The problem

For many years, we have been experiencing a large decline in biodiversity. In Germany alone, there have been 65 percent fewer species of birds since 1965 and 80 percent fewer species of insects since 1980. In addition to climate change, this problem, which threatens the very existence of humanity, can only be solved by dealing with our urban environment and cultural landscape in a different way.

Our Solution

For the approximately 15-hectare site of the Max Planck Institute for Multidisciplinary Sciences, a biotope development has been initiated with regards to scientific parameters in order to increase biodiversity and to allow a large number of people to participate in it. The result is a variety of biotopes, which can be observed. The measures were derived with response to a biotope mapping and recording of selected animal specy groups. A 900 m2 pond, the extensification of the lawns in flowering meadows, the redesigning of open spaces close to the institute, establishing connection of the daycare center to the institute grounds with connecting paths and rest places, being open to the public at all times, were some of the measure taken. The project pursues several goals. One goal is to noticeably improve the living conditions for insects and birds, but also for many other animals and plants. Another important goal for the project is to become exemplary within the Max Planck Society. Private initiatives in one’s own gardens are to be promoted. Nature experience spaces are created for the daycare center; the urban society and the idea of nature conservation are being transported. The aim of the project was also to cooperate with other educational institutions in Göttingen. Max Planck Institute is a research institution with the scientific demand to comprehensive monitoring. The securing of financial resources is therefore for inventory and biotope maintenance elementary and will be achieved with the continuation of the project, among other things, through the establishment of Förderverein – a support association.

The process

It began with a lecture at the Göttingen Literature Autumn 2019: The well-known ornithologist Prof. Berthold as Emeritus of the Max Planck Institute of Animal Behavior Radolfzell drastically demonstrated the extinction of species and the Emeritus Director Prof. Jäckle at the Göttingen Institute for Multidisciplinary Sciences immediately had the idea of creating a “little Noah’s Arch” on the institute’s grounds. The floristic and faunistic inventories of the existing biotopes were immediately started in order to implement the developed concept within about 18 months. After the idea of the “little Noah’s Arch” was born on the institute’s grounds, a working group was immediately set up as a coordination office under the leadership of the biologist Dr. Carmen Rotte who is responsible for the institute’s communication. In spring 2020, our landscape design concept was ready, and in summer the funding commitment by the building administration came from Munich. The high speed could only be achieved through the excellent cooperation between the institute with the building administration, planning office, executing gardeners and the landscaping companies.

Why our project

Within the Max Planck Society, the BioDiversum is an exemplary project that does not stand idly by and watch the extinction of species and biotopes on its own properties. A high degree of professionalism is shown by the scientific support. A special added value for us humans lies in a better use of the open spaces as well as in their aesthetic design with a high degree of closeness to nature and a high recreational value. This benefits not only the institute staff, but also the connected daycare center and the people living there, as the site is accessible and usable at any time. The BioDiversum aims to be a role model of inspiration for the properties of the Max Planck Society. Their homepage provides tips for a biotope of your own. What makes this project unique is the passion of all those involved combined with the willingness of the building administration of the Max Planck Society in Munich to provide the necessary funds at short notice. Spurred on by the success of the effectiveness of the measures taken to stabilize our flora and fauna, the project has become a continuous one, among others, financed by a support association.

Location: Am Faßberg 11, 37077 Göttingen, Germany
Year Completed: 2021


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