Erfurt (dpa/th) - Thuringia's Agriculture Minister Susanna Karawanskij expects the federal government to quickly pay out the announced first 200 million euros for the forest conversion. "It's already May and the bark beetles have already swarmed out," the left-wing politician explained the urgency on Tuesday after the cabinet meeting in Erfurt. The money - Thuringia accounts for about six percent or around twelve million euros - should go exclusively to municipal and private forest owners.
In Thuringia alone, there have been around 17 million cubic meters of damaged wood since 2018 due to drought, bark beetles and storms, the minister said. She regretted that the federal program was limited and "the states were not taken on board". Money from the program would have to be applied for directly from the federal government.
State forest companies such as Thüringenforst are initially exempt. If the forests were to be saved across the board, billions would be needed from the federal government, said Karawanskij.
At the last conference of agriculture ministers, the federal government announced that 900 million euros would be made available for climate protection and biodiversity services by the end of the legislative period. First of all, it is about the 200 million euros mentioned by Karanwanskij.
Karawanskij pointed out that 2.1 million young trees were planted in Thuringia for the first time in 2021 - by the state forest institute alone. The state wants to invest a total of around half a billion euros in forest rescue from its own funds by 2030. The money comes from programs run by the various ministries.