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Federal Nature Conservation Act (Bundesnaturschutzgesetz, BNatSchG) – Excerpts

Long title: Conservation of Nature and of Landscapes Act (Gesetz über Naturschutz und Landschaftspflege)

In the version published on 21 September 1998 (Federal Law Gazette I p. 2994)

Translation provided by Inter Nationes and reproduced with kind permission.


Table of Contents

Section One General Provisions

Article 1 Purposes of Conservation of Nature and of Landscapes
Article 2 Principles of Conservation of Nature and of Landscapes
Article 3 Duties of Authorities and Public Institutions
Article 3a Contractual Agreements
Article 3b Compensation for Restrictions on Use in Agriculture and Forestry
Article 4 Provisions for Legislation by the Länder

Section Two Landscape Planning

Article 5 Landscape Programmes and Landscape Master Plans
Article 6 Landscape Plans
Article 7 Cooperation among the Länder in the Field of Planning

Section Three General Conservation, Preservation and Development Measures

Article 8 Interventions in Nature and Landscapes
Article 8a Relationship to Construction Law
Article 9 Procedure for Interventions Involving Federal Authorities
Article 10 Compulsory Tolerance
Article 11 Duties of Landowners in Populated Areas

Section Four Conservation, Preservation and Development Measures affecting Certain Parts of Nature and of Landscapes

Article 12 General Provisions
Article 13 Nature Reserves
Article 14 National Parks
Article 14a Biosphere Reserves
Article 15 Landscape Reserves
Article 16 Nature Parks
Article 17 Natural Monuments
Article 18 Protected Parts of Landscapes
Article 19 Markings and Denominations
Article 19a European Network „natura 2000″, Definitions
Article 19b Conservation Areas
Article 19c Compatibility and Impermissible Nature of Projects, Exceptions
Article 19d Plans
Article 19e Substance Pollution
Article 19f Relations to Other Statutory Provisions

Section Five Conservation and Preservation of Wild Fauna and Flora Species

Article 20 The Purposes of Species Conservation
Article 20a Definitions
Article 20b General Provisions on the Conservation of Species and of their Biotopes
Article 20c The Conservation of Specific Biotopes
Article 20d General Protection of Wild Animals and Plants
Article 20e Authorisation for Granting Protected Status
Article 20f Provisions for Specially Protected and Certain Other Species of Fauna and Flora
Article 20g Exemptions
Article 21c Competent Authorities for the Transposition of Regulation (EC) No. 338/97
Article 21d Participation of Customs Authorities
Article 21e Import and Export Procedures
Article 21f Confiscation and Impounding by Customs Offices
Article 21g Charges
Article 22 Obligation to Furnish Proof, Impounding
Article 23 Rights of Information and of Access
Article 24 Wildlife Reserves
Article 25 Protected Denominations
Article 26 Other Authorisations
Article 26a The Implementation of EEC and Other International Provisions
Article 26b General Administrative Provisions

Section Six Access to Nature and Landscapes for the Purpose of Recreation

Article 27 Access to Open Fields and Meadows
Article 28 Appropriation of Public Land

Section Seven Participation of Associations, Administrative Offences and Exemptions

Article 29 Participation of Associations
Article 30 Provisions for the Imposition of Administrative Fines
Article 30a Penal Provisions
Article 30b Confiscation
Article 30c Powers of the Customs Authorities
Article 31 Exemptions


Section One General Provisions

Article 1 Purposes of Conservation of Nature and of Landscapes

(1) The conservation, preservation and development of nature and landscapes, both in populated and non-populated areas, shall be such as to effectively serve the following purposes:

1. to maintain the efficiency of the balance of nature,

2. to preserve the exploitability of nature’s resources,

3. to conserve fauna and flora, and

4. to safeguard the variety, particularity and beauty of nature and landscapes,

as a basis for mankind’s existence and as a prerequisite to recreation in nature and in landscapes.

(2) The requirements resulting from para. 1 shall be weighed one against the other, as well as against other demands of the community on nature and landscapes.

