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Ecological conversion: Forest owners are demanding billions in support

2022-05-16T10:14:30.468Z

Drought and bark beetle infestation have massively affected the tree population in recent years. In order to better equip the forests against climate change, the owners are demanding financial help from Berlin.



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Extinguishing work on a slope in the Harz mountains: climate change is the biggest challenge

Photo: Matthias Leg / dpa

Forest owners have called for more support to transform forests to be more resilient to climate change.

»Time is pressing, the federal government must act.

The financing of the adaptation of the forest to climate change must be implemented quickly," said the President of the Working Group of German Forest Owner Associations (AGDW), Andreas Bitter, before a special meeting of the Ministers of Agriculture on Monday.

Bitter emphasized that more than 400,000 hectares of forest have been destroyed since 2018 as a result of the consequences of increasing temperatures and drought.

The chairman of the family businesses Land und Forst, Max von Elverfeldt, added: If there is no investment in the urgently needed forest conversion, the consequences would primarily affect the next generations.

The forests are "our most successful climate activists." AGDW and the family businesses Land und Forst represent two million forest owners in Germany.

The President of the German Forestry Council, Georg Schirmbeck, estimated the material damage caused by drought and bark beetle infestation in the "Neue Osnabrücker Zeitung" at 12.5 billion euros, spread over three years of the crisis.

The costs for reforestation and adaptation to climate change are significantly higher: "The conversion of the German forest will, very conservatively, cost 50 billion euros," said Schirmbeck.

The state must support forest owners with one billion euros annually.

BUND wants »ecological forest turnaround«

The handling of the raw material wood should also be a topic at the ministerial meeting.

The Forestry Council calls for framework conditions that ensure active forest management and the sustainable use of wood.

"The renewable raw material wood is an important element for achieving the climate goals of the federal government with the move away from fossil fuels, both as a building material and as a final energy source," says Schirmbeck.

The timber industry warned against reducing forest use: No further forest should be taken out of economic use, said the general manager of the Main Association of the German Timber Industry (HDH), Denny Ohnesorge, the RND.

The environmental association BUND, on the other hand, called for clear steps to be taken to preserve forests in the long term.

"Our forests have been weakened by several years of drought, overly intensive forestry and the large-scale cultivation of conifers," said BUND chairman Olaf Bandt to the editorial network Germany (RND).

"We demand an ecological forest transition." At least one tenth of the forest area must be designated as natural forest, in which forestry is then no longer allowed to intervene.

The rapid conversion of coniferous forests to deciduous forests is also necessary.

dam/dpa-AFX

Source: spiegel

All business articles on 2022-05-16

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