Bert Serneels
14.01.2021 08:24
Climate adaptation
Climate goals
SECAP Development

In Belgium, many municipalities have ambitious targets on planting new trees. It is often the first and most obvious climate measure local governments decide on. However, in task force meetings, NGO's often stress the need to preserve existing trees and other green infrastructure, since this has a greater impact on overall CO2-emissions and climate adaptation. I was wondering if there are good practices in other countries of, a) keeping an inventory of net afforestation in regions or municipalities (since now, new trees are counted, but not the net result including trees that were cut). Are there any tools available for that (in English preferably)? b) if there are good practices in preserving existing and ancient trees, e.g. making them green heritage.

    Guri Bugge

    We are working on a tool for calculating gain and loss of different types of land use (arable, forest, swamps, etc), but this will be on a larger scale, not on tree to tree basis 🙂 One reason this is possible for us, is that the agricultural sector is strictly regulated, and all forest owners need to have a forest plan, and let the authorities know when they cut down trees. Is this the case in Belgium?

    Our main challenge is change of land use for more buildings and roads. There is a political vision of zero loss of arable land and land that stores carbon (forests, swamps, algae forests, grazing land) in our SECAP. That will be extremely difficult to reach, but we think it is important to set the ambition, in order to get the issue higher on the priority list.