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Bundesamt für Naturschutz

Easy to read

Welcome to the website
of the Federal Agency for Nature Conservation.
The abbreviation is BfN.

This text is written in easy to understand language.

In this text you can inform about the work and tasks of the BfN.

The BfN is responsible for nature conservation in Germany.  It cooperates with other Länder in nature conservation.  It is part of the Federal Ministry for the Environment.  The BfN is located in Bonn and has branch offices in  in Leipzig and on the island of Vilm near Rügen.

What are the tasks of the Federal Agency for Nature Conservation?

Some tasks are easily explained here.

There are various results of research. 

The BfN passes these on, for example  to the Federal Ministry for the Environment. And it advises the Federal Ministry for the Environment on all questions  on all issues relating to nature conservation. 

The BfN also advises various other authorities, that are concerned with nature conservation.

The BfN conducts research in various fields and  supervises various programmes.  For example, large-scale nature conservation projects.

One of BfN's large-scale nature conservation projects is, for example,  is to protect large moor landscapes in Upper Swabia.  Upper Swabia is in Baden-Württemberg.

With large-scale projects, BfN always  always tries out different things directly on site.  That way they can see exactly  which decisions are good and which are not.

The BfN works very closely with various organisations. 

Organisations are, for example, nature conservation associations,  universities and various offices.

The organisations can always be directly on site.  In this way, the results of the research and  of the projects reach all the people.  This means that, because of the organisations, they know  about the important issues in nature conservation.

Throughout Germany there are  various specialist nature conservation authorities.

The BfN works closely with the nature conservation authorities of the  of the federal states. For example, in the protection of plant species and animal species.  By working together, they can achieve more.

There are animal species and plant species  that are protected.  Often animals or plants are protected  when there are few of them.

The BfN is working on rules and laws  on species protection.  Species protection means  protecting all kinds of animals and plants.

These laws are important.  For example, if certain plants no longer exist,  then the habitat of many animals is destroyed.  And then it can happen  that these animals will eventually no longer exist.

Protected animals and plants may not simply be from one country to another.

If you want to bring them from one country to another,  you need a permit from the BfN.

Off the German coasts of the North Sea and the Baltic Sea  there is an area in the sea.  This area is called the Exclusive Economic Zone.  The BfN is responsible for nature conservation in this area.

If someone is planning something in the Exclusive Economic Zone,  they need a permit.  The BfN is involved in this permit.

Animals and plants can be genetically modified.  For genetically modified animals and plants  you need a permit.  The BfN is involved in this permit.  It checks whether there may be any risks  to the environment and nature.

It is important that many people  know about nature conservation.

On the website of the BfN  there is a variety of information.  For example:

A collection of literature  for nature conservation and landscape management.

There you can, for example  search for reports from journals.

There is a directory,  describing different conservation landscapes.

And you can read parts of the laws  on nature conservation.

You can also order books from the BfN,  books, booklets or brochures.

In addition, BfN has  has one of the largest libraries  in Europe on the subject of nature conservation.  You can go there and read books.

Easy To Read Lexicon

Some terms are easily explained here.

Authorities are institutions of the state. Authorities are responsible for ensuring that certain tasks are carried out by the state for the citizens.

This is an institution of the state that is responsible for nature conservation.

For example:

A gene is in people,   in animals and in food.   A gene stores the information   that is passed on.   This means:   If a person has green eyes,   then that is stored in the genes of that person. If that person then has children,   they pass that information on to their children. Genetically modified means:   In a laboratory, you can artificially breed a gene.   You can give this gene certain characteristics.

For example:  

You can give corn a certain gene,   and less insects will attack it.   Or the maize can survive   if it's dry for a long time.  You can do the same with animals.   You can give pigs a gene, for example,   that makes them grow taller.   And the pigs pass the gene on to their young.  

The aim of a project is to achieve a certain goal within a a certain goal is to be achieved within a certain time.  When the goal is reached, then the project is completed. 

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