The country’s three regions made a formal request on Wednesday for the nomination of nearly 10% of the Sonian Forest as a Unesco natural heritage site, reported Le Soir and Sudpresse newspapers on Thursday. A decision is not expected before 2017. The Sonian Forest, a 10,920-acre forest spanning the country’s three regions, would then join some 106,000 acres of primeval beech forest, already designated as a Unesco site, located in the Romanian Carpathian Mountains, in Slovakia, in the Ukraine and in Germany.
In the area covered by the application, no actual maintenance work is undertaken by the authorities although the forest is nevertheless ‘made safe’ (tree felling to maintain safety on the trails).
It is estimated that the classification request will be declared admissible in January 2015, will be processed over the course of 2016, with onsite visits by international experts and that the classification itself will take place in 2017.
Oscar Schneider (Source: Belga)