Intensive land use, especially in agriculture (50 % of surface) and forestry (28 %), but also land sealing for urban development (11 %) and transport infrastructure are the most important problems of Germany as one of the most densely populated countries in the European Union. Therefore, a more biodiversity friendly land-use, minimising of soil sealing and fragmentation of the landscape are still the most urgent problems in Germany. Germany has committed itself to counteract these major drivers of biodiversity loss by international agreements (e.g. the CBD, especially the CBD Strategic Plan 2011-2020 and Aichi targets), by EU-strategies (e.g. EU-Biodiversity Strategy 2011) and laws (BD, HD, WFD, and others), as well as by national strategies: the National Sustainability Strategy (NHS, 2002) and the National Biodiversity Strategy and Action Plan (NBSAP, 2007). Nevertheless, for reaching all these aims there is still a long way to go. Up to now, the art. 17-assessment (Habitats Directive) shows that only 25 % of habitats and about 20 % of species in a Favourable Conservation Status (FCS), as most protected areas are still lacking legal protection, effective management plans and sufficient funding. On soil sealing, target of the NHS is to reduce this to 30 ha/day until 2020, the actual rate is about 100 ha/day. Concerning implementation of the NBSAP in the 16 Federal States (Laender) of Germany, who are responsible for nature conservation, site protection (and also hunting, fisheries etc.) on the ground, only five of them (1/3) have a more or less ambitious own strategy
The ongoing degradation and loss of permanent grasslands is one the key threats to biodiversity in Germany. The negative trend is driven by agricultural intensification, subsidised production of biogas from maize and consumption of land for infrastructures. At the same time, relevant Natura 2000 sites are not properly managed and protected, a significant share of the loss of permanent grasslands takes place within Natura 2000. A study of NABU on this topic is planned to be published later this year. Preliminary results can be found under http://www.nabu.de/themen/naturschutz/eunaturschutz/schutzgebiete/natura2000/14866.html
Germany is not only the most populated country in the European Union, but has also – (after the USA!) the second longest and the highest density network of motorways in the world (app. 12.500 kilometers). In total, motorways and other major roads total more than 230.000 kilometers in Germany, which means a net density of 0,65 km/square kilometer. The additional network of smaller local roads is app. 370.000 kilometers.
The German government is committed to massive changes to energy production patterns which will require significant expansion of the energy grid. On the other side, due to massive lobbying of NABU and others, since 2002 binding rules are in place in the Federal Conservation Act for the design of medium-voltage powerlines to avoid electrocution of birds. Existing powerlines have to be improved within ten years (by 2012), new powerlines have to be constructed in a bird-friendly way.
As a party to AEWA, Germany had committed itself to phase out lead shot in wetlands until 2009. As on the federal level there is only a framework law on hunting, details are subject to regulations of the 16 Federal States (Laender). Until now (spring 2012) 11 of 16 Laender have banned lead shot in wetlands by regulation. There are still no regulations in the federal states of Bremen, Hamburg, Hesse, Saxony-Anhalt and Saxony. In these 5 Laender there are only voluntary agreements with hunters associations in place. The existing regulations in the other Laender only deal with a ban of lead shot in wetlands. NABUs demand for a general ban of lead , also in rifle ammunition (NABU-position paper on hunting 2001) has up to now only been implemented in the state forests of the Land Berlin and the Land of Brandenburg, especially to avoid poisoning of raptors by lead-contaminated carrion and contamination of consumers.