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Overexploitation of the forests – no thank you! Background information

Overexploitation of the forests – no thank you!

Today, the forests in Germany are just as important as ever: They purify our air, produce essential oxygen, safeguard our drinking water and are home to many animal and plant species.

Thanks to 300 years’ experience in sustainable handling of forest resources, we can still use and enjoy them today. Photo: Reinhold Schönemund

In densely populated Germany, they provide space for recreation and to experience nature. Not least, the forests supply our most important renewable resource: timber. They therefore make an important contribution to employment and added value in rural regions.

The fact that one third of Germany is still forested and we can use and enjoy our forests is not a given, as a look at other countries or continents and even back at our own (forest) history shows.

Guardian of the forests – the Federal Forest Act

In recent decades, the Federal Forest Act made a crucial contribution to preserving our forests. Alongside the Länder forest laws, it has regulated how we treat our forests since 1975.

The figures provided by the National Forest Inventory prove that these laws effectively protect the forest from inappropriate treatment, overuse, overexploitation and area loss.

Sustainable forestry preserves the forests

The German forestry sector regenerates, cares for and manages the forest and lastingly makes its diverse functions available to society. It looks back at over 300 years of experience in sustainable handling of forest resources. While in the early days, sustainability referred to the timber supply, forestry further developed this principle with support from science and research. The objective is to permanently and optimally secure the diverse economic, ecological and social benefits of the forest for the use of the present and future generations.