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Half of German forests die

Half of German forests die

In less than a year and a half, more than a hundred thousand hectares of forest have been destroyed in Germany due to warm and dry weather, the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Food is working on a national program to save forests, Berlin newspaper Der Tagesspiegel wrote Thursday.

According to a survey by the Association of Forest and Forest Managers (AGDW), 110,000 hectares of forest have been destroyed since 2018, resulting in nearly 70 million cubic meters of solid wood waste. The cost of clearance alone is 2.1 billion euros (690 billion HUF), and reforestation will cost an additional 640-660 million euros, according to estimates by forestry organizations that cover nearly a third of Germany’s land.

Agriculture and Food Minister Julia Kluckner promises to provide government aid quickly.

A Christian Democratic Union (CDU) politician will meet with county government ministers on Thursday and organize the so-called National Forests Summit in September, preceded by talks with representatives of forest, environmental and scientific organizations in August.

“Saving our forests is a huge task, which we can only solve with a unified force,” said the politician in an interview published Thursday in the Rheinische Post. Der Tagesspiegel told of the recently planned steps that reforestation will be supported by € 500 million in public funds, with the program being funded by the government’s Climate Change Fund.

Photo: Shutterstock

Deforestation is the result of several factors. During the heat, forest fires destroyed, at the end of heat waves, severe storms destroyed the stock, and due to the great drought last year, droughts and heat this year hit forests that were weakened and exposed to pests. Pine trees cannot defend themselves against bark beetles due to the lack of moisture, and in oak forests and trees, the caterpillar of woolly moth and pilgrim larva, which is dangerous to humans and animals, bursts into several areas, chewing bald deciduous trees.

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Regarding all this, Jochen Flasbarth, Secretary of State in the Federal Ministry of Nature, told Der Tagesspiegel that the National Forestry Strategy needs revision due to climate change.

We will not solve the problem by replacing sensitive pine forests (sensitive to the consequences of climate change) with delicate pine forests.

– The Minister of Foreign Affairs, one of the most famous German environmentalists, said, stressing the need to strive hard to create so-called mixed forests in several varieties.

According to the Ministry of Agriculture and Food, 32 percent of German land is covered with forests, which is 11.4 million hectares. The most common are pine forests of 5.2 million hectares, with a proportion of 47 percent. Beech forests follow beech forests of 1.7 million hectares, followed by oak forests of 1.1 million hectares.

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