GNF - Biodiversity on Camping Sites in Germany

Biodiversity at Camping Sites in Germany



Campsites are important sources of information about sustainable development. They also cover large areas of land and thus have a high impact on biodiversity. A large campsite can have up to 50,000 visitors a year. Camping entails sleeping in tents, caravans, campervans, or rental units at sites mostly situated in picturesque, natural environments.  A pristine environment with unpolluted air and water is just as important to campers as sanitary facilities, attractive recreational activities and friendly staff.


Current Activities

Due to the high importance of the environment to campers, many German camping operations are already promoting nature conservation and include this in company statements.


Many also show their commitment to nature conservation in applications for various national and international environmental certifications, including the ECOCAMPING label or the EU Ecolabel for Campsites.


Supporting biodiversity conservation at campsites has a high potential for improving facility management and educating businesses, campers, staff, and partners about this important issue. However, despite the benefits, biodiversity conservation at campsites is still at an early stage and rarely discussed or adequately incorporated in business approaches. As part of the European Business and Biodiversity Campaign a “Biodiversity Check” was developed, which   is a possible mechanism to systematically improve various aspects of business activities relating to biodiversity.


Planned Project Measures

The aim of the “Biodiversity at campsites in Germany” project is to create and enhance new habitats at campsites around Germany. Mechanisms to achieve this goal are to train companies and their staff, raise awareness and educate campers about biodiversity, and create a national cooperation network for incorporating sustainable biodiversity strategies in campsite management.

Direct Approaches

  1. The Biodiversity Check will be adjusted to represent a suitable tool for analysing the camping industry, and up to 30 camping sites will be checked and will receive certification with the modified Biodiversity Check.
  2. The devised measures will be included in Corporate Social Responsibility Action Plans, and “Biodiversity Event Locations” will be established on 5 campsites.
  3. The experiences from the project will feed into the development of a biodiversity program, specific to the camping industry. This program will be tested, before it is made available to the 220 German ECOCAMPING partner companies.
  4. Owners, tenants, staff, and partner organizations of the participating campsites will receive training and education on biodiversity along with guidance for implementing measures. A cooperation network will also be established.
  5. Visiting campers at participating camp sites will be educated about the importance of biodiversity through various mechanisms including themed event days, nature tours, specially arranged gardens, info boards, and educational trails. Appropriate informative material for a range of audiences will be prepared. A wide range of information and events about nature and biodiversity conservation, as well as other topics relating to sustainability will be offered at 15 campsites.

Project partner

 Ecocamping e.V.


 Deutschen Bundesstiftung Umwelt (DBU)

A project of the Platform for Action and Dialogue between Business, Government and Nature Conservation

 Aktionsplattform „Unternehmen Biologische Vielfalt 2020“
 Gruppenfoto zur Auftaktveranstaltung am 17. Juli 2014 auf dem Alfsee Ferien- und Erholungspark

From left to right:

Prof. Dr. Große Ophoff (DBU),

Walter Jung (BMUB),

Sebastian Hüdepohl (Mayor of Rieste),

Dr. Horst Baier (Mayor of the joint community Bersenbrück),

Werner Lager (Deputy District Administrator of Osnabrück),

Marco Walter (ECOCAMPING),

Anton Harms (Alfsee Holiday and Recreation Park),

Dr. Thomas Schaefer (GNF)


Project Duration:


Project Location:




Project Partners: 

May 2014 - April 2017




German Federal Environmental Foundation (DBU)


Ecocamping e. V. (Coordination), Global Nature Fund