Was wir tun
Seit 2002 vergibt die Föderation der Natur- und Nationalparke Europas e.V. (EUROPARC Föderation) mit Unterstützung der Toepfer Stiftung jährlich drei sogenannte Alfred Toepfer-Reisestipendien für Naturschutz. Diese Stipendien sind dazu bestimmt, Nachwuchskräften auf dem Gebiet des Managements von Schutzgebieten für Studienzwecke eine Reise in ein anderes europäisches Land zu ermöglichen.
Gefördert werden Berufstätige, die in einem europäischen Schutzgebiet oder einer Naturschutzorganisation tätig und nicht älter als 35 Jahre sind sowie eine europäische Nationalität innehaben. Die Auswahl der Stipendiaten trifft die EUROPARC Föderation. Eine Bewerbung bei der Toepfer Stiftung ist deshalb nicht möglich.
Since 2002, the EUROPARC Federation, with support from the Alfred Toepfer Foundation, awards three Alfred Toepfer Natural Heritage Scholarships each year to promising young conservationists, who are committed to working for the benefit of Protected Areas. The scholarship enables successful applicants to undertake a study visit on a particular theme to Protected Areas in European countries.
Candidates must be under 35, have a European nationality and be employed by a Protected Area, a nature conservation organisation or an organisation that delivers its work Protected Areas. The selection of candidates is carried out by the EUROPARC Federation. An application is therefore only possible at the EUROPARC Federation, not at the Toepfer Foundation.
The scholarship holders 2023
"My name is Emmanuelle Déon and I work as a Sustainable tourism project manager for Montagne de Reims Regional Park. My role is to engage with stakeholders in developing projects that make the Park more accessible to visitors, mainly through outdoor activities and soft mobilities. Tourism and leisure in Parks are a great way to raise people’s awareness of the beauty of nature, but are also challenging because we have to make sure that these activities don’t result in negative environmental impacts. My scholarship project is to study how Parks can get involved in developing social tourism, for a more inclusive and equitable access to sustainable tourism towards people in risk of poverty. I have a strong interest in the social pillar of sustainability because I believe it is our collective responsability, as a society, to care for the most vulnerable populations. I aim at visiting several protected areas in Europe which have worked on this issue, in order to identify and disseminate best practices with european Parks."
"My name is Hayden Bridgeman and I am North Area Ranger for the New Forest National Park Authority. My role is to help visitors and locals learn about what makes the National Park special, how they can enjoy the area, and offer advice about how to help protect it.
I have a huge passion for making nature inclusive, and believe that everybody should be able to access green spaces. We, as a society, are increasingly aware of how crucial nature is to good mental health, yet those that need it most are often unable to access it. I am currently leading on a local initiative to enable refugees to access the UK’s National parks and I want to continue to learn how I can remove more of the barriers this community faces when accessing nature. This scholarship will allow me to learn from other professionals about some of the opportunities they have created in their protected areas for marginalised communities. I am so grateful for this opportunity and hope my findings will be useful to my European colleagues."
"My name is Lucia Ursu. As an educator in PAs, I have witnessed firsthand the vital role that parks play in promoting sustainable development and preserving our natural heritage. I strongly believe that Education for Sustainable Development is crucial in our efforts to create a more sustainable future not just for protected areas but for nature in general. Through ESD we can change perspectives and shift attitudes towards more sustainable behaviors. Being an Alfred Toepfer Natural Heritage Scholarship winner brings me a unique opportunity to further develop my skills and knowledge in the field of ESD, enables me to expand my expertise and deepen my understanding of ESD and lets me connect with other professionals working towards a more sustainable future. I am committed to using the knowledge and skills I gain through the scholarship to make a positive impact in my community and beyond, and to contribute to the achievement of the sustainable development goals."
