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SOCIAL ASPECTS OF SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT IN GERMANY

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POVERTY

Decision-Making: Coordinating Bodies     

No information available.

Decision-Making: Legislation and Regulations 

The Bundessozialhilfegesetz (Federal Social Assistance Law) is the relevant legislation in force. It has been reviewed and the actual drafting was announced on 23rd March 1994.

Decision-Making: Strategies, Policies and Plans  

The German poverty alleviation strategy is based on a definition of poverty, which does not just include material poverty. The ideas of participation and self-help are two of the guiding principles of poverty alleviation. Participation means that poor sections of the population share and take part in the decision-making processes that affect them at all levels. Participation also includes the process of achieving social consensus on necessary structural adjustments and reforms.

Decision-Making: Major Groups Involvement  

No information is available.

Programmes and Projects   

No information is available.

Status 

Social Assistance is the last resort for all those who do not have sufficient income or assets and who are not sufficiently covered by the benefits of the primary social security system. It is the function of Social Assistance to guarantee a life in dignity to all people and to reduce social disadvantages. In addition to providing a minimum social standard through Social Assistance, the German Government pursues a broad range of activities in order to prevent poverty. In this context, special importance belongs to measures to fight unemployment, a socially oriented housing policy, compensation of family commitments, improving the situation of retirees in eastern Germany, establishment of insurance for long-term nursing care, improving women's independent social security coverage, and the new provisions on debt regulation with exemption from residual debt for private households.

Challenges  

Poverty and social marginalisation constitute a particular challenge for the policy of the German Government. Just as it has done in the past, the German Government will continue to make use of its possibilities to fight poverty and social marginalisation effectively. While "poverty" can, and should, be described based on a broad range of aspects - in the context, e.g., of socially deprived neighborhoods in large cities, providing housing for homeless families, homelessness, hardship caused by over indebtedness - it will hardly be possible to define it comprehensively in exact terms. Thus, poverty in the Federal Republic of Germany should not be understood to mean a lack of resources to meet basic needs such as food, clothing and housing. Legislation in the Federal Republic of Germany establishes a legal claim to meeting these basic needs.

The causes of social disadvantages are manifold. From the point of view of the German Government, it makes sense - based on a definition used in the academic sphere - to describe those people as poor who, for instance, are living under circumstances in which they are unable, due to a range of disadvantages, to actualize their basic aspirations to the degree that is considered in our society as a minimum for a life in dignity or for benefiting from the resources and opportunities offered by society. This means that besides income, other - nonmaterial - aspects are included in the definition of poverty. Welfare benefits (Sozialhilfe, "Social Assistance") and the other public benefit systems cannot compensate for every disadvantage suffered by individuals or households; nor is that their function.

Capacity-building, Education, Training and Awareness-raising   

No information is available.

Information

The German Government is pursuing various efforts in the field of reporting to address the problem of social marginalization. First, information is provided in the framework of regular reporting on social issues to the parliament and the general public on specific measures and projects of the German Government in the field of social policy. For instance, the Social Report gives a detailed description of the German Government's policy and its motives, and presents specific measures and projects in the field of social policy. The Report also gives detailed information on the policies against unemployment and for the sick and for persons in need of long-term nursing care, for senior citizens, women, families and foreign nationals. The Social Budget drawn up together with the Social Report provides an overview of the quantitative dimension of social policy broken down by functions and institutions.

Secondly, the German Government provides information to the parliament and the general public through a series of individual reports on specific living situations of its citizens (e.g., housing and rent report, family report, report on senior citizens, etc.).

There are scientific studies and expert meetings providing documentation on, e.g.:

These and many other issues are addressed in accordance with current requirements, analyzing specific living situations in order to arrive at possible solutions of the problems in a joint effort involving scholars, politicians, and the general public. This double-track approach makes certain, first, that reporting takes place on a regular basis and, second, that social policies respond sensitively to the latest developments. No substantial increase in the amount of information available is to be expected from instituting general "reporting on poverty" in addition; to begin with, the unspecified concept of "poverty" in the title of such a report would be more likely to give rise to academic discussions than to contribute to the search for specific solutions in certain focal areas.

