Expertise of BfN, Department for Habitat Management and Landscape Ecology

The German Federal Agency for Nature Conservation (Bundesamt für Naturschutz, BfN) is the central scientific authority of the German federal government for both national and international nature conservation. The Agency delivers to the German Environment Ministry (BMU) the scientific expertise to underpin decision-making processes, and advises the Ministry on all issues relating to national and international nature conservation.

The Agency has key enforcement functions that arise under international species conservation agreements, in marine conservation, under the Antarctic Treaty and the German Genetic Engineering Act.
The Agency carries out further important work in relation to international agreements. These include the:

  • Convention on Biological Diversity
  • Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES)
  • Natura 2000 European protected area system
  • Man and the Biosphere (MAB)

Besides its role in supporting federal level policy, the Agency also works in close cooperation with Germany’s regional state (Land) authorities. One aim here is to ensure that the concepts and methods developed by the Agency – e.g. for landscape planning, species conservation and site protection – are applied in a uniform and thus widely comparable manner.

The ongoing improvement of conservation tools and their dynamic adaptation to social change is inherent to this perspective. In the same vein, BfN continuously develops funding programmes and sets new standards for conservation activities. BfN’s opinion is that nature conservation must become a firm element in all realms – policy, industry, science and education.