The scholarship holders 2022
"My name is Caitlin Cunningham and I work as a Marine Sustainability Adviser for NatureScot. This involves coordinating environmental advice for offshore wind and marine renewable proposals in Scotland, considering impacts to our seas and marine life. My work is directly involved in helping to tackle the climate emergency through the development of renewable energy, whilst also balancing the conservation of biodiversity through minimising environmental impacts. During my study visit to the Netherlands, I will learn from marine and coastal renewable energy developments that impact protected sites, as well as the mitigation in place to protect biodiversity. I hope to broaden my understanding of different approaches to sustainable development and record any lessons learnt that can be applied across the marine renewable energy sector. I’m delighted to receive one of the Alfred Toepfer Scholarships and look forward to sharing my findings with the wider environmental community."
"My name is Margaux Pierrel, I work as a Conservation Ranger for the National Parks and Wildlife Service in Ireland. My job involves monitoring sites with national or European protection, enforcing the wildlife and habitat legislation and engaging with the community about nature. I have a strong interest in the concept of “shifting baseline syndrome” (SBS), also referred to as “environmental generational amnesia”. SBS is the situation in which over time knowledge or memory is lost about the state of the natural world, because people don’t perceive changes that are actually taking place. My scholarship project is to study the effects SBS has on conservation measures in protected areas, particularly in terms of rewilding, land use changes and species loss. I aim at visiting several protected places in Europe which are aware of these challenges and have developed solutions. I am looking forward to completing my study visits and to share findings/best practices with my European colleagues."
"My name is Espen Quinto-Ashman, I work as a volunteer coordinator at Ottenby bird station in Sweden. Based within Ottenby nature reserve, the station’s main purpose is to collect long-term data on migrating birds through standardised bird ringing. Past and ongoing changes in land use (both on a wider scale and within Ottenby) have had serious knock on effects on biodiversity and despite conservation efforts wildlife populations are still in decline. I would like to learn more about how different approaches to nature reserve management can help to maintain resilient biodiversity. I look forward to my study visits and hope that my findings can be useful both to local conservation efforts and in the larger struggle against biodiversity loss."
The scholarship holders 2020
"My name is Anna Jennings and I work as an Engagement Ranger for the Peak District National Park Authority, which involves ensuring that the interactions between visitors, residents and the landscape are as mutually beneficial and sustainable as possible. I believe that nature and National Parks play a fundamental role in our wellbeing and am interested in visiting projects which showcase the best ways to improve people's mental health in long term, environmentally conscious ways. The current situation has highlighted the huge importance of accessing green spaces for everyone's mental and physical wellbeing, and I hope to discover the best practices for future work in this area."
"My name is Réka Szilágyi and I work at “Milvus Group” Nature and Bird Protection Association, in Transylvania, Romania. The association is engaged in a wide range of activities within the field of nature conservation, including monitoring and research programs for protected species, education and public awareness raising. The association also operates a Wildlife Rehabilitation Center. Having a degree in computer science, I am primarily involved in IT related tasks, but I assist in the work of the rehabilitation center as well. During the scholarship I will visit wildlife rehabilitation centers in Spain and Bulgaria, that take part in vulture and eagle rehabilitation projects. Besides their daily work, educational activities, volunteering programs and visitors engagement, I am curious to find out about their role in the protection and restoration of the highly vulnerable European vulture species population. While visiting these centers, I would also like to study the universal aspects of these reintroduction projects, the common challenges these institutions are facing, as well as the differences in their approach to rehabilitation. It is a great honor to be one of the Alfred Toepfer Scholarship holders, and I hope the experience gained during my visits will help our work at the Milvus Group`s rehabilitation center and will also bring valuable knowledge for our professional community."
"My name is Rosie Corner and I am the Local Plan Officer at the Yorkshire Dales National Park. My day job involves securing the future economic, social and environmental sustainability of the Park but my research leans more towards the spiritual. I’m going to be asking what protected area managers can learn from the managers of Sacred Natural Sites. By spending time in a range of spiritual tourism hotspots I hope to discover what these places offer to visitors and what sets them apart from their secular counterpart. I’ll be looking closely at factors such as visitor behaviour, donations, retail offer, community engagement and interfaith dialogue at sites in England, Latvia, Italy and Finland. I’m delighted to be one of the Alfred Toepfer Scholarship holders and look forward to sharing my findings with other environmental professionals."