German Federal Agency for Nature Conservation (BfN)


Protecting Habitats and Landscapes

Landscapes are an important part of the environment we experience but have so far received too little attention as conservation targets in Germany. Nationwide landscape demarcation, classification and assessment provides an important basis for effective landscape conservation.

 Landscapes of conservation importance

Large areas of valuable open landscape habitats have been lost in past decades due to modern farming methods and economic change. Extensively farmed grassland habitats are particularly under threat, and with them our traditional cultural landscapes. Dynamic natural processes have also been systematically eliminated from the face of the countryside. Modern approaches to habitat management aim to halt this trend and allow greater scope for dynamic natural processes in the countryside.

 Habitat management

Ecologically functional peatlands provide not only habitats for many highly specialised species but also a wide range of ecological services. In particular intact peatlands act as carbon sink. However, many peatlands have been degraded or even completely destroyed in the past. In a degraded state they lose their function as carbon sink, emit greenhouse gases and release nutrients into the environment. Therefore peatland conservation has moved into the focus of climate protection policy in recent years.

 peatland conservation

Germany has scarcely any remaining wilderness areas that can be said to be natural or left to develop free of human guidance. Natural processes are critical to many species and habitats, however, and protecting them or allowing them to regenerate is a central aim of conservation.

 Wilderness Areas

Besides sustaining near-natural and seminatural habitats, the ecological network aims to safeguard, restore and develop functional ecological interrelationships in the landscape.
 Ecological networks

The no-man’s land that once divided East and West in Europe allowed a continuous ribbon of often valuable habitats to grow undisturbed. What used to be the Iron Curtain and has now been rechristened the 'Green Belt' runs from the Barents Sea in the north to the Black Sea in the south. The German Federal Agency for Nature Conservation (BfN) is involved in various national and international projects relating to this unique resource.

 The Green Belt

Publications issued by BfN with ordering instructions, together with other publications on the subject.

 Publications (in German)

Last Change: 08/05/2015