Large majority of Germans in favour of wilderness
65% of Germans love wilderness, are for natural forests and floodplains and reject genetic engineering in general. These are the findings of a new study commissioned and presented by the Federal Minister of the Environment Barbara Hendricks and e President of the Federal Agency for Nature Conservation, Beate Jessel. Federal Environment Minister Hendricks :
Wild nature is indispensable not only for animals and plants, but also for us humans. Germans are in general nature lovers and are in favor of increased wilderness areas. This study gives us support to pursue our objective to increase the wilderness areas in Germany to meet the CBD objectives.
The study also shows how important for the general population natural flood plains, natural meadows and non managed forests are. This is one more reason for us to protect these habitats, which in addition to their beauty will bring us many other eco system services such as clean water, increased biodiversity, storage of carbon dioxide or reduction of the effects of climate change. What the Germans rightly do not want are genetically modified plants or vegetables. According to BfN-President Beate Jessel: “The Study also showed that 93 percent of the German population are of the opinion that nature should only be used so that the biodiversity and the habitats are permanently saved.”
Carrying capacity limits accepted
Nearly two thirds of Germans like wilderness the wilder it is. There is a strong desire to enjoy and experience wilderness: Four out of five people want the wilderness to be accessible. The fact that there may be carrying capacity controls and access limitations is accepted and respected. Only a minority of 11 per cent are in favor of unrestricted access, 68 percent favor such limitations. At this point in time only few areas in Germany have certified Wilderness areas according to the European Wilderness Quality Standards. There is a general understanding that wilderness, especially if situated within National Parks, will create new Jobs and enhance a region. Only 21 percent see increased wilderness areas as a risk for the forestry sector and only 16 per cent see wilderness as a threat to the agricultural sector.
More Germans are for the return of the Wolf than against it
44% of Germans are in favour of the return of the Wolf to the German ecosystem compared to 41% which are against them returning.