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Decision-Making: Coordinating Bodies    

The Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) is responsible for bilateral and multilateral development cooperation. In addition to the BMZ, several other Federal Ministries are involved in decision making, including the Foreign Office and the Ministries of Economics and Finance.

The Federal Government is in charge of foreign relations. But the Länder also cooperate with their counterparts in other countries as well as local governments with foreign local governments.

Decision-Making: Legislation and Regulations 

Development cooperation policy is part of the German Government’s worldwide policy to further peace and stability. There are basic principles and a number of internal regulations and directives in effect.

Germany is a member state of the European Union (EU) and a member of the Word Trade Organization (WTO). On the European level Germany’s participation in the EU’s internal "Single Market" – based on the principle of non-discrimination – is a contribution to eliminating unjustified obstacles to the free movement of goods and services and for investment. On the multilateral level, Germany is involved in the external dimension of the Single Market characterized through various trade agreements between the EU and third countries and other instruments such as the General System of Preference (GSP).

Germany also promotes international trade on the basis of the principles of most-favored-nation treatment and non-discrimination within the institutional framework of the WTO. Germany and the EU are committed to the idea of creating a solid set of rules for global free trade and to diminishing trade barriers by means of multilateral trade negotiations with the WTO. Therefore the EU as well as Germany support a new WTO round of multilateral trade negotiations.

With its Public-Private Partnership Programme (PPP) the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) supports the investment of firms/enterprises in developing countries and transition economies , which combine private sector interests and development policy goals. However, support activities do not start by looking at the companies' needs for support, but by assessing their contribution towards sustainable development. A wide range of instruments are available to further sustainable development goals through PPP.

In addition to that, Environment Area Managers have been installed in the German Chambers of Commerce in various developing countries. Their task is to promote the transfer of environmental technology as a contribution to safeguarding the environment which is the basis for a sustainable development.

Market access to Germany is governed by the common European customs legislation. According to this legislation, for most developing countries preferential market access is foreseen either under the Lome Convention for ACP Countries or under the General System of Preferences (GSP).

Decision-Making: Strategies, Policies and Plans  

The Public-Private Partnership programme contributes to the transfer of environmentally sound technologies and know-how to developing countries, especially in the fields of renewable energies and waste disposal. 

In recent years, Germany has proposed that environmental protection targets be given greater consideration with regard to international trade and investment issues. It has taken numerous initiatives to integrate ecological standards in the trade system. Of particular significance are multilateral environmental agreements, eco-labeling, integration of the precautionary principle in WTO regulations, and the role of foreign direct investment in sustainable development. Thanks to a German initiative, the G8 meeting of environment ministers (Schwerin, 1999) explicitly called for environmental aspects to be integrated into WTO regulations. While the stage for trade and environment discussions has been prepared, progress towards concrete results is still needed.

Germany is a large exporter of environmental technology and chemical products. In 1996, Germany supplied 17.5 % of the world market for environmental technology. It will soon ratify the PIC Convention (Rotterdam, 1998) and prohibit the export of equipment which can be used for chemical warfare. A German company which had exported problematic equipment was expelled from the Federation of Chemical Industries (VCI).

The Federal Government has created an interministerial working group to review the political suitability of proposed exports from Germany (30 000 export proposals per year). Proposals are being made to request an EIA for certain projects likely to damage the environment, and to prohibit granting of export credits to certain projects because of their potential environmental effects. 

See also under Decision-Making: Legislation and Regulations.

Decision-Making: Major Groups Involvement  

The discussions and decisions of local authorities in Germany are evidence of the growing interest in development cooperation that also exists on the level of municipalities, communities and rural districts. This is reflected for instance, in the growing number of twinning arrangements. Typical areas of local authority cooperation are education, schools, health, welfare, utilities, and cultural exchange. They are integrated in a variety of ways in government development cooperation activities organized on federal level.

Following the Rio Conference, German NGOs active in the sphere of environment and development began intensive cooperation efforts under the aegis of the "Environment and Development Forum" (Forum Umwelt und Entwicklung), which was founded as an informal group in 1992. The Forum’s work focuses on the program areas outlined in Agenda 21 and critical monitoring of activities conducted on government level. Additionally, representatives of German NGOs were included in the German delegation to the CSD meetings. When it comes to decision making within the Federal Government, there are a number of standing or ad hoc advisory bodies in place composed of representatives of civil society. There is an ongoing open dialogue with non-governmental organizations.

Churches, political foundations and a great number of other NGOs receive funding from the Federal budget to co-finance their own development activities designed and implemented in cooperation with their development partners from civil society all over the world. German NGOs and the Federal Government cooperate also towards awareness building for development cooperation and sustainable development amongst Germany’s population.

The Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) promotes the activities of the private sector in developing countries through Public-Private Partnerships.

With its PPP strategy, the BMZ intends to strengthen the concerted action of official development cooperation and private business activity. The purpose is to cover special risks and/or costs which otherwise would prevent the realization of a project that makes sense in development policy terms and that is economically viable. For one thing, this form of cooperation enhances the effectiveness of development cooperation and, for another, it fosters the participating companies' involvement in the development process of the countries. However, support activities do not start by looking at the companies' need for support, but by assessing their contribution towards social and economic development, as well as environmental aspects in the partner country.

These PPP activities may be carried out either by bilateral implementing agencies of German development cooperation or by the private company itself. There is a vast set of combinations of public and private activities in all sectors conceivable, such as agriculture, health, infrastructure etc. Approaches include:

For all new development projects BMZ will study the private sector interests and the possibility of turning development problems into business opportunities. In addition to the PPP activities carried out under bilateral official agreements with individual developing countries, in early 1999, BMZ set up a separate fund for activities that cannot be operated within the framework of the regular procedures because of a short-term nature, small scale, or because they cover more than one country. While in the regular cooperation programme companies from any country can be partners, in this specific programme only German enterprises that are preparing, or engaged in, investments, joint ventures, export or import relations, or other business relations with one or several enterprises in a developing country and thus contributing to our partner country's development are eligible.

Programmes and Projects

Germany is the third largest shareholder of the World Bank and holds shares of IFC, MIGA and Regional Banks. Germany is one of the largest contributor to IDA and other concessional lending facilities. Germany supports all major UN Institutions and Programmes in the field of development cooperation (UNDP, FAO IFAD, WFP, UNFPA, UNIFEM, UNIDO etc.) as well as GEF (12 % share) and the Multilateral Fund of the Montreal Protocol (11,2 % share).

Bilateral development cooperation is a priority instrument of the Federal Government. Over the years, Germany’s development cooperation programme has covered more than 118 developing countries on all continents. All programmes, projects and activities provided (and continue to provide) financial resources for sustainable development. The basis of cooperation and an essential planning instrument are country concepts. They determine the priorities of bilateral cooperation against the background of the specific country’s core problems and potential. In future, Germany intends to concentrate its bilateral activities on a limited number of some 70 countries in order to increase the significance and effectiveness of its cooperation programme.

By the end of 2000, bilateral developing countries debt totaling DM 13 billion had been cancelled by the German government.

In the framework of the enhanced HIPC-Initiative, Germany will cancel a further DM 10 billion in ODA loans and commercial credits. Germany also contributes to the HIPC Trust fund (DM 150 million bilateral funding + 25% of the EU contribution of Euro 1.05 billion).

In addition, debt for development swaps (nature, poverty reduction, education) have been committed to 14 countries totaling about DM 1.1 billion.

Of the multilateral and bilateral cooperation programmes mentioned above, the approximate % allocation of funds by areas covered are:

  • Natural resource protection, 16, 43 %
  • Poverty eradication, 19,64 %
  • Capacity building, and
  • Policy formulation, planning, governance. 8,98 %

The above data refer only to bilateral programmes. Statistical information about the sectoral allocation of multilateral programmes is not available.

Capacity building, policy formulation, planning and governance are classified under identical DAC purpose codes . Therefore they cannot be listed separately.

Germany’s development cooperation does contribute to all of the a.m. areas/themes with country tailored programmes and projects. It would be extremely difficult to single out specific assistance projects.

Under its development cooperation program, Germany is going to introduce a program in 2001 of up to DM 12 million to foster sustainable trade with products adhering to high ecological and social standards. Moreover, there are more than 30 PPP projects with a volume of more than DM 10 million to foster sustainable trade.

The Federal Ministry for the Environment (BMU) started a dialogue process to improve the integration of environmental aspects into foreign direct investment (FDI) It has installed a multi-stakeholder working group to develop operational guidelines. The working group consists representatives of government, companies, business associations and environment and development organisations. Based on existing codes of conduct - like OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises and the UN-Initiative Global Compact - more concrete recommendations for the application of best practice measures when carrying out foreign direct investment shall be elaborated. The result of this process shall be fed into the preparations of the WSSD and be presented in Johannesburg.








Bilateral Official Development








Multilateral Official Development








Other Official Assistance

(Official Aid + Other Official Flows)







Private Flows at Market Terms







Net Grants by Non-Governmental

Organisations (NGOs)






of which:


Emergency and distress relief






Debt forgiveness







Other action on debt

(Debt conversions, debt buybacks)






Debt relief/service, total







Flows to transition countries are included (except under 1 and 2).

Definitions for actions on debt are used according to the DAC terms.


Germany’s development administration conducts regular policy consultations and periodic government negotiations with partners from both governments and civil society. Amongst others, the policy principles and recommendations drawn up by the DAC of OECD are a common frame of reference in the dialogue. Major challenges derive from these principles and recommendations.

The full integration of environmentally sound policies, programmes and projects into activities of governments and civil society at large and the full adherence to the Rio principles.

To come to common conclusions on what needs to be done to promote sustainable development – and mobilizing public support for the necessary changes, including values and productions and consumption patterns.

Trade policy is a competence of the EU. The challenge to eliminate trade barriers is an important task for the European Commission. To meet this challenge the European Commission has established a database to analyse and monitor trade barriers notified to the Commission by European business. The process of solving trade problems and of removing trade barriers will be pursued in accordance with international trade law.

Capacity-building, Education, Training and Awareness-raising 

Instruments and procedures developed by the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation (BMZ) in the field of public information/development education:

a) Main target groups:

Journalists and teachers

b) Key messages:

See below

c) Important intermediary groups:

Full-time staff of adult training institutions and NGOs.

d) Budget for public information/development education:

DM 8 million p.a.

e) Main channels for communication:

Press statements, brochures, internet.

The most important messages of BMZ’s development education work are:

- Development policy is a subject of importance. It is important because it touches upon the personal life of each person and does not constitute a problem of only remote interest.

- International links between the industrialised and the developing countries are quite numerous and still growing. Thus, development policy is a political field of increasing importance. (Example: reduction of protectionism in the industrialised countries could open up development opportunities and could lead to additional income for countries in the South and the East, which may, for instance, be used for the protection of the environment. Preserving the environment benefits industrialised and developing countries alike. )

- Economic differentiation is on the increase worldwide. However, the same standards, rules and viewpoints cannot be used in all countries. One can witness remarkable success side by side with tremendous problems. A very important learning target is to better point out the successes of development policy and to encourage people to lend their support and not turn away disappointed in the case of failure.

- The development problems and the development process in the South must not be simplified to one single cause or one mix of measures. The spectrum of development contributions must be seen as holistically as possible. The implicit learning goal is: Fighting against the widespread monocausal way of thinking of many people that development co-operation alone can overcome poverty and underdevelopment in developing countries. In the face of continuing and sometimes growing destitution in many countries, any thinking along such lines destroys the interest in development policy and the willingness to get involved.

- Development co-operation is a rather demanding task. It works and it is beneficial. It is becoming more and more structured and professionalized. However, one must expect a certain number of bottlenecks and failures. They only apply to a minority of cases and in their concrete number vary in size from one country and sector to the other.

- Each citizen can get actively involved in a number of ways in development policy and cooperation. He/she is not only the object of development cooperation information work. He/she is a subject and called upon to participate with his/her contribution.

The German Federal Government funds the German Foundation for International Development (DSE) and the Carl-Duisberg-Gesellschaft (CDG), which offer initial and advanced training to specialists and executive personnel from developing countries. Sustainable development is part of the overall training policy of these organizations and objective of special training courses, i.e. to promote low-waste technologies, upgrade the quality and implementation of environment-related planning processes and strengthen the environmental management skills of public administration authorities.

In addition, the DSE offers training courses to German experts preparing for an assignment abroad. The German Development Service (DED) maintains its own training unit for the preparation and in-country orientation of volunteers. The curricula used in these courses are in line with major elements of Agenda 21.

Along with UNEP and UNESCO, Germany organizes courses for experts at the Centre for International Postgraduate Studies of Environment Management in Dresden.

Among the experts are representatives of business associations and companies. UBA has its own professional networks, depending on the departments.

According to priorities and shortcomings identified by Germany’s development cooperation partners, capacity building in all areas mentioned is needed. Priorities shift from country to country.