Article 2 Principles of Conservation of Nature and of Landscapes

(1) The pursuit of the objectives and of conservation of nature and of landscapes shall be guided, where necessary, possible and appropriate, considering all the requirements under Article 1, para. 2, mainly by the following principles:

1. The efficiency of the balance of nature shall be maintained and improved. Anything that adversely affects this balance shall be avoided or compensated for.

2. Non-built-up areas of a size adequate for them to fulfil their purpose shall be preserved, both in general and in particular, since the conservation of these areas is a prerequisite to maintaining the balance of nature, utilising nature’s resources and finding recreation in nature and landscapes. Special efforts shall be made to protect, preserve and develop parts of nature and of landscapes, including green areas and their fauna and flora populations, in built-up areas.

3. Economical use shall be made of those resources of nature which are not renewable. Consumption of renewable resources shall be controlled in such a way as to ensure their continued and lasting availability.

4. The soil shall be preserved; any loss of its natural fertility shall be avoided.

5. Any destruction of parts or components of landscapes in the course of mining for natural resources shall be avoided. Lasting damage to the balance of nature shall be prevented. Any adverse effects on nature and landscapes which inevitably result from the exploration and extraction of natural resources and from soil deposits shall be compensated for by recreating the original landscape or by relandscaping areas modelled after nature.

6. Water areas shall also be conserved and increased in size within the framework of nature and landscape conservation efforts. Waters shall be protected against pollution, and their natural self-cleaning properties shall be preserved or restituted. Where possible, systematic development of watercourses from a purely technical point of view shall be avoided, to be replaced by biological water engineering methods.

7. Efforts made within the framework of nature and landscape conservation shall also be aimed at keeping air pollution and noise levels to a minimum.

8. Adverse effects on the climate, in particular the local climate, shall be prevented. Where such effects are inevitable, they shall be compensated for, or reduced, by landscape conservation efforts.

9. Proper use of vegetation shall be ensured. This shall apply in particular to forests, other areas fully covered with plants and vegetation on river banks and lake shores; where vegetation covers are removed in non-populated areas, they shall be replaced by new vegetation that fits in with the local environment.

10. The natural and historically grown variety of wild fauna and flora, as well as their biocenoses, shall be conserved since they are a part of the balance of nature. Their habitats and biotopes, as well as their other living conditions shall be conserved, preserved, developed and restituted.

11. Suitable areas in sufficiently large numbers designated as a function of their location and their natural conditions as areas to be used for short-term recreation by city dwellers living in the vicinity, or as holiday resorts for longer-term recreation, or for other leisure pursuits, shall be developed, appropriately designed and preserved.

12. Access shall be facilitated for the population to parts of landscapes which, by their nature, are particularly suitable for recreational purposes.

13. Historically important cultivated landscapes, or parts of such landscapes, characterised by their singularity shall be preserved. This shall also apply to areas surrounding cultivated landscapes, man-made or natural monuments which are under protection or worthy of protection, where this is required in order to preserve the singularity and the beauty of the monuments concerned.

(2) Further principles may be established by laws enacted in the individual Länder.

(3) In the case of measures for nature conservation and landscape management, the special significance of agriculture, forestry and fisheries for the conservation of the cultivated and recreational landscape shall be taken into account.

Article 3 Duties of Authorities and Public Institutions

Article 3a Contractual Agreements

The Länder shall ensure that in the case of measures for the implementation of statutory provisions issued within the context of this Act it shall be verified whether the purpose can also be achieved by contractual agreements.

Article 3b Compensation for Restrictions on Use in Agriculture and Forestry

(1) If higher demands are made in

1. statutory provisions issued in the context of Articles 12 to 19b or

2. instructions of the competent authorities for nature conservation and landscape management for the realisation of the objective of nature conservation and landscape management

that restrict the agricultural, forestry and fisheries land use practised beyond the requirements of good technical practice, which result from the provisions applicable to agriculture, forestry and fisheries and Article 17 para. 2 of the Federal Soil Protection Act of 17 March 1998 (Federal Law Gazette I, p. 502), appropriate compensation shall be made for economic disadvantages caused by this pursuant to Land law. Sentence 1 shall not apply if there is an entitlement to damages or other compensation under other statutory provisions or because of contractual agreements.

