ILSE AIGNER, FEDERAL MINISTER OF FOOD, AGRICULTURE AND CONSUMER PROTECTION, Germany
The forest is more than a mere wood supplier. It is a natural habitat and a water filter, a workplace and a
place for leisure – and ultimately, it is our number one climate protector.
Germany is the homeland of sustainable forestry. The traditional, sustainable management of the forests,
coupled with a well-positioned forestry and wood cluster, make Germany a global player in terms of both
production and foreign trading of timber. In addition to this, roughly a quarter of the forested area provides
special protection for rare plant and animal species.
One of the biggest challenges of the future lies in the area of tension to be found between an increasing
demand for timber on the one hand and effective conservation of forests and nature on the other. Our answer
is to be found in sustainable, multifunctional forestry, which combines utilization and protection in many
different ways and secures jobs and income, and adds value throughout the region. In this way, the forest is
also protected in its function as the most popular excursion and leisure destination in all of Germany.
To ensure that our forest maintains this versatility, Germany has made two groundbreaking decisions this
year. One of these was the adoption of a new national ‘Forest Strategy 2020’, which strives to achieve a new
balance between the variety of demands placed on Germany’s forests on the one hand and their sustainable
efficiency on the other. In addition to this, we agreed to establish a forest climate fund to adapt the forest
to the effects of climate change and promote the CO
reduction potential of wood. In this way, the positive
influence that forests and wood have on our climate will be intensified in the long term.
I hope that
International Year of Forests, 2011
will also have global effects, which will be felt well beyond 2011.
Federal Minister of Food, Agriculture and Consumer Protection