Information is provided through a number of channels and the full range of media available to the public in an open, democratic society.

There are a number of possibilities to have access to information, including the following websites of the Federal Government’s Ministries and Agencies involved in cooperation for development:








There are numerous publications (including bulletins, newsletters, brochures, video tapes) and other media available from public (federal, state, local) and a variety of private sources.

Research and Technologies

The transfer of technical know-how is a major objective in Germany’s bilateral development cooperation activities. There are numerous programmes and projects in which the transfer of know-how takes place on an almost daily basis. The focus is clearly on the transfer of appropriate technologies which are at the same time environmentally sound. Technology transfer and capacity building to adopt, absorb and disseminate technologies, as well as to generate technical knowledge and innovations are given equal importance. The Profitable Environmental Management Project (PREMA) is a particularly interesting programme aiming at implementing measures to reduce costs of production, improve the environmental performance and enhance the organisational capabilities of micro, small and medium-sized companies in developing countries in order to further sustainable development.

Public-Private Partnerships are another recently strengthened instrument for the dissemination of technology and technological know-how in close cooperation with the private sector.  See under Decision-Making: Legislation and Regulations.

In the field of global environment protection, Germany pursues a very comprehensive approach to further the implementation of the global environmental conventions through capacity building activities and through a number of ‘enabling activities’. Some examples: With German financial support and in cooperation with Germany’s main organisation for technical cooperation – GTZ - , country profiles on climate change have been established by local institutions in developing countries, in order to ensure that the quality of the studies complies with internationally required standards and that local experts are further trained. In order to facilitate the change to ozone-friendly technologies under the Montreal Protocol in A 5 Countries, by the end of 2000 GTZ was in the process of implementing more than 70 bilateral projects, all of which have a large technology transfer component. Since 1992, Germany’s Tropical Ecology Support Programme (TöB) has funded more than 140 bilateral projects in some 40 developing countries in order to contribute to the implementation of the CBD by building local capacity. Germany is lending intensive support to the implementation of the CCD, particularly in the field of technology transfer and capacity building, as it believes that the CCD is in the process of becoming an important strategic framework for sustainable development in the countries affected by desertification.

It is the role of the government to set framework conditions for the promotion of EST and to develop specifically designed schemes for the promotion of technology dissemination and exchange through international cooperation.


The proportion of Germany’s GNP spent on Official Development Assistance was 0.26 % in 1999. The amount of ODA in 1999 rose by 2.4 % compared to 1998, due to specific efforts made to secure adequate funding for development financing. The Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development’s budget for 2001 is being increased by 4.6 % compared to 2000. The additional funds will be used to increase support for civil society, for the use of renewable energies, the fight against AIDS and to strengthen the efforts to poverty eradication.


Germany has ratified all relevant international conventions and treaties. Concerning climate, Germany ratified the 1992 UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) on 9 December 1993 and implemented the Convention by Statute of 13 September 1993. The UNFCCC´s 1997 Kyoto Protocol was signed on 29 April 1998, its ratification with the EU is subject to the successful outcome of CoP 6 in early summer 2001.

The EU has concluded numerous trade agreements with third countries covering almost every state or trading bloc in the world. Some of these agreements are aimed at promoting sustainable development by the introduction of suitable mechanisms like a preferential system or the stabilisation of export revenues. These agreements also facilitate trade relations between European business and third countries. Hence, they increase trade opportunities and may contribute substantially to sustainable development.

Germany has been a member of the CSD from the beginning. The Federal Government fully subscribes to the goal of sustainable development and is committed to its implementation.

In the field of development cooperation, Germany is helping to create framework conditions on all levels conducive to the implementation of the Rio commitments, including Agenda 21. The following mutually reinforcing approaches are used:

promoting structural reforms in the partner countries as a prerequisite for a development path that in the long run is both viable and environmentally sound

combating poverty as a major cause of unsustainable forms of production and ways of life in partner countries, giving priority to tackling the structural causes of poverty

promoting education as a major contribution to developing personal skills so that independent problem-solving efforts can unfold in the social, economic and political sphere

integrating the environmental dimension into all fields of action stemming from both development cooperation and the policies of the partner countries themselves

promoting specific programmes and projects for environmental protection and resource conservation in partner countries (e.g. for safeguarding tropical forests or combating desertification), and

combating global environmental dangers by contributing to international or regional efforts (e.g. to protect the climate, the ozone layer, biodiversity, the oceans, etc.)

On the regional level, a number of Länder have begun the task of implementing the measures agreed at Rio, for instance by entering into dialogue with various social groups and by developing a Land-wide Agenda 21.

Bilateral cooperation is an important component in Germany´s activities related to sustainable development. The cooperation focuses on exchange of information, the resolution of bilateral questions and the transfer of technology for a cleaner and safer environment and is spread all over the continents and within Europe. Some examples to be mentioned are:

The Transfer Program, enabling projects in the field of environmental protection as advisory service to catch up the environmental standard of Western Europe in the countries of CEE.

Joint environmental management and coordination bodies have been formed inter alia with Poland (Deutsch-Polnischer Umweltrat und Kommission für nachbarschaftliche Zusammenarbeit auf dem Gebiet des Umweltschutzes) and with the Czech Republic (Gemeine Umweltkommission).

In Asia, Germany is involved in the ASEM process (Asia Europe Meeting) and supports the Germany-Singapore Environmental Technology Agency (GSETA) which holds seminars, workshops and conferences.

Many bilateral meeting and conferences are organized, like the Sino-German environment Conference in Bejing in December 2000.

Germany has concluded environment cooperation agreements with the following countries:

Albania, Australia, Brazil, Bulgaria, Canada, Czech Republic, China, Estonia, Hungary, India, Indonesia, Iran, Israel, Japan, Latvia, Lithuania, Malaysia, Mexico, Poland, Romania, Russian Federation, Singapore, Slovakian Republic, South Africa, Turkey, Ukraine, Uruguay, and USA.

* * *

This information was provided by the Government of Germany to the fifth, sixth and eighth sessions of the United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development. Last Update: August 2001.

For Trends in Europe and North America: ECE statistical data base, click here.

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Decision-Making: Coordinating Bodies   

No information is available.

Decision-Making: Legislation and Regulations 

German environmental legislation does not on principle differentiate on the basis of destination (be it in Germany or abroad) of production processes or trade flows. 

Decision-Making: Strategies, Policies and Plans  

The open, multilateral trading system and the intensification of the international division of labor accompanying trade liberalization, called for in Agenda 21, are favored by the German Federal government as a matter of principle because of their positive impact on economic growth and development.

Decision-Making: Major Groups Involvement  

No information is available.

Programmes and Projects

No information is available.


Environmental protection in Germany is of a high standard and should therefore provide adequate protection from environmental problems ("hot spots") even if production increases.

The Federal Government regards ecological modernisation as an opportunity for the environment and employment. Germany´s high level of environmental protection is a direct consequence of the country´s economic capacity, founded primarily on the Federal Republic of Germany´s close integration into the world economy. 

Free availability of energy and raw materials on the world market and free access to international markets are of fundamental importance to the Federal Republic of Germany as the number two world trading nation.


No information is available.

Capacity-building, Education, Training and Awareness-raising 

No information is available.


Under the Federal Republic of Germany's environmental protection legislation, the country has a dense system of reporting and monitoring. This allows the current ecological status of all environmental media to be continuously recorded with adequate precision – regardless of the destination of production, be it in Germany or abroad.

Information on investment opportunities in Germany is provided under the following URL:

A database on investment-related support programmes may be accessed via the homepage of the Federal Ministry of Economics and Technology (URL: )

Research and Technologies 

The export sector is of growing importance to Germany's environmental technology industry. The German environmental technology industry is performing very successfully against international competition. For many years Germany led the field in terms of its share of world trade in environmental goods, but recently other industrialized countries have been catching up. 

Traditionally, the transfer of technology and the adoption of existing technology to the special needs of developing countries forms an integral part of Germany's development cooperation. The foundation of the International Transfer Centre for Environmental Technology (Internationales Transferzentrum für Umwelttechnik - ITUT) in Leipzig deserves particular mention.


In the ecological tax reform, implemented on April 1, 1999, tax receipts are used to decrease wage costs.


Germany supports the work of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT), the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) in this area. As the first tangible result, an OECD working group of trade and environment experts presented process-related guidelines on the subject in 1993. The Federal government also supports the work of UNCTAD on United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED) implementation, especially in the areas of trade, raw materials, technology, services, poverty, and privatization. The Federal Republic of Germany supports studies on tradable carbon dioxide (CO2) emission certificates.

* * *

This information was provided by the Government of Germany to the fifth, sixth and eighth sessions of the United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development. Last Update: February 2000.

For Trends in Europe and North America: ECE statistical data base, click here.

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Decision-Making: Coordinating Bodies   

The Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety is the responsible Government body dealing with aspects of sustainable consumption and production patterns. On the Laender level (16 German Bundeslaender) in principle the ministries responsible for environment protection are as well dealing with aspects of sustainable consumption and production patterns. On the local level the cities are the responsible administrative bodies. There are 14 561 cities in Germany.

Decision-Making: Legislation and Regulations 

Within the context of the CO2 reduction programme: Thermal Insulation Ordinance (sets out legal limits for heat consumption), Energy Saving Ordinance ( summarisation of the Thermal Insulation ordinance and the Heating Systems Ordinance in order to achieve an overall energy optimisation of new buildings), Heating Surveys (Heizspiegel) in major cities find the 10% most wasteful multi-family buildings (oil, gas, or district heating) by computerised comparison of heating bills (, New ruling on tax subsidies for homeowners (special bonuses for low-energy houses and the use of energy efficient technologies), and Energy Consumption Labelling Act and Energy Consumption Ordinance (labelling of refrigerators and freezers, washing machines, tumble dryers, combined washer dryers and dishwashers).

Within the context of the Closed Substance Cycle Act: The Packaging Ordinance, End-of-Life Vehicle Ordinance (sets out the framework conditions for the environmentally-compatible disposal of used cars), Battery Ordinance, Sewage Sludge Ordinance (limits the use of sewage sludge in agriculture), and Technical Instructions on waste from Human Settlement (prescribes a fundamental turnaround in waste disposal by the year 2005 in respect to separate waste collection, mineralisation and upgrading landfill sites).

Codes of Practice for industries for the activities of industry include environmental management systems, standards for product design, standards for eco-labeling, standards for LCA. These have been established mainly by industry and are voluntary.

Decision-Making: Strategies, Policies and Plans  

Among the specific policy and economic instruments that have been adopted to discourage unsustainable and encourage sustainable consumption and production practices are the following:

There is no comprehensive national Strategy addressing the concerns of sustainable consumption and production. But in order to realize integration of environmental aspects in other policy areas the issue of changing consumption and production patterns is of highest priority. Therefore this aspect plays especially a crucial role in the policy strategy for the years ahead or has already been realized with specific environmental legislation or programs ( Waste Management and Product Recycling, the Packaging Ordinance System, the Climate Protection program, the environmental label system etc.).

In order to discuss the policy strategy for a sustainable development in Germany the Federal Minister for the Environment invited all groups in society to take part in a process of discussion on the next steps towards sustainable and environmentally sound development in Germany. Reports were drafted by six working groups (with participants from130 groups and institutions including participants from the business sector, environmental pressure groups, consumer organisations, unions, science) identifying priority areas of action as well as goals and measures. On the basis of these proposals the Federal Environment Ministry has drawn up the Draft Programme for Priority Areas in Environmental Policy which was published in April 1998. The Draft Programme does not set out to give a definitive account of the guiding principle of sustainable development nor to cover the full spectrum of future tasks facing environmental policy, but focuses exclusively on areas in which the need for action along the road to sustainable development remains greatest, bearing in mind the high level of environmental protection already achieved in many fields. It goes beyond the field of responsibility of the Federal Environment Ministry and puts forward proposals for contributions from other policy spheres, the Laender and local authorities, business and industry, and other stakeholders. In this way the draft continues along the path chosen in recent years, a path of dialogue and of strengthening individual responsibility among all the stakeholders involved.

Two major NGOs, Friends of the Earth Germany (BUND) and the Catholic Development Aid organisation Misereor, in 1995 published a lengthy study "Sustainable Germany" detailing many steps towards sustainable consumption and production patterns.

Because of the environmental policy strategy in place that comprises a mix of the various policy instruments and tools to realize sustainable development, industry focuses more and more on the production of resource and energy-efficient, long living and recyclable products.