(2) In the case of a temporary restriction or interruption to agricultural, forestry or fisheries land use, the land use most recently practised prior to the restriction or interruption shall be deemed to be practised.

(3) Paras 1 and 2 shall also apply to those restrictions on use set after 28 August 2001 or that continue to have an effect and are based on statutory provisions or instructions passed after 28 August 1998. This shall not apply to statutory provisions or instructions passed before 3 October 1990 and have been, or will be, replaced by Land law provisions or major changes to the geographical or factual area of application of the usage restrictions after this time.

(4) Legal recourse to a court of law shall be open in the case of disputes.

Article 4 Provisions for Legislation by the Länder

Section Two Landscape Planning

Article 5 Landscape Programmes and Landscape Master Plans

(1) Regional requirements and measures which serve the interests of conservation of nature and of landscapes shall be laid down for areas and Länder, in the form of landscape programmes where the entire territory of a Land is concerned, and in the form of landscape master plans where specific areas of a Land are concerned. In the process, the objectives of spatial planning shall be respected; the principles and other requirements of spatial planning shall be taken into account.

(2) Area requirements and measures defined within the framework of landscape programmes and landscape programmes master plans shall, after being weighed against other measures and plans envisaged for a given area under the relevant planning provisions of the Länder, be incorporated into the spatial plans.

Article 6 Landscape Plans

(1) Local requirements and measures promoting the cause of nature and landscape conservation shall be specified by means of text, maps and additional justification, where this is required for reasons of nature and landscape conservation.

(2) Where necessary, landscape plans shall describe the following details:

1. the current condition of nature and landscapes, and their rating in accordance with the objectives specified in Article 1, para. 1,

2. the envisaged condition of nature and landscapes, and any measures required, in particular

a) general measures, as specified in Section Three, aimed at conservation, preservation and development,

b) measures, as specified in Section Four, designed to conserve, preserve and develop certain parts of nature and landscapes, and

c) measures, as specified in Section Five, intended to conserve and preserve biocenoses and biotopes of wild fauna and flora species, in particular those which are specifically protected.

(3) The objectives of planning shall be respected; the principles and other requirements of spatial planning shall be taken into account. Care shall also be taken to make sure that landscape plans can be used as a basis for establishing zoning plans.

Article 7 Cooperation among the Länder in the Field of Planning

Section Three General Conservation, Preservation and Development Measures

Article 8 Interventions in Nature and Landscapes

(1) Interventions in nature and in landscapes, as defined in this Act, shall be any changes affecting the appearance or use of areas which lead to considerable or lasting impairment of the efficiency of the balance of nature or of the natural scenery.

(2) The intervener shall be obliged to omit any avoidable impairment of nature and of landscapes, and to compensate for any inevitable impairment, within a period to be specified, by nature and landscape conservation measures, where such measures are required in order to attain the objectives of nature and landscape conservation. The prerequisite to any such obligation shall be that other legal provisions stipulate that the interventions involved shall be subject to authorisation, permission, permits, consent, plan approval, other decisions by, or notification of, competent authorities. Whether a given intervention is subject to the above obligation or not shall be determined by the authority in charge of giving approval or receiving notification. An intervention shall be deemed compensated for if, after its completion, there is no considerable or lasting impairment of the balance of nature, and if the previous landscape has been restituted or if relandscaping measures have been carried out.

(3) In cases where such interventions involve inevitable impairment, or impairment which cannot sufficiently be compensated for, and where the interests of nature and landscape conservation are ruled, upon consideration of all other demands made on nature and landscapes, to take precedence over such demands, these interventions shall be prohibited.

(4) In cases where interventions in nature and landscapes are to be carried out on the basis of specialist plans in accordance with public law, the planning bodies concerned shall describe in detail, by means of written explanations and maps incorporated in specialist plans, all nature and landscape conservation measures required to compensate for the interventions envisaged.

(5) In cases where legal provisions do not stipulate stronger participatory rights for the authorities in charge of nature and landscape conservation, or where the decisions involved are taken by these authorities themselves, the planning bodies concerned shall consult with the authorities in charge before taking decisions or adopting measures. This shall not apply to decisions based on development plans.

