

As the responsible body for the FÖJ, the NNA coordinates and organizes the application procedure at the state level (in the Hildesheim branch office). Moreover, the seminars for the FÖJ participants are designed and organized. In the 2009/10 FÖJ year, 200 people were placed in 168 approved work places. Furthermore, places are available in the sub-projects “FÖJ at full-time schools” and “FÖJ in sports” – ideal enhancements of the Voluntary Ecological Year with a specific focus on schools and sports.

We are active:

At a regional level:

  • with the focus on practice-oriented research in the Lüneburg Heath region.
  • as a regional environmental education centre.
  • with nature conservation information at Hof Möhr.

At a federal state level:

  • with the focus of our activities in Lower Saxony.
  • with the coordination of the Voluntary Ecological Year (FÖJ) in Lower Saxony.
  • in cooperation with Lüneburg University and the Lower Saxony Institute of Studies (NSI) in Hannover.

At a north German level:

  • through education, public relations and research in collaboration with many institutions in the north German region, in particular with the federal states represented on our advisory board
At a national level:
  • in symposia and seminars with speakers and participants from all over Germany.
  • in the nationwide working party of state supported education institutions in nature conservation and environmental protection (BANU).
  • through information for the nationwide specialised press
At an international level:
  • in the exchange of ideas with European and non-European experts.
  • as literature exchange partner for about 200 institutions in Germany and abroad.
  • as a member of international expert groups.
public relations for nature conservation
Responsible body for the Voluntary Ecological Year
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