Research-based learning in neglected biodiverse ecosystems of Brazil

  • 2nd BIOBRAS Summer School Sept. 10-28 2019

    The world is currently looking to New York, where the 72nd United Nations General Assembly will focus primarily on climate protection and the fires in the Amazon. Since this topic is of the utmost importance also in Münster, it is rightly negotiated so prominently. Less well known, however, is the fact that the Cerrado, one of the most species-rich ecosystems in the world, which alone is home to 4800 endemic animal and plant species, is even more severely affected by deforestation, fires and land use change than the South American forest ecosystems. In the context of the second BIOBRAS Summer School from 10-28.09.2019, Cerrado, Campos rupestres and Cangas will be regarded as so-called "neglected ecosystems" and researched in the Serra do Cipó and Serra do Gandarela. What is special about this summer school is that three universities from two countries (WWU, UFMG and UFV) work together and, above all, that a total of 22 Bachelor and Master students, doctoral students and postdocs as well as a total of 4 professors work together. The summer school is funded by the DAAD. The core concept of the partnership is the integration of teaching into research projects. Among other things, modules for distance learning (webinars, video lectures) are developed in order to make the basics and latest findings available to all partners and the general public. Classical and modern field methods (UAV) as well as a thorough discussion of theoretical concepts (e.g. OCBIL) are applied, also through the contribution of numerous scientists and practitioners from the local institutions.

  • 1st BIOBRAS Summerschool

    The first BIOBRAS Summer School was held from 01 to 12 October 2018 in Münster. In a ten-day "road trip" from northern to southern Germany, the Summer School focused on coastal and alpine natural areas and included numerous teaching elements for an active fieldwork of the students. For example, new nature conservation and management strategies were discussed and further developed in meetings and discussions with stakeholders and land users. The international approach made it possible to exchange experiences from Brazil and Germany and thus develop common ideas for the future conservation and protection of these biodiverse ecosystems.

  • Project description

    Global change, particularly climate change, land-use change and invasive species, are currently the main threats to biodiversity and compromise the targets of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD). The global loss of biodiversity can further affect ecosystem services. Consequently, conservation of biological diversity and sustainable use of natural resources have become key research topics in recent years. Further, the Agenda 2030 and CBD call for intensified technical and scientific cooperation, access to and transfer of technology and education, and the raising of public awareness.

  • Objectives

    In our partnership, we focus on the following central outcomes:

    • Establishment of a long-term, robust teaching cooperation by introducing courses on biodiversity with focus on neglected ecosystems into the curricula of all partner universities
    • Knowledge gaps on neglected ecosystems are filled through targeted research-based learning in different regions of Brazil
    • Transfer of knowledge on biodiversity and relevant concepts and methods among the partners
    • Dissemination of newly generated knowledge about the biodiversity and vulnerability of neglected ecosystems through university teaching, distance learning institutes, institutions supporting political discussion and decision-making, and communication events,
    • Development of strategies for conservation and management of biodiversity in non-forest ecosystems
    • Raised public awareness of the value and vulnerability of neglected ecosystems and increased dialog between science and policy makers.
  • Funding

    The project is funded by the DAAD as part of the bidding process of the partners for the promotion of biodiversity in developing countries.

  • Partners

    Scientific investigators:

    • Applied Landscape Ecology and Ecological Planning, University of Münster
    • Federal University of Vicosa (UFV), Brazil
    • Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais (UFMG), Brazil
  • Publications

    There are no publications untill now.

  • Photos

    © Jan Lehmann
    © Jan Lehmann
    © Johannes Freese
    © Riicardo Solar
    © Riicardo Solar
    © Riicardo Solar
    © Riicardo Solar
    © Riicardo Solar