Some examples:

  1. Closed Substance Cycle and Waste Management Act aims at closing substance cycles and reducing material throughputs. It entered into force in October 1996. Even ahead of its entry into force, it prompted a rethink of waste management and product design amongst industry, the retail sector and consumers, and effected a reduction in waste volume.
  2. The Closed Substance Cycle and Waste Management Act realizes the fundamental waste management idea of extending the responsibility of producers to the entire life cycle of their products. This obligation means that products should, as far as possible, be designed in such a way that, in their manufacture and use, the arising of waste is avoided and that, at the end of their life cycle, as high a level of environmentally sound disposal as possible is guaranteed. The Act its therefore striving to promote the development of products of this kind which on the one hand are multi-use, long-life and repair-friendly and on the other can be recovered and disposed of in as unproblematic a manner as possible.
  3. The imperative of recycling residual substances and products presents both process engineering and product design with new, difficult challenges, and in tackling these challenges substantial potential for innovation can be tapped.
  4. In the area of waste avoidance and recycling various regulations, some voluntary and some binding have been drawn up in recent years on the areas of packaging, used cars, waste paper, construction wastes and batteries. Similar provisions on the collection and disposal of end-of-life electrical appliances are currently under preparation. Sewage sludge and compost made from biological waste are likewise subject to the dictates of recycling on which the closed Substance Cycle and Waste management Act is based.
  5. The Federal Government's national climate protection programme aims to reduce CO2 emissions by 25 percent by the year 2005, compared with 1990 levels. To date some 150 measures have been implemented. The key approaches target the following areas:
  6. After the liberalisation of the electricity market in April 1998 several NGOs and the independent renewable energy power producers are beginning to use the new opportunities and to sell electricity from renewable sources directly to the consumer. Consumers now have the opportunity to translate their strong declared support for renewable energy into their personal electric purchasing behaviour.

Decision-Making: Major Groups Involvement  

One of the tasks of the various consumer institutions is to give consumers guidelines for environmentally sound behavior. The institutions are partly financed by the federal government. In this respect the Government did not establish special guidelines for consumer. See also under Decision-Making: Strategies, Policies and Plans

Programmes and Projects 

In the framework of the Draft Programme for Priority Areas in Environmental Policy, a pluralistically constituted working party (science, retail trade, industry, consumer organisations, environmental groups, advertising industry, trade unions, local authorities) was established to elaborate a strategy to promote sustainable patterns of consumer behavior. 

A Roundtable on Sustainability comprised of representatives from science, retail trade and the Environment Ministry to strengthen the role of the retail trade in enforcing a strategy of sustainable consumption was established. In parallel sustainability strategies are developed and tested in pilot retail operations. 

These programmes try to find a balance among environmental, economic, social and cultural aspects of sustainable consumption and production. See also under Status.

The Environment Ministry supported projects of consumer organisations in order to help them formulate their strategies. One example is the project by Consumers International, that was financed by Germany and the Netherlands, entitled, "Green Guidance. How consumer organisations can give better advice on putting sustainable consumption into practice. "The Stiftung Warentest", a consumer interest organisation, established environmental priorities for product tests. 


The area of consumption and production patterns is a very comprehensive area which touches the various aspects of German environmental policy and strategies.

The current levels of efficiency in the usage of energy, water and other materials by industries and by households, as well as their general trend over time, are as follows: Development over the period 1990 to 1995:

National targets include: Reduction of CO2 emissions by 25 percent by the year 2005, compared with the 1990 levels. The draft programme for priority areas identifies some more targets, but they have not been discussed yet broadly in Germany.

The LCA, EMAS, ISO 14 000 series are used by industry on a voluntary basis.

A lot of projects in Germany address the issues cited above like LCA, energy saving, labeling, closed substance cycle. Of special interest in this context are four projects funded by the Environment Ministry addressing directly the area of sustainable consumption:

NGOs are particularly active in promoting consumption of organic agriculture products, and in discouraging purchasing one-way bottles, cans, etc., as well as in campaigning against genetically modified food.

The Policy of the closed substance cycle has succeeded in achieving substantial waste avoidance and recycling over the last few years. Waste volumes have declined appreciably and there has been a significant rise in the ratio of recycled waste to total waste volumes. The Packaging Ordinance has had a positive impact in the packaging sub-sector. Various voluntary commitments on the part of industry have also contributed to the decline in waste volumes and the rise in the recycling quota. For instance, the voluntary commitment to increase the quota for recycled graph paper to 60 per cent by 2000 was easily exceeded in 1996, with over 80 per cent.

An increasing number of companies is beginning to discover that positive steps towards sustainable production and consumption can be a competitive advantage on the market, and such companies have significant impacts in their respective sectors.

Fig. 1: Waste volumes and recycling quota in Germany


Fig. 2: Packaging use in Germany


The priority constraint is the wish of consumers to make individual purchase decisions. Individuals don't want to be influenced by others when making decisions directly linked to their personal life styles. Another priority constraint is the unwillingness by consumers to pay higher prices for products of better environmental quality.

Capacity-building, Education, Training and Awareness-raising

Since the end of the 1980s, the Environment Ministry has been supporting Environmental Consultancy Projects for communicating information and advice for all areas and institutions in society where products are produced and disposed, where energy is used, where services are offered, or where discussions takes place.

The German youth organisations and youth associations, associated in the Federal Youth Council, spread out a number of activities over the last years through their youth political representation and in the field of educational and leisure measures, related to ecological questions and sustainable development. Activities and methods of the youth associations are outlined by the following four points of main emphasis:

  1. Measures for practical participation of children and young people are action and project oriented. Outstanding examples are: work-camps, environmental construction sites, ecological research stations and research-camps, campaigns promoting the development of environmental rights of children, activity events in Clubs (e.g. the Rudi-Rotbein-Club), annual events related to the issues of the Agenda 21 and self-help projects within the framework of international cooperation.
  2. In the field of trainee and educational work, seminars and educational events are carried out, for example, in the framework of a project on an environmental and social generation treaty; project weeks are offered in schools, and assistants are employed in voluntarily environmental years.
  3. The development of environmental standards within the youth's own activities clarifies in a special way an integrated environmental approach. Some youth associations, for example, carry out examinations in order to find out if their activities and leisure activity measures are ecologically harmless. In addition they developed Programmes to create environmental balances of conferences, body meetings and events. The youth associations educational establishments and events are planned according to environmental standards.
  4. Regarding further vocational training for a multiplier effect, work aids, experience and action material are developed. Seminars for youth group leaders are also offered. Within the range of further vocational training, the youth associations offer a three -year-trainee programme to become an environmental teacher.

A Big Energy Saving campaign of the Environment Ministry was facilitated by publishing the energy saving book, My Agenda 21. One and one-half million copies were distributed. In the context of the energy saving book, 157 articles were published in the print media with a circulation of twenty-four million copies. In addition reports were given in the electronic media with a viewing figure of two million people. Tenants and owners can compare their heating bills with city-wide "heating surveys" or with national data right on the Internet (

The Campaign of the Environment Ministry together with the German NGO BUND was intended to inform about the possibilities to reduce standby losses in electric appliances. The campaign was carried out in ten German cities.It was published in the print media with a circulation of ten million. Reports were given with a listening figure of five million.

The German NGO B.A.U.M. carried out a campaign entitled, "The Environmentally friendly household" in connection with a "household-check". On the basis of this check the households were given many tips on how to improve environmental quality. The campaign was accompanied by media work. The most important event was a common activity with the German BILD newspaper, the most popular newspaper in Germany with a circulation of six million. The campaign was sponsored by industry. The Environment Minister was the patroness.


National information available to assist both decision-makers and industry managers to plan and implement appropriate policies and programmes in the above mentioned areas include the results of research programmes, market analyses, policy analyses, statistics, and LCA.

There is also a Monitoring System for the self commitment of industry on climate protection.

Information for heating energy and heating cost is available on the World Wide Web, at

Research and Technologies 

Ways of promoting clean and environmentally sound technologies are: regulations, environmental management systems, subsidy programs, research programmes, labeling, economic instruments like taxes, self commitments of industry, education, training programmes, advice, and etc.

Packaging and other processes that promote energy and material efficiency, reduce and recycle wastes, and extend life expectancy of products include: the Green Dot System and the Blue Angel Programme.

Together with the Ministry for Education and Research, the Ministry for the Environment launched a research program on sustainable consumption.


The manner in which activities are financed depends on the character of the activity, the actors involved and the body or institution that is responsible. As there are special governmental programmes on the federal, regional and local levels, as well as special private activities, and so on, it is the body in charge who gives the financial means.


Examples of cooperation in this area include the following:

* * *

This information was provided by the Government of Germany to the seventh session of the United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development. Last Update: November 1998.

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Decision-Making: Coordinating Bodies   

No information is available.

Decision-Making: Legislation and Regulations 

On 1 April 1999 Germany introduced the first of at least five steps of an "ecological tax reform". 

Decision-Making: Strategies, Policies and Plans  

The tax reform aims to provide incentives to speed up structural change in the German economy, to mobilise investment to conserve energy, to switch to sustainable energies and transport, to encourage the introduction of environmentally friendly production processes and to promote employment. This will further reinforce Germany's leading position as a source of environmentally sound products. It will also help to modernise and strengthen Germany's economy.

The first step comprised the introduction of an electricity tax of DM 0.02 per kilowatt hour and the increase of existing taxes on mineral oils (diesel and petrol by DM 0.06 per litre; natural gas by DM 0.0032 per kilowatt hour, light heating oil by DM 0.04 per litre). Since the tax reform is revenue-neutral, all revenues are given back to the citizens and to industry in the form of a 0.8% reduction in contributions to statutory pensions insurance.

A major environmental objective is to reduce the consumption of energy and thus to reduce CO2 emissions in order to reach Germany’s ambitious target of a 25% reduction in the 1990 emissions level by 2005. To these ends a shift of the tax burden from positive factors, such as labor, to negative factors, such as utilisation of natural resources or environmental pollution, is being implemented.

Further steps for the next four years (2000 to 2003) will increase the electricity tax by another DM 0.005 per kilowatt hour per year and the tax on diesel and petrol by another DM 0.06 per liter per year. To promote local public transport (buses, rail, shared taxis), only half the rate of increase (i.e. 3 pfennigs per liter p.a.) must be paid.

Furthermore, diesel and petrol with a sulphur content above 50 ppm will be taxed with an additional DM 0.03 per liter from 1 November 2001. This threshold will be reduced to 10 ppm from 1 January 2003.

The tax rate on heavy fuel oil will now also be increased from DM 30 to DM 35 per tonne and simplified at the same time. From the year 2000, gas and cycle power plants will each be granted a ten-year exemption from the existing mineral oil tax, starting from the date of electricity generation, if they achieve an electric efficiency factor of at least 57.5%.

As in the first step, the exemption of all cogeneration plants from the existing mineral oil tax (with an efficiency degree of at least 70%) will be extended at least until the year 2003. Track-related transport will be tax-privileged with a continued reduction in electricity tax of 50%. By far the largest part of the revenues (about DM 5 billion p.a.) will be used to further lower statutory pensions insurance by 1.0%. The long-term continuation of a funding programme for renewable energies is also ensured by a minimum amount of DM 200 million p.a.

The Federal Government's new austerity plan incorporates the general phasing-out of subsidies, including environmentally unsustainable subsidies. But so far there is no special plan for the phasing-out of environmentally unsustainable subsidies.

Decision-Making: Major Groups Involvement  

No information is available.

Programmes and Projects   

No information is available.


Several fiscal provisions take into account social and ecological concerns as well as the competitiveness of industry and agriculture. The central ecological element of success for the ecological tax reform is the steadiness of energy price increases and the recycling of revenues by lowering non-wage costs and promoting low-sulphur fuels and highly efficient power stations. The long-term reliability of these framework conditions will send the right signals for energy conservation to consumers and investors.

The concept of Public-Private Partnerships (PPPs), which was developed in the 1990s, aims to promote co-operation between private companies and official development co-operation, in order to make sustainable development possible through joint action. Industry and development policy have a common interest in designing general political, legal and social conditions which are conducive to development. Whilst the German government makes its contribution towards creating the necessary structures at the political and institutional level, the private sector provides money and know-how. 


Poverty and social exclusion present a particular challenge for German government policy-making. The German government will continue, as it has done in the past, to make use of the means at its disposal to fight poverty and social exclusion in an effective and problem-oriented way.

It may be assumed that, in general, "absolute poverty", as defined as a situation in which survival is uncertain, no longer occurs in Germany. The hardship of the immediate post-war period having been overcome, absolute poverty is now a phenomenon that occurs more in the countries of the Third and Fourth World.

In Germany, this type of material poverty, in other words a degree of deprivation that jeopardizes survival (extreme/absolute poverty), is prevented by the existing social security systems. Within the system of social security, some parts of which date back over one hundred years, social assistance constitutes the ultimate safety net for all those who do not have sufficient income or assets.

In Germany, therefore, extreme poverty (resulting, perhaps, from a failure to claim the social assistance benefits to which one is entitled) is to be found only in exceptional cases. However, if one applies a broader definition of poverty, those living under particularly difficult circumstances must also be taken into account. These difficult circumstances may be brought about by unemployment, homelessness, a heavy burden of private debt or problems of addiction.