Research and Technologies   

No information is available.

Financing 

No information is available.

Cooperation

In terms of regional and international cooperation, German development cooperation centres on environmental protection and combating poverty as a consistent frame of reference. Another key area is education. Germany considers poverty as one of the main causes for production and living conditions which are non-sustainable and cause damage to the environment.

Detailed poverty analyses have been drawn up in the context of socioeconomic and socio-cultural country analyses. Poverty alleviation is sought in all sectors and areas of assistance. This orientation of development cooperation to the key area of reducing poverty is also reflected in the increasing proportion of projects directed to basic needs (approximately 44%) and projects in the least developed countries (LDCs) (not quite 30%). Special priority is given to combating structural poverty by advising governments on reforms in public finance, social policy, social orientation of structural adjustment programmes, the establishment of social funds, securing property ownership in rural areas, etc.

One example of the links between environmental protection, resource conservation, and combating poverty is the Maharashtra project in India, supported by the Federal Government, where the links between population growth, increased environmental destruction, and mass poverty have been broken by improving environmental conditions in the interest of the poor.

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This information was provided by the Government of Germany to the fifth, sixth and seventh sessions of the United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development. Last Update: November 1998.

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DEMOGRAPHICS

Decision-Making: Coordinating Bodies   

In Germany, the Federal Ministry of Interior (BMI) is most directly concerned with demographic issues. It chairs the National Commission on Population and Development and an interministerial working group on population issues.

Decision-Making: Legislation and Regulations 

In order to involve women in decision-making at all levels of population and sustainable development strategies, policies, projects, and programmes, the government encourages raising awareness and enacted the Gleichberechtigungsgesetz (Second Act on Equal Rights of Men and Women) and the Bundesgremien-besetzungsgesetz (Federal Bodies Law) on 14 November 1994.

Decision-Making: Strategies, Policies and Plans  

In Germany, population issues are integrated into all relevant policies. 

Decision-Making: Major Groups Involvement  

See under Decision-Making: Legislation and Regulations.

Programmes and Projects   

No information is available.

Status 

No information is available.

Challenges  

No information is available.

Capacity-building, Education, Training and Awareness-raising   

A National debate on the linkages between population and environment has been held. In order to create awareness of environmental linkages, some public information activities in the context of the International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD), the social summit, and the Forth World Conference on Women have been conducted by the media and some NGOs. A National report was forwarded to ICPD in 1994.

Information   

No information is available.

Research and Technologies   

No information is available.

Financing   

No information is available.

Cooperation

Population policy is one of the German Government's substantive priorities which it translates into action through both bilateral and multilateral cooperation.  DM 8,8 million have been provided in support of the multilateral organization International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF). On a smaller scale, support is also given to German NGOs but cannot be exactly quantified. The German Government intends to spend around DM 3,15 billion over the next seven years for bilateral and multilateral initiatives in the area of population and sustainable development, and started in 1995 with 450 million. That is an increase of around DM 100 million over the originally planned figure.

The principles and objectives for the planning and implementation of projects were set out in a policy paper (BMZ concept on population policy and family planning in development cooperation, 1995). By means of an integrated approach, cooperation addresses family planning services, and the economic and social situation of the population, in particular the lives of women. It also addresses health services and the educational sector. The most important multilateral partners are the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) and the IPPF. German bilateral cooperation on family planning has a regional focus on Sub-Saharan Africa.

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This information was provided by the Government of Germany to the fifth session of the United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development. Last Update: 1 April 1997.

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HEALTH

Decision-Making: Coordinating Bodies   

The task of implementing health legislation falls to the Länder. In addition, there are numerous areas of health care regulated by legislation enacted by the Länder (for instance, legislation governing the medical professions or medical boards and legislation relating to the Public Health Service, etc.). The tasks involved in public health care fall within the jurisdiction of the various ministries and authorities at the federal and state levels. At the federal level, the responsibility for health care matters lies largely with four ministries. In addition to the Federal Ministry for Health, these are: the Federal Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs; the Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety; and the Federal Ministry for Research and Technology.