(6) In cases where authorities plan interventions in nature and landscapes without having obtained prior decisions by competent authorities, as specified in para. 2, paras 2 to 5 shall apply mutatis mutandis.

(7) Agricultural, forestry and fisheries land use shall not be considered an intervention provided that the objectives and principles of nature conservation and landscape management are taken into account. The good technical practice in agricultural, forestry and fisheries land use complying with the provisions of agricultural and forestry law, including inland fisheries law, and Article 17 para. 2 of the Federal Soil Protection Act does not usually contradict the objectives and principles mentioned in sentence 1. The resumption of an agricultural, forestry or fisheries land use that was temporarily restricted or interrupted due to a contractual agreement shall not be deemed to be an intervention.

(10) If the intervention is a project subject to an assessment of its environmental impact in line with Article 3 of the Act on the Assessment of Environmental Impacts, the project must fulfil the requirements of the said Act in that decisions must be made under para. 2 sentence 1, para. 3 or the provisions of para. 9.

Article 8a Relationship to Construction Law

Article 9 Procedure for Interventions Involving Federal Authorities

Article 10 Compulsory Tolerance

(1) The Länder may rule that owners and authorised users of areas shall be obliged to tolerate nature and landscape conservation measures executed under this Act, or under regulations adopted within the framework of this Act, unless this represents an unreasonable impediment for the use of an area.

Article 11 Duties of Landowners in Populated Areas

(1) In populated areas, owners or authorised users of land who fail to maintain their plots of land properly may be obliged to take proper care of their plots, where the condition of such plots constitutes a considerable and lasting impairment of the interests of nature and landscape conservation, and where the maintenance required is both appropriate and reasonable.

Section Four Conservation, Preservation and Development Measures affecting Certain Parts of Nature and of Landscapes

Article 12 General Provisions

(1) Parts of nature and of landscapes may be designated as:

1. nature reserves, national parks, biosphere reserves, landscape reserves, nature parks, or

2. natural monuments or protected parts of landscapes.

(2) Such designation shall involve a description of the area concerned, the purpose of its conservation, the orders and prohibitions required to fulfil this purpose, and, where necessary, preservation and development activities, or their authorisation.

Article 13 Nature Reserves

(1) The designation of areas as nature reserves shall be a legally binding act, aimed at providing special protection to nature and landscapes as a whole, or to parts of nature and landscapes, by virtue of the following reasons:

1. in order to conserve biocenoses or biotopes of certain species of wild fauna and flora,

2. for reasons of science, natural history or national heritage,

3. because of the areas’ uniqueness, particularity or singular beauty.

(2) All actions which may lead to destruction of, cause damage to, or induce changes in, a nature reserve or which may be a source of major disturbance for a nature reserve, shall be prohibited, subject to more specific provisions to be adopted. Where this is compatible with the purpose of protection, nature reserves may be accessible to the general public.

Article 14 National Parks

(1) The designation of areas as national parks, which shall be a legally binding act providing uniform protection to the areas concerned, shall be subject to the following conditions:

1. the area concerned is large and of singular character,

2. the criteria defined for nature reserves apply to the greater part of the area concerned,

3. the area has not been affected by human intervention at all, or to a limited extent only,

4. the area helps to conserve the greatest possible variety of native fauna and flora species.

(2) The Länder shall ensure that, taking into account exceptions imposed by the large size of areas or the presence of population centres, national parks enjoy the same protection as that granted to nature reserves. Where this is compatible with the purpose of protection, national parks shall be accessible to the general public.

Article 14a Biosphere Reserves

(1) The designation of biosphere reserves, which shall be a legally binding act providing uniform protection to the areas concerned, shall be subject to the following conditions:

1. the area concerned is large and characteristic of certain landscape types,

2. the criteria defined for nature reserves apply to large parts of the area concerned and those defined for landscape reserves apply to the rest,

3. the area helps to conserve, develop or recreate a landscape characterised by traditional, varied use and the historical species and biotope diversity that has developed there, including wild and earlier cultivated forms of economically used or usable animal and plant species and

4. the area helps to develop and test especially gentle economic methods for natural goods in an exemplary fashion.

