Black lechwe in Bangweulu Wetlands National Park, Zambia

Natural heritage fund The Legacy Landscapes Fund – conserving biological diversity for humankind

Logo: Legacy Landscapes Fund
Logo: Legacy Landscapes Fund

In recent decades, the loss of species and habitats has accelerated dramatically. Three quarters of the most biodiverse regions in the world are in developing countries and emerging economies. Many countries lack the financial resources to fund the protection of these areas. 

The Legacy Landscapes Fund (External link) (LLF) seeks to close that financial gap.

Svenja Schulze, Federal Minister for Economic Cooperation and Development
Through the Legacy Landscapes Fund, we support top biodiversity hotspots worldwide. Protected areas in developing countries need reliable long-term financing and administration in order to protect the natural environment and the global climate but also in order to protect people's livelihoods on the ground.
Svenja Schulze Federal Minister for Economic Cooperation and Development
Kanuku Mountains protected area, Guyana

Recording of the launch of the Legacy Landscapes Fund

Play video

The Legacy Landscapes Fund is an independent foundation that brings together public and private donors.

The Fund pursues the following goals:

  • Ensure long-term financing for the protection of at least 30 particularly biodiverse areas in developing countries in order to help stop the global loss of biodiversity
  • Protect a total area of more than 60,000 square kilometres (twice the area of Belgium)
  • Build a capital stock of about one billion US dollars by 2030 in order to secure long-term core funding for the protected areas

The LLF was founded in December 2020 and began to operate in spring 2021.

Contributors include Germany, France, private foundations and international nature conservation organisations. The Fund also receives support from the European Commission, the UNESCO World Heritage Center and the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).

John Kerry, Special Presidential Envoy for Climate

Video message John Kerry, 
Special Presidential Envoy for Climate

Play video

Background information

How does the Fund work?

How is the LLF funded?

Financing of the Legacy Landscapes Fund
Financing of the Legacy Landscapes Fund

The Legacy Landscapes Fund is an independent foundation under German law. It combines public and private contributions. The contributions make up the foundation's capital.

In order to provide long-term core financing for 30 protected areas, the Fund plans to build a capital stock of about 1 billion US dollars by 2030. To that end, an annual amount of at least 100 million US dollars would need to be raised in the period up to 2030.

  • Germany committed 100 million US dollars (82.5 million euros) for 2020 and is planning to increase its contribution in 2021.
  • France will contribute in 2022.
  • Four philanthropic foundations have already pledged some 35 million US dollars.
  • Efforts are also being made to get private companies involved.
Malachite nectar bird

Applicants for LLF funding North Luangwa National Park Internal link

North Luangwa National Park is situated in eastern Zambia and is one of the most important sites worldwide for the conservation of biodiversity. Core financing for the park from the Legacy Landscapes Fund would cover some 20 per cent of the total cost on a crisis-proof basis.

Protected areas supported by the Legacy Landscapes Fund

Map of the pilot conservation areas des Legacy Landscapes Fund
Map of the pilot conservation areas des Legacy Landscapes Fund

The Legacy Landscapes Fund currently supports five sites: North Luangwa National Park in Zambia and Madidi National Park in Bolivia, Odzala-Kokoua National Park in the Republic of Congo, Gonarezhou National Park in Zimbabwe and Gunung Leuser National Park in Indonesia.

Other protected areas are being assessed through social and environmental impact studies to determine if they are eligible for LLF funding.

More information about this can be found here (External link).

German support for biodiversity conservation

Germany, one of the biggest donors in this field, is providing more than 500 million euros a year for biodiversity conservation in developing countries, with more than 400 million euros coming from the budget of the Development Ministry (BMZ).

2021 is an important year for biodiversity, the BMZ will actually increase its investments in conserving biodiversity to 600 million euros this year.

With this funding, Germany is supporting 668 protected areas with a total area of more than two million square kilometres. That adds up to more than six times the surface area of Germany.


Women rangers in Namibia's Khaudum National Park, part of the Kavango Zambezi Transfrontier Conservation Area

Kavango-Zambezi Transfrontier Conservation Area

One of the world's largest nature conservation areas has been created in Southern Africa. The BMZ is providing over 35 million euros to support the development of this protected area.

Oceanic whitetip shark

Blue Action Fund

As early as in 2016, the BMZ founded one of the world's largest funds to support marine protected areas, the Blue Action Fund.