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:
Naturefund reserves the right to amend or expand these criteria.
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.
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.
The previous owners of the areas that Naturefund intends to buy can be private individuals, communities, cities or companies.
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.
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.
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.
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.