1. According to which criteria does Naturefund choose a project?

There are seven key criteria according to which Naturefund chooses, buys and protects a particular area. At least five of these seven must be fulfilled:

  1. The country where the project is located has placed less than 10 percent of its total land area under conservation.
  2. The area for sale is large enough or borders other nature reserves for the species there to survive independently.
  3. The majority of the local population supports the idea that the land will be protected for nature. 
  4. The long-term protection of the new project will be supported alongside the change of owner through public laws and guidelines, through the support of partner organisations and/or through integrated eco-economic concepts.
  5. The price of the land corresponds at most to its market value or preferably comes in lower. 
  6. The country in which the nature conservation area is located, has been politically stable for over ten years and disposes a functioning justice system.
  7. Naturefund or a partner organisation will be the owner of the purchased area.

Naturefund reserves the right to amend or expand these criteria.

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2. In order for Naturefund to purchase an area must it have rare species, a variety of species, biotopes or other special features?

In choosing a conservation project Naturefund is not fixed to a particular biotope. We buy forests, wetlands, quarries, lakes and more. One prerequisite is however that the area of land is in a relatively undisturbed condition and has the potential to return to its natural state. Naturally we are interested in areas which have a great variety of species, where rare species or unique types of habitat can be found. 

Also desirable is that the land area is nestled in a larger biotope and is not directly next to a populated area. These are optional critera and they will be decided for each individual project. The basis for each decision is however the seven criteria for choosing the project, whereby at least five must be fulfilled.

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3. How does Naturefund find interesting projects?

Naturefund keeps in contact with various nature conservation and development organisations as well as worldwide environment agencies. We regularly exchange information on new, potential conservation projects. Occasionally individuals will also approach with a project proposal. For Naturefund it is important that there is a local non-profit organisation, who can become the owner and long-term manager of the land.  

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4. Who is usually the previous owner of the area?

The previous owners of the areas that Naturefund intends to buy can be private individuals, communities, cities or companies. 

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5. How is the price for the area agreed?

The price of the land that Naturefund buys in order to protect, corresponds at most to its market value and preferably comes in lower. We make enquiries about local prices to the relevant departments, neigbouring landowners or sometimes have a survey done in order to assess the land's value. 

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6. What happens with the purchased area?

Basically the areas that Naturefund purchases will be left alone, so that nature can develop undisturbed. Occasionally, measures are implemented at the beginning of certain projects to support the restoration of a natural, indigenous habitat. Such measures include the removal of non-native plants, a return to waterlogging, removal of paths etc.

Some areas also require long-term care in order to conserve a particular type of biotope, such as the conservation of neglected grasslands through grazing or the annual care of meadow orchards. Most of the areas saved however will be left to their own devices.

The local partner organisation will be the owner and manager of the land. Its task is to ensure that nature can develop undisturbed.

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7. Who will own the land?

The owner of the land will either be Naturefund or a partner organisation. In the land register the conservation status of the area will be entered as easement or recorded on the land charge. Should this not be possible due to current legislation in the respective country, the long-term conservation status of the area will be ensured through bilateral contracts between Naturefund and the partner organisation. 

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8. Can the project be resold?

Essentially the title deeds as well as the contracts ensure that, with the help of Naturefund, purchased areas will not be resold. Should it occur that for example the partner organisation ... not for the nature conservation bound purposes resold, the title deeds ensure that the total costs, including inflation, must be repaid to Naturefund. This sum would then immediately be invested in a similar conservation project, preferably one that is nearby.

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