Zurich/Switzerland — A number of recent articles, such as Stern Magazine (issue 48/2009), have cited the Nov. 3, 2009 “German Forestry and Timber Cluster Study:” German forests directly or indirectly employ about 1.3 million people—compared to 750,000 in what many Germans see as their primary industry, cars, and compared to 810,000 in electronics and 465,000 in the chemical industry. It’s time that German industry and politicians wake up and smell the sap!
Germany has the highest volume of tree wood (3.4 billion cubic m) of any European country, though Finland, Sweden and Austria may be better known for their woods. This resource is extremely valuable for the environment and precious for many industries, such as tourism and timber. Yet experts warn that the situation is critical and up to 20 percent of all trees in German forests are sick. The past has shown that political and popular action can make a difference—in the 1980s, people reacted strongly to the news that acid rain was killing the Black Forest and drastic action helped the situation dramatically.
A vote for the Black Forest can help save it
The Black Forest is one of the elite 28 Official Finalists in the global election of the Official New7Wonders of Nature. The first New7Wonders campaign chose the man-made Official New 7 Wonders of the World, thanks to more than 100 million votes in the world’s first-ever global vote. The winners and participants have noted record levels of increased tourism and economic benefits—with rises of up to 70 percent in some cases. New7Wonders calls upon German politicians, business leaders and the media to raise awareness amongst Germans, Europeans and people worldwide of the importance of the largest European forest. Often referred to as “Europe’s green lungs,” these ancient woods must be protected and preserved.