They are planting 700 trees in the Bavarian Alps. Trees are one of our most vital natural resources.
Our forests are under stress
Forests are currently decreasing at an alarming rate – and not just in the Amazon or other distant parts of the world. In Germany, too, forests are under permanent stress. This is partly due to climate change, but also because there was a systematic reliance on monocultures for the timber industry over many centuries.
Systemic forest ecosystem management is needed rather than plantation forestry, because ecological forests provide protection against erosion, flooding, drought, rockfall and avalanches. They are important for the climate, filter the air and absorb CO₂. Natural forests are habitats for countless species and are therefore especially important for biodiversity. They are also precious recreational spaces and important economic assets for humans. But spruce and pine monocultures make up more than half of German forests, and they are the most vulnerable to changes in the climate. Around 110,000 hectares of these non-natural forests have died in recent months. Heat, water shortages, storms and snow damage – many factors are to blame.
Planting with passion
Reconstructing these unstable softwood forests in areas of climate-stable mixed woodland is a long-term task. A task in which 26 volunteers from Klüber Lubrication took part by planting native tree species.
For the tireless helpers, this meant dragging heavy tree bundles over difficult terrain, digging planting holes with hoes in the blazing sun and carefully setting the small plants in place. Sweat, aching muscles and torn trousers were all included.
As the founder of this initiative, Klüber Lubrication Deutschland has been working on it together with the Bergwaldprojekt e.V. forest association since 2018. The purpose of the association is to protect, preserve and maintain forest areas, particularly mountain forest and cultural landscapes. It also promotes understanding of the interrelationships in nature, of the issues affecting forests and of human beings’ dependency on these vital natural resources as the basis of existence.
Food for thought in everyday life
The experts from Bergwaldprojekt also provided plenty of valuable and interesting information about forests and sustainability. “We have gained a better understanding of the importance of forests as the basis of human livelihoods, of the sensible use of wood as a resource and of how we can handle this resource sustainably as consumers,” said Jörn Bechert, one of the managing directors who also took part in the reforestation initiative.
For Klüber Lubrication, this project was especially important because the parent company Freudenberg is celebrating its 170-year anniversary this year. To mark the occasion, many of the group companies are planting 170 trees.
On this particular day, the tireless forest volunteers exceeded the set target of 510 (3 x 170) trees: 700 trees had been planted by the time they put down their tools. Even the experienced foresters from Bergwaldprojekt were amazed at this achievement.
And the planting continues in 2020 – there is still a great deal more to be done.
More information about the work of the Bergwaldprojekt forest association: