Rainforest in Brazil

Forests and biodiversity Managing forests sustainably

According to the report “The State of the World’s Forests 2020 (External link)” published by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), forests still cover almost a third of the Earth’s total land area. They are home to much of the world’s terrestrial biodiversity and experts estimate that they provide a vital basis for the livelihoods of a third of the global population .

And yet across the globe an estimated 10 million hectares of forest are destroyed by human intervention every year – that is more than 27,000 hectares per day.

Germany’s efforts to tackle forest degradation

Still from the video "Deforestation-free supply chains"

Sustainable supply chains through forest conservation

We use deforested areas to cultivate agricultural raw materials – like soya, palm oil, rubber, cocoa or coffee. Many governments and companies have already realised that we cannot continue like this.

In over 30 countries and regions, Germany is working at a number of different development policy levels to promote the conservation and sustainable use of forests. The Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) helps its partner countries to improve their political and legal framework and to reconcile policy in key areas such as agriculture, mining and infrastructure policy with the need for forest conservation.

In connection with the trade in forest products, the BMZ supports certification schemes, sustainable public procurement processes and regulatory measures in relation to deforestation-free supply chains. To prevent the consumption of agricultural commodities such as soya, palm oil and cocoa in the EU from continuing to cause deforestation in the regions where they are grown, the BMZ is supporting legal frameworks such as the planned EU regulation on deforestation-free products. Under this regulation, from the end of 2024 companies will be required to carry out due diligence to ensure that the relevant agricultural commodities have not led to deforestation or forest degradation. This will apply to soya, palm oil, beef and leather, cocoa, coffee, natural rubber, wood and certain derived products.

Together with the European Commission and other member states, the BMZ is supporting partner countries – and smallholders in particular – in implementing the regulation in order to preserve forests and protect people’s livelihoods.