Implementation of the Convention
Measures Taken to Achieve the 2010 Target
The EU Habitats Directive and Birds Directive contain targets for the designation of protected areas in the context of the European network Natura 2000. This Directive covers primarily endangered species and the Federal Agency for Nature Conservation publishes a report every two years containing information on the situation of these species. Moreover, under the Federal Nature Conservation Act the regions shall create a network of linked biotopes covering at least 10% of the area of the land in question. The Act also provides that a number of valuable biotope types are to be protected from destruction or other sustained impairment, that natural resources are to be used sustainably, and requires measures to avert the danger of adulteration of the native flora and fauna due to the introduction and propagation of alien species.
To reduce pressure from habitat loss, the national sustainability strategy includes the target of reducing the amount of new land for settlement and transport to a maximum of 30 ha per day by 2020, of reducing the nitrogen surplus in the agricultural sector to 80 kg/ha by 2010 and of increasing organic farming to 20% of total farmland by 2010 (currently 4.5%). Moreover, the European Community Water Framework Directive contains provisions on achieving the target specified therein: good ecological and chemical status of surface waters and good chemical and quantitative status of groundwater by 2015.
The national sustainability strategy sets out the target of reducing pollution by major air pollutants (sulphur dioxide, nitrogen oxides, ammonia and volatile organic compound) by around 70% of 1990’s levels by 2010 (75% of the reduction target already achieved for major air pollutant, but still high levels of air-borne pollution due to nitrogen). Financial resources for biodiversity issues in German development cooperation have risen steadily, reaching 72.7 million Euros in 2003. The NBSAP, currently under preparation, will include targets for the different goals of the 2010 Biodiversity Target.
Initiatives in Protected Areas
Outcomes and actions taken to date concerning protected areas include: establishment of over 5,000 “Natura 2000” sites on land; establishment of 10 marine protected areas in the Exclusive Economic Zone of the North Sea and Baltic Sea (2004); promotion of large-scale projects to identify and safeguard natural areas in need of protection that are of representative importance for the country as a whole (major nature conservation projects); establishment of national parks and biosphere reserves; and establishment of extensive nature conservation areas. Moreover, a research and development project on communication strategies for Germany’s large protected areas are currently in progress, and a research and development project on quality criteria for national parks is being prepared. EUROPARC Deutschland is currently preparing a plan of action for the large protected areas in Germany. Other steps taken by Germany with regards to protected areas include: a national programme of ongoing education leading to the qualification “Nature and Landscape Warden” was introduced in 1998; the regions provide ongoing training measures for personnel of the protected areas; since 2002 a number of training courses for employees of the protected areas have been held; and a large number of degree courses at German universities include the subject of protected areas.
Initiatives in Access and Benefit Sharing
The Association of Botanical Gardens developed the International Plant Exchange Network (IPEN) under several research projects, assisted by the Federal Ministry of Environment. The IPEN code of conduct basically requires that the plant materials entrusted to the members shall be used exclusively for non-commercial purposes (for other uses only with the consent of the country of origin). Moreover, the introduction of IPEN numbers which accompany the plant materials makes it possible to identify the country of origin, by which benefits arising from their use can be transferred to the country of origin at all times. The code of behaviour of the botanical gardens includes joint expeditions with partner institutions in the country of origin, know-how transfer, technical assistance, exchange of gardeners, reintroduction of extinct plants, joint publications and sharing of research findings with the country of origin. Furthermore, as part of the BioTeam research programme the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) is assisting a major research and development programme (“ProBenefit”, 2003-2008) for developing a fair benefit-sharing model for the use of biological resources in the Amazon lowlands of Ecuador. In the course of implementing the Directive of the European Parliament and of the Council on the legal protection of biotechnological inventions (98/44/EC), the Biomaterial Deposit Ordinance was enacted. Moreover, the German Patents Act was amended to include the requirement of information about geographical origin of genetic resources.
Initiatives for Article 8(j)
To date no population groups that can be considered as “indigenous and local communities with traditional lifestyles” within the meaning of Article 8 (j) have been identified in Germany. However, in the “Biodiv” sectoral project, which aims to assist the developing countries with implementing their obligations under the CBD, great importance is attached to paying due regard to the rights of indigenous peoples and local communities within the meaning of the CBD.