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Forests in Germany

Germany boasts over eleven million hectares of species-rich, high-quality forests with steadily increasing growing stock, the largest in central Europe. The entire forest sector and forest-based industries have an annual turnover of some 180 billion EUR and employ more than 1.0 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.

Look into a deciduous forest
© kentauros - stock.adobe.com

Overview of topics

Forests and forest management contribute to the Federal Government’s sustainability goals

Forest management contributes to achieving the Federal Government’s sustainability goals. Like no other area, forest management is geared towards the requirements of future generations. The total forest area and the stocks of biomass and timber have been increasing for years despite being used.

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Forest Strategy 2020

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.

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Forest Climate Fund

The purview of the Forest Climate Fund is to expand the potential impact of forests and timber use on climate change mitigation and to support the adaptation of our forests to climate change. This Fund is part of the programme associated with the Energy and Climate Fund. Since 2013, it has been operated under the joint responsibility of the Federal Ministries of Agriculture (BMEL) and the Environment (BMU) on the basis of a decision by the German Bundestag.

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Environmental forest monitoring

Politics, industry, administrative bodies and the public need reliable and up-to-date data on forests. This need for information is met by the National Forest Inventory and the surveys on environmental forest monitoring. 

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