Thus, the position of people in Germany who are threatened by poverty differs vastly from the complex of problems that may be found in the countries of the Third World. It was in order to provide targeted and situation-specific support to those people in Germany who are in precarious circumstances and are not, or no longer, entitled to benefits from the higher-ranking systems of social security that the social assistance laws were created.

In 1998, some DM 45 billion were spent on those social assistance benefits that are financed from general tax revenue. Of this, around DM 21 billion was spent on regular cost-of-living assistance and around DM 24 billion on assistance in special circumstances (care assistance, integration assistance for the disabled, assistance for the sick).

Capacity-building, Education, Training and Awareness-raising   

No information is available.


The protection of the natural environment and resources is a key issue in most of Germany's co-operation activities with other countries. Therefore many institutions are involved in the financing of sustainable development and there is no single institution or web address that provides this information.

In accordance with the coalition agreement of 20 October 1998 between the government coalition partners, the Social Democratic Party of German and Alliance 90/The Greens, the new federal government will also be presenting a new report, a "report on rich and poor", which is to be published regularly.

Germany also provides information on issues related to Financing Sustainable Development to OECD, reflected in the German Development Policy, as well as in the Memorandum of the Government of the Federal Republic of Germany for the DAC Aid Review, 1998/99; Bonn 1999. Further details could be found at:

Research and Technologies   

No information is available.


No information is available.


In response to an initiative launched by the German government, the wheels were set in motion at the Cologne Economic Summit in June of this year for debt relief amounting to US $ 70 billion in total to be granted to the poorest developing countries. This initiative was recently confirmed at the Annual General Meeting of the World Bank and IMF. As a result, more countries than before are to be included in the debt relief (up to 36), the countries are to enjoy more comprehensive debt relief, and thanks to rapid relief from debt servicing obligations more funds will immediately be available for education, health and basic infrastructure.

During the preparations for the new negotiating round of the World Trade Organisation WTO, the Federal Ministry for Economic Co-operation and Development paid particular attention to the impact of new trade regulations on food security. For example, steps must be taken to ensure that export subsidies in Europe do not work to the disadvantage of the producers in developing countries and that price increases on the world market for grain do not cause poor countries which are net importers of food to be faced with shortages.

In this connection, the BMZ is also supporting the "World Dam Commission" with DM 2 million. In this Commission, representatives of governments, private industry and non-governmental organisations work together to establish common uniform standards for assessing the construction and operation of dams, in order to do justice to the different and often rival forms of water use.

With respect to the provision of additional grant funds for sustainable development, US$240 million and US$26.45 million respectively have been provided for the Global Environment Facility (GEF) and the Montreal Protocol Fund from 1992 to 1997. Germany also makes considerable contributions to the United Nations Framework Convention for Climate Change (UNFCCC), the Convention on Biological Diversity, the Capacity 21 Programme, the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR), and the Centre for International Forestry Research (CIFOR). Targeted bilateral programmes have been developed to contribute to the implementation of international strategies to combat global environment risks in developing countries and special funds have been earmarked for this purpose. Normal debt relief in the context of the Paris Club total DM 166.8 million. For "debt for nature swaps", DM 50 million were made available in 1993, DM 80 million in 1994, DM 110 million in 1995, and DM 200 million in 1996. Agreements have been made with Bolivia, Côte d'Ivoire, the Cameroons, Ecuador, Honduras, Congo, Peru, Jordan, Vietnam, Philippines, and Nicaragua.

According to the German Government's financial plans up to 1999, the volume of the development aid budget, which covers about 70% of total ODA, is set to increase slightly over the next few years. However, due to the forecast rise in GNP, it is not possible to rule out a drop in the ratio of ODA to GNP.

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This information was provided by the Government of Germany to the fifth and eighth sessions of the United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development. Last Update: February 2000.

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Transfer of Environmentally-Sound Technology

Decision-Making: Coordinating Bodies   

No information is available.

Decision-Making: Legislation and Regulations 

On the basis of the European Economic Community (EEC) Council Regulation No. 1836/93 allowing voluntary participation by companies in a community eco-management and audit scheme, Germany has enacted a Act concerning the accreditation of environmental verifiers and environmental verification organizations and the registration of eco-audited sites. The Act came into force on 15 December 1995. To date, 120 environmental verifiers and environmental verification organizations have been accredited, and approximately 410 participating sites have been registered. In addition, Germany is preparing for the implementation of the International Standards Organization (ISO) 14000 series concerning environmental management systems. Therefore Germany has adopted a certification procedure which is based on the approach laid down in the National Act. This enables German industry to have access to the European Union's voluntary Eco-Management and Audit Scheme (EMAS) as well as to the system of the ISO 14000 series. With regard to the EMAS scheme, Germany is considered the possibility of using Article 14 of the EMAS-Regulation to include sectors outside industry in the scheme. In addition, a special project is under preparation to assist small and medium enterprises with the introduction of environmentally oriented management methods.

Decision-Making: Strategies, Policies and Plans  

Together with environmental policy, structural change throughout the economy as a whole in Germany is reducing pressures on the environment. The causes of this are, on the one hand, the growing importance of less resource-intensive sectors in the wake of the expansion of the service sector and, on the other hand, the increasing transition to technologies and forms of organization that use energy and raw materials sparingly.

In Germany, there are no incentives or economic instruments that aim directly at promoting environmentally-friendly technologies. Assistance measures taken by the government tend more to be of an indirect nature. The environmental standards in force in Germany are derived from statutory requirements such as emission ceilings. Companies are therefore challenged to develop technologies that guarantee that emission ceilings are observed. In individual cases, tax law provides incentives to purchase environmentally friendly products. Tax law thus reinforces demand for products that lower pollution and spare resources. Examples of tax benefits include the following:

  1. Petroleum used for cogeneration of power and heat enjoys the lower petroleum tax rate of heating fuels,
  2. Lower petroleum tax rate for unleaded petrol,
  3. Exemption from petroleum tax for pure biofuels
  4. Motor vehicle tax exemption for buses used in public transport,
  5. Reduced turnover tax for short-range passenger transport and lower petroleum tax rates on natural gas and liquefied gas for public transport vehicles,
  6. Exemption from motor vehicle tax - during the first five years - for electrically powered vehicles,
  7. Graduated motor vehicle tax rates for low-polluting and non-low-polluting passenger cars and trucks, and
  8. Tax incentives for installation and thus manufacture of energy-saving equipment and designs.

Decision-Making: Major Groups Involvement  

Environmental protection has always enjoyed great importance in German companies. German industry has declared itself willing to operate with an awareness of environmental needs by adopting voluntary commitments. In the framework of global climate protection, the German business community stated its willingness to reduce CO2 emissions. Other examples are the voluntary commitments by the German automotive branch for the disposal of old cars and the 25% lowering of fuel consumption for passenger cars by the year 2005 (base year: 1990).

The idea of sustainable development, the need for applying environmentally sound technologies, especially through resource-sparing and more efficient production of goods, has been accepted by all industrial sectors of Germany. Most needed are ESTs in the economic sectors of transportation and private energy consumption. According to the German experience, the selection, transfer and application of ESTs is mainly the task of the private sector and takes place between individual firms (trade, direct investment, joint ventures etc.). The creation of an enabling environment (including a legal and policy framework that is conducive to technology-related private sector investment) can help to stimulate private sector investment in and transfer of environmentally sound technology. Environmental advice, related technology and know-how transfer are increasingly becoming an integrated part of activities of German industry and its self-governing organizations acting on an international level. For example, nearly 900 companies in Germany, distributed over all branches, subject themselves to a voluntary environmental audit. See also under Information.

Programmes and Projects 

The ERP Environmental and Energy Conservation Program grants loans at favorable conditions for commercial investment projects aimed at lowering or avoiding pollution in the fields of: Waste management (avoidance, use, and disposal of waste, and measures to clean up pollution from the past); Sewage treatment (water treatment, protection of water resources, avoidance of sewage and hazardous waste transport, purification and treatment of sewage); Clean air measures (avoidance or considerable reduction of emissions, flue gas purification and the filtering of emissions, as well as the reduction of noise, odors, and vibrations); and Energy conservation (conservation and efficient use of energy and investments in the use of renewable energies). There is also an Energy Research Program developed from the Strategy, geared toward reducing consumption of fossil fuel and upgrading the efficiency of energy conversion. The national climate protection program of the German Government envisages a 25% reduction of CO2 emissions by the year 2005 as against 1990 levels.


No information is available.


No information is available.

Capacity-building, Education, Training and Awareness-raising 

See under Information and Financing.


Providing developing countries with information on environmental technology is one goal of several bilateral agreements between the Federal Government and developing countries. The Federal Government has started an initiative to support the private sector in the transfer of advanced environmental technologies through cooperation schemes in overseas markets (that is China, Brasil, Mexico). Germany also supports two projects for phasing out chlorofluorcarbons (CFCs) in India and China.

The question-and-answer service run by the Information and Advisory Services for the Adaptation of Technologies (ISAT) on the basis of wide-ranging documentation aims to provide information and advice on technologies. This service not only helps to mobilize existing abilities and skills, and promotes self-help activities by non-governmental organizations, but also assists craft trades, small-scale industry, and local authorities in developing countries by providing information and advice. The programme PROTRADE has included in its advisory services for firms in developing countries aspects of the manufacture of clean products and modifications to production processes by using environmentally sound technologies. This applies especially to the food industry and the production of footwear/leatherware, furniture, and textiles.

The chambers of industry and commerce in Germany have compiled a CD-ROM listing suppliers of environmental protection products and services nationwide. Some 8,500 environmental protection profiles are offered with the descriptions of their environment-related goods and services. The list will also be provided on the Internet in future.

Research and Technologies  

No information is available.


In the context of its technology cooperation and technical assistance programme, the German Government has in ten cases either established credit-lines on environmental issues or contributed to environmental funds. The aim is to facilitate investment in secondary or integrated technologies, particularly for small and medium-scale enterprises. Due to the German Government Transform Advisory Programme, an annual figure of approximately DM 5,5 million is directed into advisory services which include environmental issues. Some of these activities are organized in the context of technology transfer. The Kreditanstalt fuer Wiederaufbau and the Deutsche Investitions- und Entwicklungsgesellschaft (DEG) have special credit lines for banks in developing countries that can be used for environment related investments.

In 1992, the Government allocated DM 93 million to the promotion of universities in developing countries (for example in India, Thailand, Brazil, and Mexico), a considerable proportion of which is contributing to strengthening capacity in the environmental sector. The Centre for Appropriate Technology and Development Cooperation (ARTEFACT) provides grants to students from developing countries for special training in the field of appropriate technologies.

Seventy-three Chambers of Commerce and representatives of German business in foreign countries form an important network for the transfer of knowledge and technology related to the environment. As of January 1996, Environmental Area Managers reporting to the DIHT and ITUT have been installed in bilateral Chambers of Commerce in Shanghai, Bombay, Bangkok, Jakarta, Kuala Lumpur, Sao Paulo, Budapest, Prague, and Warsaw . It is the intention of the Government to extend the project. As of January 1st, 1997, an Area Manager will be assigned to Mexico.


Technical Cooperation

To supplement the activities by the private sector, Germany has established quite a number of mechanisms to stimulate and support the transfer of ESTs to developing countries and countries with economies in transition. Apart from direct commercial contacts and cooperation in science and technology, development cooperation plays an important role in this respect. Technical cooperation as part of development aid is the main instrument for the transfer of environmentally sound technologies at concessional and preferential terms and for capacity-building in those countries. The establishment and expansion of scientific and technological competence, the adaptation and dissemination of technologies and of production processes and products tailored to the particular needs and conditions of individual countries are part of Germany's development cooperation around the globe. The German Appropriate Technology Exchange (GATE) is a special working unit of the German Agency for Technical Cooperation (GTZ) operating mainly in the fields of renewable energies, environmental and resource protection, village technology, building and construction, food processing, water supply and sanitation, and organic agriculture.

Based on the objectives set in Rio, the German Government's policy on cooperation in science and technology with developing countries, countries with economies in transition and newly industrializing countries (NICs) chiefly takes the form of collaboration between highly skilled researchers and scientists. Efforts are concentrated on areas such as tropical ecology, renewable energies, biotechnology or the protection of the marine environment.

As Germany is a worldwide leader in the export of modern environmental technologies, the Federal Government and Federations of German Business, Trade and Industry and the Deutscher Industrie-und Handelstag (DIHT) have established an International Centre for Transfer of Environment Technology (ITUT) in Leipzig. The Transfer Centre is part of an initiative by industry, research and the Federal Government to improve the transfer of technology to the countries of Central and Eastern Europe, Asia and Latin America.

