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The German Forest Strategy 2020: Target achievement control using National Forest Inventory results

In the year 2011 the German Federal Government adopted its Forest Strategy 2020. This strategy includes 60 goal formulations in nine action fields. The present paper analyses to which extent the results of the German National Forest Inventory (BWI) prove achievements of those of the 60 goals, which are quantitatively verifiable. The results reveal that forestry in Germany in general meets its own standard of multi-functionality, securing that forests fulfil manifold demands of the society. However, while the objectives of nature and climate protection are on track for being achieved, the prospects for objectives related to employment, income and value added are less encouraging. Total forest area and forest growth are increasing, forests currently constitute a carbon sink, and the naturalness and structural diversity of forests are growing. Also the high but sustainable use of the wood fosters currently the income of and employment in forest enterprises and timber industries. But the ongoing regeneration of forest stands predominantly with deciduous tree species is expected to cause a long-term lack of faster growing and higher valuated coniferous stands. The resulting lack of highly demanded softwood of small or medium-sized diameters will raise problems to timber industries. Moreover, shrinking timber production due to a decreasing share of coniferous forests has adverse consequences not only from the economic point of view. It will also decrease the climate-friendly use of wood products, in particular due to the foregone substitution effect. The results of the study also show that BWI is an indispensable source of information for forest politics and forest science particularly in view of its long-term time series. The preservations of time series must be kept in mind whenever changes in the methods of BWI are considered.



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