Football field of forest disappears every day in Flanders
Too much forest is still being cut down in Flanders, environmental organisations Bos+ and Greenpeace say. In a new report, they say that almost 300 hectares of forest is disappearing every year, the equivalent of more than a football field every day. "Barely 10 per cent of Flanders is forested. This means that Flanders is still one of the most forest-poor regions in Europe."
According to Bos+ and Greenpeace, 5,088 hectares of Flemish forest have been cleared with permits between 2001 and 2021. This is an average of 242 hectares a year. "This figure urgently needs to be reduced," Bos+ director Bert De Somviele told VRT NWS.
The cabinet of Environment minister Zuhal Demir (N-VA) says that since 2019, around 1,750 hectares of forest has been added in Flanders, which is more than has been lost.
"We see that after years of non-policy, things are moving in the right direction with the expansion of forests"
"We see that after years of non-policy, things are moving in the right direction with the expansion of forests," De Somviele says. "We have seen a positive turnaround during the current legislative period. But things are still going wrong regarding forest protection."
Demir has confirmed that she wants to draw up spatial implementation plans this year to protect endangered forests for the future. "It is one thing to provide additional forest, but we must also take care of the forest we have. I hope to take further steps in this direction within the government this autumn," she says.
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