In line with its two complementary objectives -- promotion of global environmental protection and supporting the export of German environmental technology -- the Transfer Centre is divided into two independent institutions, a non-profit association and a limited company. The founding members of the non-profit association to promote the international transfer of environmental technology (ITUT e.V.) are the Federal Republic of Germany, the Free State of Saxony, industry associations, trade unions, public banks, and scientific institutions. The association acts as an information and communication centre on environmental protection know-how with the objective of promoting the transfer of knowledge in the field of environmental protection as a way of helping solve regional and global environmental and developmental problems in partner countries, strengthening environmental awareness, and harmonizing legal systems and environmental standards worldwide.

The limited company (ITUT GmbH) is a supply and demand interface to facilitate the transfer of environmentally sound technology from Germany to partner countries for small and medium-sized businesses in particular. In this connection, the limited company cooperates closely with nine environmental area managers who are based in the overseas chambers of commerce of selected partner countries.

Currently the establishment of highly modern industrial structures with integrated environmental protection is becoming a dominant issue in Germany, especially in the new municipalities. The Association of German Chambers of Industry and Commerce together with the Federal Ministry for the Environment are joint sponsors of the "Umweltbuero Ost der Deutschen Wirtschaft", established in September 1992.

Technical cooperation is the main instrument for the transfer of environmentally sound technologies and for capacity-building. Within the framework of development cooperation, Germany supports partner countries in the establishment and expansion of their scientific and technological competence and promotes the adaptation and dissemination of technologies. It also supports the development and application of processes and products which are tailored to the particular needs and conditions of individual countries and contribute to the development of their natural resources. Germany provides funds to employ an increasing number of experts from developing countries within the framework of technical cooperation to maximize the use of local potentials and contribute to capacity-building.

In order to enhance South-South cooperation, the Forum for Appropriate Technology (AT Forum) was established in mid-1993. It includes the ISAT project, the GTZ, and the DED, as well as 15 non-governmental organizations. The aim of this forum is to improve cooperation in the area of "Appropriate Technology". ISAT works with NGOs in countries of the South which emphasize the adaptation and dissemination of technology in their own development. In 1995, for example, a Colombian NGO consultancy organized a seminar on post-harvest technology in Columbia.

Investment and Joint Ventures

The Federal Republic of Germany supports investment projects in neighbouring countries which are designed to reduce transboundary pollution and to serve as models for applying advanced technology. Two examples are the sewage treatment plant in Swinemuende, Poland and the desulphurization plant at the Prunerov Power Plant in the Czech Republic.

The Federal Government promotes direct foreign investment of German enterprises through investment protection agreements, capital investment guarantees, double taxation agreements, and joint ventures. It supported the first German-Chinese workshop on the establishment of a hazardous waste management system in China and the Sino-German Special Waste Days in Beijing in 1994. The Germany-Singapore environmental technology agency (GSETA) represents a joint endeavour in supporting environmental protection efforts in developing countries of the Asia-Pacific region. The agency aims to facilitate and support transfer of know-how in environmental protection and of environmental technology through events organized jointly by the German Federal Ministry for the Environment and Ministry of Environment of Singapore. The events include, for example, further training measures, seminars, workshops, and specific conferences on environmental management and environmental technology. The events provide opportunities for contact between participants and providers of environmental technology. More than 600 experts from the environmental administrations of 17 Asia-Pacific states were present during the 11 events organized.

It is the aim of German Industry to make a contribution using German expertise to relieve the strain on the environment at national and international levels. In Tunisia, the German Government will support the development of a training centre for environmental technology. The project will focus on training personnel of the Ministry of the Environment, its related authorities, and environmental officers from industry and commerce. In the area of joint ventures and other partnerships between developed and developing countries, the DEG is implementing a project in Rio Lajas, Costa Rica, which entails the construction of a hydro electric power plant whose reservoir will be fed by three rivers to ensure water supply during periods of peak demand. This project focuses on the use of renewable sources of energy, the exploitation of natural water resources, the low impact on the landscape by sound construction methods, and the avoidance of large-scale earth moving or flooding. The DEG also conducted country studies in Thailand and India which form the basis of joint ventures between local and German companies. Another project is an electricity generation project in Guatemala where DACASA, a family firm, has been active in the processing and marketing of sugar cane since 1986. A thermal power plant has now been built and the power produced is to be sold to the state power generation company and fed into the National grid.

* * *

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.

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Decision-Making: Coordinating Bodies   

In Germany, several ministries are involved in the issue of biotechnology, including the Federal Ministry of Health, the Federal Ministry for the Environment, the Federal Ministry of Food, Agriculture and Forestry, the Federal Ministry for Education, Science, Research and Technology, the Federal Ministry for Economic Co-operation and Development, as well as Federal departmental agencies and Ministries in the Laender. Support is provided by a scientific advisory body known as the Central Commission for Biological Safety (Zentrale Kommission fuer die Biologische Sicherheit - ZKBS).

Decision-Making: Legislation and Regulations 

In the field of biotechnology, Agenda 21 is transposed into national legislation in the field of "Policies, Programs, and Legislation" through the provisions laid down in legislation on genetic engineering (Genetic Engineering Act and the related ordinances), with the aim of protecting human health and the environment against potential hazards of biotechnology.

In Germany, the Act Regulating Genetic Engineering came into effect in 1990 and was amended in 1993. The law and its regulations lay down the administrative procedures and safety measures for the contained use, deliberate release, and placing on the market of genetically modified organisms (GMOs). The Act has been adapted to scientific and technical progress by reducing administrative requirements without affecting the safety level. Public participation procedures are integrated in the decision making procedures of the competent authorities in the case of: a) applications for the construction of certain industrial installations, and b) applications for deliberate releases of GMOs.

Decision-Making: Strategies, Policies and Plans  

No information is available.

Decision-Making: Major Groups Involvement  

Major groups involved in biotechnology include:

Programmes and Projects 

The program, Biotechnologie 2000 (1990), provides research on biological safety including a particular focus on research on gene transfer and safety aspects of field release experiments of GMOs. The Act Regulating Genetic Engineering determines competent authorities that license and supervise the use and release of genetically modified organisms.


No information is available.


No information is available.

Capacity-building, Education, Training and Awareness-raising   

No information is available.


No information is available.

Research and Technologies  

No information is available.


About DM 500 million are spent on biotechnology research and development (including genetic engineering) in Germany every year.


In terms of regional and international cooperation on biotechnology, Germany participates on the European Union Committee of Competent Authorities for Regulations and the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development's (OECD) National Expert Group on Biotechnology/Working Party on Biotechnology.

The German government is involved in various bilateral initiatives in this sector. The Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development has supported the international workshop run by German Agency for Technical Cooperation (GTZ) " Plant Biotechnology in Technical Cooperation Programmes", October 1993, Philippines; the development of upgrading programme of DSE - "biotechnology: Micro-propagation and related techniques for the conservation and use of plant genetic resources and the improvement of crops"; and the participation in and financial assistance for upgrading events run by the International Service for the Acquisition of Agri-biotech Applications (ISAAA) in Argentina for drafting legal provisions for release trials in the states of the CONASUR group (Argentina, Brazil, Bolivia, Chile, Paraguay, Uruguay).

Germany has financial assisted and participated in: a) Third International Scientific Meeting on Cassava Biotechnology Network (CBN III) in Kampala, Uganda, August 27-31, 1996; b) Capacity Building in Biosafety for Developing Countries: Evaluation Criteria Development Workshop, Organized by the Biotechnology Advisory Commission, Stockholm, Sweden, May 22-23, 1996; c) Workshop on "Consequences of Biotechnological Innovations on the Economic and Social Situation in Developing Countries", 18-19 April 1994; and d) Workshop on "Application of Agricultural Biotechnology and Safety Considerations" 28 August to 4 September 1993, Hainan Island-China. 

In terms of biotechnology application, Germany has supported: a) development and implementation programmes for in vitro propagation of bananas in Uganda and Ghana, and yams and cassava in Ghana; b) breeding of virus-free and pathogen-free planting stock in Bhutan; c) promotion of planting stock breeding in fruit and grape crops using biotechnology measures in Algeria; d) use of marker techniques for the selection of Alnus nepalensis sources with high nitrogen-fixation capacity in Nepal; e) Zimbabwe Fruit Tree Biotechnology; f) raising the efficiency of an in vitro micro-propagation unit for date palm seedlings at the tissue culture laboratory of plant production at the Ministry of Agriculture, Jordan; g) the Philippine-German Coconut Tissue Culture (PGCTC) Project; h) the Asian Rice Biotechnology Network (ARBN) at the International Rice Research Centre (IRRI), Philippines; and the International Service for the Acquisition of Agri-Biotech Applications (ISAAA) (financial support).

Biotechnology research projects include: a) research programme for enhancing cold tolerance in Phaseolus beans by gene transfer at the Centro International de Agricultura Tropical (CIAT) in Cali, Colombia; b) research programme on fusion of somatic cells in sweet potatoes at the Centro Internacional de la Papa (CIP) in Lima, Peru; c) research programme on DNA-marker-aided barley breeding at the International Center for Agricultural; d) research in dry areas at the International Centre for Agricultural research in Dry Areas (ICARDA) in Aleppo, Syria; e) development of adapted, high yielding, and disease-resistant tomato cultivers for highland regions in Africa; f) Genetic Improvement of Selected Vegetables (AVRDC) in Taiwan; g) progeny analysis of transgenic common bean plants carrying marker genes and development of chilling tolerant bean plant at CIAT in Cali, Colombia; h) development and improvement of heterotically responsive maize gene pools in Eastern Africa at the International Maize and Wheat Improvement Centre (CIMMYT), Mexico; i) germplasm characterization and utilization of tuber crops at CIP, Peru; j) potato disease resistance mediated by antimicrobial proteins at CIP, Mexico; k) QTL analysis by molecular markers at the ICARDA, Syria; l) application of DANN-fingerprinting to crop improvement; m) molecular marker assisted breeding of chickpeas and use of DNA markers in selection of disease resistance genes in barley at ICARDA, Syria; n) refinement of cryopreservation techniques for potato at the International Plant Genetics Resources Institute (IPGRI), Rome; o) morpho-physiological and genetic characterization of traits for rice resistance to temperature stress (WARPA), Cote d'Ivoire; p) biological treatment of solid and liquid waste for agro-industry and biotechnological improvements in plant breeding of oil palm and solanum cassianum plants in Indonesia; and q) cooperation in the field of biotechnology between Gesellschaft fuer Biotechnologische Forschung (GBF) and Centro di Divertimento Biologico (CDB), Jointville, Brazil.

The Germany-Singapore Environmental Technology Agency (GSETA) was established in November 1991 following the signing of a bilateral Agreement on Environmental Cooperation. A unique characteristic of the Agency is the involvement of the private sector which provides the environmental technology industry with the opportunity to contribute towards the process of technology transfer.

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

Click here to link to the Biosafety Information Network and Advisory Service (BINAS), a service of the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), which monitors global developments in regulatory issues in biotechnology.
Click here to go to the Web Site of UNEP's International Register on Biosafety.
Click here for the International Centre for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology Biosafety WebPages

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Decision-Making: Coordinating Bodies   

The German Government sees the implementation of sustainable development as a cross-departmental task involving all policy areas.

Decision-Making: Legislation and Regulations 

The Eco-management and Audit Regulation of the European Union, which has been in force since April 1995, is giving crucial impetus to the creation of environmental management systems. These interpret the idea of environmental protection from the perspective of the company as a whole. As environmental protection steps are implemented in companies, a certain momentum is expected to develop leading to integrated cross-departmental environmental protection. With the Eco-management and Audit Regulation and the ensuing Environmental Audit Act being adopted in Germany, a new environmental policy perspective is de facto taking concrete shape as the legal instruments stimulate environmental activities on a voluntary basis.

A new Closed Substance Cycle and Waste Management Act, along with supplementary subsidiary regulations, came into force in 1996. This new waste management legislation places increased emphasis on waste avoidance and represents a real beginning for closed substance cycle waste management in Germany. It also initiates major changes in trends in consumption of raw materials. Basically, whoever produces, markets and consumes goods is responsible for the avoidance, recovery and environmentally-sound disposal of the wastes occurring. Thus, the Act represents the consistent implementation of the polluter-pays principle in the field of waste.

In order to promote economic management based on closed substance cycles and geared towards taking care of natural resources, the following obligations have been introduced in the German law:

1.As a matter of priority, waste is to be avoided.
2.Where avoidance is not possible, waste is to be recovered in the form of its component substances or energy.
3.Where recovery is also impossible, waste must be disposed of in an environmentally friendly way.

Concerning industry these obligations relate, on the one hand, to the introduction of low-waste industrial production processes and, on the other hand, to the promotion of the manufacture of products that are as low-waste as possible.

Since 1974 these basic obligations have already been introduced in the authorization procedure for industrial installation pursuant to the Federal Emmission Control Act (Bundes-Immissionsschutzgesetz). According to the new EU Directive on Integrated Pollution Prevention and Control these waste management measures will be a requirement for granting permits to large industrial installations in the whole European Community.

