Although we have acquired an increasingly sophisticated understanding of the interdependencies between plant and animal species and their natural habitats, we continue to change ecosystems without realising how harmful the repercussions may be to us. The purpose of conservation is to preserve in the long term the interconnected realms between species and the abiotic systems they populate – for instance the soils, water and air in which they live – particularly as these systems are so vitally important to human life. This can only succeed if based on broad social consensus.
The preservation and sustainable use of all the different species, genes, and habitats are among the central objectives of nature conservation. The German government, through its participation in the UN-wide Framework Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES), and by introducing the National Strategy on Biological Diversity, has made long-term, national, and international commitments with respect to biodiversity.
At the DLR Project Management Agency, we support our clients in the planning and realisation of research and implementation programmes aimed at preserving biological diversity. The Intergovernmental Science-policy Platform on Biodiversity (IPBES) was established to advise government decision-makers on the state and development of biodiversity and ecosystem capabilities. The German IPBES coordination agency is located at the DLR Project Management Agency. The ‘National Programme on Biological Diversity’ that we manage was initiated specifically to support the National Strategy. It calls for concrete protective measures intended to contribute to stopping, and if possible reversing, the erosion of biological diversity in Germany.
We implement a funding project specifically targeting the connecting links between research and practice and ensure its direct translation into concrete protective measures (F&U-NBS). Seeking to close the gaps in knowledge in respect to the extent of erosion in biological diversity, we support the development of instruments and methods to introduce automatic taxonomic registration of biodiversity (German Barcode of Life/GBOL) and to build a global database system for biodiversity data (Global Biodiversity Information Facility/GBIF). Moreover, we implement funding initiatives to conduct research into biodiversity ‘BiodivERsA’ and to support funding measures in the area of ecosystem research, including the development and testing of land management methods for the preservation, i.e. regeneration of ecosystem functions (LAMA), or to strengthen the stability and resilience of the ecosystems themselves.