Area: 357,022 km²
Geography: Germany has a temperate, wet climate. It is mountaineous in the South, has lowlands in the north and uplands in the center. Almost half of land under use is agricultural land. Agriculture accounts for 0.7 percent of the country's GDP, and 1.4 percent of jobs are in the agricultural sector. (CIA, 2022)
Land degradation: One of the main contributors to land degradation in Germany is the agricultural sector. Conventional farming relies heavily on large-scale use of fertilizers, which leads to high nitrate concentrations in groundwater. It is also a driver of land-use change. The use of heavy machinery and intensive tillage furthermore causes soil compaction, an increasing risk of water and wind erosion and a loss of soil fertility. (UBA, 2022)
Sustainable Land Management: Following the German Sustainability Strategy, the Federal Government has set itself a goal of reducing new land use for settlements and transport to less than 30 hectares per day by 2030. In comparison, between 1993 and 2003, land consumption averaged 120 hectares per day. They also aim to reduce harmful subsidies, such as the commuter allowance or the promotion of the development of greenfield industrial estates. (UBA, 2022)
Case Study (2023)
Title: Repurposing harmful agricultural subsidies in Germany
Content: Building on the global report State of Finance for Nature 2022 that identified the repurposing of harmful subsidies as one of the key levers for sustainable development. The study analyses agricultural subsidies in Germany and showcases scenarios how identified harmful subsidies could be repurposed into nature-positive investments. The study is implemented by the Forum Ökologisch-Soziale Marktwirtschaft (FÖS).
Report and accompanying material: Forthcoming