The ISA (2019 – 2024)

ISA is a project of the Schutzgemeinschaft Deutscher Wald Lv. Hamburg e.V. (SDW) [The Protective Association for the German Forest] and is located in Hamburg in the WÄLDERHAUS. The goal is to support and strengthen international cooperation in the implementation of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Available resources and network structures of the SDW can and should be used effectively. In this way, the Academy creates the link between work at the local level and international exchange. In the first instance, the planned project goals should take climate protection and gender equality into consideration.

The scholarship is sponsored by the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) and is aimed at interested parties in emerging countries and economies on the Development Assistance Committee (DAC) list. The Schutzgemeinschaft Deutscher Wald Landesverband Hamburg e.V. (SDW), as a NUN-certified education center for sustainable development (BNE), heads the ISA which is responsible for the scholarship-holders. The program will be sponsored until the end of 2024. Seven rounds are planned from September 2019 to December 2024.

Aims of the sponsorship

The international transfer of knowledge shall help the 13 scholarship-holders to further develop their existing special fields and/or existing projects in terms of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Of particular importance and given priority are activities in respect of climate protection and gender equality in their home countries. The primary objective is the discernible use in the home country through the continuation of the projects and/or the perspectives, solution approaches and contacts acquired during the course of the scholarship. Their projects must be put into the context of one or more SDGs. The ongoing exchange between the Academy and the scholarship- holders is therefore essential, even after returning home.

The ISA from 2025 onwards

From 2025, the final selection of ISA Fellows will be raised to a new level: 20 Fellows will be offered a 2-month online training program in which project goals are defined and the project structure is worked on. At the same time, the existing support from project partners in the home countries is reviewed and the motivation, feasibility, and qualifications of the candidates are evaluated. Only the 12 best candidates receive the 9-month ISA scholarship.
The previous selection process, taking into account gender and country proportionality and SDG relevance, remains unaffected.

In order to maximise the practical experience of the fellows in Germany, the planned internship period will be extended to 3 months. In the ninth and thus last month of the fellowship, the ISA team and the experts will coach the fellows during the implementation phase of the projects in their home countries, which was not previously planned.

Supervision of the ALUMNI will be further intensified. The ALUMNIS act as mentors for the ISA fellows, they give recommendations, inspire, and offer global networking and partnership opportunities. They promote the capacity building of the fellows and the scaling of the projects.

NEW: Volunteer program
ISA is offering an attractive volunteer program with selected ISA-ALUMNI projects from 2025. This offers an additional source of income and is intended to support the expansion of the project with manpower. The PR and public relations work for the project is strengthened in the program and is very attractive for sponsors, donors and partnerships.
Four potential volunteer program from Brazil, Indonesia, India, and Cameroon have already qualified.