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No. 079/10 | Cologne, 27.05.2010

Federal Environment Minister Röttgen: Protecting natural capital in difficult times

Meeting on biodiversity

Over the next years, the Federal Biological Diversity Programme will be an essential instrument to implement the National Strategy on Biological Diversity. Federal Environment Minister Norbert Röttgen invited actors from civil society to help shape this programme. "The conservation of biological diversity is not a luxury. We have to protect our natural capital, especially in difficult economic times", he said at the 3rd National Forum on Biological Diversity in Cologne.

"The Federal Programme will be a driving force and give new impetus to the protection and sustainable use of biodiversity in Germany. I want this programme to be rooted deeply in society, which is why we aim to include all relevant actors in its development and implementation", Minister Röttgen added.

As nature's services are essential for ensuring the livelihood of the population and the economy, he considers them a potential focus of the Federal Programme laid down in the Coalition Agreement. "We use the many services of nature, and thus of biodiversity, on a daily basis and we take them for granted: fresh, clean air, clean water, insects pollinating plants and the capacity of forests, bogs, soils and oceans to store CO2. Without nature, without biodiversity, these services could only be rendered with a major technological effort and at very high cost", said Minister Röttgen.

Another possible key aspect could be the protection of species, for which Germany has a particular responsibility. This includes, for example, wild cats, otters or the yellow-bellied toad. Another option would be the protection of hot spots of biodiversity, which refers to landscapes where a great number of different species and habitats are found within a small area.

The National Strategy on Biological Diversity is at the heart of the German government's nature conservation policy. It contains around 330 objectives, about 430 measures and runs until 2020. Minister Röttgen underlined: "The National Strategy is not a strategy of the environment minister alone, it is supported by the entire government. With it we aim to halt the threat to biodiversity and achieve a trend reversal."

Minister Röttgen stressed that the German government has already made plans for additional specific measures with a focus on interlinking areas of special ecological interest, on international nature conservation policy, forest protection and the conservation of marine biodiversity, in particular through sustainable, environmentally sound fishery.

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