From knowledge to action: “10 must-knows” as a guide for the conservation of biodiversity in Germany

The authors of the 10 Must Knows provide practical recommendations for policymakers and show what citizens can do with concrete options for action for society. © Leibniz-Biodiversity


From as yet undiscovered biodiversity to resilient forests and the impact of food consumption on nature: 64 experts, including five from the Leibniz Institute for the Analysis of Biodiversity Change (LIB), have now pooled their knowledge and recommendations and published them in the form of “10 must-knows from biodiversity research” for 2024.

The new report by the Leibniz Biodiversity Research Network shows policymakers and society concrete ways in which biodiversity in Germany can be effectively conserved and sustainably utilised at local, national and European level, and how this can also protect the climate. With this publication, the researchers are contributing up-to-date scientific facts to the debate on the national biodiversity strategy, which is to be adopted before the next World Conference on Nature in autumn 2024.

“We are delighted that we were able to contribute to the 10 Must Knows with our expert knowledge at the LIB,” emphasises Prof. Dr Bernhard Misof, Director General of the LIB. “The biodiversity of this earth provides the indispensable basis for the functioning of ecosystems and thus also for our health and nutrition. Many of our research projects at the LIB provide fundamental knowledge about life on this planet and outline solutions to the biodiversity crisis. This also includes seeking dialogue with business, politics and society on the use of nature’s resources. Despite research and knowledge transfer, there is still a huge gap between knowledge and action. This is where the 10 Must Knows come in and try to provide important impetus for the global community.”

Prof. Dr Christoph Scherber, Deputy Director of the LIB and co-author of the Must-Knows, emphasises: “The true wealth of the Earth is its immeasurable biodiversity. But it seems as if we humans are too short-tempered, too short-sighted to handle this treasure with care. Many know the stock market better than the portfolio of species that nature offers us. It’s time to make knowledge of nature an educational goal for all of us – for a biodiversity-friendly world of tomorrow.”

Following the great response to the “10 must-knows from biodiversity research” first published in 2022, researchers from a total of 57 German and international research institutions have now contributed their expertise from the environmental, life, spatial, social, humanities and economic sciences to the new version. “Our recommendations bring together the research findings available today for decision-makers. The must-knows are intended to provide them with guidance on how to implement the globally agreed biodiversity targets in the German context,” says author Dr Sibylle Schroer from the Leibniz-Institute of Freshwater Ecology and Inland Fisheries (IGB).

Concentrated biodiversity knowledge from 64 experts across all disciplines

The National Biodiversity Strategy 2030 is currently being developed to implement the 23 biodiversity targets agreed by the member states of the United Nations at the World Conference on Nature in December 2022. In order to provide up-to-date facts from the scientific community, the first version of the “10 Must-Knows” from 2022 was expanded to include numerous aspects and brought up to date with the help of current literature. The report that has now been published addresses, for example, how the impact of food consumption on biodiversity can be reduced in concrete terms. The authors provide practical recommendations for policymakers and show what citizens can do with concrete options for action for society.

“We are already exceeding planetary boundaries, both in terms of global warming and biodiversity loss. Joint responses are needed to counter these crises. We know that protecting biodiversity can make a significant contribution to mitigating climate change, for example through species-rich forests and rewetted peatlands that store carbon. Only if there is a greater focus on measures to protect biodiversity will it be possible to tackle both crises at the same time,” says Dr Kirsten Thonicke, lead author and deputy head of department at the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK), who coordinates the research network.

The BMBF Research Initiative for the Conservation of Biodiversity (FEdA) and the German Centre for Integrative Biodiversity Research (iDiv) Halle-Jena-Leipzig were involved in the project as cooperation partners. The “10 Must-Knows” were commented on by experts from politics, administration, science and associations before publication.


The “10 must-knows from biodiversity research 2024” include

  1. Achieving climate and biodiversity protection together
  2. Enabling a healthy life on a healthy planet
  3. Considering undiscovered biodiversity
  4. Linking linguistic, cultural and biological diversity
  5. Harmonising the diverse use of forest ecosystems and biodiversity conservation
  6. Transforming agricultural and food systems
  7. Protecting land and resources
  8. Releasing transformative change through international collaboration and Education for Sustainable Development
  9. Ensuring free access and open use of biodiversity-related dat10: Reducing biodiversity impacts from food consumption
  10. Reducing biodiversity impacts from food consumption


To the 10 must-knows:

To the Leibniz Biodiversity Research Network:



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