In July 2013, the Marion Dönhoff Fellowship in the Michael Succow Foundation began. Each year, the programme funds a study and research stay in Germany for up to four young people from post-Soviet countries. They can work on a self-chosen topic for up to five months, supported by the Michael Succow Foundation and other organisations. The results will be published. The fellowship programme aims at promoting the debate on environmental journalism, political ecology, nature conservation and sustainable development in the countries of the former Soviet Union. The Marion Dönhoff Fellowship supports a critical East-Western dialogue on environment and sustainability, furthers regional and international networks, and explicitly includes issues concerning human rights.
It sponsors persons and organisations involved in these areas in former Soviet countries. In the spirit of Marion Dönhoff the aim is to strengthen proactive behaviour and individuals' awareness to be jointly responsible for common welfare. The programme is funded by the Marion Dönhoff Foundation. It connects two concerns of Marion Dönhoff: on the one hand, Marion Dönhoff kept pointing at the negative sides of capitalism, the unlimited pursuit of growth. On the other hand, cooperation with Germany's eastern neighbours and the promotion of young people were of great importance to her.
Current deadline for applications is 1st of January, 2015.
Specialised library on peatlands
A new specialised library will make available more than 8,000 international publications on peatlands and nature protection. The University of Greifwald's Institute for Botany and Landscape Ecology in cooperation with the University's library and the Michael Succow Foundation are commonly establishing the new library. The project is supported by the Bernhard and Ursula Plettner Foundation with a generous donation of 200,000 Euros.
The library will assemble numerous publications owned by the Michael Succow Foundation and from private libraries, to be completed by newly purchased books. Additionnally, users will have access to open source media. The library will promote and strengthen the Greifswald expertise on peatlands.
About 50 scientists and experts are currently working on peatland research in Greifswald. They contribute significantly to international research, for example on peatlands' climate relevance. Peatlands only represent three percent of the earth's surface, but they store more CO2 than all forest resources of the earth.
Research on peatlands has a long tradtion in Greifswald: the first analysis on peatland botany was published in 1826. Prof. em. Dr. Michael Succow, awarded with the Right Livelihood Award and one of the leading German peatland ecologists, made peatland research a focus of landscape ecology in Greifswald. He could win Hans Joosten for the University, who initiated the working group "Peatland Studies and Palaoecology" in 1996.
In Greifswald, peatland scientists today research and work on appliance and political consulting worldwide. This expertise will be further devloped by the new specialised library, which strengthens the city as a focal point of international peatland studies.