German Federal Agency for Nature Conservation (BfN)

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Nature conservation

A pair of storks on a fence in a meadow. (Picture: Hans Glader/piclease)

Vast numbers of wild animals, plants and fungi are at risk worldwide, and some are even at threat of extinction. A range of national policies and provisions have been introduced to combat this trend.


Autumnal fen landscape with birch trees on the banks of a lake. (Picture: Mario Müller/piclease)

Intensified farming, urban sprawl and infrastructure construction have had a significant impact in recent years, with losses of valuable habitats as a result.


A sign with the inscription ‘Naturschutzgebiet’ (‘nature conservation area’). (Picture: Iris Göde/piclease)

Protected areas are one of the most important instruments in nature conservation and landscape management. Protected areas contribute directly to both species and habitat conservation. Use of protected area categories allows a wide range of goals to be met.


A Scots pine tree on a heath. (Picture: Christian Müller/piclease)

The term natural heritage site refers to the exemplary initiative of the German government not to privatise government-owned, valuable natural areas such as former military training grounds and mining sites, but to transfer them free of charge to the Bundesländer, Deutsche Bundesstiftung Umwelt (DBU) and other bodies in charge of nature conservation.

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