Nature Conservation & Biodiversity

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Frog on a water lily

Hessen takes responsibility for its nature

Hiking and playing in Hessen’s nature is one of the most popular leisure activities of young and old. Everybody is free to enter nature and the countryside unless it is explicitly forbidden. To a certain extent, agricultural, forestry and fishery management are only subsidiaries of Mother Nature and depend on Her; at the same time, the Hessian landscape has been shaped by agricultural use for many thousands of years.

The administrative arm of the Hessian State protects nature through agreements with landowners and users and the impact mitigation procedure (Eingriffsregelung) which is based on the polluters pay principle. In this context, one of the more ambitious goals is to prevent excessive use of larger areas for the development of residential and other real estate projects and industrial plants. With over 20 percent of its land, Hessen makes a vast contribution to the contiguous network of European nature reserves Natura 2000, despite it being densely populated and experiencing a high transport load.

Fostering biological diversity

The aim of the protection of species and habitats is to ensure long-term conservation of biodiversity to counter the menacing decrease of numerous animal and plant species. Many animal and plant species occurring naturally in the wild still have their home in the center of Europe, in Hessen. Hessen has consolidated and expanded its numerous and wide range of activities for the conservation of biodiversity in its own Biodiversity Strategy.  This state is one of the most important hubs of Europe-wide trade and transportation. This means that it is necessary to control international trade with protected species.