Protecting biodiversity – ensuring survival

Conservation of biological diversity helps protect the climate and the environment and is essential both for food security and for the economic, social and cultural development of present and future generations. A million plant and animal species around the world are at risk of extinction: many could disappear within the next few decades.

The extinction of species is dramatic and habitats are dwindling:

  • Up to 150 plant and animal species disappear from the Earth every day.
  • The extinction of species is proceeding 100 times faster than it would without human influence.
  • Ten million hectares of forest are being lost every year.
  • About a million hectares of mangroves were destroyed between 1990 and 2020.
  • 50 per cent of coral reefs have already been lost; by 2050 only ten per cent will remain.

Conserving biological diversity – a task for development cooperation

Black lechwe in Bangweulu Wetlands National Park, Zambia

Germany is one of the largest donors of funds for biodiversity conservation. Since 2013, the German government has provided more than 500 million euros every year for the conservation and sustainable use of forests and other ecosystems worldwide. More than 400 million euros of this comes from the budget of the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ). In 2021 the BMZ plans to increase its investment in the conservation of biological diversity to 600 million euros per year.

German development cooperation is actively working to:

  • place 30 per cent of the world’s land area and oceans under protection.
  • reshape the direct drivers of biodiversity loss, such as agriculture and forestry, and indirect drivers such as our consumption behaviour, to make them more sustainable.
  • promote biodiversity-friendly, deforestation-free supply chains.

Activities at local and international level

Germany’s partner countries in development cooperation are offered support to enable them to draw up and implement appropriate and sustainable strategies for the use of biological diversity. The aim is to ensure that local communities assume responsibility for preserving the natural resources that sustain life and are able to benefit from the services of intact ecosystems – whether through eco-tourism, the marketing of medicinal plants or stewardship (sustainable management and use) of wild animal stocks.

Through its development policy Germany is also actively engaged in shaping processes at international level. In autumn 2020, Germany and more than 80 other countries endorsed the Leaders’ Pledge for Nature (External link) in which they undertook to kick-start a change of course and adopt and implement an ambitious Global Biodiversity Framework. In January 2021 Chancellor Angela Merkel announced that Germany was joining the High Ambition Coalition for Nature and People (External link)

Our areas of work

Spectacled flying foxes, parent pair with kitten
Gene database in the laboratory of the Africa Rice Center. The research institute aims to breed higher-yielding rice varieties in order to improve the food supply.
Zebras and wildebeest in the Serengeti in Tanzania
Landscape near Lalibela, Ethiopia
Black lechwe in Bangweulu Wetlands National Park, Zambia
Rainforest in Brazil
Moorland in Europe
Arctic Ocean near Spitsbergen
Elephant at a waterhole in Khaudum National Park in Namibia
Vegetables at the Kandal market in Phnom Penh, Cambodia