Important government tasks within the health care system are performed by the Public Health Service. The Public Health Service carries out its activities at various levels in the respective Länder: through the health departments of the Länder Ministries; through the medical departments of those Länder which are subdivided into administrative districts; and through the Health Offices of the administrative counties and towns not belonging to an administrative county.

Decision-Making: Legislation and Regulations 

No information is available.

Decision-Making: Strategies, Policies and Plans  

See under Programmes and Projects.

Decision-Making: Major Groups Involvement  

No information is available.

Programmes and Projects 

At the Second European Conference on Environment and Health, which was held in Helsinki in September 1994, the European health and environment ministers agreed to draw up National action plans on environment and health in their countries. Following this decision, the Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety, and the Federal Ministry for Health started work on a Joint Action Programme on Environment and Health. The purpose of the Action Programme, which is part of an overall strategy, is to establish a broader base for health-related environmental protection and environmental medicine, with a view to responding to present and future needs in this field.

The Programme will include the following activities:

Status

The Public Health Service is for the greater part responsible for performing the following tasks: prevention and control of infectious diseases; monitoring of the water, soil, and air quality levels, generally termed "hygiene"; supervising the activities of health care institutions including hospitals, doctors' surgeries, dentists, non-academic medical practitioners, pharmacies, blood donor centres, dialysis centres, emergency and ambulance services; supervision of public facilities including leisure and recreation facilities, bathing facilities, sports facilities, children's playgrounds, camping sites, airfields, harbors, and railway stations; supervision of the trade in foodstuffs, pharmaceuticals, and toxic substances; supervision of employees in all the medical professions; health education and informing the public on health matters; health care in schools; mother-and-child advisory services; preventive health care and health counseling; nursing care provided to patients suffering from tuberculosis or from sexually transmitted diseases, as well as that provided to the disabled, to persons in need of nursing care and those suffering from addictions; official certifications, reports, and expert opinions; and collection and evaluation of data bearing significance for the field of public health. In order to control communicable diseases, specific programmes are integrated (horizontal approach) into the public health systems supported by the Federal Government.

The practical work at the local level is performed by a total of 524 Health Offices spread out over the Federal Republic of Germany. Since as early as the turn of the century, it is especially the larger towns, which have always had the facilities to perform the tasks of the Public Health Service at the local level. Each Health Office is headed by a specially qualified Public Health Officer. In addition, depending on the size of the respective Health Office, the staff employed include full-time and part-time doctors and dentists, social workers and psychologists, sanitary engineers, assistant radiologists and laboratory assistants, socio-medical assistants, desinfectors, and public health inspectors.

Challenges  

The fight against discrimination of people with HIV/AIDS is emphasized. Transmission via blood and blood products has been eradicated by employing appropriate measures. Deutsche AIDS-Stiftung (German AIDS Foundation) is supported by prominent personalities from politics, industry, and the cultural scene.  Based on anonymous mandatory laboratory reporting, the number of persons infected with HIV is about 50.000-60.000; 14.078 cases of AIDS were registered at the end of 1995.

Capacity-building, Education, Training and Awareness-raising 

The AIDS policy of the Federal Government in co-operation with the Länder relies primarily on the readiness of the population to inform themselves about infection risks and means of protection and to act accordingly. Education is thus the most important task of health policy in the fight against AIDS. It encompasses a range of information that is disseminated via various media to the general public and to specific target groups and supplemented by programmes directed at the high-risk groups.  Deutsche AIDS-Hilfe, the German association of more than 120 AIDS self-help groups, has become a nation-wide network.

Particularly in urban areas, young women are hard to reach via regular public health services. New projects in the area of urban health attempt to tackle this problem through health advice at the workplace, as well as lay women helpers in slum areas (Women-to- Women Project). Rural and urban youth are a target group which is largely neglected by regular health services, as they are not registered either by mother-child services or by facilities for adults. Germany therefore supports population policy/family planning approaches, in which young people are included, with the objective of developing self-responsibility and getting preventive measures accepted.

