BUND Darmstadt

Subproject BUND Darmstadt

Initial situation: Silent species extinction and life in the city

About one million species (out of an estimated eight million) are threatened with extinction. This is stated by the Global Assessment of Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services of the Intergovernmental Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services. Current species extinctions are progressing 10 to 100 times faster than in the last ten million years. Globally, 75% of land areas have been significantly altered and only 68% of forests and 15% of wetlands still exist.

In Germany, a total of about 80% of the population lives in medium-density and densely populated areas, which together take up about 37% of the country’s land area. At the same time, just under 40% of the inhabitants, those who live in densely populated areas, use just under 6% of the country’s land. However, globally (with just over 50% of the world’s population living in cities), cities consume about 75% of all natural resources. In addition, cities must adapt to climate change by means of “green infrastructure”.

The people in the city must also be reached and won over to nature for reasons of democratic theory. Concrete offers of action can help.

The BUND in Darmstadt

The BUND is a membership organization with many local groups. The Darmstadt district association of the Bund für Umwelt und Naturschutz Deutschland (BUND, Federation for the Environment and Nature Conservation Germany) with its 2,500 members and supporters is particularly active in the field of urban nature. It helps create new habitats for endangered amphibians, reptiles and insects, among others, while also promoting biodiversity through the site-appropriate selection of native plants. In cooperation with other associations, BUND Darmstadt maintains meadow orchards and wild fruit islands. The non-profit association advises on problems with wasps and hornets and relocates their nests if there is no other way. Tips how to deal with hedgehogs as well as nesting aids for wild bees and birds are provided. Throughout the year accompanies the environmental education program. With the Center for Urban Nature, BUND is creating a new learning and meeting place in the middle of the city.

Mediation to urban target groups

The BioDivKultur project aims to establish sustainable “biodiversity cultures” in a broader sense. Green spaces are considered under three closely related aspects: Use, design and (mowing) practice . In the overall project, the biological questions are complemented by humanities and social science questions related to the associated mediation strategies and their political and civil society dynamics. The tasks and goals of BUND as a practice partner in the overall network start here and pursue the approach cultural transformation through knowledge and understanding, acceptance and empathy, motivation and behavioral change, because you can only protect what you know.

In the present project, the activities aim

  • Increasing appreciation for natural green spaces and acceptance of biodiversity conservation measures.
  • Raising awareness of citizens’ own behavioral change towards intrinsic motivation to promote biodiversity.
  • Guidance on land design and nature-oriented gardening for biodiversity protection
  • Promote citizen science to raise awareness of urban nature and insect diversity in particular.
  • Accompanying the transformation

in the context of urban land uses.

Target groups are interested citizens as well as casual visitors (walkers), people who are not yet activated on the topic of nature conservation, and civil society initiatives and governance. In this way, the BUND complements the offers of the other sub-projects, which are aimed at families, school classes, employees of municipal green care and farmers, among others.

For this purpose, concepts are developed and implemented, and materials are created. The concepts and materials are being tested, which will be made available and therefore should be transferable nationwide.

Project activities include:

  • Practical work on the construction of demonstration objects – (mobile) nature trails/parcours/tiny insect gardens/sample plots
  • Implementation of events at the BUND Center for Urban Nature Darmstadt (workshops for citizens and multiplier training), for example on the recording of insect fauna; creation and maintenance of areas, in which the new mediation formats are included – also in cooperation with the TU Darmstadt
  • Public relations work on local measures and their implementation, e.g. information signs, TU web tool “insect pocket calculator”, with simultaneous transferability to a nationwide context
  • Expertise on the promotion of insect diversity for the project partners
  • Feedback on the impact of the materials and the acceptance of the measures on the part of the citizens
  • Joint development of digital educational cases and support in the development of the urban exhibition accompanying program with the partner bioversum
  • Inclusion of the digital media provided by DINArDa e.V. in educational formats.
  • Incorporate subject matter expertise and exchange with TU Darmstadt partners for materials and outreach formats and conduct events: Handouts, network structure consideration; BioHackathon; workshops.
  • Cooperation with the urban green space planning office and the Environment Agency as well as joint public relations work with the partner city of Darmstadt

The BioDivKultur project is funded by the Research Initiative for Biodiversity Conservation of the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research.

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