Furthermore, the Closed Substance Cycle and Waste Management Act realizes the fundamental waste management idea of extending the responsibility of producers to the entire life cycle of their products. This obligation means that products should, as far as possible, be designed in such a way that, in their manufacture and use, the arising of waste is avoided and that, at the end of their life cycle, as high a level of environmentally sound disposal as possible is guaranteed. The Act its therefore striving to promote the development of products of this kind which on the one hand are multi-use, long-life and repair-friendly and on the other can be recovered and disposed of in as unproblematic a manner as possible.

The 1991 Packaging Ordinance (Verpackungsverordnung) is a prototype for legislation designed to close substance cycles. The Packaging Ordinance generally requires manufacturers and distributors to take back packaging and to re-use it or recycle its constituent materials. It also provides for possible exemptions from the obligation to take back packaging. The prerequisite is that a collection system has been established that is accessible to all private households and that secure material recovery and recycling arrangements exist that are paid for by producers and distributors and comply with stipulated recycling quotas.

In the sector of scrap cars an ordinance in conjunction with a voluntary commitment will reduce unrecyclable automobile scrap from the current level of about 15 per cent in weight to 5 per cent in weight by the year 2015. An ordinance for used batteries will require retail traders to take used batteries back without payment and return them to the producers for recovery or disposal. Further regulations are existing or in preparation in the areas of graphic papers, construction waste and information technology appliances.

Decision-Making: Strategies, Policies and Plans     

In order to support ecologically sustainable industrial development, the following fields of action are pursued:

For the achievement of sustainable development in a highly developed industrialized country it is essential to have production methods that have minimal impact on the environment and on resources. For the German economy, whose special strength lies in the mechanical engineering sector, the environmental friendliness of its plants and processes is simultaneously a key to securing its markets in the long term.

In addition to the aspect of environmentally sound production engineering, the products and services themselves must be optimized in view of the scarcity of resources. Chapter 4 of Agenda 21 expressly calls for a re-examination of consumer habits. The further integration of the ecological aspect into the concept of the Social Market Economy therefore calls for the refinement of environmental policy instruments above all in relation to products and services.

Far-sighted, ecologically oriented management helps a company to identify and implement intelligent solutions with regard to product and process design or organizational structures. Such an approach enables the ecological quality of products to be improved, new markets opened up and new supply sources tapped. Moreover, the reduction of energy, water and raw material consumption - for instance by means of waste separation and recovery or by the re-use of packaging - contributes to lower operating costs.

The costs incurred by failing to introduce environmental protection measures are in many cases estimated to be higher than the investments that would have been necessary to save these costs. Due to the anticipated price trends in the water, waste management and energy sectors these cost-reducing potentials will in future make an even greater difference for businesses. Environmental management systems help to systematically identify and exploit these cost-reducing opportunities

Management structures in Germany have traditionally not been geared to the optimization of ecological quality in production and product design. Remaining shortcomings can be overcome by adopting environmental management systems on a larger scale. A central prerequisite is that all staff be actively involved and kept informed about all relevant aspects of environmental protection.

There are also two important environmental areas where the combination of regulation and voluntary commitments by industry play a crucial role: Waste management, that is closing substance cycles, and Waste avoidance.

A waste avoidance strategy based on the polluter-pays principle cannot be geared towards end-of-the-pipe measures to dispose of existing waste. Responsibility under waste law must be transferred to the very beginning of the process.

As of 1999 enterprises in Germany will be obliged to prepare waste-management concepts and waste life-cycle analyses if their waste production exceeds a certain volume. Such concepts and analyses contain information about the type, amount and final whereabouts of the waste-producer's waste, and about measures planned or taken to prevent, recover and dispose of this waste. Consequently, they are tools for internal company planning and supervision that enable companies to optimize their waste management.

As part of its precautionary environmental policy the Federal Government has, in cooperation with German industry, embarked on a new approach to exploit the potential for reductions in greenhouse gas emissions in the industry sector.

Decision-Making: Major Groups Involvement  

In March 1995 German industry presented a declaration of intent on climate damage prevention, which was further specified in March 1996. Industry thereby undertakes to make special efforts to reduce its specific CO2 emissions by 20 per cent by the year 2005 against the reference year 1990. At the same time a comprehensive monitoring system was drawn up.

The pledge means that over 71 percent of industry's final energy consumption, more than 99 percent of public electricity supplies and part of the private households and small-scale users are now covered by the industry declaration of voluntary commitment. According to industry estimates, an absolute CO2 reduction potential of 120 million tons will be achieved in manufacturing industry, in the electricity supply industry and in the district-heating sector over the period 1990 to 2005. On top of this come the contributions of the gas and mineral oil industries, which primarily derive from improvements in the private household and small-scale user sectors and should add up to approx. 50 million tons of CO2 by the year 2005 (base 1990).

The German automobile producers have pledged to reduce the average fuel consumption of the cars they sell by 25 per cent by 2005 (reference year 1990). Indeed, they have since discussed the prospect of raising this reduction target to a third.

Programmes and Projects 

The sale of environmentally sound products has been encouraged in Germany by a system of product labeling since 1978. Today 4,300 products from 920 manufacturers in Germany bear the environment symbol "Blue Angel" ("Blauer Engel"), which is awarded by an independent jury in accordance with strict and regularly updated criteria. The criteria for awarding this environmental label have been drawn up for about 77 different product groups, ranging from energy-saving washing machines to environmentally acceptable workstation computers.

According to a survey conducted in spring 1996, about half of consumers look for products labeled with the "Blue Angel" symbol when out shopping. The success of the German labeling system has encouraged other countries and the EU to develop similar systems. In 1992 a European environmental label was launched, using a daisy as its symbol. Preparations are also underway to introduce a label for the marketing of animals and plants to certify that their removal from nature does not endanger the natural populations in the wild.

Taking advantage of the option of getting exempted from the obligation to take back packaging by establishing a collection system, the economic agents affected (producers and distributors) have come together to set up a "Dual Disposal System", which operates alongside the existing public waste disposal arrangements. The Duales System Deutschland GmbH (DSD) organizes the curbside collection of waste packaging directly from private households (e.g. in special yellow bins), the sorting of this waste into material groups, and the recycling of these materials as secondary raw materials. The costs incurred are met by means of a licensing system. The levying of charges - on a scale related to the type of packaging material used - is documented by the license label, the "Green Dot" ("Grüner Punkt"), which is printed on products. Since the introduction of the Green Dot System in 1993 more than 20 million tons of used packaging have been brought to recycling. Furthermore, the consumption of packaging per year has been reduced by about 1.3 million tons as against 1991 levels.


Environmental protection is assuming ever greater economic significance in Germany:

- A healthy environment is an important positive factor for the location of businesses, since many modern production processes require an intact environment and qualified staff can be attracted more easily to healthy surroundings than to a region beset by ecological problems.
- Environmental protection also entails preserving and securing reserves of raw materials. This aspect is crucial in Germany, a densely populated, highly industrialized country lacking in raw materials.
- Environmental protection contributes to the long-term modernization of the economy and creates jobs in the industries of the future. It is a major competitive factor in the context of an increasingly globalizing world economy.
- Moreover, environmental protection is an important and growing market for industry, representing a considerable force in the national economy and generating new employment opportunities.

Interest among German companies in participating in Environmental Audits is very high. By the end of 1997 more than 950 sites had successfully taken part in the Environmental Audit, which is greater than the total for all other Member States of the European Union.

The export sector is of growing importance to Germany's environmental technology industry. The market for environmental protection products is one of the dynamic markets with a promising future. The global rise of ecological awareness, the resulting improvement in environmental protection standards and the increasing pressure to respond to environmental problems are all factors tending to boost demand for environmental protection products throughout the world.

The German environmental technology industry is performing very successfully against international competition. For many years Germany led the field in terms of its share of world trade in environmental goods, but recently other industrialized countries have been catching up. In 1994 the USA, with a 19 percent share of world trade, was the biggest exporter of environmental protection goods ahead of Germany with 18.5 percent and Japan with 14 percent. One reason for this change is the economic downturn affecting Germany's major trading partners. Yet it also reflects the fact that other countries are now discovering for themselves the promising market for environmental protection goods.


Yet environmental protection may also imply additional costs for companies' goods and services. That is why governments attempting to go it alone in terms of national environmental policy may jeopardize the international competitiveness of their own companies and jobs. This makes it vital that governments work towards the harmonization of environmental protection standards at a high level including the actual application of these standards, especially when tackling global environmental problems.

There are no rapidly available technical solutions for global environmental problems such as climate change and declining biological diversity. Overcoming them requires new, more complex problem-solving approaches that affect all spheres of life and economic activity. Hence, the successful strategy combining a market economy and appropriate regulation has to be broadened to foster the integration of ecologically sound techniques and consumption patterns in all economic areas, as is shown under 'Strategies, policies and plans'.

There are still many methodological questions to be settled in relation to the ecological assessment of products and the auditing of all the environmental impacts connected with the manufacture, use and disposal of a product. A special difficulty concerns weighting the individual criteria involved in an overall assessment.

The imperative of recycling residual substances and products presents both process engineering and product design with new, difficult challenges, and in tackling these challenges substantial potential for innovation can be tapped.

Capacity-building, Education, Training and Awareness-raising  

A study published in 1996 concludes that in Germany about 956,000 people were working in the field of environmental protection in 1994 (updated calculation of employment in Germany generated by environmental protection, final report by the project group DIW, IFO, IWH, RWI, of September 1996). That represents approx. 2.7 percent of the economically active population and roughly corresponds to the employment level in the road vehicle construction sector. Some 250,000 persons are directly employed in the production of environmental goods and services. In particular, the study finds that 35,000 new jobs were created between 1990 and 1994 in the environmental protection field. The overall picture clearly shows that employment has increased far more markedly in environmental protection than in other fields. Environmental protection creates and secures employment for the future in a whole number of branches of industry.

In Germany, there are quite a number of fairs specializing in environmental technology. Some examples of environmental protection exhibitions to be held in 1998 are: ACHEMA - International Meeting on Chemical Engineering, Environmental Protection, and Biotechnology, Frankfurt; ENTSORGA - International Fair for Recycling and Waste Disposal, Cologne; ENVITEC - International Trade Fair for Environmental Protection and Waste Management Technologies, Düsseldorf; Hanover Fair - International Industrial Fair, including environmental technology; IFAT - International Trade Fair for Wastewater and Waste Disposal, Munich; and Terratec - Trade Fair and Congress for Environmental Innovation, Leipzig.


A dense network of 83 chambers of industry and commerce is officially responsible for providing information to member firms on environmental matters. The possibility of obtaining information in this regard is used in particular by small and midsize companies. The information available concerns new environmental protection requirements, assistance in the field of environmental protection, contacts with the responsible agencies. Information on external and freelance consultants may also be obtained from the chambers.

Research and Technologies  

Industry's progress in fulfilling its voluntary commitment is monitored by the Rheinisch-Westfaelisches Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung (RWI). According to the first monitoring report, the CO2 emissions of the participating enterprises was lowered by 42 million tons between 1990 and 1996. This indicates that the commitment has started out successfully. The Federal Government will take these results as a basis for in-depth examination and a continuation of its talks with industry.


German expenditure on environmental protection by industry and government amounted to DM 43 billion in 1995 in the old Laender (former West Germany + Berlin) alone. For all of Germany this figure is estimated to be above DM 60 billion. That makes Germany one of the biggest markets for environmental protection in the world. This overall expenditure covers both investment in plant and equipment as well as environmental protection services and research and development. Compared with other economic sectors the environmental technology industry has unusually high levels of research spending, testifying to a strong innovative drive. At present the emerging trend in the environmental technology sector is towards production-integrated and product-integrated solutions.


German development cooperation also plays the role of mediator and catalyst in this sector of industry, to the benefit of both sides. It employs a broad range of instruments, including training schemes, advisory initiatives as well as funding and joint investment to assist the development of trade and private enterprise in partner countries.

Here, special importance is attached to making technological solutions available that are appropriate to the specific conditions and needs of the recipient countries.

The proportion of environmental protection investment is rising all the time. Today, as much as up to 25 percent of development aid spending commitments go to projects dedicated to environmental protection and resource conservation.

In order to assist small and medium-sized businesses in meeting this challenge, the International Transfer Center for Environmental Technology (Internationales Transferzentrum für Umwelttechnik; ITUT) was established in Leipzig at the beginning of 1996, bringing together the spheres of policymaking, industry, science and public-sector institutions. The Center aims to provide the necessary backup to companies interested in finding and exchanging information and forms part of an initiative by industry and the Federal Government to strengthen technology transfer to the States of Central and Eastern Europe, Asia and Latin America.

The Federal Government has installed "environmental area managers" in key chambers of foreign trade who are responsible for cultivating close contacts between the host countries and the German environmental protection industry and closely liaising with the ITUT.