Information   

No information is available.

Research and Technologies   

No information is available.

Financing   

No information is available.

Cooperation

The Federal government's conception of health policy within development cooperation follows the Primary Health Care concept agreed to at the Alma Ata Conference of 1978. Its central elements are the strengthening of primary health provision structures, as well as reference facilities at district levels and the maintenance of reproductive health. Germany believes that population policy is decisively importance for the achievement of development policy objectives, in particular for combating poverty, protecting the environment and resource, as well as improving the lives of women. The government has, therefore, instituted measures that make limitation of population growth a focal point of its development cooperation in the 1990s. The core of this strategy is to establish population-policy measures as a firm part of cross-sectoral, integrated strategies. The Federal Government currently supports about 150 bilateral projects in the health and population sector. The realization of projects in the provision of basic health has shown that decentralization, system development, and diversification of the project executing agencies (non-governmental and State) are required for strengthening measures. Thus, decentralized planning and the development of local capacities, as well as local and decentralized financing models have been increasingly promoted. Germany also supports the World Health Organization (WHO) in its efforts in the worldwide fight against HIV/AIDS through separate contributions to the Global Programme on AIDS, and is actively involved in the HIV/AIDS control programme of the European Union (EU).

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This information was provided by the Government of Germany to the fifth session of the United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development. Last Update: 1 April 1997.

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EDUCATION

Decision-Making: Coordinating Bodies   

The Federal Ministry for Education, Science, Research and Technology and the Ministries of Education and Environment of the Federal States are responsible for most activities falling under education, public awareness, and training. Those Ministries are not members of the National Coordinating Body for Sustainable Development and they have no advisory or consultative bodies on environmental education. The Federal Ministry for Education, Science, Research and Technology supports research projects, pilot projects, and conferences in cooperation with NGOs. The Federal Ministry of Education, Science, Research and Technology receives support from the Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety, and the Federal Environmental Agency primarily in the field of "Promoting Environmental Awareness". The Federal Government, however, has advisory bodies called the "Scientific Advisory Council on Global Environmental Changes" (Wissenschaftlicher Beirat der Bundesregierung Globale Umweltveraenderungen, WBGU) and the "Council of Environmental Advisors" (Rat von Sachverständigen für Umweltfragen) which try to raise awareness on environmental issues and on comprehensive global and National measures to promote environmental education.

Decision-Making: Legislation and Regulations 

See under Status.

Decision-Making: Strategies, Policies and Plans  

Since the Federal Republic of Germany has a federal system and the education system is one of the core elements of federalism, there is no overarching national strategy in the field of environmental education or education on sustainable development. However, education and training in the field of ESD is an integral part of national educational programs.

In Germany, six priorities for action have been defined with a view to achieving sustainable, environmentally sound development:

  1. Protecting the climate and the ozone layer;
  2. Preserving the diversity of species of fauna and flora and protecting their habitats;
  3. Promoting economical use and recovery of raw materials;
  4. Protecting human health against environmental pollution;
  5. Increasing environmental compatibility of the transport sector; and
  6. Establishing the principle of responsibility for creation as an integral part of human activity.

Decision-Making: Major Groups Involvement  

A number of efforts are underway to develop partnerships among educators, scientists, Governments, NGOs, business and industry, youth, the media and other major groups to communicate the key messages of sustainable development. For example, the "Environmental Ethics" working party in the Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety is made up of representatives from industry, trade unions, science, the administration, media and churches as well as consumer and environmental associations, with plans to support a travelling exhibition on a viable future for Germany, a Local Agenda 21 project in Bremen and two projects that essentially deal with how private households can be changed towards "sustainability".

Programmes and Projects   

In the Land North-Rhine/Westphalia, the Länder governments have created special programs like "Stadtteile mit besonderem Erneuerungbedarf" (urban neighborhoods in special need of renewal) for disadvantaged neighborhoods. In the Land Saxony, Art. 1 of Saxony's School Act lays down that the task of the schools to provide education is determined by the right of all young people to an education corresponding to their capabilities and interests, regardless of their background or economic situation.

