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Bundesamt für Naturschutz


How can we deepen our knowledge of biodiversity? How can robust data help us to better understand the status of and long-term changes in biodiversity? How can we demonstrate the success of conservation measures nationwide? Boosted by the debate on the decline in insect populations, the Federal Government decided to establish the National Monitoring Centre for Biodiversity to address these issues. The Monitoring Centre has been in operation since 2021.

International and national foundations

The global loss of biological diversity is one of the greatest threats to humanity. In 1992, the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) created the basis for the participating countries to commit themselves to the conservation of biodiversity under a common umbrella. In 2007, the German Federal Government adopted the National Strategy on Biological Diversity. Its goals provide the framework for measures to conserve habitats, species and genetic diversity and the associated ecosystem services in Germany. Therefore, pursuing the federal obligation founded in the German Constitution obligation to conserve the natural foundations of life for future generations.

Data basis for the protection of biodiversity

What measures are necessary to face the threat to biodiversity and ecosystem services successfully?

Reliable data on the state of and changes in nature and landscape as well as on important drivers are needed. A central key is long-term biodiversity monitoring. Only this way representative data on biodiversity and environmental factors can be collected over long periods of time using standardised, scientifically sound methods.

In Germany, several nationwide monitoring programmes have already been established in order to collect and evaluate valuable data on specific species groups or habitats over the long term. However, a more comprehensive overall picture of the biodiversity situation in Germany is required. To this end, existing information must be compiled better and supplemented by further monitoring programmes which have yet to be developed.

Decline in insect population as an accelerator

In Germany, there is already very comprehensive knowledge proving the decline of insects. This was made clear by the debate on insect mortality in Germany and worldwide. However, it also showed that representative nationwide monitoring programmes for insects are still lacking. The example of insects can be applied to many other organisms, such as soil organisms. Reliable overarching statements on biodiversity trends are not possible here either because comprehensive monitoring is lacking.

Hoverflies are an example of insect mortality. The photo shows a male hoverfly hovering over a nectar-sucking female on yarrow flowers.
Example of insect mortality - sharp decline in hoverflies: A male hoverfly hovers over a nectar-sucking female on yarrow flowers.

Establishment of a scientific Monitoring Centre

As a result, the demand for a comprehensive but at the same time differentiated picture of the state and trends of diverse insect groups and other organisms was reiterated. This was a reason for the government parties to commit to the establishment of a scientific national Monitoring Centre for biodiversity in the coalition agreement for the 19th legislative period in 2018. The Federal Ministry for the Environment (BMUV), the Federal Ministry of Agriculture (BMEL) and the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) participated intensively in the planning process. Other ministries, such as the Federal Ministry of Digital Affairs and Transport (BMDV), the Federal Ministry of Defence (BMVg) and the Federal Ministry of Finance (BMF) were also closely involved.

Principle concept as a foundation for the Monitoring Centre

The relevant departments of the federal ministries developed a principle concept for the Monitoring Centre, which functions as its content-related and organisational framework. The German Bundestag adopted the concept on 27 January 2021 and provided the financial resources for its establishment in the federal budget. Thus, the establishment phase of the Monitoring Centre began in January 2021.

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