The German Nature and Biodiversity Conservation Union (NABU) e.V aims to inspire people to get involved in protecting nature through community projects. We want future generations to be able to enjoy an earth worth living on which has a great wealth of habitats and species, good air quality, clean water, healthy soil and the greatest possible quantity of natural resources available.
What we believe in
The world was formed over many millions of years; the scale of this goes beyond human comprehension. It is equally difficult to grasp how vast and fascinating the diversity on our planet is: such an incredible number of different life forms exist that we are a long way from knowing every species, not to mention their specific needs or their significance in the ecosystem. The earth’s history has developed a complex structure and humans only make up one part of it.
In spite of this or maybe because of it, it is our task to look after the earth for future generations. This is a major undertaking in view of the many threats facing our planet. Water, air and soil are polluted, there is the threat of climate collapse,and extinction of species has taken on dramatic proportions. There is no question that we must do everything possible to face this challenge immediately.
No-one can protect nature and secure the future alone. Therefore, at the Nature and Biodiversity Conservation Union (NABU) members and supporters work together in a variety of ways to achieve this aim. Local nature conservation work always has equal importance on our agenda as scientific research. Political engagement, innovative environmental education and public relationsare all part of our remit. In addition, NABU speaks out for nature by engaging in wide ranging dialogues about the economy, politics and with social interest groups. And as environmental conservation cannot stop at borders with other countries our work also involves international cooperation.
NABU is taking action for Humans and Nature
Can you think of a single reason why nature should not be protected? In actual fact everything seems to suggest that we should be taking action to keep our environment beautiful and healthy. For NABU, the need for urgent action in Germany and in other countries is seen again and again because of human interference with nature. NABU is committed to maintaining nature’s variety and beauty everywhere, not just in films or artificially, so that everyone can experience it. Through active nature conservation NABU is creating the vital basis for climate and biodiversity protection.
Around 520,000 NABU members and supporters are actively engaged in protecting nature. Volunteers are organised in about 2,000 district associationsthroughout Germany. At regionaland national level, offices are openfull-time to carry out nature conservation work. The most important part of NABU’s decision making process is the National Assembly of Representatives to which regional associations send a number of representatives proportionate to the size of their region. Two NABU foundations operate nationally and independently of national headquarters – NABU International Naturstiftung (NABU International Nature Protection Foundation) and NABU Stiftung Nationales Naturerbe (NABU Natural Heritage Foundation). There are a further 10 NABU foundations which operateregionally with a range of different objectives. Children and young people interested in nature conservation can get involved with NABU’s independent youth organisation, NAJU.
Internationally, NABU is a member of the global nature conservation partnership „BirdLife International“, whose overall aim is to maintain the number, diversity and geographical distribution of the most important species globally and their habitats. NABU is also a member of the umbrella organisation IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature), Europarc Federation and the European Environmental Bureau (EEB).
Summary of NABU’s Activities
- Research in nature conservation and development, practical activities to protect important habitats
- Work towards setting up and managing protected areas
- Purchase and management of important habitats by local groups and a NABU foundation
- Lobbying for reforms in agricultural policies
- Work to establish sustainable forms of hunting and fishing
- Lobbying and other related activities to reduce emissions in Germany, Europe and the world
- Lobbying and other related activities to stop the use of nuclear energy
- Publicity on the theme of nature conservation (Information and Visitor Centres, members’ magazine, website, local group activities, work with the press)
- Strong focus on youth work and environmental education
- Work at international level to support partner organisations (NGOs) in achieving their nature and environmental protection targets.