Press release of 11 June 2020

Natural spaces instead of concrete spaces! +++ Nationwide action days to save the Dannenröder Forest from 19-21.06.2020 +++ Turnaround in traffic now!

Dannenrod. On 23.06.2020, the Federal Administrative Court in Leipzig will hear the complaint of the BUND about the extension of the A49 and thus the destruction of the Dannenröder Forest. The occupation of the Dannenröder Forest has taken this as an opportunity to call for action days nationwide. Under the motto “natural spaces instead of concrete dreams”, a variety of protests will take place in several German cities.

The planned A49, which will run south from Kassel with a connection to the A5, endangers both the Dannenröder Forest and the nearby Herrenwald. Both forests are protected flora-fauna habitats with rare animal species. In addition, the Dannenröder Forest is a drinking water protection area, which also functions as a water reservoir for the Rhine-Main area and supplies more than 500,000 people with water. The so-called “compensation measures” envisaged by those responsible do not even begin to compensate for the damage that deforestation would cause.

In the midst of a time when the effects of climate change are already being felt for example in the form of years of drought, the construction of a motorway across a water protection area is fatal and the deforestation of a completely healthy mixed forest is bizarre. In order to initiate a real traffic turnaround, it is absurd to cling to outdated planning dinosaurs such as the A49 instead of working on alternatives that are compatible with nature and society. “We have to deal with what a real traffic turnaround could look like. One thing is clear; it is high time to take radical action to tackle climate change, ensure access to water for all and create fair mobility. This will require fewer motorways and more forests,” said one person from the occupation.

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