(2) The Länder shall ensure that, taking into account exceptions imposed by the large size of areas or the presence of population centres, biosphere reserves enjoy the same protection as that granted to nature reserves or landscape reserves.

Article 15 Landscape Reserves

(1) The designation of areas as landscape reserves shall be a legally binding act which shall be performed in cases where special protection of nature and landscapes is warranted for the following reasons:

1. in order to preserve or restitute efficiency of the balance of nature, or to preserve or restitute usability of nature’s resources,

2. because of the diversity, singularity or beauty of the landscapes,

3. because of an area’s special importance for recreation.

(2) All actions which alter the character of landscape reserves or are not compatible with the purpose of their protection shall be prohibited, with special consideration given to Article 2 para. 3 and subject to more specific provisions to be adopted.

Article 16 Nature Parks

(1) Nature parks are areas earmarked for uniform development and maintenance which comply with the following conditions:

1. the area involved is large in size,

2. consists mainly of landscape or nature reserves,

3. is particularly suitable for recreational purposes because of its landscape assets,

4. has been designated, in accordance with the principles and objectives of area planning and of regional planning by Länder, either as a recreational area or as a tourist destination area.

(2) Nature parks shall be planned, structured and developed in accordance with their recreational purpose.

Article 17 Natural Monuments

(1) The designation of areas as natural monuments shall be a legally binding act aimed specifically at conserving areas which are unique creations of nature and which require special protection for the following reasons:

1. for reasons of science, natural history or national heritage,

2. because of their uniqueness, singularity or beauty.

The area designated may also include the surrounding area necessary to conserve the natural monument concerned.

(2) The removal of natural monuments, as well as any action which may lead to their destruction, defacement or alteration, or which may cause major disturbance to the monument or its protected surrounding area, shall be prohibited, subject to more specific provisions to be adopted.

Article 18 Protected Parts of Landscapes

(1) Parts of landscapes shall be designated, with legally binding effect, as specifically protected parts of nature and of landscapes, where this is required

1. in order to safeguard the efficiency of the balance of nature,

2. in order to improve, structure or preserve the scenery of a local community or landscape, or

3. in order to ward off deleterious influences.

In some areas, this protection may apply to entire tree or hedge populations, or to other parts of the landscape.

(2) The removal of protected parts of landscapes, as well as any action which may lead to their destruction, defacement or alteration, shall be prohibited, subject to more specific provisions to be adopted. In cases where plant populations are reduced, the Länder may rule that substitute vegetation shall be planted, where this is appropriate and reasonable.

Article 19 Markings and Denominations

(1) Nature reserves, national parks, landscape reserves and natural monuments shall be marked.

(2) The denominations “nature reserve”, “national park”, “landscape reserve”, “nature park” and “natural monument” as well as the marking under para. 1 shall be used only for areas and objects which are covered by the protective provisions of this Section. Markings and denominations capable of being confused with the markings and denominations above must not be used for parts of nature and of landscapes.

Article 19a European Network „natura 2000″, Definitions

Article 19b Conservation Areas

Article 19c Compatibility and Impermissible Nature of Projects, Exceptions

Article 19d Plans

Article 19e Substance Pollution

Article 19f Relations to Other Statutory Provisions

Section Five Conservation and Preservation of Wild Fauna and Flora Species

Article 20 The Purposes of Species Conservation

(1) The general purpose of the provisions specified in this Section is to conserve and preserve the natural and historically grown variety of wild fauna and flora (species conservation). More specifically, this involves the following tasks:

1. animals and plants, as well as their biocenoses, shall be protected from adverse affects of human interference, in particular due to direct intervention by man,

2. biotopes of wild fauna and flora shall be conserved, preserved, developed or restored, and their other living conditions shall be guaranteed,

3. displaced species of fauna and flora shall be settled in appropriate biotopes within their natural range of distribution.

(2) The legal provisions specified in this Section, as well as any regulations adopted on the basis of the same, shall be without prejudice to other regulation pertaining to the protection of plants and animals, the control of contagious diseases and livestock epidemics, as well as forestry, hunting and fishing laws.

