Landscape Planning and Development

Nature Conservation News

Current information and dates on nature conservation, landscape planning, climate protection and sustainability

Climate change in Germany Development, consequences, risks and perspectives

28.03.2024

This book was recently published in a second, updated edition. Over 160 experts were involved, providing a comprehensive presentation of climate change and its consequences in Germany. The topics of 39 chapters range from global modelling of climate change and extreme weather events to the effects on human health, biodiversity and nature conservation. Last but not least, the necessity and possibilities of climate protection and adaptation to climate change are also addressed.

The book (in German only) is "Open Access" and can be downloaded free of charge here.

Sufficiency as a "strategy of enough": invitation to a discussion

21.03.2024

The German Advisory Council on the Environment today published a discussion paper on the need for a debate on sufficiency as a social strategy for overcoming global ecological crises.

The following theses, among others, are intended to stimulate this discussion:
- Sufficiency is essential for stabilising the earth within planetary boundaries
- Sufficiency is a prerequisite for a humane life for all within planetary boundaries
- The spread of sufficiency practices also requires structural change
- Resource-intensive lifestyles jeopardise the freedom of others and there is no moral right to ignore this
- Sufficiency confronts society with the contradictions of Western modernity
- Sufficiency requires a sustainable understanding of welfare and a precautionary economic system
- Sufficiency policy will meet with social resistance
- Sufficiency policy must be socially just and can reduce inequality

 An online event will take place on 29 April with the opportunity to contribute to the discussion.

Download the discussion paper (in German)

Report in „klimareporter“ (in German)

 

 

„Wie können wir die Ökologie so gestalten, dass wir unsere Demokratie retten können?“

05.03.2024

Historian Hedwig Richter in conversation in the Tagesspiegel's climate podcast "Gradmesser".

She explains that democracy must not only contribute to climate protection, but conversely climate protection must also contribute to the protection of our democracy.
After all, denying climate change is part of the core business of populists and right-wing extremists.
Richter also explains why she believes that the German government can and should expect more from the population: "Politicians talk to people as if we were monsters."
The government in particular acts as if nothing can be expected of the people that they would not "immediately accept in all comfort". However, she believes that people are fundamentally ready for this.

To the Podcast (in German)

Today is "End of Fish Day"

29.02.2029

On a mere calculatoray basis, today, people in Germany have already consumed all the fish and seafood that will be caught in German inland and marine waters in 2024. Germany is therefore dependent on imports from other countries for further consumption (de facto, these figures refer to 2022 due to the time lag in data collection). In 2019 (based on 2017 figures), End of Fish Day was still on 5 April.

By using the End of Fish Day the NGOs Slow Food Germany, Fair Oceans and “Brot für die Welt”  want to draw attention to the links between the state of marine ecosystems, fishing as a source of income and food security for people.

Slow Food Deutschland

Brot für die Welt

Bund für Umwelt und Naturschutz (BUND)

European parlament adopts „Nature Restoration Law“

28.02.2024

On 27 February 2024, the European Parliament adopted the Nature Restoration Regulation.

It now also has to be adopted by EU Council (the responsible ministers of the member states), before being published in the EU Official Journal and entering into force 20 days later.

The regulation obliges the member states to restore at least 30 % of habitats in poor condition by 2030, 60 % by 2040 and 90 % by 2050.

Press release of the European Parliament
Text of the regulation

 

 

UN Report: Migratory Species in decline and under increasing extinction risk

16.02.2024

A recently published report under the "Bonn Convention" for the protection of migratory animal species (CMS) shows that of around 1200 species covered by the convention, around half (44%) are in decline and around a fifth (22%) are threatened with extinction - including almost all fish species (97%).  Main causes of endangerment are overexploitation and habitat loss due to human activities. Climate change, pollution and invasive species are also mentioned. The report is the first of its kind and provides a global overview of the conservation status and population trends of migratory animals, as well as the latest information on their main threats and possible actions to save them.

Report Tagesschau

Website „Bonn Convention“ with further information and Report download

Bodenatlas 2024: Facts and Data about a vital resource

19.01.2024

Intact soils are a basic prerequisite for producing healthy, diverse food, protecting the climate and preserving biodiversity. However, the condition of soils around the world is severely threatened and impaired for a variety of reasons.

The Soil Atlas 2024 just published by BUND, Heinrich Böll Foundation and TMG provides a brief and graphically illustrated overview of key aspects of this central basis of life and its protection - from soils as water reservoirs, desertification and land grabbing to humus certificates, health and human rights.

