German Chancellor Angela Merkel urged the international community on Monday to persist in efforts to find a binding international agreement on greenhouse gas emissions, despite the failure of the Copenhagen climate conference.
"There is no alternative to this process," Merkel said, at an event in Berlin to mark the opening of the United Nations International Year of Biodiversity.
The event aims to raise public awareness about the loss of animal and plant species in the face of climate change and human encroachment.
The chancellor said that global efforts to protect climate change mitigating forests, which have generally made better progress in recent years than the wider climate protection negotiations, cannot be seen as a replacement for a deal to replace the Kyoto Protocol.
"The forests cannot serve as an alibi for failing on climate protection," she said.
Later this year a further attempt at negotiating a deal on climate change will be made at the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change headquarters in the former West German capital of Bonn.