Forests around the globe

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. Nine million hectares of natural forest are destroyed every year, particularly in tropical countries.

 As a consequence of poverty, non-sustainable land use, weak government structures and the economic attractiveness of other forms of land use (e.g. soy cultivation, palm oil extraction), large stretches of natural forests in developing countries are frequently converted to other uses.

Illegal logging, i.e. the felling of trees in violation of statutory provisions in the harvest country, leads not only to deforestation and the loss of biodiversity but also impedes climate protection and the fight against poverty.

European Co-operation

In this context, of the European Union – a major demand market for timber products – can help to improve the situation. The EU Timber regulation aims to combat illegal logging around the world  It prohibits the marketing of illegally harvested timber and obliges all market participants, which place timber or timber products on the EU internal market for the first time, to comply with specific due diligence obligations. They include the requirement to provide information on the type and origin of timber and measures to evaluate and minimise the risk of the timber stemming from illegal harvesting. It is implemented in Germany by the Act on Trade of Illegally Harvested Timberand enforced by the Federal Agency for Agriculture (link) with on-the-spot checks supported by the Federal Competence Center for Timber Origins (link)The implementation in case of timber originating from national forest resources is under control of Laender forest authorities.Although the EU has no formal responsibility for a joint European forest policy, EU activities in international forest policy are closely co-ordinated. At the EU level, forest measures are aligned by the Member States and the European Commission within the EU Forest Strategy.

Rain forest from a bird's eye perspective
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Overview of topics

Climate change mitigation, forests and use of wood

Climate change mitigation is a global challenge and a political priority.


Deforestation-free supply chains: agricultural production without forest destruction

One of the biggest drivers of forest destruction worldwide is the legal and illegal conversion of forests into farmland. This mainly affects forests in the tropics. For successful international forest protection, agricultural commodities must be produced as sustainably as possible. This also means: without destroying forest areas.


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