Education and training in the field of ESD is an integral part of national educational programs. For example, the Ministry for Schools and Further Education of the Land North-Rhine/Westphalia has adopted an Action Program on Environmental Education in Schools which focuses on ESD including Development Education. This program follows the guidelines of the CSD Work Program on Education, Public Awareness and Training.

At the level of the Länder, the Ministry for Schools and Further Education of North-Rhine/Westphalia, as a part of its Action Program on Environmental Education, has charged two nongovernmental organizations with working out manuals on local agendas and on production chain analysis on energy-related issues. Both projects are linked with the creation of a network and started their work in September 1997 with about 40 schools. In the Land Saxony, there is a great number of clubs, groups and initiatives that are active in the field of environmental protection in the. The spectrum ranges from local initiatives to clean up the meadows adjoining the Elbe river to international Greenpeace projects.

Since 1992 surcharged postage stamps have been issued "in aid of environmental protection". Two of the three special stamps concentrated on the protection of tropical habitats. The proceeds from the surcharge on the three stamps (DM 0.50 per stamp) so far have been used to provide DM 5.3 million to fund environmental education projects - particularly abroad in developing countries. In 1998 the fourth special stamp in aid of environmental protection will be issued for the key area, "Protection of Oceans and Coasts". The proceeds from the surcharge will also be used to fund environmental education programs.

Germany has also adopted various innovative approaches to education and awareness raising in the field of sustainable development. For example, The Federal Environmental Agency in Berlin, which is a subsidiary body of the Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety, concerns itself, among other things, with the research areas "environmental awareness and conduct", "sustainable patterns of consumption", "environmental and risk communications" as well as "participation and cooperation" with innovative approaches to education for sustainable development. The Federal Environmental Agency commissioned and provided scientific support, e.g., for the following research and development projects:

In North-Rhine/Westphalia, The "Landesinstitut für Schule und Weiterbildung" (State institute for schools and in-service training) in Soest has created the "Schulstelle Eine Welt" (school resource center for "One World" issues), which organizes and supports cooperation between schools and nongovernmental organizations.

In Saxony, many environmental projects undertaken at schools are based on support from clubs, associations, enterprises, etc. Financial support is provided in the form of State subsidies for such projects.

Status 

On June 23, 1994, the German Bundestag (parliament) adopted a resolution on Environmental Education and Environmental Sciences. In this resolution the Bundestag called upon the Federal Government to report on its efforts concerning environmental education once per electoral term.

In October 1997, the Federal Ministry of Education, Science, Research and Technology with major involvement of the Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety, once again on behalf of the Federal Government, published the first Report on Environmental Education and submitted it to parliament. The report is concerned with the development and the state of environmental education in Germany - in line with the division of powers laid down in the Basic Law - particularly from the point of view of the country as a whole and not the individual Länder.

The current basis of Education for Sustainable Development for German schools is the decision of the Länder Ministers of Education of February 28, 1997 on "Teaching 'One World / Third World' issues at school". There is a debate on adding issues of Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) to the 1980 decision on Environmental Education. The current curricula give all schools the general possibility to teach ESD issues, but so far there are no specific details of ESD to be pointed out.

For example in the Land Saxony, environmental education is laid down in the school legislation as an interdisciplinary principle (Art. 37 of the School Act). The underlying objective is to teach students to develop a positive attitude towards the natural environment and to become actively committed to protecting it.

The Land Saxony reports that awareness of the need for environmental protection has already become kind of a "conventional wisdom" in Germany. Education is freely accessible to all in Germany. Discrimination of the poor is not an issue, at least as far as education is concerned.

In July 1997, the Federal Ministry of Education, Science, Research and Technology (BMBF), on behalf of the Federal Government, answered the major interpellation of the SPD parliamentary party on the subject of "environmental education" and submitted its response to parliament. In this response the Federal Government made it clear that environmental education is an indispensable component of a policy of precautionary action for environmental protection and nature conservation.

