Joint press release by the German Environment Agency and the Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Nuclear Safety and Consumer Protection

Blauer Kompass award for outstanding projects in climate change adaptation and risk prevention

Awards for projects from Brandenburg, Hamburg, Hesse and North Rhine-Westphalia

GroupphotoClick to enlarge
Blauer Kompass: online vote for the audience award
Source: BMUV/Toni Kretschmer

A flood alliance, “Tiny Forests” as a place for teaching about climate change adaptation and others – the winners of the national Blauer Kompass Award 2022 have been announced. Federal Environment Minister Steffi Lemke and President Dirk Messner of the German Environment Agency presented the awards to the best project entries at the end of "Climate Change Adaptation Week" in Berlin. The 240 entries received for the award which promotes prevention and adaptation to the effects of the climate crisis sets a new record. The €25,000 in prize money is awarded to outstanding climate change adaptation projects in the areas of flood protection, agriculture, skilled crafts and trade, environmental education and rural development. A high-ranking jury selected the best projects and an audience prize was also awarded.

Federal Environment Minister Steffi Lemke says: “The past few months have shown how important climate adaptation is, also in Germany – heat waves, forest fires and a lack of water in rivers and lakes are among the consequences of the climate crisis. We are feeling the effects of the climate crisis in our country. The Blauer Kompass highlights successful responses to climate change adaptation in many areas – in municipalities and businesses, in research and education, or on the part of associations and foundations. The award-winning projects highlight that we can tackle this core task together: in our city or municipality, at work or at school – for climate change adaptation and in the fight against the climate crisis.”

⁠UBA⁠ President Dirk Messner says: “Climate change adaptation is a job we must take on now, something we can see almost every day, even here in Germany. That is why the Blauer Kompass award winners are so important. They show that effective climate change adaptation strategies can be implemented now. Nature-based solutions can mitigate many of the consequences of the climate crisis. The projects that were not among the winners also deserve great praise because they impressively show how diverse the possibilities for the urgently needed climate adaptation have become.”

The Blauer Kompass prize was organised this year for the first time jointly by the Federal Environment Ministry and the German Environment Agency. New features include a separate category for municipalities and prize money of 25,000 euros each for the winning projects. The aim of the competition is to present innovative, effective and sustainable solutions for prevention of and adaptation to the consequences of the global climate crisis – whether it be heat, drought or heavy rain. The award ceremony marks the end of the nationwide "Climate Change Adaptation Week" organised by the Federal Ministry for the Environment and the Zentrum KlimaAnpassung (ZKA), during which examples of best practice in climate protection were presented for the first time at events throughout Germany. The nationwide "Week of Climate Change Adaptation" is part of the Federal Environment Ministry’s immediate action programme on climate change adaptation.

The entries for the Blauer Kompass award were evaluated with support from the Institute for Ecological Economy Research (IÖW) and the co2online agency along six criteria of best practice in climate change adaptation formulated by the German Environment Agency. An online vote for the best twenty projects was held in May. In June, an eight-member jury of high-ranking representatives of the municipal umbrella organisations and from the fields of business, research, volunteer work and climate communication selected projects in the four categories of the national prize.

In addition to a plaque and prize money of 25,000 euros per project, the winners also receive support for national press and public relations work. This includes video clips highlighting the aims of the award-winning projects.

Winners of the “Blauer Kompass” 2022

Category: Municipalities
Borken district – Hochwasserallianz Bocholter Aa (North Rhine-Westphalia)
Several towns and districts along the Bocholter Aa river have joined to form a flood alliance. They developed a joint protection scheme for the region surrounding the river and its inlets. Warning systems and semi-natural solutions are helpful not only during a flood but also in rainstorms. Citizen responsibility, disaster control, tourism and biodiversity are all part of the climate change adaptation scheme for the Aa river.
- Winner video clip (Youtube)

Category: Private and municipal enterprises
Hof Tolle – Integrierte und dynamische Agrarplanung für den Klimawandel (Hesse)
The Tolle farm in Calden near the town of Kassel shows how climate change adaptation can work in farming. Together with Hohenheim University, the farm developed and trialled its own method. The aim is to develop a customised climate strategy for each individual farm business - not as a one-off concept, but as a dynamic process. An eight-step cycle achieves this goal: from assessment to monitoring in practice.
- Winner video clip (Youtube)

Category: Educational and research institutions
EnergieBauZentrum – Präventive Klimafolgenanpassung mit dem Hamburger Handwerk
With its EnergyBuildingCentre, the Hamburg Craft Chamber supports craftsmen and women in advising on climate change adaptation. Building owners are made aware of the topic, the skilled trades are better connected and new capacities are created. In on-site consultations, the various trades develop joint solutions for dealing with heavy rainfall and hot weather.
- Winner video clip (Youtube)

Category: Associations, federations and foundations
MIYA e. V.: Tiny Forests – von nachhaltiger Bildung zu klimaresilienten Städten (Brandenburg)
The MIYA association from Eberswalde makes use of so-called tiny forests for educational programmes on climate change adaptation. Children and other volunteers plant trees in rather small areas. The Tiny Forest serves as a green classroom and living lab. The development of the forest ecosystem can be experienced with simple means - for example by documenting the growth of the trees or identifying insects.
- Winner video clip (Youtube)

Audience award
Freundeskreis Technisches Denkmal Brikettfabrik LOUISE e.V.: Leuchtturm Louise –Mit kühlem Kopf in heißen Zeiten (Brandenburg)
The Freundeskreis Technisches Denkmal Brikettfabrik LOUISE from Uebigau-Wahrenbrück (Lusatia) develops climate change adaptation projects for the surrounding rural and structurally weak region. A former factory serves as a teaching and learning environment. The group reaches out to regional players and large segments of the population to find solutions for everyone. The current priority topic heat involves the participation of older people, schools and municipalities.
- Winner video clip (Youtube)

Contact for photo images and questions about the competition:

Wettbewerbsbüro „Blauer Kompass“
c/o co2online
Phone: 030 36 99 61 - 12
Email: blauerkompass [at] uba [dot] de

Umweltbundesamt Hauptsitz

Wörlitzer Platz 1
06844 Dessau-Roßlau

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