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SDG 15 – Life on Land

KfW's commitment to biodiversity

Nature is both the origin and habitat of people, animals and plants. Healthy, diverse ecosystems provide us with air, water and raw materials of all types. They form the basis of our existence and are a prerequisite for economic development. This is why the SDGs are not just directed at people; only a symbiotic relationship between people and nature can ensure quality of life for all.

SDG 15 “Life on land” aims to protect endangered animal species and terrestrial ecosystems. The disappearance of forests must cease, and they should be sustainably managed and preserved. The international community also wants to end the expansion of deserts, loss of biodiversity and degradation of soil.

Biodiversity describes the diversity of species, ecosystems and habitats. But this variety is under threat. It is being lost at great speed through increased consumption of resources. This is destroying more and more habitats: only around 25% of the Earth's surface is free from significant human impact, with more than a third being used as arable or grazing land. At the same time, we continue to lose species: between 1970 and 2014, the world's population of wild animals – mammals, birds, fish, amphibians and reptiles – decreased by 60% on average. And according to projections from the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES), of an estimated eight million species, one million face extinction in the coming decades.

Germany is strongly committed to the conservation of biological diversity, and, through the work of KfW, is now one of the largest donors worldwide. In 2020, KfW committed almost EUR 743 million to land-based biodiversity projects. Thereby, 44 protected areas with almost 8.8 million hectares can be protected or sustainably managed, which benefits more than 300,000 people. KfW cooperates not only with partner countries in this work, but also with major nature conservation organisations like the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) and with non-governmental organisations like the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) and the Frankfurt Zoological Society (ZGF). They jointly pursue the goal of protecting and preserving natural habitats as extensively as possible.

Learn more about KfW's cooperation with the IUCN

SDG 15 on the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) website (German only)

“People need nature – not the other way around”

Interview with biologist Dr Katrin Böhning-Gaese

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Europe's Balcony

How species are preserved in Georgia's national parks (KfW Group/Thomas Schuch/Alia Begisheva).

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Our approaches to Climate protection

  • Rangers observing wildlife

    Nature conservation

    A college for wildlife rangers

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  • Destroyed Forest

    Forest monitoring

    Preventing deforestation – preserving biodiversity

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  • coffee beans

    sustainable resource use

    Top coffee from Nicaragua, sustainably grown

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  • rain forest

    Forest protection

    A treasure trove for biologists

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Read more about biodiversity conservation and sustainable use of natural resources on our topic page.

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Environmental protection losing out to economic interests

For sustainable protection of biodiversity, ecology and economy must be in accord. Unfortunately, there are also examples in Financial Cooperation where this balance has not been achieved in the long term.

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