“Forest fires, drought and insect infestations have left Germany’s forests in a critical state,” said agriculture minister Julia Kloeckner. The forest owners in Germany are demanding 2.3 billion euros in emergency aid to solve the crisis.
Kloeckner was speaking on Thursday after talks to lay the ground In the next month’s “forest summit” at which foresters and the government will develop plans for responding to “forest die-off”.
“Anybody touring Germany’s forests at the moment is seeing something dramatic. she said after meeting forestry associations. We’ve lost over 100,000 hectares. An area equivalent to 3,300 soccer fields had been lost to forest fires,” she said.
Germany experienced an exceptionally hot and dry summer last year. This weakened millions of trees, undermining their defences against the bark-beetle, which often prove fatal to trees that have stood for centuries. This summer has been even hotter, Hindustan Times reported.
Environmental lobby group BUND also called for a focus on replanting forests that had become monocultures as a result of past reforestation plans that had focused on planting only fast-growing trees, reported Hindustan Times.
“After reforesting dead woodlands the real priority is restructuring forests, moving away from unnatural coniferous forests to climate-stabilising leafy forests,” the organisation’s head said.