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German Federal Agency for Nature Conservation: Sustaining natural systems for future generations

The German Federal Agency for Nature Conservation (Bundesamt für Naturschutz, BfN) is the central scientific authority of the German federal government for both national and international nature conservation. The Agency reports to the German Environment Ministry (BMU) and has key enforcement functions that arise under international species conservation agreements, in marine conservation, under the Antarctic Treaty and the German Genetic Engineering Act. In addition, the Agency does scientific research in the fields of nature and landscape conservation. The Agency’s declared purpose is to develop an integrative nature conservation policy. Such a policy unites ecological, economic and social aspects, and mediates between the conservation and use of natural systems. Nature conservation can indeed be a driver of sustainable development, as evidenced today by many practical examples throughout Germany’s regions. Such a forwardlooking perspective is essential to conserve biological diversity and safeguard physical and cultural life-support systems for present and future generations. The on-going improvement of conservation tools and their dynamic adaptation to social change is inherent to this perspective. Nature conservation must become a firm element in all realms – policy, industry, science and education. This is the kind of conservation work a modern society needs.
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    Bundesamt für Naturschutz (German Federal Agency for Nature Conservation), Bonn, Germany http://www.bfn.de/fileadmin/MDB/documents/service/Selbstdarstellung_E_Stand_Mai2008.indd.pdf