Detailed analysis of the Standard Indicator “Action Ecosystems” (2015–2020)

Definition: “Area of ecosystems improved or protected by project measures (in hectar)”

The IKI uses Standard Indicatorstandard Indicator “Action Ecosystems” to collect data on direct project contributions to the improved protection and/or conservation of marine and terrestrial ecosystems.

The areas included are only those areas in which one or more of the following improvements has occurred as a result of project contributions:

  • Restoration of degraded, damaged or destroyed ecosystems
  • Ecosystems that were very likely to have been degraded, damaged or destroyed in the absence of project measures
  • Areas for which protected area status has been achieved according to IUCN protected area categories
  • Changes to the management of ecosystems/protected areas leading to an improved status for the areas in question
  • Reforestation of cleared areas
  • Avoidance of deforestation and damage to forests in areas very likely to have been degraded, damaged or destroyed in the absence of project measures

Directly improved areas 2015–2020

Area (better) protected by IKI in hectar, disaggregated by funding area. Note: In the funding area "mitigation", no project reported on this standard indicator.

Since 2015, 32 IKI projects state that they have directly contributed to the improved conservation or protection of ecosystems over an area totalling around 15.7 million ha. This figure corresponds roughly to the total area used by the agricultural sector in Germany. Most of the overall area (around 94%) results from a total of ten projects within the ‘Conservation of biodiversity’ funding area.

Number of projects using the respective measures (multiple answers possible)

To help improve the conservation status of these areas, IKI projects always implement a combination of several different measures. Over half of all the projects state that they have had an impact on the restoration of ecosystems. According to their reports, almost half of the projects also contribute to reforestation (42.8%), reduce deforestation (40.6%) and improve the management of protected areas (37.5%). The establishment or expansion of protected areas is a measure deployed by only 5 of the 32 projects (see bar chart 4). Almost half of all projects (14 projects) also work with areas that have the status of an official IUCN protected area category. Most of these areas are areas with the status ‘Protected landscape or seascape’ (ten projects), followed by ‘Protected area with sustainable use of natural resources’ (six projects) and ‘National parks’ (five projects). Many projects do not specialise in a particular category, however, but state in their own reports that they are working to improve protection for several IUCN protected area categories.

Apart from data on areas with improved protection, five IKI projects also report that they have contributed to the protection of a total of 203 km of coastline. This corresponds roughly to one third of the German North Sea coast. These projects include those addressing ecosystem-based adaptation (EbA), projects focusing on mangroves and dunes, and projects working to improve coastal forests and seascapes.


Example project

Assessment of figures

The IKI funds many projects that implement effective measures to conserve ecosystems but which cannot report data for this specific indicator. This is because the indicator collects data on areas where improvements in ecosystem status have been achieved (including the avoidance of a worsened status that would have occurred in the absence of the project).

Measures that have the sole aim of improving institutional competencies and policy frameworks do not contribute their data to this indicator. This is because of the fact that the potential impact on ecosystems from these measures typically occurs only once the project has ended. Similarly, this indicator does not reflect project achievements where these contributions are limited to the development of management plans for areas and include no further measures to actually implement the management of such areas. For these reasons, the figures presented here probably reflect only a small proportion of the IKI’s real-world impacts on ecosystem quality.

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