Action 12: Conserving habitats and ecosystems

We will develop concrete protection and management strategies to conserve biodiversity and ecosystems.

Where do we stand?

So far, biodiversity measures have focused on individual sectors such as agriculture, forestry and fisheries. However, broader, more reliable solution concepts and strategies are needed that involve all sectors and social groups affected.

What are the research needs?

In order to improve the conservation of biodiversity and of particularly endangered species, it is especially important to preserve, restore and interconnect sufficiently large habitats, not only on land and at the coast but also in inland waters and in seas and oceans. This will safeguard the viability of populations and their genetic diversity. We will develop actionable initiatives that are evidence-based and relevant. The aim is to enable decision-makers at all levels to use and conserve ecosystems sustainably. What is needed are innovative approaches that make it possible to transform our socio-ecological systems in order to preserve biological diversity. This also requires an analysis of the economic framework conditions and governance structures in various policy areas and economic sectors, and the identification of conflicts of interest and synergies for the protection of biodiversity and ecosystems. In this context, the potential of cost-effective nature-based solutions must also be developed. Strengthening ecosystems and how they perform can assist in meeting socio-ecological challenges such as species extinction, climate change, human health or land degradation.

Implementation steps and milestones

  • Through the Research Initiative for the Conservation of Biodiversity, we are contributing to the development of science-based solutions and courses of action, and to decision-making and management instruments for regional and sectoral conservation measures. We are making these available to actors at different levels of decision-making. One area of focus will also be the development of integrative assessment methodologies for ecosystem services, for example with regard to the assessment of the costs and benefits of different development scenarios.
  • In order to conserve biodiversity and intact ecosystems, we will develop innovative research-driven initiatives by 2025, for example on new agricultural management methods, economic accounting approaches, improved renaturation measures, and suitable policy and governance concepts, and implement them on a pilot basis.
  • By 2025, we will present reliable scenarios and models for the development and protection of biodiversity in selected regions.
  • By 2030, we will present evidence-based recommendations for the effective protection and sustainable use of German coastal waters.
  • Together with local and regional players, associations and initiative groups, for example from companies, local authorities and civic initiatives, we will support the development of concrete integrative measures for the protection of biodiversity in model regions and experimental areas from 2020 onwards, which will be tested for their applicability on the ground.
  • In the framework of European initiatives, we will fund research into the threat that noise pollution poses to marine ecosystems. Recommendations for measures to reduce marine noise pollution in order to protect the marine population should be available from 2026 onwards.

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