Federal Environment Minister Röttgen opens UN Decade on Biodiversity 2011-2020: Conservation of biological diversity is an investment in the future

Wednesday, 11 May 2011

 In Berlin today Federal Environment Minister Norbert Röttgen officially opened the UN Decade on Biodiversity, responding to a call from the UN General Assembly to halt the loss of biological diversity in the decade between 2011 and 2020. Worldwide, countries and private stakeholders have been called upon to commit themselves to nature and the conservation of biological diversity.

The Federal Environment Minister stressed that biodiversity conservation is a worthwhile investment in the future: "Those who use and consume our natural capital instead of conserving it in the long term, act unwisely – ecologically, but also economically. The current financial crisis entails the danger of thinking that nature conservation is not affordable in times of crisis. In fact, the opposite is true: Economically it is better to invest in the conservation of biological diversity and to consider, from the start, the impact of human action on ecosystems and on the services they render. Worldwide a host of examples prove that this is the right approach".

Environment Minister Röttgen invited civil society players to actively shape the UN decade and to contribute with their own activities to the focal topic "enjoy diversity - nature is recreation (Vielfalt genießen - Naturzeit ist Freizeit)”. He launched a competition to find the best decade projects. Applications can be submitted from today. At the same time, well-known decade ambassadors and actively committed young people, so called young ambassadors, will voice their support for biodiversity conservation. Minister Röttgen said: "I am convinced that together we will be able to increase awareness of biological diversity everywhere and to integrate this topic into important political and societal processes". 


 At national level the Federal Environment Ministry has launched several initiatives and taken responsibility for nature conservation investments. Under the successful promotion programme entitled "representative large-scale nature conservation projects of national importance", 76 projects have been supported so far with more than €400 million. Moreover, an area of 125,000 hectares, owned by the Federation, will be conserved as "national natural heritage". With an annual €15 million the new "Federal Biodiversity Programme" supports concrete projects geared towards implementing the National Strategy on Biological Diversity. Under the "Forest Climate Fund" the Federal Environment Ministry (BMU) and the Federal Ministry of Food, Agriculture and Consumer Protection (BMELV) will also support measures geared towards supporting the adaptation of domestic forests to climate change, measures to prevent greenhouse gas emissions and measures to secure and conserve forests and wood products as carbon sinks. The goal is to achieve the best possible link between climate, environment and biodiversity aspects. As from 2013, €35 million are to be made available for this purpose.

Information to the national strategy of biodiversity and to federal biodiversity programme biodiversity: www.biologischevielfalt.de

Information to UN Decade on Biodiversity, tot eh competition and to the decade ambassadors: www.un-dekade-biologische-vielfalt.de & www.cbd.int/2011-2020

Source: BMU-Pressedienst Nr. 137/11, Berlin, 08. November 2011
Published by: Federal Ministry of the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety, Stresemannstraße 128-130, 10117 Berlin
editor: Dr. Christiane Schwarte(verantwortlich) Dr. Elke Mayer, Juergen Maaß, Frauke Stamer
Tel.: 030/18 305-2010/-2011/-2012/-2014. Fax: 030/18 305-2016
email: presse@bmu.bund.de

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