Overall, however, the situation is alarming. This is the conclusion of the report on the state of the environment, which the German Cabinet has now adopted in Berlin. The report lays out the successes and the continuing challenges in the field of conservation.
More space for conservation
Currently, 75 percent of biotopes in Germany are deemed to be endangered on the basis of the Red List published in 2006. This is why the protection and sustainable management of biological diversity is a special responsibility of the German government.
The National Biodiversity Strategy is a start. By 2020, for instance, two percent of the surface area of Germany is to be left as untouched nature. By the same date, five percent of the forested area too is to be allowed to develop naturally.
Germany has a particular responsibility for conserving certain plant and animal species, which are not found anywhere else. Beech forests, for instance, used to be Germany's most common ecosystem two thousand years ago. Today beech trees account for only 1.6 million hectares, or 14 percent of its forested area.
This is why it is important to preserve the remnants of beech forests. The German government will be actively supporting the nomination of the most valuable beech forests for approval as a UNESCO world natural heritage site. The process was initiated by the federal states of Brandenburg, Hesse, Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania and Thuringia.
Less land for settlements and traffic
One key point in protecting the environment is to seal less land with asphalt, concrete, bitumen or other materials, which prevent air and water penetrating the soil.
This is why a total to date of 100,000 hectares of state-owned land have been transferred to environmental facilities free of charge for conservation purposes. They include land along what used to be the inner-German border, where the so-called Green Belt has been established.
The European Green Belt crosses the whole of Europe from the Barents Sea in the north to the Adriatic and the Black Sea in the south. It was able to develop along the line of the former iron Curtain, as a result of the prevailing historical circumstances.
All in all, it must be said that an extremely high percentage of land in Germany is used. Every day more than 100 hectares are harnessed for settlements and traffic. In the National Sustainability Strategy the government lays out the target of cutting this figure to 30 hectares by 2020.
Last year, the Federal Republic of Germany took over the presidency of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD). The ninth conference of parties held in May 2008 in Bonn marked the start of the German presidency.
At the conference, Chancellor Angela Merkel pledged that between 2009 and 2012 the German government would provide a contribution of 500 million euros. The funding is to be used for the international protection of forests and threatened ecosystems. As of 2013 it is planned to make an annual contribution of half a billion euros.Another important strategic goal of the agreement is the so-called 2010 target. This stipulates that the ongoing anthropogenic loss of species diversity is to be significantly slowed by 2010.
With the report on the state of the environment the German government is honouring its commitment to issue a report on this topic at least once during each legislative period. The government published its last report in May 2005.
The report published by the Federal Environment Ministry takes stock of the state of the environment in Germany, and analyses it. It identifies prospects for protecting and sustainably managing biological diversity and presents the priorities of the conservation policy of the German government.
You will find a detailed presentation in the "Environmental Data" published by the Federal Agency for Nature Conservation and the "Facts on the Environment" published by the Federal Environment Agency.Further Information:
Preservation of floodplains is flood protection
27.09.2017 | Technische Universität München
Conservationists are sounding the alarm: parrots much more threatened than assumed
15.09.2017 | Justus-Liebig-Universität Gießen
University of Maryland researchers contribute to historic detection of gravitational waves and light created by event
On August 17, 2017, at 12:41:04 UTC, scientists made the first direct observation of a merger between two neutron stars--the dense, collapsed cores that remain...
Seven new papers describe the first-ever detection of light from a gravitational wave source. The event, caused by two neutron stars colliding and merging together, was dubbed GW170817 because it sent ripples through space-time that reached Earth on 2017 August 17. Around the world, hundreds of excited astronomers mobilized quickly and were able to observe the event using numerous telescopes, providing a wealth of new data.
Previous detections of gravitational waves have all involved the merger of two black holes, a feat that won the 2017 Nobel Prize in Physics earlier this month....
Material defects in end products can quickly result in failures in many areas of industry, and have a massive impact on the safe use of their products. This is why, in the field of quality assurance, intelligent, nondestructive sensor systems play a key role. They allow testing components and parts in a rapid and cost-efficient manner without destroying the actual product or changing its surface. Experts from the Fraunhofer IZFP in Saarbrücken will be presenting two exhibits at the Blechexpo in Stuttgart from 7–10 November 2017 that allow fast, reliable, and automated characterization of materials and detection of defects (Hall 5, Booth 5306).
When quality testing uses time-consuming destructive test methods, it can result in enormous costs due to damaging or destroying the products. And given that...
Using a new cooling technique MPQ scientists succeed at observing collisions in a dense beam of cold and slow dipolar molecules.
How do chemical reactions proceed at extremely low temperatures? The answer requires the investigation of molecular samples that are cold, dense, and slow at...
Scientists from the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics, using high precision laser spectroscopy of atomic hydrogen, confirm the surprisingly small value of the proton radius determined from muonic hydrogen.
It was one of the breakthroughs of the year 2010: Laser spectroscopy of muonic hydrogen resulted in a value for the proton charge radius that was significantly...
17.10.2017 | Event News
10.10.2017 | Event News
10.10.2017 | Event News
20.10.2017 | Information Technology
20.10.2017 | Materials Sciences
20.10.2017 | Interdisciplinary Research