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Bundesamt für Naturschutz


Ideas and activities to conserve animal and plant species and their habitats and to safeguard the ecosystem services vital for human survival need a sound scientific basis. They must be feasible, tested in practice and continuously refined in light of emerging challenges. Valuable natural and cultural landscapes must also be preserved for the future. BfN plans, funds and supports various forms of projects for these purposes large-scale conservation projects, research projects and pilot projects.

All such projects are carried out jointly with external partners. Close contacts with stakeholders and institutions at regional and local level ensure that projects reflect local interests. The projects generate an understanding of the conservation status of the natural environment and of the socioeconomic needs of the population, enabling BfN to continue giving key impetus to the theory and practice of nature conservation.

All funding programmes require a financial contribution on the part of the applicant.

Funding Programmes

The German Federal Agency for Nature Conservation (BfN) implements and administers a number of government nature conservation funding programmes and budget headings.

Large-scale conservation projects are carried out to preserve our natural heritage across wide areas. Site selection is guided by clear criteria: Closeness of approximation to natural conditions, significant national relevance, a large area, threat status, and planned measures of model character. Assistance mainly consists of the purchase or long-term lease of sites, compensatory payments for conservation-related restrictions, and site management and development work. Large-scale conservation projects frequently also serve as an engine of sustainable regional development with economic benefits for the local population.

Testing and development projects aim to put innovative nature conservation ideas into practice. Key research findings are tested in the field and the resulting outcomes and experience translated into generally applicable recommendations that directly benefit those in charge of future projects. All testing and development projects therefore go hand in hand with parallel research.

Within the funding program for NGOs, nature conservation projects of private non-profit associations in the field of nature conservation are supported. Nature conservation measures that focus on international cooperation can also be funded.

With the federal “Blue Belt” programme the Federal Ministry of Transport (BMVI) and the Federal Ministry for the Environment (BMU) have created a strategy for action for the coming years and decades. Looking at river landscapes as a whole, the central aim is to reconnect the federal waterways with their banks and floodplains and to create a nationwide biotope network along Germany’s navigable rivers. The German government will be working with the federal states, and local stakeholder to create space for the ecological development of water bodies and to enhance people’s opportunity to experience the natural environment, thus generating valuable impetus for the development of entire regions. In this endeavour, the BfN is responsible for overseeing and implementing projects funded under the “Förderprogramm Auen” (floodplain restoration) programme.

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