Afforestation, Reforestation and Nature Preservation
The Schlegel climate project in Thuringia aims to transform a homogeneous spruce forest into a climate-resilient commercial mixed-woodland. The measures are expected to reduce and remove carbon emissions over 30 years by over 27,000 tons of CO₂e while securing and improving habitats.
Since 2018, 500k hectares of forest have been lost in Germany and more than 60% of the biomass in the European Union is at climate risk because of the consequences of global warming. To reduce the risk of forest loss due to wildfires, droughts, floodings, and pest infestations, around 3M hectares of forest in Germany have to be restructured from monocultures to mixed-woodland.
The 490ha of the forest of the Schlegel climate project in Thuringia is currently dominated by coniferous species, 86% spruce, with relatively homogeneous tree heights in each division, which are highly susceptible to climate calamities such as storms, heat stress, and insect infestation.
The forest restructuring measures will create a climate-resilient commercial forest in Thuringia by implementing the following measures in the coming years:
(1) single tree removal to promote natural regeneration,
(2) planting of diverse, climate-resistant tree species such as Douglas firs and other conifers as well as hardwood species,
(3) regular hunting to avoid serious game damage.
As a result, the Schlegel climate project reduces carbon emissions by lowering the climate risk of the forest and sequesters additional GHG emissions from the atmosphere by increasing the structural diversity of the forest. This will remove additional carbon emissions from the atmosphere and store it in the trees' biomass while securing and improving the habitats for many animal and plant species. Over the 30 years project cycle, the project activities are going to reduce and remove more than 27,000 tons of CO₂e emissions vis-à-vis the baseline scenario in the absence of the project activity.