Facts about Germany 2015 2015 - Page 94

92 | 93 ENVIRONMENT & CLIMATE TOPIC ESSENTIAL DIVERSITY Germany is a country with great biological ernmental treaties and programmes with diversity. Around 48,000 animal species, and nature protection as their goal. By ratifying 24,000 types of higher plants, mosses, fungi, the United Nations’ Convention on Biodi- lichens, and algae are native to the country. versity, the governments of 196 countries Having been enshrined in the Basic Law in pledged to significantly reduce the rate of 1994, the protection of the natural habitats is loss of biological diversity. To date, however, an official goal o f government. Between the no turnaround in the extinction of species North Sea and the Alps, the lawmakers have has been achieved. In 2010, an international designates 16 national parks and 15 UNESCO framework for access to genetic resources biosphere reserves that are totally different and just benefit sharing was passed at the in character, along with thousands of nature Conference of Parties to the Convention in reserves. Nagoya (Japan). The Nagoya Protocol has been in force since 2014. Germany is a signatory state to the most important international agreements on bio- In Germany more than 40 percent of verte- diversity, and a party to around 30 intergov- brates and plant species are considered to be endangered. For this reason, efforts aimed at nature conservation and species protection INFO Wild animals For several years now, an increasing number of wild animals have been resettling in Germany. In more than 30 packs, an estimated total of 300 wolves are now roaming the eastern and northern federal states. Wild cats and lynxes are being sighted ever more frequently. The number of pairs of breeding sea eagles has reached unprecedented heights; otters are almost a familiar sight again. There have even been occasional sightings of elks and brown bears, which are wandering into Germany from neighbouring countries in the east. → wwf.de on land, in the water, and in the North and Baltic Seas are to be stepped up. The primary objective is to reduce the destruction of habitats by house and road building, as well as the pollution levels that result, among other things, from intensive farming and over-fertilisation. The amount of land used for housing construction and new transport routes is intended to be reduced from 70 to 30 hectares daily. A further aim is to allow “wilderness” on two percent of the nation’s territory and give five percent of forests over to nature. In 2015, numerous former military zones covering a total of 31,000 hectares, including moors and heaths, were devoted to nature conservation.