Flanders gains 656 ha of forest in two years

Flanders gains 656 ha of forest in two years
Credit: Belga

Flanders has acquired 656 hectares (ha) of new forest in the past two years, Flemish Environment Minister Zuhal Demir (N-VA) reports, based on the most recent data from the region's Forest Alliance.

This is way off the target set by the Flemish government, which aims to create 4,000 hectares of additional forest by the end of its term of office.

After two years, 535 new forests have been added, which together account for 656 ha, the minister reported. Another 250 compensation forests totalling 414 ha. were added in the same period. These are forests planted to compensate for deforestation elsewhere.

Demir said the rate of afforestation had clearly increased, but stressed that “a lot more” is needed. “We remain committed to making Flanders greener, no matter how difficult that is sometimes,” she said.

The Environment Minister to work on revising the lease legislation, seen as one of the biggest barriers to making Flanders greener. “The heaviest effort remains to find sufficient lands for afforestation,” said Demir.

To achieve the expansion of the region's forest cover, the Flemish government works with nature organisations such as Natuurpunt, the Bos groups, Bos+, Regional Landscapes and Landelijk Vlaanderen. Together they form the “Forest Alliance”.

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