Through the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), states commit themselves to halt the loss of biological diversity on our planet and to use available resources in a sustainable way so that people may profit from them now and in the future. 193 states have so far ratified the CBD. While the “2010 goal” of halting the loss of biodiversity has not been met, policy-makers worldwide nevertheless increasingly recognize the importance of the CBD goals – biodiversity and ecosystem functions are crucial for the survival and the livelihoods of human beings. As the global study TEEB has shown, they have an enormous economic value if one chooses to quantify them in such a way; the TEEB study 2007-2010 was largely initiated and sponsored by Germany.
Germany has a National Strategy on Biological Diversity since 2007. In addition, the European Union has recently adopted its very own Biodiversity Strategy with ambitious goals to protect biological diversity across the continent. All relevant German stakeholders from science, nature conservation and politics cooperate in a number of fora, in particular based on the national DIVERSITAS platform. In 2012, it was decided to establish the Secretariat for the new "Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services" in Bonn in Germany. Already in 2011, a new research funding programme was launched by the German government. The German UNESCO biosphere reserves play an important role in German biodiversity research and conservation.
Following the International Year of Biodiversity in 2010, the UN General Assembly has declared the years 2011 through 2020 as the UN Decade on Biodiversity. Official start of the Decade was November 1, 2011; a kick-off meeting took place at UNESCO in Paris. Key goal of the UN Decade on Biodiversity is to make sure sufficient efforts are finally made to permanently save our planet’s biological diversity.
In Germany, Federal Minister for the Environment Norbert Röttgen officially opened the UN Decade on November 8, 2011. Institutions and voluntary initiatives that have projects in the area of biological diversity can apply for the title “Project of the UN Decade on Biodiversity”. Public figures such as TV hosts, authors or polar explorer Arved Fuchs promote the UN Decade in Germany as Goodwill Ambassadors.