Article 20a Definitions

(1) For the purpose of this Section:

1. “animals” means:

a) any species of wild animals, whether alive or dead, as well as living animals of wild species which have been caught or bred in captivity and which are not ownerless,

b) eggs, larvae, pupae or any other forms of development of wild fauna species,

c) readily recognisable parts of wild species of animals and

d) derivatives of readily recognisable wild species of animals,

2. “plants” means:

a) any species of wild or artificially propagated plants as well as dead plants of any species,

b) seeds, fruits or any other forms of development of wild flora species,

c) readily recognisable parts of wild species of plants and

d) derivatives of readily recognisable wild species of plants.

3. “species” means:

any species, subspecies or partial population of a species or subspecies; the scientific name is decisive for the identification of a species,

4. “population” means:

a biologically or geographically limited number of individuals,

5. “native species” means:

a wild species of animal or plant, which has its range or regular migratory range wholly or partially

a) in Germany, or did so in historical times or

b) spreads to Germany in a natural fashion;

species of wild animals or plants are also regarded as native if they have become naturalised, whether by themselves or by human interference, and if, for several generations, they have survived in nature as populations without human assistance,

6. “European bird species” means:

bird species native to Europe within the meaning of Article 1 of Directive 79/409/EEC,

7. “specially protected species” means:

a) animal or plant species listed in Annex A and B of Council Regulation (EC) No. 338/97 of 9 December 1996 on the protection of examples of wild fauna and flora by regulating trade therein (EC OJ 1997 No. L 61, p. 1, No. L 100, p. 72, No. L 298, p. 70), most recently amended by Regulation (EC) No. 2307/97 of 18 November 1997 (EC OJ No. L 325, p. 1),

b)

aa) animal and plant species listed in Annex IV of Directive 92/43/EEC

bb) European bird species
not listed under letter a) provided that they are not animal species subject to hunting law pursuant to Article 2 para. 1 of the Federal Hunting Act,

c) animal and plant species listed in a statutory ordinance pursuant to Article 20e para. 1,

8. “strictly protected species” means:

specially protected species that are listed in

a) Annex A of Regulation (EC) No. 338/97,

b) Annex IV of Directive 92/43/EEC,

c) a statutory ordinance pursuant to Article 20e para. 2,

9. “farmed animals” means:

animals born in a controlled environment or generated in another way and whose parents have been obtained legally,

10. “artificially propagated plants” means:

plants that have been grown from seeds, tissue cultures, seedlings or divisions under controlled conditions,

11. “offer” means:

declaration of willingness to sell or buy and similar actions, including advertising, instructions to advertise or to order sales or purchasing actions,

12. “bring into circulation” means:

offering, keeping in stock for sales, offering for sale and any act of giving to others,

13. “legal” means:

in agreement with the applicable statutory provisions to protect the species concerned in the country in question as well as with legal acts of the European Community in the field of species protections and CITES within the framework of their respective geographical validity or applicability,

14. “Member State” means:

a state that is a member of the European Union,

15. “third country” means:

a state that is not a member of the European Union.

(2) Selling within the meaning of this Act shall be equivalent to exchanging and relinquishment in return for a charge for use or utilisation.

(3) If the species mentioned in para. 1 No. 7 were already under special protection because of the provisions in force until 8 May 1998, the date of being granted protected status shall be deemed to be the date resulting from these provisions. This shall apply mutatis mutandis to species mentioned in para. 1 No. 8 insofar as they were designated as at risk of extinction under the provisions in force as of 8 My 1998.

(4) The definitions of Regulation (EC) No. 338/97 shall remain unaffected. If reference is made in this Section or in Article 30 to Annexes of Regulation (EC) No. 338/97, Council Regulation (EEC) No. 3254/91 of 4 November 1991 prohibiting the use of leghold traps in the Community and the introduction into the Community of pelts and manufactured goods of certain wild animal species originating in countries which catch them by means of leghold traps or trapping methods which do not meet international humane trapping standards (EC OJ No. L 308, p. 1), of Directives 92/43/EEC and 79/409/EEC and Council Directive 83/129/EEC of 28 March 1983 concerning the import into the Member States of the pelts of certain young seals and derivatives thereof (EC OJ No. L 91, p. 30), most recently amended by Directive 89/370/EEC of 8 June 1989 (EC OJ No. L 163, p. 37), or if reference is made to provisions of the above-mentioned legal acts. In which reference is made to Annexes, these are always authoritative in the version published in Part L of the Official Journal of the European Communities.