Their activities are coordinated by the Association of German Chambers of Industry and Commerce (Deutscher Industrie- und Handelstag; DIHT). The aim is to consolidate and expand technical, scientific and political cooperation in the environmental protection field between Germany and its partner countries. Another important function of the Transfer Center is to assist efforts towards global harmonization of environmental standards through the promotion of international environmental policy.

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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.

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Decision-Making: Coordinating Bodies   

The Ministry of Transport is responsible for questions concerning traffic and transport, whereas the Ministry for the Environment is responsible for environmental issues, e.g. air pollution control, noise abatement, landscape planning for roads and railways.

The Ministry of Transport is also responsible for federal transport infrastructure planning. The so-called "environmental risk assessment" (Umweltrisikoeinschätzung), which is largely similar to the "strategic environmental assessment" (SEA), takes environmental concerns into account within the framework of such planning.

The Federal Transport Administration (Bundesverkehrsverwaltung) is responsible for the federal transport infrastructure including federal highways (Bundesstrassen), and federal waterways (Bundeswasserstrassen). The Länder are responsible for traffic arteries that occupy lower positions in the overall transport infrastructure hierarchy. Municipal traffic affairs are in the municipalities' own responsibility.

Decision-Making: Legislation and Regulations 

Laws, regulations, or directives that address the transport and traffic systems include:

-         A new Directive (93/116/EC) dealing with the measurement of CO2 emissions for passenger cars has been adopted. The test procedure is similar to the exhaust measurement. Regulations on exhaust gas emissions for passenger cars and light duty trucks on the basis of 70/220/EC were amended by 98/69/EC. The next stages for exhaust gas limits, i.e. Euro 3 for 2000/2001 and Euro 4 for 2005/2006 were introduced by this amendment.

-         The European Parliament and the Council have passed a decision establishing a scheme to monitor the average specific emissions of CO2 from new passenger cars.

-         A European Directive (99/94/EC) was adopted stipulating that information on fuel consumption should be made available when purchasing a car. Consumers will get detailed information on the fuel consumption of their selected car as compared to other cars of the same category.

Standards to reduce vehicle emissions are set by the European Commission and the Council. These two bodies are also the ones stipulating the guidelines for incentives that may be provided .

-         European regulations on exhaust emissions have already existed for more than 30 years. There are currently stringent limits for passenger cars, light duty trucks and heavy duty trucks. In 2001 the limits as stipulated by Euro 3 will be binding for all of these new vehicles. Further restrictions are  necessary especially for vehicles equipped with diesel engines.

-         National emission-related motor vehicle tax: This tax varies according to pollutant emissions. For passenger cars which are already below future limits (Euro 4), there is a tax exemption of  DM 600,- for gasoline engines and DM 1200,- for diesel engines. Furthermore, the  so-called 5-litre cars received a one-off tax exemption of DM 500,-  if registered for the first time before 1 January 2000 and the so-called 3-litre cars receive a tax exemption of DM 1000,- irrespective of first-time registration. This system supports achieving a high number of low emitting passenger cars since the entry into force of the national tax law:

All planned transport infrastructure measures must undergo environmental impact assessment before they are carried out. Federal transport arteries are subject to parliamentary approval. In addition, transport policy aims to bring about environmentally sound mobility via regulatory measures and tax-based control mechanisms.

Decision-Making: Strategies, Policies and Plans  

In order to achieve sustainable environmental protection in the transport sector, it is necessary to structure traffic in an environmentally sound way. The policies for this are focused on the following actions:

 Short-term (2-3 years) and long-term transport goals include:

Expansion of transport infrastructure

Improving the road network, especially in eastern Germany, remains an important task. Restructuring of German Railway (Deutsche Bahn) will bring about changes in the area of rail transports. Coordination between the railway and local public transportation will be improved.

Sustainable fuel consumption

The Federal Government has decided to reduce transport-related CO2 emissions by 15-20 million t by 2005. This means a 10% reduction in the transport sector.

In spring 1995, the German Automobile Industry Association (Verband der Autoindustrie VDA) made a voluntary commitment to the Federal Government to further reduce the average fuel consumption of cars. According to this commitment, the average fuel consumption of cars sold in 2005 would be 25% lower than the average automobile fuel consumption in 1990. Furthermore, European car manufacturers committed themselves to reducing CO2 emissions from new passenger cars in the framework of an environmental agreement with the European Commission  in 1999. This agreement was extended to the Japanese and Korean car industry and shows similar results to the 1995 VDA commitment.

Reducing CO2 emissions from motor vehicles is a major challenge for the future. A fundamental element to achieve this is a further reduction of the sulphur content of fuel. Sulphur-free fuels are needed to create the optimal framework conditions for the introduction of innovative engine technology into the market, i.e. modern diesel engines with new exhaust emission control technology and direct injection petrol engines. They require lower sulphur content in the fuel.

The Federal Government therefore decided on 25 August 1999 on the fiscal promotion of the early introduction of fuels (diesel and petrol) with a low sulphur content. To allow the petroleum industry a period of grace to convert their refineries, the promotion of low-sulphur fuels (diesel and petrol with a maximum sulphur content of 50 ppm) will enter into force on 1 November 2001. As a further step, the Federal Government has also decided on the fiscal promotion of sulphur-free fuels (diesel and petrol with a maximum sulphur content of 10 ppm) from 1 January 2003. The Federal Government will notify the EU of the legislative proposal in accordance with Article 8 (4) of the Directive on the structures of excise duties.

Through the energy strategy for the transport sector, the Ministry of Transport, German car manufacturers and energy companies are making a joint effort to introduce alternative fuels to the market. The strategy's aim is to enable the automobile industry and the energy sector, with the help of governmental mediation, to agree on an alternative automobile and truck fuel that is suitable in terms of technical, economic and ecological criteria.

The increasing mobility will remain accepted in the long term only if high levels of traffic safety can be provided. The more complex a traffic system becomes, the more important it is to eliminate existing accident hazards and to recognise any potential safety risks as soon as they arise. In general, traffic participants, transport companies and manufacturers must all be encouraged to take greater responsibility for traffic safety.

Responsibility for traffic safety must be improved via a clearer legal framework. The legal consequences of traffic safety violations must be made more obvious.

Modern traffic management technology, especially telematics and satellite navigation, can also help improve the safety of land, water and air traffic.

Improving traffic safety is, and remains, one of the most important traffic policy tasks. The Federal Government gives top priority to traffic safety.  

Decision-Making: Major Groups Involvement  

Environmental organisations are involved in the decision-making process by way of public hearings. They are invited to these hearings by the Federal Government before it takes a decision.

Special attention is given to improving public transportation in sparsely populated regions. Such efforts especially benefit young people, senior citizens and the handicapped, who all depend on public transportation.

All legal measures involving regulatory transport policy and infrastructure expansions give industry and environmental associations a role in the relevant legislative processes.

Programmes and Projects 

Measures to promote bicycle and pedestrian traffic are a key to improving the quality of life in cities and communities. Within the framework of its responsibility, the Federal Government is promoting measures to improve the bicycle infrastructure. As of 2000, some 15,000 km of bicycle paths were in place along federal roads.

Responsibility for the other parts of the bicycle path network lies with the Länder and the municipalities. The Federal Government assists the Länder and municipalities in fulfilling this responsibility by providing annual transfer payments of some DM 3.2 billion that also support bicycle paths and linkage of local public transportation with bicycle use.

A lot of different projects are carried out by the Ministry of Transport as well as the Ministry for the Environment.

Within the Environment Research Plan (UFOPLAN) the German Ministry for the Environment spends approximately DM 45 million on different research programmes every year, including projects dealing with transport and traffic system issues. The amount of money that is spent on these issues depends on the total number of projects and thus differs from year to year. This plan basically focuses on the following:

From 1994 to 1999 about DM 30 million were spent on research and development projects in the field of transport/mobility and the environment. Furthermore, the Federal Government is working to identify a possible fuel or fuels for the future together with members of the relevant industry. This is done in a process of scientific evaluation followed by an elaboration of a strategy for the implementation of the fuel(s). One of the main criteria of the evaluation is the impact on the environment.


Germany has a very well-developed dense network of transport arteries and corridors. Nonetheless, this infrastructure's capacity limits are being reached in a number of areas, due to strong growth in road goods haulage and in air traffic. To deal with these problems, the Federal Government is promoting use of transport telematics systems (traffic management systems, logistics and fleet-management systems) that permit the infrastructure to be used more efficiently. Such systems are also expected to help rail and water transports – which are more environmentally sound than other modes of transport – gain a greater share of the growth in goods transport.

In 1998 the sale of a) gasoline amounted to about 30 million t and b) diesel amounted to about 27 million t.

Tax incentives which were imposed in 1985 started the phase-out of leaded petrol on the  German market. In 1996 leaded petrol was no longer available in Germany. Since the beginning of 2000 there has been a ban on leaded gasoline in the whole EU.

In 2000, approximately 43 million passenger cars, 2.5 million trucks and 3.3 million motorcycles were registered. Close to 90% of  the passenger cars are equipped with catalytic converters. 14% of the passenger cars are diesel vehicles. A large number of vehicles with very low emissions are currently being sold in Germany.

Despite an increasing number of vehicles, the gaseous emissions have decreased. Nevertheless there are problems with nitrogen and particulate emissions from diesel vehicles. Furthermore, a reduction in CO2 emissions has not yet been achieved.

Reduction of vehicle emissions 

-         Amendments of EU directives for exhaust gas emissions from road vehicles have led to a clear reduction of CO, HC and nitrogen emissions. Particulate emissions are also decreasing, but there is still a need for further amendments on directives relating to diesel engines. The reduction of gaseous emissions are shown as follows:

Conventional engine systems that are based on fossil fuels will continue to dominate the traffic on the roads and in particular private motor traffic. Further developed motors, exhaust gas purification systems and improved fuels show the way to further progress in reducing the pollutants and CO2 emissions.

However, the chances of natural gas engines reaching a significant share in certain market segments in the medium term are good. These engines are favorable from an environmental perspective and they have been technically tested and are ready for the market. A further distribution is being promoted by a series of measures (inter alia tax reductions for the use of natural gas or liquefied gas in motor vehicles until 2009). The promotion is geared towards the public transport sector. The Federal Government also supports the information campaign on natural gas vehicles launched in February 2000 and carried out by the gas industry and some car manufacturers.  


To improve transport efficiency and reduce damages to ecosystems, transport by ship and rail as well as public transport require further support. The Federal Government spends several billion DM a year to improve the different modes of transport.

The most likely obstacle is public feeling that there are mobility restrictions linked to the use of public transportation systems. The uncomfortable conditions sometimes experienced when traveling by public transport make it less appealing than traveling by car. Furthermore, a comparison of the real costs of transport does not take place and thus there is an increase in private car use.

Transport-related gaseous emissions have decreased since 1991/92 (see question 8). In particular, CO2 emissions have also decreased, but as the number of  vehicles have increased, there is, in total, no reduction of CO2 emissions in the transport sector. As pointed out in the answer to question 8, the Federal Government will reduce 10% of CO2 by 2005. However, specific fuel consumption can only be reduced up to a certain degree due the limitations of the technical possibilities.

Capacity-building, Education, Training and Awareness-raising  

The Federal Government regularly conducts publicity campaigns aimed at influencing public environmental awareness with respect to the transport sector – efforts such as a traffic safety programme, "Park & Ride", the "Job-Ticket", etc. Currently, a campaign promoting fuel-saving driving techniques is being prepared.

In May 2000 the Federal Government took crucial decisions for an efficient and attractive public transport system. The paper that was adopted focuses on three major points:

There are already car sharing schemes in 70 towns in Germany. Despite the relatively low figures at the moment, a relatively high market potential is predicted for these schemes. A survey commissioned by the Ministry of Transport, Building and Housing led to a forecast of a market potential of 2-2.7 million of all driving license holders. In view of the current performance rate, a lot of effort is required to make full use of the potential. The following preconditions are essential and have to be provided: proximity of the cars close to the homes of the users, a guaranteed availability of cars when needed, cost efficient tariffs, safe and reliable cars and flexible booking options.

The car sharing model offers good possibilities to relieve private motor traffic, especially in conurbations. Car sharing only pays for people driving about 12,000 km per year; for all those who drive more, it is more cost efficient to own a car.

The Federal Government supports the bicycle as a means of transport with the following measures:

For years, the Federal Government has conducted a broad-based traffic-safety campaign that includes both media advertising and placing of billboards along motorways.

To promote environmentally aware, fuel-saving driving, the Federal Government has increased the emphasis placed on environmental issues in theoretical and practical driver's license testing. Training (including continuing training) of driving instructors also plays an important role in this area. As mass traffic movements become more and more complex, drivers must be more and more socially competent and more and more mindful of their environmental responsibility. The Federal Government has thus tightened driver-instructor training requirements with this need in mind.


