German Advisory Council on the Environment

SRU and WBW call for more EU funding for nature conservation

Date 2017.06.20

The German Advisory Council on the Environment (SRU) and the Scientific Advisory Board on Forest Policy (WBW) are calling for an independent and effective European nature conservation fund. This is the key recommendation contained in their newly-released joint statement. 

Biodiversity in Europe is still being lost at an alarming rate, and in order to improve the status of flora and fauna and their habitats, effective nature conservation is more essential than ever. However, funding for this is woefully inadequate. At present, nature conservation in the EU does not have its own fixed budget – it is mainly funded through a variety of separate funds with different objectives. But the money is not even sufficient to implement the current legal obligations. 

“For the future, we require a funding instrument that is able to finance the needs of nature conservation in the European Union”, explains the Vice Chair of SRU, Prof Manfred Niekisch. “The best way to achieve this would be through an independent EU Nature Conservation Fund.” This fund should be administered under the leadership of nature conservation authorities. 

The financial resources for such an EU nature conservation fund should be provided through the Common Agricultural Policy. “WBW and SRU are in agreement, though, that farmers and foresters should continue to receive EU funding, because they are important partners for nature conservation”, explains Prof Hermann Spellmann, Chair of WBW. But they must make concrete contributions to the maintenance of species and habitats. “In the next funding period from 2021, the principle of ‘Public money for public goods’ should finally be implemented”, concluded Manfred Niekisch. 

The statement is available on the SRU website:

Further information is available from Dr. Julia Hertin, Tel: +49 30 263696-118,

German Advisory Council on the Environment (SRU)

The SRU has been advising the German Federal Government on environmental policy issues for nearly 45 years. The composition of the Council – seven university professors drawn from a variety of disciplines – ensures a comprehensive and scientifically independent appraisal that takes account not only of scientific and technical, but also of economic, legal, and health considerations.

The members of the council are:

Prof Claudia Hornberg (Chair), University of Bielefeld

Prof Manfred Niekisch (Vice Chair), Goethe-Universität Frankfurt and Frankfurt Zoo

Prof Christian Calliess, Freie Universität Berlin

Prof Claudia Kemfert, Hertie School of Governance and German Institute for Economic Research in Berlin

Prof Wolfgang Lucht, Humboldt University Berlin and Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research

Prof Lamia Messari-Becker, University of Siegen

Prof Vera Susanne Rotter, Technische Universität Berlin


Sachverständigenrat für Umweltfragen
Luisenstrasse 46
10117 Berlin, Germany

Tel: +49 30 263696 0


Scientific Advisory Board on Forest Policy (WBW)

The WBW advises the German federal government on sustainable forest management. Its members are drawn from a range of scientific disciplines reflecting the societal demands on forests.

The members of the council are:

Prof Hermann Spellmann (Chair), Nordwestdeutsche Forstliche Versuchsanstalt Göttingen

Prof Jürgen Bauhus, University of Freiburg

Prof Andreas W. Bitter, Technische Universität Dresden

Prof Matthias Dieter, Thünen Institute

Prof Annette Hafner, Ruhr-Universität Bochum

Prof Reinhard F. Hüttl, Helmholtz Centre Potsdam

Prof Friederike Lang, University of Freiburg

Prof Bernhard Möhring, University of Göttingen

Prof Jörg Müller, Universität Würzburg

Prof Manfred Niekisch, Goethe-Universität Frankfurt and Frankfurt Zoo

Prof Ulrike Pröbstl-Haider, University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences, Vienna

Prof Klaus Richter, Technische Universität München

Prof Ulrich Schraml, Forstliche Versuchs- und Forschungsanstalt Baden-Württemberg

Prof Ute Seeling, German Centre for Forest Work and Technology

Prof Hubert Weiger, Bund für Umwelt und Naturschutz Deutschland


Scientific Advisory Board on Forest Policy at the
Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture
11055 Berlin, Germany

Tel: +49 30 18529 3216

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