International biological diversity

Biodiversity knows no borders. International cooperation in addition to national measures for the conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity is therefore vital.

Biodiversity and ecosystem services such as food, clean water and medicine are essential for the survival of humankind. Yet their condition is deteriorating dramatically, with the rate of species extinction being at least dozens to hundreds of times higher today than the average over the past ten million years. Up to one million species are threatened with extinction, many within the next few decades. These are the conclusions reached in the global assessment report on the state of nature adopted by the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES) in May 2019.

Around the world, many efforts are being made to conserve biodiversity. This objective is firmly anchored at the level of the United Nations, for instance as one of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals. One of the objectives of Goal 15 "Life on land" is to halt the loss of biodiversity.

The Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) was established in 1992. It is the most comprehensive international convention on biodiversity and aims to reconcile sustainable uses of biological diversity with its protection. The international community is to adopt a new global biodiversity framework at the 15th meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the CBD (CBD COP15), which was postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic and then split into a virtual part in Kunming, China, held in October 2021, and an in-person meeting in Montreal, Canada, scheduled for December 2022. The Federal Environment Ministry (BMUV) is working with its European and international partners for an ambitious framework that includes robust targets as well as effective and transparent implementation mechanisms.

Beyond political processes, the BMUV directly promotes projects for the conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity around the world under its International Climate Initiative (IKI). The IKI is one of the Federal Government’s most important instruments for the international financing of climate action and biodiversity conservation. Since 2011, conserving biological diversity has been a separate funding priority within the initiative. In this area, the IKI supports partner countries in achieving the objectives of the CBD to counteract the dramatic loss of nature worldwide. To date, the IKI has supported over 300 biodiversity-related projects with a total funding volume of over 1.4 billion euros (2008 to 2021).

The linked pages present various agreements on and instruments for the international protection of biodiversity.