Download (in German only)

Munich RE reports record losses from natural catastrophes in 2023 - fuelled by climate change

10.01.2024

Munich RE, one of the world's leading reinsurance companies, is reporting record losses from natural catastrophes in 2023. These totalled US$ 250 billion and claimed around 74,000 lives. The earthquakes in Turkey and Syria had a particularly devastating impact, which is regarded as a wake-up call to adapt building construction.

In addition, damage was characterised by many regional severe storms - thunderstorms, hail - which is exacerbated by climate change, especially extremely high temperatures. Although El Nino plays a role here as a natural climate phenomenon, this is of subordinate importance. “The warming of the earth that has been accelerating for some years is intensifying the extreme weather in many regions, leading to increasing loss potentials. More water evaporates at higher temperatures, and additional moisture in the atmosphere provides further energy for severe storms. Society and industry need to adapt to the changing risks – otherwise loss burdens will inevitably increase”, says the Chief Climate Scientist of Munich RE.

Link to Media Release with further data

Strategy for Adapting to Climate Change // Climate Adaptation law

07.12.2023

The third monitoring report on the German Strategy for Adaptation to Climate Change (DAS) was published at the end of November.

It uses a large number of indicators to describe whether and to what extent the goals of the DAS are being achieved or missed. The targets relate to the DAS fields of action, including health, water balance, soil, agriculture and forestry, construction, transport and also biodiversity as well as spatial planning and urban land-use planning.

As a result, the effects of climate change are intensifying in Germany: heatwaves are becoming more frequent and Germany is one of the regions with the highest water loss worldwide. The condition of the forests has also deteriorated significantly due to droughts and pest infestations, and there have also been crop losses in agriculture. On a positive note, initial measures to adapt to the new climate conditions, such as heat protection for the population, are having an effect. Overall, however, according to the UBA and BMUV, efforts to adapt to the consequences of climate change must be intensified.

The Climate Adaptation Law, which was also passed by the Bundestag in November, is also intended to contribute to this, including the creation of climate adaptation strategies at state level and climate adaptation concepts at municipal level.

monitoring report 2023

United Nations University Bonn: Warning of risk tipping points

15.11.2023

In the recently published report "Interconnected Disaster Risks", scientists at the United Nations University in Bonn warn of six risks that could lead to irreversible damage to humanity if tipping points are crossed:

  • Accelerating species extinction
  • Groundwater depletion
  • Mountain glacier melting
  • Space debris
  • Unbearable heat
  • Uninsurable future

The report is published here. It also contains - in English - videos and short, very clear descriptions of the risks, their potential impact and possible solutions.

Research Article on biodiversity loss: significantly more species at risk than previously assumed

09.11.2023

An analysis of the conservation status of 14,669 European terrestrial, freshwater and marine species (approx. 10 % of continental fauna and flora) shows that 19 % of European species are threatened with extinction, with the risk of extinction being higher for plants (27 %) and invertebrates (24 %) than for vertebrates (18 %). Around two million species are estimated to be at risk worldwide. These figures are significantly higher than the latest assumptions of the IPBES (Intergovernmental Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services).

The main causes are the intensification of agricultural land use, overexploitation, pollution, settlement development and, increasingly, the effects of climate change. Therefore, maintaining and restoring sustainable land and water use practices is crucial to minimise the decline in biodiversity.

The study has been published in the scientific journal PLOS One and was initiated by Dr Melanie Bilz during her PhD thesis at the Chair of Landscape Planning and Development at TU Berlin.

Research Article | Download

Report The Guardian

 

Regional economic effects of tourism in biosphere reserves

06.11.2023

Biosphere reserves claim to be model regions for sustainable development and thus harmonize ecological, economic and socio-cultural interests.
Within the framework of this integrative conservation concept, people are seen as a central element in natural and cultural landscapes in which nature-friendly ways of life and economic activities are realized. This also includes tourism, which can trigger positive regional economic effects and thus contribute to regional development. Between 2016 and 2022, a research project commissioned by the Federal Agency for Nature Conservation surveyed visitor numbers and regional economic effects in all 18 German biosphere reserves. The results are now available as a publication in the BfN Schriften series.

Deforestation on the rise worldwide

25.10.2023

Despite numerous international agreements to protect forests, deforestation is continuing worldwide.
This is the conclusion of a recently published study by the WWF.
The area affected by deforestation increased by 4% between 2021 and 2022. A total of 66,000 square kilometres of forests, mostly in the tropics, were lost.
That is roughly the size of Bavaria.  
Nevertheless, there are also positive developments, for example in reforestation or the reduction of deforestation. However, these are not progressing fast enough to achieve essential climate and biodiversity protection and sustainable development goals.
This does not require new targets, but an ambitious implementation of the existing ones.

WWF-report „Forest Pathways Report 2023”

report Tagesschau