Studies are being undertaken by the Ministry for the Environment (Bundesminsteriun für Umwelt, Naturschutz und Reaktorsicherheit BMU) and by the Federal Environmental Agency (UBA) respectively, in order to collect data related to the environment e.g. data on air pollution, water pollution, noise etc.

Information is available to the public by publications and Internet websites.

Research and Technologies  

For promoting CNG vehicles, natural gas as fuel in vehicles has a reduced tax rate. Biofuels (e.g. made of rape oil) are exempted from taxation.

In the Federal Government's view, modern information, communications and control technologies (transport telematics) can be used to link different modes of transportation within an integrated, intermodal system. Such integration uses each mode to its best specific advantage and improves the efficiency of the existing transport infrastructure. In addition, traffic management systems can help reduce transport-related environmental impacts.

The promise of such technologies is seen especially in the following areas:


The Federal Government has no direct responsibility in this area. Nonetheless, the Federal Government provides some DM 15 billion annually for local public transportation, via transfer payments within the framework of the Regionalisation Act (Regionalisierungsgesetz) and the Municipal Transport Financing Act (Gemeindeverkehrsfinanzierungsgesetz).

Private sector investment is the main source of funding for the supply of fuel and research and development of alternative fuels.

Regulations and standards are enforced by the Federal Government. Private funding in this field is unusual.

Research and development of alternative fuels and transport is funded by the private sector and the Federal Government independently.

Private prefinancing is currently being used for 27 federal highway projects and one railway project. The purpose of encouraging such financing, in addition to accelerating projects' completion and thus increasing the resulting benefits, is to gain experience in interaction between the public and private capital sectors.

So-called "private operator models" may have an even brighter future than private prefinancing. Such models transfer construction, maintenance, operation and financing of federal highways to private parties who refinance their relevant activities via rights to levy tolls. European laws currently restrict use of the private operator model to the following types of new construction projects:

Private operator models facilitate early completion of measures that would not be possible, within the foreseeable future, under conventional budget financing.


Germany cooperates with the EU, ECE, OECD, CSD, and Baltic 21.

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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: August 2001.

For national information on car sharing, click here.
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For information on motor vehicle use, click here.
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Decision-Making: Coordinating Bodies   

At the national level, the Ministry responsible for Environment and Tourism is the Federal Ministry for Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety. The Federal Ministry for Economics is responsible for tourism policy in general.

Since Germany is a federally governed country, tourism policy and promotion are generally with the State Ministries for Economics, and, at the local level, with the municipal tourist boards. The relevant Ministries for Environment are responsible for ecological aspects of tourism development.

Decision-Making: Legislation and Regulations 

At the federal level, the main laws that can be applied to sustainable tourism management are

Because the Federal Republic of Germany is a federation, the enforcement of both Federal and Land legislation is almost entirely a matter for the 16 Federal States (Laender). However, in many fields the Laender have decided to confer powers to enforce environmental law upon the towns and districts.

With respect to Codes of Practice, in 1997, the German tourism industry through its major representing associations signed a voluntary agreement committing itself to a policy of sustainable tourism development ("Environmental Declaration" - see Annex 2). More and more the tourism industry is committing itself to the voluntary application of environmental management systems according to EMAS and ISO 14000 ff.

Decision-Making: Strategies, Policies and Plans  

There is no national Strategy for sustainable tourism; the Federal Minister for Economics, however, publishes a national report on the state of tourism every four years ("Tourismusbericht der Bundesregierung") to the German Parliament, which contains a chapter on "Environment and Tourism".

The Federal States establish their own tourism plans and strategies. At the regional and local levels a variety of model projects integrate tourism in plans and strategies for sustainable development. These projects are partially funded by the federal government.

The relevant issues for a policy on sustainable tourism at all levels (federal, State, local) are:

Decision-Making: Major Groups Involvement  

See under Decision-Making: Coordinating Bodies.

Programmes and Projects 

Major programmes in effect to promote sustainable tourism include the following:


Eco-tourism and nature-based tourism are sectors of the overall tourism business which have to be subjected to the principles of sustainable tourism. Therefore, there is no national strategy for promoting "eco-tourism". The large protected areas in Germany (National Parks, Biosphere Reserves and Nature Parks) are developing plans and strategies for sustainable eco-tourism.

The tourism business is subjected to environmental laws and regulations like any other industry in Germany. A broad variety of "soft" instruments is used to incite environmentally friendly behavior by tourists as well as in the tourism business.

There are no specific programmes for the promotion of eco-tourism or nature-based tourism. The German policy is to develop all types of tourism in a sustainable way (see item 5 above). Eco-tourism and nature-based tourism are implemented in a broader sense by promotion of, inter alia, the following items:

The annual turnover of the German tourism industry is about DM 200 billion. The total of employees is approximately two million; the contribution of tourism to the GNP is between 5 and 6 %.. German tourists spend about DM 80 billion/a abroad.

The growth of the tourism sector in over the past two years can be represented as follows:


Because tourism is a cross-sectional sector there are complex impacts on sustainable development. For example, leisure-time and holiday travel, along with business trips, generate about 50 % of all emissions caused by traffic in Germany. Approximately 70 % of all commercial air travel undertaken by Germans is generated by tourism.

In 1997 the German Federal Agency for Nature Conservation published a case study on "Biodiversity and Tourism. Conflicts on the World's Sea coasts and Strategies for their Solution".

The main constraint seems to be the lack of awareness on both sides: tourists and tourism business. Because every country in the world is both visiting and visited country, it is a world wide phenomenon.

Capacity-building, Education, Training and Awareness-raising

Opinion polls monitor awareness of German tourists.

With respect to Guidelines, the German Hotel and Catering Association (DEHOGA) has developed a "40-items-calalogue: How to run a green enterprise" (voluntary, see item 8), the "Association for Ecological Tourism in Europe" a 50 points catalogue on "The Environmentally Oriented Tour Operator" (voluntary). The private bus and coach companies have published guidelines for on ecologically favorable tourist mobility. The International Association of Antarctic Tour Operators (IAATO) has adopted guidelines for tour operators and visitors. These are mandatory for IAATO members (travel operators).

In addition, State governments are signing agreements with representatives of different types of outdoor sports or recreational activities (hiking) on "how to use nature for recreation in a sustainable way". Similar agreements have been signed by local outdoor sports groups in some protected areas (voluntary).

The Codes, Standards an Guidelines mentioned above that already exist are further implemented by discussion fora, information campaigns, and competitions. New agreements are being developed. The IAATO Guidelines have been generally accepted by tour operators and tourists on board the ships chartered by IAATO tour operators.

Sustainable tourism is more and more a constituent part of local Agenda 21 processes in Germany. Thus all major groups are involved.

Training for employees in the tourism industry is offered by private institutes and tourism associations on a case-by-case basis. The Federal Government provides financial assistance to the DSF, a training institute, which offers, inter alia, tourism courses dealing with sustainable tourism.

There is no national programme to educate policy makers. The Federal Ministry for Environment sponsors projects of advising tourism associations in environmental matters and for research into conflict-solving issues between nature conservation and demands from tourism. The NGOs founded the project "Jugendreisen mit Einsicht" (Youth travelling with understanding).

The competition mentioned above, "Environmentally friendly vacation destinations in Germany," aims at assisting resorts in marketing themselves as a green destination. At the same time, it informs consumers on what is available on the market in terms of sustainable tourism. The same applies to similar competitions at the State and regional level - in particular with respect to green accommodation.. States also promote the introduction of environmental management systems according to EMAS in tourism resorts (Bavaria, Baden-Württemberg). An environmental audit (EMAS) is being carried out in three model resorts.

The Federal Minister for Environment also sponsors handbook-type brochures for the introduction of the concept of sustainable tourism in the hotel/catering business as well as for travel agencies, tour operators and coach companies. According to the basic political principle of cooperation, these publications are written and disseminated in collaboration with the relevant representative associations.

Securing the national heritage of more than 6,000 historical parks and gardens, castles, mansions and historic cemeteries in a sustainable manner, and bringing it into the public eye, is a matter of considerable importance to an NGO named "Bund Heimat und Umwelt" in Germany.

The local tourist boards as well as the national tourist board are used to promote sustainable tourism.

In addition, marketing by use of labels, such as the 40-items-catalogue for hotels and restaurants (s. item 11) or the "Blue European Flag for parts of beaches and marinas, are being implemented in Germany at the local level.


There are no established procedures to monitor progress of sustainable tourism development. There are, of course, statistical data taken, at the federal and State levels (Federal and State Statistics Offices), as well as by private companies (e.g.: FUR-Reiseanalyse). These data are taken into account when making policy decisions on sustainable tourism development.

There is no established national information series on sustainable tourism since Germany is a Federation and the responsibility for tourism is with the Federal States. The Federal Ministry for Environment, however, sponsors information material and the development of criteria catalogues to assist the tourism industry as well as decision-makers. In addition, the Federal States promote relevant information material.

The Federal government as well as State governments use competitions as a market-economic instrument to implement the concept of sustainable tourism. Finally, many of the representative associations of the German tourism industry have established "Environment and Tourism" ad hoc groups to integrate sustainability in their programmes. They meet on a regular basis with government representatives (Federal Minister for Environment and Federal Environmental Agency) and serve as dissemination fora for their members.

One of the instruments employed by the Federal Republic of Germany to protect natural resources and ecosystems is that of landscape planning. It must be performed at all levels of government administration: the Laender level (landscape programme), the regional level (framework landscape plan), and the local authority level (landscape plan / green spaces development plan).

The Federal Nature Conservation Act and the nature conservation acts of the Laender stipulate that landscape planning should present the measures and prerequisites for achieving the objectives of nature conservation and landscape management for a given planning area. The landscape plan provides town and country planners with the necessary planning foundations and assessment criteria for integrating aspects of landscape management and ecology, so that relevant nature conservation concerns can be properly considered when coordinating land-use demands like tourism development. In addition, the Federal Office for Nature Conservation (BfN) operates the LANIS landscape information system, thus allowing the quick and reliable transfer of relevant information on nature conservation.

Information on sustainable tourism products and services (e.g. destinations, accommodation, tour operators) is available through various private initiatives.

The Federal Ministry for Environment is sponsoring, i. a., a handbook-type publication of vacation destinations and tour operators in Germany who provide sustainable products. Another publicly funded project is underway making information on sustainable tourist services and initiatives in Europe accessible via Internet. Indicators for sustainable tourism are being developed. Please refer to Annex I, "Chapter 4. Goals/Definition of Sustainable Tourism Development / Criteria and Indicators" of the Baltic 21 Tourism Group - Working Paper 6/1998, Agenda 21 Baltic Sea Region Tourism.. Further indicators are developed by NGOs ("Green suitcase"; quality labels for youth travelling).

Research and Technologies 

The Agenda 21 for the Travel and Tourism Industry, published by WTTC and WTO, lists a number of priority areas for action: waste minimisation, energy saving, careful management of freshwater resources, environmentally compatible wastewater treatment, and reduction of environmental stresses from traffic.

There is a very wide spectrum of applications for environmentally friendly technologies in tourism: Small-scale combined heat and power station and heat/power co-generation, heat pumps and heat recovery systems - for example, for recovering heat from cooling or air conditioning systems - measurement and control systems for lighting, vacuum toilets and small sewage systems; solar collectors and absorber systems; sea-water desalination systems, low-emissions traffic technologies, drinking-water processing and industrial water systems; composting systems - all these important areas of environmental technology can contribute to the development of sustainable tourism.

Environmental management and audit systems (EMAS) are being introduced in hotels, resorts, travel agencies, tour operators and the sites of coach companies. One of the criteria of the competition mentioned above was the application of environmental management systems.


There are no special funds; at the federal level the activities are financed mainly from the research budgets of the German government.


As a result of the federal competition on "environmentally friendly vacation destinations" in 1996/97, 27 national model destinations were identified.

Germany generally does not designate model destinations in other countries. German resorts, however, cooperate in various networks linking model destinations in several countries such as CIPRA, the network of European National Parks, ICLEI (International Council for Local Environmental Initiatives) and the Climate Alliance.

In addition, Germany sponsors a network of model resorts that is being established and in which mayors of those resorts exchange information and experiences on and with outstanding projects of sustainable tourism development in their municipalities. A first meeting was successfully held in Austria, 1997; the second meeting will be hosted by Germany in January 1999.

In addition, Germany is cooperating in the Baltic 21 process linking resorts around the Baltic Sea to exchange information ion model achievements in those countries.

Local authorities or private sector are assisted by providing brochures and handbooks Model projects on Municipal Environmental Audit are being carried out in two resorts with the assistance of the Federal Environment Agency (UBA). Other model Municipal Environmental Audit Systems are being funded by the federal States. Local authorities are also involved in various Local Agenda 21 initiatives.

Germany also participates in the following cooperative programmes related to sustainable tourism:

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This information was provided by the Government of Germany to the seventh session of the United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development. Last Update: November 1998.

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