Above and beyond this, in its response the Federal Government made it clear that it has carried out a large number of measures within its area of responsibility to foster the public's ecological consciousness and that it has also taken many initiatives to promote and enhance environmental education.

Challenges  

No information is available.

Capacity-building, Education, Training and Awareness-raising 

There are a number of policy measures, programs and campaigns by many actors and at all levels. For example: The promotion of sustainable patterns of behavior was the main focus of the public relations work of the Federal Ministry for the Environment (BMU) in 1997 and will be continued. The purpose of the campaign is to make the German population more familiar with the term "sustainable development". The ultimate goal is to change general patterns of behavior: environmentally sound behavior should become a matter of course. The prerequisite for this is the creation and strengthening of environmental awareness.

The BMU's public relations activities for sustainable development for the most part target the entire population. Young people represent a particular target group. Furthermore, it is intended to provide information for people interested in and committed to environmental issues as well as for the competent experts.

The priorities for action were reflected in the campaign launched by the BMU in the run-up to the special session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGASS) in June 1997 in New York under the slogan, "Keep the world in balance - Sustainable development secures our future." This comprised a number of different measures and projects, addressing the younger generation in particular with cinema adverts, an open-air cinema tour and a competition. The campaign further included an exhibition, the provision of complete layouts, newspaper advertisements as well as publications.

All the mass media, the private-owned radio and television stations as well as those that are public-financed, feature the subject "sustainability".

To teach students awareness of sustainable development, schools are encouraged to collaborate with the informal education sector, particularly environmental centres, nongovernmental organizations, local communities and industry. In North-Rhine/Westphalia, for example, the Ministry for Schools and Further Education supports interested schools with financial resources and consultancy (Landesprogramm "Gestaltung des Schullebens und Öffnung von Schule = GÖS"). In 1997, this support is focusing on the participation of schools in local agendas 21.

The promotion of further training of technical and managerial staff in the field of environmental protection by the Federal Environmental Agency, a subsidiary body of the Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety, should be seen as training for multipliers as well as personnel capacity building in terms of education for sustainable development.

Information

Information provided by the Federal Ministry of Education, Science, Research and Technology is available at the following Internet address: http://www.bmbf.de. In 1997, the "Landesinstitut für Schule und Weiterbildung" in North-Rhine/Westphalia began to provide information on ESD on the Internet via "Nordrhein-Westfälischer Bildungsserver" (http://www.learn-line.nrw.de). Information on Saxony's education system can be found on the Internet at http://www.Sachsen.de 

Information on Environmental Management and Training Courses for experts from developing countries (organized by the Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety, UNEP, and UNESCO) is provided on the Internet at http://www.tu-dresden.de/cipsem

Research and Technologies   

No information is available.

Financing   

Examples of some events that received funding in Germany in 1997 include:

Verein für Umweltrecht (Association for Environmental Law): Quality Orientation of Environmental Law - Environmental Quality Objectives for Sustainable Environmental Protection

Umwelt-Akademie, Wesseling (Wesseling Environmental Academy): Sustainable Tourism - Practical Experience for Practical Use

Stiftung Christlich-soziale Politik e.V. (Christian-Social Policy Foundation): The Environmental Audit System - Ways Staff Councils can Help to Shape It

Other funding:
Bielefeld University: Pilot study "Environmental Education, Lesson Preparation and the Internet. How Teachers Use Environmental Information"

See also under Decision-Making: Coordinating Bodies.

Cooperation

In cooperation with the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), the Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety offers environmental management training courses for experts from developing countries. These courses are held at the Dresden University of Technology.

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This information was provided by the Government of Germany to the fifth and sixth sessions of the United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development. Last Update: April 1998.

For information from the Federation Ministry of Education, Science, Research and Technology, click here.
Click here for inforamtion on education provided by the Land North-Rhine/Westphalia.
Click here for information on Saxony's education system.
Click here for information on Environmental Management and Training Courses.
For Days of Action on the Environment, click here.

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HUMAN SETTLEMENTS

Decision-Making: Coordinating Bodies   

The Federal Government, the Federal States (Länder), and local communities are responsible for promoting sustainable human settlement.

