Flanders adds planting trees to community service punishments
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Flanders adds planting trees to community service punishments

Credit: Belga

People sentenced to community service in Flanders will now be able to plant trees as punishment, Het Laatste Nieuws reports.

Flemish Minister of Justice and Environment Zuhal Demir worked together with the Nature & Forest Agency (Natuur & Bos) to this end.

Many community service sentences could not be carried out due to the coronavirus crisis, as most companies run on a minimum staffing level or have their staff work from home.

The pandemic also meant that many planned tree planting actions had to be postponed, leaving Natuur & Bos with a backlog. In such, Demir hopes to kill two birds with one stone with this measure.

“It was very important to me that the corona crisis did not lead to impunity,” Demir said according to regional news outlet TV Limburg.

“Now the corona measures are making public planting actions more difficult, we will use 46 extra workers sentenced to community service to plant trees with Natuur en Bos,” Demir said.

“In this way, they will be able to complete their community service in a corona-safe manner and our forest expansion plans will also remain on schedule.”

Jason Spinks
The Brussels Times