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UN Summit on Biodiversity

Minister Müller announces establishment of international Legacy Landscapes Fund


Elephant at a waterhole in Khaudum National Park in Namibia. The park is part of the cross-border protected area KaZa.

Press release of 30.09.2020 |

BERLIN – On the occasion of the United Nations Summit on Biodiversity on 30 September, German Development Minister Gerd Müller announced the establishment of an international Legacy Landscapes Fund that is intended to secure sustainable financing for protected areas.

German Development Minister Gerd Müller said: "There is a rapid and alarming decline in biodiversity. Up to 150 plant and animal species become extinct each day. Every four seconds a forest area as big as a football pitch is cut down – for instance for soy or palm oil plantations. Shrinking natural habitats increase the risk that viruses jump from animals to humans. COVID-19 is the most recent example. That is why we need to act with much more determination to protect natural habitats. However, governments cannot do this by themselves. We need new and innovative financing models to protect biodiversity. The new Legacy Landscapes Fund will combine public and private funding, thus securing sustainable financing for protected areas in developing and emerging economies. This is an important contribution towards achieving the goals of the 2030 Agenda regarding the expansion of protected areas."

The Legacy Landscapes Fund is to become established by the end of this year. It is a joint endeavour of the German Development Ministry (BMZ) and the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), UNESCO, and German and international nature conservation organisations such as WWF and the Frankfurt Zoological Society. What makes the Fund so innovative is the mix of public and private money and the long-term character of the financing provided for nature conservation projects.

Every year, Germany invests half a billion euros in the conservation of biodiversity in developing countries and emerging economies. With that funding, Germany supports 500 protected areas with a total area that is four times as big as Germany. One of them is the Kavango-Zambezi Transfrontier Conservation Area (KAZA) in Angola, Botswana, Namibia, Zambia and Zimbabwe, which is the biggest of its kind. The international community wants to protect and conserve 30 per cent of the world's land and marine areas by 2030.

Worldwide, one million out of eight million animal and plant species are facing extinction. One main reason for this is the loss of natural habitats. Since 1990, 420 million hectares of forest have been lost, an area nearly the size of the EU.

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