Conserving biological diversity

Biological diversity is fundamental to the functioning of ecosystems and its ecosystem services are vital for the survival of the human race and life on earth. These services secure our food supplies, regulate water resources and give us clean air to breathe. Nature helps us to reduce climate change and protects us from natural disasters such as flooding and landslides. Biological diversity is also the basis for our health and wellbeing. Intact ecosystems not only have healing and recuperative properties: they are also a basic requirement for prventing the spread of zoonotic diseases such as Covid-19 by offering habitats and sanctuaries, and act as natural ‘crash barriers’ between humans and animals, so as to minimise the transmission of pathogenic organisms.

The conservation of biological diversity must therefore be a top priority for humankind. The conservation of nature and wildlife is an integral part of climate action. At the international level, the German Government is working with other nations on solutions to this critical challenge, and is also a co-signatory to the UN Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) and Agenda 2030, with its 17 ambitious Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

With the Strategic Plan 2011–2020 and its specific targets for action - the 20 ‘Aichi Biodiversity Targets’, an integrated, comprehensive and ambitious programme was adopted by the Parties to the CBD at the 10th Conference of the Parties in 2010. Published in May 2019, the global report from the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES) on the state of biological diversity and ecosystem services makes it very clear that greater levels of commitment and implementation are needed in order to counter losses in biodiversity. To achieve this, nations have come together to develop a new post-2020 framework for the conservation of biodiversity, which will be adopted at the next CBD conference of the Parties (COP) in 2022.

International Climate Initiative (IKI) as a funding instrument for biodiversity conservation

International Climate Initiative (IKI) is an important element of the German contribution to the international financing of climate change mitigation and biodiversity conservation. Since 2011, the conservation of biodiversity has been a separate funding area within IKI. Biodiversity is more vital in other funding areas than just as a cross-cutting issue, and this is reflected in many of the projects in these areas, that are also contributing to conservation efforts.

By providing investments, advice to governments, technology transfer and research partnerships, IKI projects improve the abilities of both governments and civil society to implement the CBD in partner countries. A particular focus for this support is the drafting and implementation of national biodiversity strategies and action plans (NBSAPs). In this work, knowledge sharing as well as raising awareness and the participation of key actors often play a part in the effective and sustainable/long-term conservation of biological diversity.

Other focal points for the funding area include the conservation, expansion and connection of protected areas, the sustainable use of ecosystems, and reductions to the degradation, fragmentation and valuation of ecosystems. The concept of ecosystem-based adaptation to the impacts of climate change as well as the principles behind sustainable methods of production, biodiversity-friendly agriculture and sustainable fishing make up some other important thematic areas. Urban biodiversity and the interactions between city and countryside and their mutual interdependencies, is also becoming increasingly significant.

Since the formation of IKI in 2008, over 300 biodiversity projects have been financed, amounting to a total funding volume of over 1.3 billion euros.

Valuation and mobilisation of financial resources

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Protected areas and ecosystem services

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Sustainable agriculture and pollinator protection

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Biodiversity in the context of pandemics

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Marine and coastal biodiversity and coastal protection

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Zukunft – Umwelt – Gesellschaft (ZUG) gGmbH
IKI Secretariat

Köthener Straße 4
10963 Berlin

Phone hours:
Tuesdays 2 pm-4 pm (CEST)
Thursdays 10 am-12 pm (CEST)
T: + 49 30 700 181 222

E: iki-secretariat(at)

Further Information

BMU-BMZ brochure "Biological diversity – our common responsibility"


Download PDF (3,9 MB | as of October 2021)

IPBES Report

Link to the summary of the IPBES report

Global Biodiversity Outlook

Link to the summary of the Global Biodiversity Outlook 5