About usThe Heinz Sielmann Stiftung

"Nothing leaves a deeper impression than the personal experience of being out in nature." 

Guided by these words by Prof. Heinz Sielmann, his foundation and its projects pursue three key goals: 

1) Protecting and restoring refuges for rare species of animals and plants 

Preserving the final refuges of fauna and flora is a key concern for the Heinz Sielmann Stiftung.  Across Germany, the foundation is committed to preserving unfragmented landscapes, renaturing military and industrial wastelands and developing biotope networks, for example around Lake Constance and along the former border between East and West Germany.

Internationally, the Heinz Sielmann Stiftung participates in projects that focus on renaturing natural habitats by reforesting degraded landscapes.

2) Raising awareness among the public for the protection of biodiversity / Guiding people towards a positive approach to nature

The Heinz Sielmann Stiftung aims to promote public interest in nature conservation and recruit public support for these urgent issues. The foundation makes the relationships found throughout nature easier to understand for the public and highlights concrete measures to encourage participation. Accordingly, environmental education plays a key role in its projects, both within Germany and around the globe. Like Heinz Sielmann himself, who was a wildlife filmmaker, the foundation takes advantage of influencers and media outlets to draw public attention to its messages. In particular, children and young people are given the opportunity to experience the diverse facets of nature, encouraging an appreciation of the value of nature at an early age.  

Many of the landscapes maintained by the Heinz Sielmann Stiftung in Germany feature designated hiking trails that enable visitors to have individual encounters with nature. A diverse programme of events with expert guidance is offered throughout the year.  

The Heinz Sielmann Stiftung is based at Gut Herbigshagen near Duderstadt, a location with plenty of opportunities for new experiences in nature. The site combines organic farming, educational activities on biodiversity, and recreational activities in nature, making it ideal for family outings, conferences, parties, and school trips. The foundation’s youth organisation, the Sielmann Nature Rangers, has 20 different teams that offer the chance to gain deeper insight and experience with nature.

3) Preserving the Heinz Sielmann nature film archive

Over the many decades of his career, Prof. Heinz Sielmann travelled to every continent of the world to capture the behaviour of animals with his camera. The Heinz Sielmann Stiftung has been gradually digitising the most valuable parts of this unique footage using state-of-the-art technology to preserve it for the future. The film archive is currently being expanded with video documentaries of the foundation’s daily work, especially in the Sielmann natural landscapes. 

Reforestation as a contribution to climate protection and to combat the loss of biodiversity in Africa International commitment

The United Nations (UN) Conference on the Human Environment in 1972 and later the first UN Conference on Environment and Development in Rio de Janeiro in 1992 brought the global and sectoral context of environmental policy challenges into the public eye for the first time. Ever since, the causes and ramifications of the problems associated with environment and (human) development have been discussed daily by an increasing number of international conferences, conventions, and studies on one of the most pressing issues of our time – climate change. As an industrial nation, the global responsibility of Germany in this area is beyond dispute. Our economic model, consumption patterns, and use of resources play a significant part in advancing global climate change in general and accelerating the extinction of species in particular; this fundamentally contradicts the goals of our foundation, namely the conservation of nature and the preservation of biodiversity.

Beyond its nature conservation projects throughout Germany and its activities supporting Education for Sustainable Development, the Heinz Sielmann Stiftung therefore recognises the obligation to expand its scope of action and assume responsibility beyond the borders of our own country. Accordingly, the foundation supports actors whose nature conservation activities are dependent on financial cooperation. It is also involved in high-impact initiatives that address global goals through pooled technological cooperation and teamwork. Since 2018, the Heinz Sielmann Stiftung has been a technical partner of the AFR 100 alliance, as well as a member of the F20 foundation platform.

The foundation also acts as a cooperation partner in Ethiopia and Uganda, where it implements projects aimed at restoring ecosystem functions by reforesting selected areas together with local partners and communities. Planting indigenous trees and crops helps to preserve habitats for biodiversity, counteracts progressive soil degradation and erosion, and makes a key contribution towards adapting to climate change. This allows local communities to create a sound basis for improving their living conditions. The communities themselves take the lead in implementing the measures. Indeed, local nature conservation can only be sustainable if the principle of ownership is met.  

In this way, the Heinz Sielmann Stiftung positions itself within the framework of international nature and climate protection efforts and clearly links its contributions with the internationally agreed Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), thereby fulfilling its global responsibility as an established German nature conservation organisation. 

Get in touchContact us

Natalie Klein
Advisor for International Cooperation

Heinz Sielmann Stiftung
Dyrotzer Ring 4
DE-14641 Wustermark OT Elstal

Phone: +49 (0)5527 914432
Mobile: +49 (0)151 17156607
E-Mail: natalie.klein(at)sielmann-stiftung.de