28 Aug 2019, 13:56
Benjamin Wehrmann

Germany’s Greens call for an “ecological forest transition”

The German Green Party is calling for a radical overhaul of the country’s forests to better protect the natural landscape from extreme heat and drought, news agency dpa reports in an article carried by Stuttgarter Nachrichten. The Greens' climate expert Lisa Badum said forest plantations of non-native coniferous trees, such as spruce and pine, were particularly susceptible to the changing climate. “Too little rain, extreme heat and droughts call for a forest that is better prepared and can perform its most important services optimally: filtering air, storing water, protecting soil and especially binding CO2,” Badum said. At least 10 percent of public forests should become "real eco-forests”, she added.

Last year, long-lasting droughts in many regions resulted in a much higher risk of forest fires, according to official data. The top level 5 for "very high danger" was declared 2,875 times last year, about as often as in the period between 2015 and 2017 combined. The second highest alert, level 4 for "high risk”, was declared 12,027 times in 2018, likewise nearly as often as it was between 2015 and 2017.

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