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Agriculture: Germany fails to protect species


Too intensive agriculture and increasing land sealing threaten biodiversity. According to a new report by the federal government, Germany is falling far behind its goals.

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Liquid manure application (Lower Saxony)

Photo: Martin Wagner / imago images

Germany does not manage to adequately protect domestic biodiversity, even though the government has committed itself to do so under international law.

This emerges from the current indicator report of the federal government, which is available to SPIEGEL.

In 11 out of 13 indicators with specific target values, including species diversity and the protection of endangered species, the values ​​are therefore still “far” or “very far” from the target range.

An assessment by the Ministry of the Environment on the report states that the target values ​​applicable for 2020 and 2030 could “in all probability not be achieved”.

more on the subject

  • Conservationist on EU agricultural reform: "The term 'ecological' has been hijacked" An interview by Nils Klawitter

  • UN biodiversity report: "Nature conservation is not a luxury, but a question of existence" An interview by Thomas Krumenacker and Christian Schwägerl

  • Endangered animals in Germany: hare, lynx, porpoise - these species could soon disappear

The 2019 report, which was only recently completed, is the third after 2010 and 2014. It provides information on the state and development of plants, animals and natural landscapes in Germany and is intended to be a contribution to the Decade of Biological Diversity that the United Nations has set for 2011 to 2020 to make people aware of the issue.

The main reason for the decline in species, according to the report, is intensive agricultural use.

In residential areas, building activity and surface sealing have a negative effect.

The increase in protected areas does not seem to lead to sufficient protection of the species either.

Typical field birds such as lapwing or skylark declined in the agricultural landscape - a fact that organizations such as NABU have been pointing out for years.  

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Lapwing: field bird in danger

Photo: R. Sturm / imago images / blickwinkel

Whether the environmental and nature conservation measures that have been initiated will lead to a trend reversal in the medium and long term, according to the self-critical report, is "currently open".

The indicator report is a "declaration of bankruptcy" for the nature conservation efforts of the federal government, says Steffi Lemke, parliamentary director and nature conservation spokeswoman for the Greens.

The reform of the EU agricultural policy that is now being pushed ahead will further cement the extinction of species.

The essentially retained system of land-based agricultural payments with only minimal ecological benefits, celebrated by Agriculture Minister Julia Klöckner (CDU) as a great success, is »poison for biological diversity«, according to Lemke.

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Source: spiegel

All business articles on 2020-11-22

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