(5) The Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety shall give notice of the specially protected and strictly protected species in the Federal Gazette.

Article 20b General Provisions on the Conservation of Species and of their Biotopes

(1) For the preparation, execution and supervision of the tasks under Article 20, para. 1, the Länder shall take the appropriate action:

1. to describe and assess relevant populations, biocensoses and biotopes of wild fauna and flora, in particular those of endangered species, which are of importance from the point of view of species conservation,

2. to define and implement conservation, preservation and development objectives.

(2) In the interest of the conservation of species and their biotopes, the …

Article 20c The Conservation of Specific Biotopes

(1) Any action which may lead to the destruction, or any major or lasting impairment, of the following biotopes shall be prohibited:

1. moorlands, swamps, reeds, wet meadows covered with sedges and rushes, headwater regions, natural non-built-up sections of brooks and rivers, silted- up areas of stagnant waters,

2. open inland dunes, open natural slopes covered with gravel and scree, shrublet and juniper heathlands, matweed and dry lawn areas, forests and bushes at dry and warm locations,

3. fenwoods, marshy and riparian forests,

4. rocky and steep coastlines, beach banks as well as dunes, salt marshes and Wadden Sea areas in coastal regions,

5. open rock formations, alpine lawns, as well as snow valleys and dwarf pine bushes in alpine regions.

Article 20d General Protection of Wild Animals and Plants

(1) It is prohibited:

1. to disturb wild animals wilfully, or to catch, injure or kill them without good cause,

2. to remove, without good cause, wild plants from their locations, or to use them, cut down their populations, or destroy them in any other way,

3. to damage or destroy, without good cause, the habitats of wild fauna or flora species.

(2) The release, and plantation in nature, of non-native species of wild and non-wild animals and plants shall be subject to permits granted by the competent authority in a given Land. This shall not apply to the cultivation of plants in agriculture and forestry. Such permits shall not be granted in cases where it is not possible to preclude the risk of adulterating native fauna or flora, or of endangering the survival or distribution of nature species of wild fauna and flora, or of populations of such species.

Article 20e Authorisation for Granting Protected Status

Article 20f Provisions for Specially Protected and Certain Other Species of Fauna and Flora

Article 20g Exemptions

Article 21c Competent Authorities for the Transposition of Regulation (EC) No. 338/97

Article 21d Participation of Customs Authorities

Article 21e Import and Export Procedures

Article 21f Confiscation and Impounding by Customs Offices

Article 21g Charges

Article 22 Obligation to Furnish Proof, Impounding

Article 23 Rights of Information and of Access

Article 24 Wildlife Reserves

(1) The establishment, expansion and operation of wildlife reserves shall require permits to be issued by the competent authority in a given Land. Such permits shall be granted under the following conditions only:

1. there are no adverse effects on the balance of nature or the natural scenery, and there are no unreasonable restrictions on access for the general public to forests, fields, waters or prominent parts of landscapes,

2. the location, size, design and interior facilities of the reserve, as well as the feeding, care of and attendance to the animals comply with provisions of animal protection laws,

3. the establishment, expansion or operation of a reserve is not in conflict with species conservation interests.

Article 25 Protected Denominations

The use of the denominations “Vogelwarte” (bird-watching haunt), “Vogelschutzwarte” (bird-life protecting station), “Vogelschutzstation” (ornithological station), “Zoo” (zoo), “Zoologischer Garten” (zoological garden), “Tiergarten” (wildlife garden), “Tierpark” (wildlife park), or of names capable of being confused with the denominations above shall be subject to approval by the competent authority in a given Land.

Article 26 Other Authorisations

Article 26a The Implementation of EEC and Other International Provisions

Article 26b General Administrative Provisions

Section Six Access to Nature and Landscapes for the Purpose of Recreation

Article 27 Access to Open Fields and Meadows

(1) Access to plain open meadows by means of roads and trails, as well as to fields which are not in use, shall be permitted to the general public at their own risk for purposes of recreation.

