Germany's first independent marketplace for certified nature conservation projects AgoraNatura launches
Companies and private individuals can participate in the financing and implementation of a wide range of nature conservation projects from 30 September at www.agora-natura.de. Even small investments can, for example, preserve orchards, develop valuable farmland or establish protected areas for certain animal species.
The new online marketplace AgoraNatura brings together actors from agriculture and nature conservation with committed private individuals and responsible companies. Interested parties can buy nature conservation certificates online and use them to invest in quality-assured nature conservation and landscape management projects. They are informed transparently about where the projects are implemented, who is involved in the implementation and what is achieved through them. AgoraNatura has something to offer for every budget. Depending on the project, the certificates offered start at 10 euros. They always refer to one year and an area of 100 square metres.
A variety of projects can already be found in the start-up phase on AgoraNatura: Protected areas for amphibians, insects or endangered field birds are to be created, orchards are to be tended or moor soils are to be preserved through special grazing. But new projects are also welcome. All farmers, landowners or nature conservationists with suitable land and the necessary content-related and technical know-how can post their projects on the AgoraNatura online platform. After successful verification and certification, these projects are then published and can be financially supported. The online marketplace is operated by the German Environmental Aid (DUH), the Leibniz Centre for Agricultural Landscape Research (ZALF), the University of Greifswald and the German Association for Landscape Conservation (DVL).
AgoraNatura is funded as part of a joint funding initiative of the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) and the Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety (BMU) as well as the Federal Agency for Nature Conservation (BfN).
"While agricultural policy still promotes intensive land management that endangers ecosystems and biodiversity, the demand for intact cultural landscapes and biodiversity is growing strongly in society. With the market-based mechanism of AgoraNatura, we are closing the gap between state nature conservation programmes, funding through donations and mandatory compensation for environmental impacts," says Ulrich Stöcker, Head of Nature Conservation & Biodiversity at DUH.
"The marketplace will not only enable land managers to bring more nature conservation into the field, but also to make the diverse nature services more visible," emphasises Prof. Dr Bettina Matzdorf from ZALF.
Certification according to the so-called Naturplus standard ensures the effectiveness of the projects. A team from the fields of research, agriculture and nature conservation checks whether the measures are effective and meet scientifically based quality criteria in accordance with the Naturplus standard. For certification, the project implementers also have to show exactly what effects their measures have on nature's services. These nature services are the contributions of nature that provide for human well-being. They include the fact that nature provides us with clean water or raw materials, that it binds carbon dioxide (CO2) and thus contributes to climate protection, and that we can enjoy and relax in it. By making visible which services the individual project actually supports, these services should be more appreciated by the public. At the same time, companies and private individuals can choose projects not only in certain regions, but also specifically according to which services of nature they would like to invest in: in the protection of water, the preservation and development of biodiversity or in climate services. The projects can be financed in full or on a pro-rata basis. If there are not enough investors for a project, the money already paid will be refunded in full.
Joint press release by:
Monika Meiser, agrathaer GmbH
033432 82149, firstname.lastname@example.org