German nature protection ring

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German Nature Conservation
Ring (DNR)
legal form registered association
founding 1950
Seat Berlin ( coordinates: 52 ° 31 ′ 20.4 ″  N , 13 ° 23 ′ 1.1 ″  E )
main emphasis environmental policy coordination and lobbying
Chair Kai Niebert
sales 3,511,684 euros (2018)
Members 89 (2017)

The German Nature Conservation Ring ( DNR ) is the umbrella organization of German nature, animal and environmental protection organizations. It was founded in 1950 and today (2017) has 87 member organizations, which together reach around 10 million people. The DNR includes a. BUND , NABU , the German Alpine Association , the German Hiking Association , the German Animal Welfare Association , the Association of German Cave and Karst Researchers (VdHK), the Federal Association of Professional Nature Conservation (BBN) and the Association of German Sports Divers (VDST). The member organizations reflect the range of association topics.


On the initiative of Hans Klose , the head of the State Agency for the Preservation of Natural Monuments, the association was founded by representatives of 19 associations on August 26, 1950 in Munich ( Hofbräuhaus am Platzl ). Significantly, the initiative to establish it came from the state nature conservation administration, the former "Reichsstelle für Naturschutz" (which has developed through intermediate stages to today's "Federal Agency for Nature Conservation"). In the early days, the umbrella organization was shaped by Wolfgang Engelhardt as a leading person. From 1951 to 1962 he was honorary managing director of the German Nature Conservation Association, from 1964 to 1968 Vice President and from 1968 to 2000 its President. The trainee lawyer from the Bavarian State Forestry Administration, Hubert Weinzierl , was appointed to the Presidium in 1964 and was President from 2000 to 2012. Hartmut Vogtmann was President from December 2012 to February 2015 . The sustainability expert Kai Niebert has been President since November 2015 . Born in 1979, he is the youngest president in the history of the umbrella organization.

The office was located in Munich from 1950 to 1971 and in Bonn from 1972 to 2011 , while a political office with EU coordination and the editorial office was set up in Berlin from 1991 . In January 2012 the office was relocated to Berlin near the German Bundestag (Marienstraße 19-20).

On behalf of the Federal Republic of Germany, the DNR organized the European Nature Conservation Year 1970 and 1995. This was an important milestone in the history of the DNR.

He is a member of the NATUROPA CENTER and the national liaison office for nature conservation at the Council of Europe.


As an umbrella organization, the DNR carries out environmental policy coordination (internally) and lobbying (externally) at the federal level. It takes up regionally, nationally and internationally important topics and coordinates the activities of its member organizations. Since the tasks of nature, animal and environmental protection have increased for a long time, lobbying is no longer limited to the protection of endangered animal and plant species and the establishment of protected areas. Leisure, tourism, traffic, urban ecology, intergenerational equity, social transformation, energy and economic policy have also developed into important areas of work. The EU coordination prepares topics on a European level .

The DNR has the coordinating role in the regular association discussions between the Federal Chancellor, the Environment Ministry (BMUB) and the Environment Ministers' Conference with the environmental associations. He ensures that relevant environmental issues are put on the agenda.

The DNR prepares statements on current and urgent questions of nature, animal and environmental protection and uses them in lobbying work for governments, ministries, public administration and business associations. Public events, projects and specialist conferences on relevant topics are organized. Other tasks include the dialogue with representatives from science, the media, political parties, churches, trade unions, sports and tourism associations, etc., e.g. in the context of events and collaborations.

As a service for member organizations, associations and authorities, the monthly magazine " Umwelt aktuell" appears - information for Germany and Europe with an overview of all current laws and position papers on technical and strategic issues. The editorial office also creates the electronic information services Info-Service and EU-News for the environmental and nature conservationists in the member associations.

In addition to the Federal Association of Professional Nature Conservation, the Federal Agency for Nature Conservation (BfN) and the respective federal state, he is one of the organizers of the biennial German Nature Conservation Day (DNT). As a representative of the nature and environmental protection associations, he is responsible for the coordination and content of the specialist events.

The association is the legal entity for the Environment and Development Forum and the “My Agriculture” campaign. These two networks of civil society organizations have their offices in the DNR office. The Environment and Development Forum has been coordinating the activities of German environmental and development organizations on sustainable development in national and international political processes since 1992. “Meine Landwirtschaft” is a coalition of over 45 organizations that campaigns for an agricultural turnaround and is co-organizer of the annual large-scale demonstration “ We're fed up! “On the occasion of Green Week.

Together with VENRO , DNR has introduced a new vision for the European Union into the discussion with the initiative “Giving Europe a Future - Make Sustainability the Model of the EU!” .



  • Florian Schöne has been Secretary General since January 1, 2016
  • Managing Director Helga Inden-Heinrich
  • Head of EU coordination Bjela Vossen
  • Project manager of the U&E Forum Jürgen Maier
  • Head of the “My Agriculture” campaign Jochen Fritz.

Projects and working groups

Since 1998 the further training course DNR-course ZukunftsPiloten has been organized to qualify young environmentalists . The course was previously supported by the DNR, carried out by the Movement Academy and financed by the German Federal Environment Foundation.

For decades, the association has continuously carried out project work on environmentally and socio-political issues. This included doing nuclear phase-out yourself , zero mercury, gender equality in nature and environmental protection, business and biodiversity, generational justice, EU resource policy and much more

Other current projects are:

  • Project Mission Commission for the empowerment of German environmental associations in EU political contexts
  • Project lust for the future! on social-ecological transformation and justice
  • Fit fitter Refit project on current developments in EU environmental, energy and climate policy
  • Raw materials policy 2.0 project on environmental and resource protection and reform of the Federal Mining Act

The association is a member of numerous organizations and committees as an umbrella organization or through representatives. Along with other organizations, it is the sponsor of the annual large-scale demonstration We're fed up! on the occasion of the Green Week.


Critics complain that the DNR is too cumbersome and paralyzed by the self-interests of the major member associations and by internal hierarchy and bureaucracy. Occasionally it was also criticized that the DNR wanted to represent the entire nature conservation and environmental movement , while important organizations were not or only temporarily part of it. Greenpeace and WWF Germany were only members for a few years. Numerous associations resigned in the 1980s. Contrary to the criticism of being too close to the state, the current composition of the Presidium with representatives from small and large nature, animal and environmental protection associations reflects the breadth of the German environmental movement.


Web links

Individual evidence

  1. Nature and environmental protection: data and background - Deutscher Naturschutzring (DNR) , 1998, p. 90
  2. Deutscher Naturschutzring elects Kai Niebert as new president. November 27, 2015 . ;
  3. Hubert Weinzierl: From nature conservation to sustainability ( Memento from September 23, 2015 in the Internet Archive ), p. 19.
  4. ↑ Giving Europe a future - making sustainability the model of the EU! DNR and VENRO, September 15, 2016 . ;
  5. ^ The DNR team.
  6. DNR annual report 2013. P. 40 ff.
  7. Helmut Röscheisen: Der Deutsche Naturschutzring, page 89 ff.