Nature Conservation in Climate Change




01/2009 – 12/2013


The predicted increase in global temperature by 1.8 to 4.0°C will bring changes in rainfall conditions, ecosystems, biotopes, and the composition and spread of species. In this process the following is essential: The more robust the situation of nature or a landscape is, the higher is its capacity to adapt to climate change. Climate protection and adaptation measures can improve both. The dynamics of climate change make "amendments" to existing nature conservation and landscape management concepts or even reorientations necessary. Therefore, the protection of biodiversity will face big challenges over the next decades. The main sources for the negative development of nature conservation - agriculture and forestry, atmospheric nutrient input, demand for land and climate change - are closely connected to and reinforce each other with regard to their negative effects. A future proof nature conservation policy has to regulate all main drivers and create an adequate integrated and concerted legislation. The Department of Environmental and Planning Law thus does research on how legislation can contribute to the strengthening of species' and biotopes' resilience to climate change. To this purpose the static concept of protected areas has to be reassessed and dynamised, and networks of protected areas like Natura 2000 and national habitat networks have to be effectively established and protected. This is closely linked to legal demands for a more sustainable agriculture and forestry. But also the goals and regulations of nature conservation defined by law, e.g. those on dealing with non-native species, have to be reviewed for their validity and effectiveness regarding climatic dynamics, and suggestions for adapting them have to be developed, if necessary.

Selected publications

Möckel, S. (2010): Rechtliche Herausforderungen für den Biodiversitätsschutz in Zeiten des Klimawandels. BfN, Biodiversität und Klima − Vernetzung der Akteure in Deutschland VI, BfN-Skript 263, pp. 50-53.

Möckel, S.; Köck, W. (2009): Naturschutzrecht im Zeichen des Klimawandels − Vorläufige Bewertung und weiterer Forschungsbedarf. In: Natur und Recht (NuR) 31(5), pp. 318-325.

Köck, W. (2007): Klimawandel und Recht − Adaption an Klimaänderungen: Auswirkungen auf den Hochwasserschutz, die Bewirtschaftung der Wasserressourcen und die Erhaltung der Artenvielfalt. In: Tetzlaff, G.; Karl, H & Overbeck, G. (Eds.): Wandel von Vulnerabilität und Klima: Müssen unsere Vorsorgewerkzeuge angepasst werden? Schriftenreihe des Deutschen Komitee Katastrophenvorsorge Band 35(2007), pp. 63-77;
a revised and updated version has also been published in: Zeitschrift für Umweltrecht 18, pp. 393-400.