German Federal Agency for Nature Conservation (BfN)


Further funding options

Funding Database

The funding database (in German) from the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy informs about a variety of funding options from the Federal Government, the Länder and European Union which are suitable for nature conservation measures. The outlined programmes go beyond the limited boundaries of nature conservation funding and also show options for funding from other funding areas (e.g. agriculture and forestry, rural development, etc.).

EU Financial Instrument for the Environment (LIFE)

LIFE is the European Union´s financial instrument. For the period 2014-2020, it is divided into the subprogrammes environment and climate action.

The part environment covers

· nature and biodiversity
· environment and resource efficiency.

The part climate action covers

· climate change mitigation
· climate change adaptation.

Additionally, the programme includes a new category of projects: jointly funded integrated projects. Aim of these projects are the better implementation of environmental and climate policy, as well as the improved integration of these into other policy areas.

Further information can be found on the websites of BMWi and the EU.

Manual for Nature Conservation Financing

Based on the practical-methodological indications for project and financial management, this manual shows the different governmental and private sources for the funding of nature conservation measures, it provides tips for a successful application and furthermore, imparts basic knowledge in terms of fundraising, sponsorship and relationship-management. By means of Good Practice examples the imparted knowledge is explained and deepened by using examples. It was released by BMU and BfN in 2004.

Manual for Nature Conservation Financing, pdf, 3,9 MB (in German)

Guidelines for the Usage of EU-Financial Promotion Programmes for Nature Conservation Measures

EU financial instruments from the EU multiannual framework 2014-2020, where among other options, also specifically nature conservation measures can be financed, are mainly: 

  • European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development (EAFRD) and European Social Fund (ESF)
  • European Fisheries Fund (EFF)
  • Financial intrument for the environment (LIFE+) and
  • 8th Framework Programme for Research and Technical Development or Horizon 2020 (RP8)

Developed on behalf of the European Commission, the "Financing of Natura 2000 - Guidance Handbook" from 2007 informs how the grants from these funding programmes can be used for nature conservation. Much of this information can be also applied for measures apart from Natura 2000.

Advisory Assistance Programme of the Federal Ministry for the Environment

Since 2000, the Federal Ministry for the Environment has been using funding from the Advisory Assistance Programme to support environmental protection in Central and Eastern Europe, Caucasus and Central Asia. Since the year 2015, further neighboring countries to the EU, have also been added.

The project is managed by UBA; when it comes to projects with topics about "Nature Conservation and Biodiversity", BfN is in charge of technical supervision. On website of UBA you find more on of the goals, content orientation, regional focusses, funding criteria and financial capacities of the programme. Information on single projects can be found in the programme specific project database of UBA.

International Nature Conservation Funding

As announced at the 9th Conference of the Parties to the Convention of Biological Diversity (CBD) in Bonn in 2008 by Chancellor Angela Merkel, Germany allocates 500 Million Euros annually for the conservation of forests and other ecosystems worldwide since 2013. The funds are distributed via existing channels.

Through the financing platform LifeWeb, which was iniated during the German CBD presidency, the strategic plan of the CBD 2011-2020 and the CBD  programme of work on protected areas (PoWPA) are supported by linking supply and demand regarding the financing of biodiversity projects.

In 2008, BMUB launched the International Climate Initative (ICI), where biodiversity is a funding focus. The NAMA Facility (Nationally Appropriate Mitigation Actions), founded by BMUB and the British Ministry of Environment, is funding national approriate measures for climate protection, which can be ecosystem-based, too. 

The KfW Development Banktypo3/#_msocom_1 is responsible for the German financial cooperation on nature conservation. Information on single projects can be found in the project database typo3/#_msocom_2(in German, Search: Biodiversität oder Naturschutz).

Furthermore, the Federal Ministry for Education and Research (BMBF) is financing research on sustainable land management for the protection of climate and ecosystem services also on the international level. 

The Conservation Finance Alliance, founded in 2002, provides on their website manifold information about funding options at the international level.


Funding database (in German) of the Federal government, the Länder and the EU

Federal Agency for Nature Conservation:
Natura 2000 – Financing

Deutscher Verband für Landschaftspflege (DVL):
Natura 2000 – Financing (in German)

EU Funding for nature conservation 2007-2020


Last Change: 28/03/2018