• Germany edition
 
German wetlands 'nearly all gone'
Photo: DPA

German wetlands 'nearly all gone'

Published: 02 Feb 2013 11:37 GMT+01:00
Updated: 02 Feb 2013 11:37 GMT+01:00

Part of the problem, environmental experts told the paper, stems from marsh destruction for the gardening industry. For years the rich top soil has been cultivated and sold to home gardeners and others.

But a bigger problem, according to experts from Aktion Moorschutz an environmental group, is the agricultural industry. Some 95 percent of Germany’s marshes are considered destroyed, and much of this is due to agricultural practices, which involve drying out the areas and using them for fields.

This not only destroys valuable habitat for native birds and other animals but has a devastating effect on climate change.

Marshes contain twice as much carbon dioxide as other forests in the world, according to the environmental organization Nabu. When they are destroyed, they release a large amount of carbon dioxide and other environmentally harmful greenhouse gases.

In the 1970s Germany signed off on an International Wetlands Convention, agreeing, among other things, to protect its marsh lands.

In 1997, February 2nd was proclaimed the day to remember wetlands protection and the signing of treaty, which is now more than 40 years old.

Despite all this environmental experts have not seen big progress when it comes to protecting marshes.

“At the moment we have a bit of momentum, but the efforts over the last years are insufficient,” Nabu marsh expert Felix Grützmacher told the paper.

The World Wildlife Fund is also urging Germany’s federal and state governments to do more – especially when you consider the costs.

“Restoring a marsh is very cost intensive,” said nature conservation director Diana Pretzell.

In an effort to raise money, climate certificates are now being offered in Bremen and northwestern Lower Saxony. For €20 people can buy a symbolic piece of the marsh, which will store over a period of 20 years one ton of greenhouse gases.

There are 2,675 certificates available for purchase beginning this spring. If they are all sold some 230,000 square meters in the Dorümer Marsh near Bremerhaven will be replenished.

In the fall of 2011 Mecklenburg Western-Pomerania started offering the certificates and they were made available in Brandenburg last year.

The Local/mw

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Your comments about this article

19:35 February 2, 2013 by DOZ
The rest of the West should take notice.
19:18 February 3, 2013 by Brint
If asked I would have put Germany on top of the list of European countries which would be exercising extremely strict control over the protection of its natural environment, yet surprisingly on reading that, it would appear that the UK does a much better job of preserving and maintaining our wetlands.
Today's headlines
The Local List
Eight expat groups to save you in Germany
Photo: Jan Perlich/Munich RFC

Eight expat groups to save you in Germany

Think you're the only English speaker in your town or region? Think again! The Local List this week runs through eight of the best expat groups and clubs in Germany. READ  

Victims of GDR regime get benefit boost
Former GDR political prisoners Hartmut (l) and Gerda Stachowitz in a East Berlin prison which has stood empty for 20 years. Photo: DPA

Victims of GDR regime get benefit boost

Benefit payments to former political prisoners of ex-communist East Germany (GDR) will be raised to send an "important message" 25 years after the fall of the Berlin Wall, the government said on Wednesday. READ  

Cabinet agrees cap on city rent rises
Apartments in Leipzig. Photo: DPA

Cabinet agrees cap on city rent rises

Germany's cabinet agreed on Wednesday to cap ballooning property rents in high-demand urban neighbourhoods in a law set to come into force early next year. READ  

Berlin flights disrupted by WWII bomb find
Passengers are delayed at Tegel Airport. Photo: DPA

Berlin flights disrupted by WWII bomb find

UPDATE: The discovery of a US World War II bomb disrupted flights at Berlin’s Tegel Airport on Wednesday afternoon, with no flights taking off or landing for 30 minutes. The bomb has now been defused but later flights are still delayed. READ  

Refugee abuse guards 'nicknamed the SS'
A photo allegedly showing guards abusing one refugee. Photo: DPA/Police

Refugee abuse guards 'nicknamed the SS'

A group of guards who allegedly abused refugees in an asylum centre in western Germany were nicknamed “the SS” after Hitler's stormtroopers, according to one of their colleagues. Photos of guards abusing refugees have sparked a backlash in Germany against security firms. READ  

Nestle wins the food prize no one wants
First prize went to Nestle for its sugary baby food. Photo: Foodwatch

Nestle wins the food prize no one wants

A food watchdog presented Nestle with a prize to avoid on Wednesday for the cheekiest false advertising of the year. The runner-up was a chicken soup with no chicken in a vote of almost 160,000 Germans. READ  

Merkel's VIP jet set to fly soldiers home
One of the two A340 planes which are reserved for the Chancellor and government leaders. Photo: DPA

Merkel's VIP jet set to fly soldiers home

One of Chancellor Angela Merkel’s VIP jets is set to be used to ferry soldiers home who are stuck in Afghanistan, due to ongoing problems with the German military’s transport planes. READ  

German firms top EU lobbying list
Siemens was the highest ranked German company when it came to spending on EU lobbying, according to the register. Photo: DPA

German firms top EU lobbying list

Germany companies are among the biggest spenders when it comes to EU lobbying to influence decision makers in Brussels. There are more German lobbying organizations registered than from any other country in Europe but Belgium. READ  

City starts beer for alcoholics project
Photo: DPA

City starts beer for alcoholics project

A city in western Germany will start a controversial project on Wednesday to employ alcohol and drug addicts to clean the streets in return for beer, tobacco, food and small amounts of cash. READ  

Fault forces Germany to cut Eurofighters
A German Eurofighter. Photo: DPA

Fault forces Germany to cut Eurofighters

A manufacturing fault has been discovered in the troubled Eurofighter Typhoon warplanes, Germany's defence ministry said on Tuesday, announcing it was suspending deliveries of the sophisticated jets. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Munich
Bavarian independence becomes a reality... (online)
Photo: DPA/Police
National
'Criminals are at work in refugee homes'
Photo: DPA
Business & Money
Immigrants have created how many German jobs?
Photo: DPA
National
Revealed: Germany's military feet of clay
Marks & Spencer
Sponsored Article
Marks and Spencer: Win €300 toward your new autumn wardrobe
Photo: Shutterstock
Society
Quiz: How good is your German?
Photo: DPA
Gallery
Thousands take to Berlin's streets for marathon
Photo: DPA
Society
'Incest should be legal,' says ethics board
Photo: DPA
Gallery
Ten noises that sound very different in German
Photo: DPA
Society
QUIZ: Can you pass the German citizenship test?
Photo: Shutterstock
Gallery
Ten German words you'll never want to hear again
Photo: DPA
Business & Money
JobTalk: All you need to know about working in Germany
National
Share news tips with The Local Germany
Latest news from The Local in Austria

More news from Austria at thelocal.at

Latest news from The Local in Switzerland

More news from Switzerland at thelocal.ch

Latest news from The Local in Denmark

More news from Denmark at thelocal.dk

Latest news from The Local in Spain

More news from Spain at thelocal.es

Latest news from The Local in France

More news from France at thelocal.fr

Latest news from The Local in Italy

More news from Italy at thelocal.it

Latest news from The Local in Norway

More news from Norway at thelocal.no

Latest news from The Local in Sweden

More news from Sweden at thelocal.se

3,169
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd