Two hands holding a piece of honey comb with bees on it

Protecting biodiversity – ensuring survival

Biodiversity loss is considered the second global crisis, alongside climate change, because the future of humankind hinges on global biological diversity. We need ecosystems and their numerous species of plants and animals for our food security and health, for safe drinking water, fertile soils, clean air to breathe, protection of the global climate, and generally as a basis for economic activity.

However, many ecosystems are no longer intact, and as a result, millions of plant and animal species are at risk of extinction. We can only achieve sustainable development if we stop biodiversity loss – and if we combine our related efforts with climate action.


Dramatic loss of biodiversity

Every year, ten million hectares of forest is lost, forest which regulates our climate. This is an area the size of a soccer field every four seconds.

About one million hectares of mangroves were destroyed between 1990 and 2020. (In the last decade, the rate was still about 21,200 hectares per year.)

50 per cent of all coral reefs have already been lost. It is expected that by 2050 only ten per cent will remain. In many places, coastal protection can no longer be ensured.

Every day, up to 150 plant and animal species disappear from the Earth. The rate of biodiversity loss is 100 times faster than it would be without human influence. Our ecosystems, which provide clean water, fertile soils, food security, medical treatment and building materials for us, are no longer in balance.

The destruction of ecosystems and the loss of biodiversity are hitting people in developing countries and emerging economies particularly hard. 80 per cent of the world's biological diversity can be found in tropical regions. In order to deliver on the aspiration to fulfil all people's right to a life in dignity, Germany is investing in the conservation of biodiversity worldwide, at a financial level that is almost unparalleled among industrialised nations.

The BMZ working globally to conserve biodiversity

Forest in Indonesia

More than

500 million euros

are provided each year by the BMZ in support of the conservation and sustainable use of forests, oceans and wetlands.

To help conserve biodiversity in our partner countries, we support fair, sustainable, deforestation-free

supply chains

A Western Lowland Gorilla in Dzanga National Park in the border triangle of Congo, Cameroon and the Central African Republic.

We support the maintenance and development of over

650 protected areas,

an area six times the size of Germany.

Access and benefit sharing

We lobby for developing countries to receive fair compensation for the use of their natural assets.

Victoria Falls near Livingstone in Zambia

We have provided more than

35 million euros

in support of the world's largest transboundary reserve, the Kavango Zambezi Transfrontier Conservation Area.

Sustainable use

We rely on agroecological approaches and sustainable forest management to help protect forests, water resources and land.

International agreement on biodiversity conservation

The BMZ has been working in the international arena to encourage all countries to increase their efforts for biodiversity conservation. Together with the other 195 parties to the UN Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), the German government is currently involved in drafting a new framework for the Convention's implementation over the next ten years. It is to be adopted – and to usher in a breakthrough – at COP-15, which is expected to be held in China in the second half of 2022.

In the negotiations, Germany has been advocating, among other things, for

  • placing 30 per cent of the world's land and sea areas under protection,
  • making global supply chains and our consumption patterns more sustainable, and
  • restoring destroyed and degraded ecosystems.

Further information can be found here.

BMZ activities in connection with conserving biodiversity

Mangrove Forest

Always taking account of the value of biodiversity from the start Internal link

We can only achieve biodiversity conservation and sustainability if we take account of the value of natural assets and if we systematically mainstream this in all activities pursued by governments and by enterprises.

Black lechwe in Bangweulu Wetlands National Park, Zambia

Investing in biodiversity – establishing partnerships for nature and people Internal link

Three quarters of all regions with particularly rich biodiversity and important ecosystem services are located in the Global South. Many developing countries and emerging economies need assistance in order to conserve their biological diversity. There is a need for innovative financing instruments and for capacity development.

Vegetables at the Kandal market in Phnom Penh, Cambodia

Enforcing fair supply chains and fostering a socially and environmentally sound turnaround in agriculture Internal link

Fair production and sustainable consumption are vital to the conservation of biological diversity in areas that are used for farming or forestry purposes. Sustainability facilitates intergenerational equity.

Zebras and wildebeest in the Serengeti in Tanzania

Strengthening protected areas Internal link

Protected areas such as national parks, landscape protection areas, biosphere reserves and World Heritage sites facilitate the conservation of ecosystems and their services for people and provide a refuge for endangered species.

Arctic Ocean near Spitsbergen

Putting a stronger focus on oceans Internal link

The world's oceans are a key component of the global ecosystem. They play a major role for climate regulation and are home to vast biodiversity. Without them, life on Earth would not be possible in its present form.

Elephant at a waterhole in Khaudum National Park in Namibia

Fighting overexploitation and poaching Internal link

Joint efforts to fight poaching, illegal fishing, illegal logging and trade in wildlife and wildlife products are a key prerequisite for the conservation of habitats and endangered species.

Spectacled flying foxes, parent pair with kitten

Implementing the One Health approach Internal link

Human health depends on diverse, thriving ecosystems and their services. And biological diversity is also crucial for preventing and fighting diseases and pandemics.

Moorland in Europe

Addressing climate change and biodiversity in combination Internal link

Biodiversity conservation is a vital prerequisite for successful climate action. Healthy ecosystems store greenhouse gases and alleviate the consequences of extreme weather events.

Rainforest in Brazil

Restoring ecosystems Internal link

Destroyed and degraded ecosystems need to be restored. This is our only chance to regulate our climate, continue to have access to clean water, and maintain soil fertility.

BMZ publications

BMZ 2030 reform strategy

Investing in biodiversity - A matter of survival

File type PDF | Date of status 10/2020 | File size 1 MB, Pages 16 Pages | Accessibility Accessible
Cover: Biological diversity – our common responsibility

Biological diversity – our common responsibility

File type PDF | Date of status 10/2021 | File size 3 MB, Pages 4 Pages | Accessibility Accessible

As at: 15/06/2022