Due to widespread lignite deposits, the german countryside has been subject to changes that have a significant effect on the natural habitat.

Although lignite has been extracted in Germany for over 300 years, efforts to indemnify the once exhausted countryside have only been started during recent years. Decommissioned mining areas are now undergoing renaturation processes to re-adjust them to the pristine countryside, a condition that will take up to the year 2051 in particular areas.

The flooding of the future Lake Zwenkau, the relic of the former lignite mine Zwenkau in Saxony/Germany, started in 2007. A completion has been calculated for 2013.