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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.
The EU is working on an classification system for sustainable activities i.e. an EU Taxonomy. Recent progress is of upmost importance for all of us working on climate change since the Technical Expert Group (TEG) has been asked to develop recommendations for technical screening criteria for economic activities that can make a substantial contribution to climate change mitigation or adaptation, while avoiding significant harm to the four other environmental objectives (sustainable use and protection of water and marine resources, transition to a circular economy, pollution prevention control, and protection and restoration of biodiversity and ecosystems). Read all about it on https://ec.europa.eu/info/business-economy-euro/banking-and-finance/sustainable-finance/eu-taxonomy-sustainable-activities_en. Pay special attention to the technical annex of the report containing the updated technical screening criteria for 70 climate change mitigation and 68 climate change adaptation activities, including criteria for ‘do no significant harm to the other environmental objectives’.