(2) The Länder shall lay down more detailed regulations. They may restrict access to areas or treat other land uses, either in part or entirely, like access where there are important reasons, in particular in order to protect nature and landscapes, fields and farming, and persons seeking rest and relaxation, or to prevent major damage, or to protect other viable interests of landowners.

(3) Further provisions adopted by the Länder and powers granting access to parts of open fields and meadows shall remain unaffected by this.

Article 28 Appropriation of Public Land

Where this does not conflict with other public purposes defined for specific areas, the Federal Government, as well as Länder governments, local authorities, associations of local authorities and other regional authorities shall appropriate, for the purpose of recreation, sufficiently large areas of land which they own or possess and which, by their nature, qualify for this purpose. In particular, this shall apply to:

1. property on river banks and lake shores,

2. property with beautiful natural scenery,

3. property providing access to otherwise inaccessible, or not easily accessible forests, lakes and beaches.

Section Seven Participation of Associations, Administrative Offences and Exemptions

Article 29 Participation of Associations

(1) Where other laws do not provide for identical or more extensive forms of participation, incorporated associations shall be entitled under this Section to express their views and to have access to relevant expert reports:

1. during the preparation, by authorities in charge of conserving nature and landscapes, of regulations and other provisions ranking after laws,

2. during the preparation of programmes and plans as referred to in Articles 5 and 6, where these are legally binding for the individual,

3. prior to granting exemptions from prohibitions and stipulations designed to conserve nature reserves and national parks,

4. in the course of plan approval procedures for projects which involve interventions in nature and landscapes as referred to in Article 8,

provided that the society involved has obtained recognition under para. 2 below, and that its scope of activities, as defined in its Articles of Association, is affected by a given project. Article 28, para. 2, subparas 1 and 2, and para. 3, as well as Article 29, para. 2 of the Administrative Procedures Act) of 25 May 1976 (Federal Law Gazette I, p. 1253) shall apply mutatis mutandis.

(2) Upon application, recognition shall be granted to any society which satisfies the following conditions:

1. the main purpose of the society, as defined in its Articles of Association, is to promote, for non-profit purposes and not for a limited period of time only, the cause of nature and landscape conservation,

2. the field of activity of the society, as specified in its Articles of Association, covers at least the territory of one of the Länder.

3. there is sufficient evidence suggesting that the society is able to pursue its objectives adequately. This assessment shall be based on the type and scope of the society’s past activities, as well as on its membership composition and its past efficiency,

4. because of its non-profit-making character, the society is exempt from corporate income tax under Article 5, para. 1, subpara. 9 of the Corporate Income Tax Act.

5. entry is open to anyone who supports the society’s objectives.

(3) Para. 2 above shall also apply to recognition procedures entitling societies to participate in Federal Government plans and projects which extend beyond the territory of one Land, providing that the field of activity of the society involved covers the territories of the Länder which are affected by the plans and projects concerned.

(4) The recognition granted by the competent authority in a given Land shall apply to the scope of activities specified in a society’s Articles of Association and to the territory of the Land in which the granting authority is located. In the cases described in para. 3 above, recognition shall be granted by the Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety.

(5) Recognition may be revoked in cases where the conditions underlying the granting of the recognition are not satisfied at the time of application. Recognition shall be revoked in cases where this deficiency is not remedied. Recognition shall also be revoked in cases where a society, subsequent to obtaining recognition, ceases to fulfil any of the conditions above. Any revocation of a society’s recognition, against which there shall be no right to appeal, shall terminate the society’s right to participate.

Article 30 Provisions for the Imposition of Administrative Fines

Article 30a Penal Provisions

Article 30b Confiscation

Article 30c Powers of the Customs Authorities

Article 31 Exemptions

The above translation was published by Inter Nationes. Reproduced with kind permission. This HTML edition by Lawrence Schäfer and © 2001 Gerhard Dannemann. The contents of this page may be downloaded and printed out in single copies for individual use only. Making multiple copies without permission is prohibited.