German Federal Agency for Nature Conservation (BfN)


Nature and society

Mudflat hiking tour. (Picture: Jörg Bötel/piclease)

Nature conservation is a social challenge and one which relies on acceptance among the population. Successful nature conservation thus builds on knowledge concerning social structures and cultural values and behaviours.

Tufts of grass in a marsh. (Picture: Manfred Nieveler/piclease)

Ecosystem services are direct and indirect contributions of nature which benefit society. These include provisioning services (such as food, agriculturally produced raw materials, timber or water), regulating services (such as regulation of climate and flood or disease control) and cultural services (such as recreation, identity, education and spirituality). These services are of high value -including in economic terms - for society.

Several piles of coins stacked on banknotes. (Foto: Antje Deepen-Wieczorek/piclease)

Nature conservation goals cannot be reached without the availability of funding. State-provided funds are the most important factor in nature conservation funding and this includes such funding priorities as the Federal Biological Diversity Programme as well as promoting the activities of environmental organisations.