Decision-Making: Legislation and Regulations 

The National Building Planning Law states that urban buildings must consider environmental soundness and undeveloped land must be dealt with sparingly.

Germany, by implementing European Union (EU) guidelines, has approval procedures for building materials which minimize their dangers to health.

Germany has made considerable efforts to reduce current housing bottlenecks and provide adequate shelter not only for the resident population but also for the people who have emigrated to the country. In order to expand the supply of residential building areas, new regulations have been introduced which facilitate and accelerate more exact planning.

Decision-Making: Strategies, Policies and Plans  

The Government endorses the elaboration of integrated action plans in local communities, which should lead to environmentally sound settlement development. In the same way, communities are also heeding the appeal of the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED) to draw up Local Agendas 21s

Sustainable land management is being pursued in various ways in Germany. Settlement development must be carried out on the basis of carefully worked out and coordinated urban building plans. Interventions in natural and habitat landscapes may only be undertaken to the degree that it is absolutely necessary, and are to be balanced by suitable mitigation measures. 

With regard to expected environmental degradation due to increasing traffic, transport policy stresses the following: avoidance of unnecessary traffic; switching to environmentally sound transportation; and employment of technical improvements.

Decision-Making: Major Groups Involvement  

The plans are agreed to by local authorities after discussion with citizens.

Programmes and Projects   

A model project for the development of an integrated approach was carried out on behalf of the Federal Government near Nuernberg in 1993. The project has an extensive action programme, scheduled over several years, with the result that the town will become an ecological model which: offers its citizens a green, healthy and, at the same time, urban surrounding; reduces the need for traffic and uses environmentally sound forms of transportation; consumes less energy and uses environmentally sound forms of energy supply and use; and recycles a great part of town refuse.

The building of housing for low-income families with many children is promoted through the Federal Government, Federal States, and local authority offices. The Federal government has introduced financial promotion programmes for the new Länder which help local authorities bear the costs of planning and development of residential land.

German cities and local communities have undertaken considerable efforts with regard to energy consumption. The government promotes model projects for the development of community plans for energy supply and the reduction of carbon dioxide (CO2) which strengthen local synergy effects in the use of energy.

Status 

No information is available.

Challenges  

A high level of environment consciousness among citizens ensures that the interests of the environment carry considerable weight in the democratic planning process. The infrastructure for drinking water supply, waste water removal, and refuse disposal is of a high standard in Germany. There is, however, a large backlog in the infrastructure of East German cities due to the absence of investments over decades. This problem is being addressed with the help of intensive financial support from the Federal government and the Länder.

Capacity-building, Education, Training and Awareness-raising   

No information is available.

Information   

No information is available.

Research and Technologies   

No information is available.

Financing

No information is available.

Cooperation

Germany participated in the HABITAT II Conference and forwarded a report on Human Settlements Development and Policy to the conference. In preparation for Habitat II, the Federal Government, together with the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), held an International Conference on Sustainable Urban Development in Berlin, March 1996. The follow-up activities after Habitat II are based on the National Action Plan, adopted by the German National Committee. These activities include a National follow-up conference in Mid 1997.

The international activities of the federal government in the area of local community environment and development policy are concentrated on the following: urban development and housing supply, including integrated urban development, urban management, slum clearance, and the building of housing; and the promotion of sustainable land use planning, with an emphasis on participation in the planning process. The federal government is preparing the following initiatives in the area of land use planning: holding workshops in Africa, Asia, and Latin America on the concept of land use planning; pilot projects for registration and analysis of land rights and land ownership conditions in selected regions; holding additional training seminars on the concept of Rural Regional Development. Project examples include: PATECORE (Burkina Faso): exemplary development methods and implementation of sustainable development; ODESYPANO (the State Development Office, Tunisia): advice and support in the application of participatory processes of village and regional development; CEBU Upland Project (Philippines): Active participation of the population in planning, implementation and supervision of sustainable development and local self-administration.

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This information was provided by the Government of Germany to the fifth session of the United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development. Last Update: 1 April 1997.

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