Düsseldorf (dpa / lnw) – Minister of Agriculture Silke Gorißen (CDU) will present the new report on the state of the North Rhine-Westphalian forests on Thursday (11 a.m.) in Düsseldorf. A year ago, a slight recovery was reported. Before that, however, there had been several summers with droughts. The bark beetle plague also contributed to the high level of damage in the North Rhine-Westphalian forest overall. The aim is to make the forest fit for climate change by reforesting it with more resilient tree species.

NRW has over 935,000 hectares of forest. This corresponds to 27 percent of the country’s area. According to the inventory report of the forest authorities, 58 percent of the forest here consists of deciduous trees, mostly beech and oak. Coniferous trees, especially spruces, grow on 42 percent of the forest area. With 63 percent of the forest area, NRW has a very high proportion of private forest.

Forests fulfill a wide range of ecological, economic and social functions. They are important for soil protection and for the quality of water and air. They also help to protect biodiversity and make a major contribution to climate protection. For the population they offer recreation and forest owners a livelihood.