The Würzburg-based organisation Bergwaldprojekt (Mountain Forest Project) works for the protection and conservation of ecosystems in various parts of Germany, including Alpine protection forests, nature parks and the close-to-natural forests of the Central Uplands.
Why we supported the Bergwaldprojekt
In week-long projects, volunteers do forestry work, such as reforestation. This work also educates participants and the public about the importance, and endangerment, of our natural resources.
In the context of the research project “Bienen als Umweltspäher” (Honeybees monitoring the environment) at Freie Universität Berlin, a team headed by biology professor Randolf Menzel is researching and developing a new method for using honeybees as environmental monitors, making them our allies in the protection of the environment. Honeybees are highly sensitive to plant protection products and can therefore serve as environmental pressure indicators.
Why we supported the project “Bienen als Umweltspäher”
The global insect population is decreasing, and the loss of wild bees is particularly alarming. This decline is being caused by a number of factors, including industrial agricultural practices, which have a negative impact on honeybees, wild bees and many other insects. The loss of semi-natural habitats and the high levels of pollution associated with the use of chemicals pose a serious risk to the survival of bee colonies.
The organisation Mellifera, based in Rosenfeld (Baden-Württemberg), focuses on species-appropriate and ecological beekeeping and the protection of bees. It develops concepts that help beekeepers strengthen the long-term health of their bees.
Why we supported Mellifera
In 2013 the European Commission placed major restrictions on the use of three neonicotinoid pesticides owing to their harmful effects on bee health. In response, the chemical firms BASF, Bayer and Syngenta filed a lawsuit. Mellifera and other beekeepers’ associations were involved in the case. In May 2018 the European Court of Justice upheld the partial ban of the bee-harming substances.
The organization Pracownia (“Association Workshop for All Beings”) fights for the protection of Polish forests. It supports and connects local civil society organizations and citizens who are campaigning against deforestation in Poland’s remaining primeval forest areas. The organization advocates for the introduction of far-reaching and binding legal protection mechanisms.
Why we support Pracownia:
Large parts of Poland’s forests, including primeval forest and protected forest areas, are threatened by deforestation. Poland is thereby violating current EU legislation on the protection of biodiversity and forest use. Pracownia uses EU legislation as leverage for change at the national level and works with local initiatives to develop legislative proposals for long-term, sustainable protection of Poland’s forests.
We fund Pracownia in 2021.
The Wadden Sea World Heritage Site, as one of the world’s largest intertidal ecosystems and one of Europe’s last large-scale wilderness areas, is of paramount importance to millions of birds and other wildlife. The mission of the Husum-based environmental association Naturschutzgesellschaft Schutzstation Wattenmeer is to promote an understanding of, and fascination for, this ecosystem and help preserve it for future generations in spite of climate change, rising sea levels and intensive use.
Why we supported the Schutzstation Wattenmeer
In spite of the high legal-protection status of the German Wadden Sea, the measures that are being taken for its protection are inadequate. The influences of business interests and impacts of tourism are threatening this natural environment. The ecological status of the Wadden Sea is alarming and requires that urgent and concrete steps be taken for the protection of this unique natural area.
The Stiftung Feuchtgebiete (Wetlands Foundation) supports initiatives for the protection and restoration of natural wetlands. The foundation’s funding areas include not only practical field work in nature conservation, but also project-related research, awareness-raising and public-relations work, educational programmes and lobbying activities for the conservation of wetlands.
Why we supported the Stiftung Feuchtgebiete
Moors play a significant role in climate protection. They are important carbon sinks and offer a unique habitat for numerous plants and animals. The restoration of degraded moors will play a vital role in slowing down the further release of greenhouse gases.
In the context of a PhD project at the Hamburg University of Technology (TUHH), project partners in Arba Minch, Ethiopia, are developing a new land-use system that uses sustainable and organic agriculture to restore and preserve eroded and degraded soils and ecosystems. Cooperative, synergistic systems are being created through the specific combination of various measures incorporating environmental technologies.
Why we supported the Slope Farming Project
The loss of fertile agricultural land through soil degradation and erosion is one of the main reasons for the problem of water and food insecurity in sub-Saharan Africa. These issues are being caused by conventional agriculture and the ever-longer periods of drought associated with climate change. The project’s holistic approach is aimed at finding an innovative solution for the rehabilitation and maintenance of degraded soils and destroyed vegetation.