Germany boasts over eleven million hectares of species-rich, high-quality forests with steadily increasing growing stock, the largest in Europe. The entire forest sector and forest-based industries have an annual turnover of some 160 billion EUR and employ more than 1.2 million people, mostly in rural regions.
German forests have many faces, talents and functions. They leave their mark on landscapes, provide a habitat for plants and animals and help to protect the climate, water and soils. At the same time, forests provide an area for recreation and exercise and form part of our cultural identity. Our forests are therefore, at the same time, natural environments and places to pursue recreation and engage in economic activities. They have been managed in a sustainable manner for 300 years now.
In international forest policy, the Federal Government takes a stance against illegal logging and advocates global forest conservation.
Forests cover approximately 11.4 million hectares in Germany, which equates to one third of Germany's national territory. They are valuable ecosystems, carbon sinks and recreation areas and also important suppliers of raw materials. Forest management in Germany is based on a tried-and-tested, integrative concept that aims to ensure a sustainable, multi-functional forestry sector.
more: Forest Strategy 2020 …
FAO (United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation) surveys show that between 2010 and 2015 the global loss of natural forest land - mainly tropical forests - amounted to approx. 9 million hectares per year, representing a decline compared to previous years.
more: Sustainable forest management worldwide …
The Forest Climate Fund is part of the programme associated with the Energy and Climate Fund. A decision by the German Bundestag called for it to be established from 2013 under the joint responsibility of the Federal Ministries of Agriculture (BMEL) and the Environment (BMUB).
more: Forest Climate Fund …
BMEL co-ordinates the federal government’s international forest policy and is committed both to combating ongoing deforestation and illegal logging, and to promoting sustainable forest management.
more: International Forest Policy …
Natural resources are being used more and more intensively. In some areas, the limits of environmental viability have been reached if not exceeded. Seeking a guiding vision for a careful management of nature which also takes into account the needs of society, a principle from forestry is experiencing an unexpected renaissance: the sustainable management of natural resources.
more: Hunting …
- Project Letter European and International Forest Policy (PDF, 494 KB, not barrier-free)
- Forest Strategy 2020 (PDF, 4 MB, not barrier-free)
- The Forest in World History (PDF, 4 MB, not barrier-free)
- Results of the Forest Condition Survey 2012 (PDF, 2 MB, not barrier-free)
- Poplars and Willows in Germany: Report of the National Poplar Commission (2008 - 2011) (PDF, 438 KB, barrier-free)
- German forests - Nature and economic factor (PDF, 791 KB, not barrier-free)
- Forest Genetic Resources in Germany (PDF, 4 MB, not barrier-free)
- Map Agriculture and Forestries in Germany (jpg, 409 KB, not barrier-free)