German Capital of Biodiversity

Award ceremony in Cologne; (c) Stiftung "Lebendige Stadt"


The competition German Capital of Biodiversity was organised by Deutsche Umwelthilfe and started in July 2010. All municipalities were invited to participate. To ensure a fair competition, all towns and cities were grouped according to their size: Towns below 10,000 inhabitants, between 10,000 and 30,000, 30,000 to 100,000 as well as cities above 100,000 inhabitants.

124 municipalities, over one third of which were large cities of over 100,000 inhabitants, filled out the comprehensive questionnaire and submitted altogether nearly 900 biodiversity projects. The award ceremony took place on 6 April 2011 in Cologne.

The city of Hannover, capital of the federal state of Lower Saxony, was the clear winner of the competition „German Capital of Biodiversity 2010/2011“ and received a prize money of 25.000 Euros donated by the Vibrant Cities Foundation. The small town of Ratekau, located at the Baltic Sea and first in the size category of towns of 10.000-30.000 inhabitants, finished second in the overall ranking, followed by the city of Münster. At the award ceremony, a further eleven municipalities were honoured for their exceptional commitment to the preservation of biodiversity. Special prices in the categories “Nature in the City” and “Environmental Justice” were given to the cities of Leipzig and Marburg respectively.

The questionnaire contained five main topics: ‘Nature in the city’, ‘Environmental education and environmental justice’, ‘Protection of species and biotopes’, ‘Sustainable use of biodiversity’ as well as ‘Concepts, communication and cooperation’. Within these topics, municipalities demonstrated their strategies and actions for biodiversity by answering a number of questions and presenting related projects.

Supporting partners in the implementation the competition were municipality federations, environmental organisations, academic institutions, national agencies and selected local authorities.

For more information on the German competition please click here:



Participating municipalities 2010/2011; click to download the map.