The project "Experiencing biodiversity. How natural science benefits from interactive web maps" by the Leibniz Institute for Regional Geography, Leibniz Institute for Knowledge Media and the Umbrella Association of German Avifaunists was named an official project of the UN Decade of Biodiversity. The virtual tribute was made by Dr Jan Ole Kriegs, Director of the Natural History Museum Münster. The award is presented to exemplary projects which are particularly committed to the conservation of biological diversity in Germany.
In the project "Experiencing Biodiversity", scientists have developed a web portal for analysing ornithological observation data together with hobby researchers. The ornitho.de community has already collected and documented over 50 million bird observations in recent years. With the Ornitho-Regioportal published on 19 October 2020, these observations can now be used and evaluated by the public.
"The project sends a clear signal of our commitment to the conservation of biological diversity in Germany. The idea, implementation and results of the joint project involving science and nature-loving citizens have made a lasting impression on us," said the UN Decade expert jury in its statement. The development followed the Citizen Science approach of involving citizens in scientific issues and was funded by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research.
In addition to the official certificate and an award plaque, the project team receives a "Diversity Tree", which is symbolic of natural diversity. Furthermore, the project is presented on the UN Decade website.
The development of the Ornith-Regioportal was carried out in close coordination between the project partners. The IfL realised the practical implementation of the evaluation portal and formed the interface between citizen participation, programming and accompanying research. The Dachverband Deutscher Avifaunisten provided the data basis for the interactive maps and, through its members, conveyed important ideas about the functional scope of the web portal. The Knowledge Media Research Center focused on the most intuitive handling possible as an important prerequisite for high user acceptance and thus intensive use of the portal.
UN Decade of Biodiversity
The United Nations has declared the period from 2011 to 2020 to be the UN Decade of Biodiversity to counteract the global decline in natural diversity. By awarding prizes to exemplary projects, the UN Decade of Biodiversity in Germany draws attention to the value of natural diversity and the opportunities it offers us. At the same time, these model projects show how concrete measures for the conservation of biological diversity, its sustainable use or the communication of its conservation can look like in practice. An independent jury of experts made up of representatives from various social groups decides whether projects are to receive an award.
The Leibniz Institute for Regional Geography (IfL) in Leipzig analyses social processes from geographical perspectives and makes social change visible. As the only non-university research institution for geography in the German-speaking world, the institute is a member of the Leibniz Association, which links 96 independent research institutions.
The Knowledge Media Research Center (IWM) in Tübingen investigates how digital media influence knowledge and communication processes and how new technologies can be used to improve these processes. Basic and application-oriented research focuses not only on institutional learning fields such as schools and universities, but also on informal learning on the Internet, at the workplace or in museums. [www.iwm-tuebingen.de]
The Dachverband Deutscher Avifaunisten (DDA) coordinates programmes for monitoring native bird species, such as the monitoring of breeding birds or the monitoring of resting waterfowl, and supports research for applied bird protection. The DDA represents the German nature conservation associations at Wetlands International and in the European Bird Census Council. [www.dda-web.de].