Nature And Biodiversity Conservation Union

How does Germany's oldest and largest environmental association continue to build up supporters and campaigns for habitat and biodiversity conservation around the world? Together with the participants of the SDG accelerator "Partnerships for the Goals", we met with representatives of the NABU Foundation (Nature And Biodiversity Conservation Union) and discussed their programs and partnership opportunities.
When it comes to organizations engaged in nature protection and international cooperation in the field of biodiversity conservation in natural ecosystems, the first to come to mind are such big organizations as Greenpeace and WWF. However, these organizations are not the only ones contributing to Sustainable Development Goals 6 (Clean Water), 13 (Climate Action) and 15 (Life on Land) and campaigning internationally to conserve natural ecosystems around the world.

But there are also other important players in this field: The NABU Association is one of the oldest organizations in the field of wildlife conservation and biodiversity conservation in Germany. For more than 122 years, they have been organizing research and educational programs to promote the sustainable development of agriculture and forest management, as well as to increase the importance of nature protection in society. Representatives of the Foundation Ivan Timofeev and Tom Kirschey met with participants from Belarus, Ukraine and Russia and presented the most important partnership projects and their results.
One of NABUs biggest projects aims at the protection of the snow leopard from extinction in the areas of its habitat in the high mountains of Central Asia. For more than 30 years, the foundation has been not only catching poachers and helping wounded snow leopards but also educating local residents. NABU arranges classes in small mountain settlements where they explain characteristics of the snow leopard and ways to exist with this endangered species on the same territory.

During the discussion, the participants were particularly interested in the international projects of the NABU Foundation in Eastern Europe. From April 2021 to May 2022, supporters of the foundation and partner organizations are engaged in restoring the water balance of the marshes of the "Enchanted Land" of the National Natural Park located in the west of Ukraine. The NABU Foundation cooperates with the administration of the National Park and the Ukrainian Society for the Protection of Birds and jointly, using scientific methods and practices of natural waterlogging, achieves success in preserving the unique territory.

Another project in Eastern Europe also left an impression on the participants: Since 2016, NABU has been cooperating with churches and religious organizations in Eastern Europe for nature preservation. Together with church leaders, environmental education programs for the local communities are organized and education materials published. Participants of the study visit even recognized one campaign from Western Ukraine against the use of plastic flowers on cemeteries in order to reduce plastic waste. Besides, NABU also implemented climate protection projects and introduced green certification standards with the help of religious communities.

Also our partners Bahna and the Center for Environmental Solutions from the SOIN network are engaged in nature preservation projects and education activities. You can find out more about their activities in the first shadow report on the achievement of SDG 12 in Belarus.