UN Decade on Biodiversity 2011 to 2020

The UN declared the years 2011 to 2020 the United Nations Decade on Biodiversity. Against the backdrop of a continuous decrease in biodiversity in almost every country around the globe. With the designation of this Decade, the international community is calling on people around the world to support biodiversity conservation. Action is being taken here in Germany, too. Activities under the heading "leben.natur.vielfalt" (life, nature, diversity) are helping to achieve the shared global goals under the UN Decade on Biodiversity.

The UN Decade on Biodiversity supports the objectives and worldwide activities of the UN Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), which is implemented in Germany through the National Strategy on Biodiversity.

There are a range of activities underway in Germany in the framework of the UN Decade, aimed at raising awareness among the wider public for the conservation of biological diversity as a natural foundation of our lives.


The German activities for the UN Decade on Biodiversity were officially launched on 8 November 2011. They are being implemented by the Office of the UN Decade on behalf of, and in close cooperation with, the Federal Environment Ministry (BMU) and the Federal Agency for Nature Conservation (BfN). Best practice examples are to serve as models, helping to raise awareness for the role biodiversity plays in our lives and to spark action. This is why the German activities focus, in addition to public relations, on two competitions:

UN Decade competition "Biological Diversity"

Since June 2012, the UN Decade has been recognising projects and ideas which make a special contribution to the conservation of biodiversity, presenting them on its website and in the UN Decade newsletter. A jury of experts decides which projects will be singled out for recognition. Then, each month, a project of the month is selected through an online vote from among that month's projects. Finally, the expert jury chooses a project from among all of the year's projects that will be named the UN Decade on Biodiversity's project of the year.

Special competition "Social Nature – Nature for all"

Since 2017 there has been a special competition in addition to the regular competition. This special competition honours exemplary projects that connect nature and social issues. These projects highlight, in particular, the potential of nature and biodiversity for strengthening social cohesion. Winning projects are presented on the UN Decade Website. Again, the expert jury chooses the projects to be honoured. The jury selects a project from among the recognised projects of the year for the annual special award "Social Nature".

UN Decade ambassadors

The Federal Environment Ministry has appointed a number of prominent public figures and several motivated young people as UN Decade ambassadors and youth ambassadors. They increase awareness about the UN Decade among the wider public and inspire others with their passion about biodiversity.

Focus topic 2019/2020: Protecting insects – working together for nature's diversity

The focus of the UN Decade competition "Biological Diversity" changes every two years. The focus topic for the year 2019/2020 is "Protecting insects – working together for nature's diversity". The aim of the competition is to contribute to the protection of insects, improve their living conditions and enhance knowledge about the species and their importance for biodiversity, ecosystems and our food.