The legislation on aid for improving the protection and sustainable management of forest ecosystems provides for aid to preserve the forest ecosystem through protection measures such as the erection of enclosures, wooden fencing, individual protection or devices to monitor big-game pressure.
Applicants must submit their application to the district authority with jurisdiction, which will notify them of the decision of the Nature and Forest Agency (Administration de la nature et des forêts).
Who is concerned
Any owner of forest land.
Where forest land is jointly owned by multiple natural or legal persons, the aid will be granted only once per plot.
Those who own more than 20 hectares of forest must provide the government administration department with a valid document relating to planned forestry activities:
- which applies to all their forest holdings; and
- has been approved by the government administration.
The aid available for protective measures applies only to plantations or areas of natural regeneration of hardwood or softwood species, a minimum of 80 % of which must be naturally suitable for the region, excluding spruce and pine.
The aid does not apply to installations to protect plantations for the production of Christmas trees or ornamental trees.
The following conditions must be met:
- the lands in question must be in a listed green zone. This requirement precludes lands where:
- pesticides are used; or
- lands on which:
- groundworks that harm the soil structure are carried out; or
- drainage works or fertilisation are carried out;
- pesticides are used; or
- the installations must provide effective protection to the plantations or natural regenerations of hardwoods or softwoods, a minimum of 80 % of which must be naturally suited to the region, excluding spruce and pine. An enclosure may be erected prior to the natural regeneration, only if:
- significant fruiting is seen;
- the old forest stand has been prepared to accommodate the regenerated natural growth;
- enclosures within the same forest stand must be a minimum of 250 m in length. In the case of natural regeneration or reforesting in clusters, the sum of the lengths of the enclosures protecting the various clusters must be a minimum of 100 m;
- the maximum surface area that may be enclosed as one unit is 2 ha. Adjacent enclosures must be separated by a non-enclosed corridor at least 25 m wide;
- the minimum number of individual biodegradable protections is 50 units, but the cost of those units must not be more than 1.5 times the cost of installing a contiguous enclosure.
Applicants must file their applications prior to the commencement of any work.
How to proceed
Filing an application
Applications must be filed with the head of the district concerned. The following information must be included on the application form (available under 'Forms / Online services' below):
- their surname and first name;
- their address;
- their telephone number;
- their banking institution and account number;
- their national identification number;
- the total area of forest land affected by the project;
- information about the area in question: commune, section, locality, land registry plot number, cadastral surface, length of the enclosure/wooden fencing, number of individual protection units/monitoring devices.
If the applicant owns a farm, they must also specify:
- the farm holding number;
- the farm accident insurance number.
The application must be accompanied by the following:
- a topographic map (scale 1:10,000) showing the location of the site;
- an extract of a cadastral map (scale 1:2,500) for the plots in question;
- a copy of the offer/receipted invoice;
- a certificate attesting to an occurrence of force majeure in case of a windthrow event or bark beetle infestation.
The head of the district concerned will inform the applicant of the Nature and Forest Agency's decision, and the measures to be taken to receive a subsidy.
Amount of aid
The amount of the aid is set as follows:
- EUR 10 per metre for wire fence enclosures of a height between 1.5 and 1.8 metres;
- EUR 16 per metre for wooden fence enclosures of a minimum height of 1.5 metres;
- 80 % of the total cost for the biodegradable individual protection sleeves, including the cost of the installation work and the costs of supportive stakes, the minimum amount being EUR 250;
- EUR 500 for the installation of a device to monitor big-game pressure.
The amount of such aid (excluding the aid for the installation of a device to monitor big-game pressure) may be doubled for works to protect trees from damage in the wake of a windthrow event or bark beetle infestation.
In this case, the maximum amount of aid is the actual cost of installation of the enclosure or biodegradable protections for individual trees. The applicant must obtain a certificate from the government administration department attesting to the damage caused by the windthrow event or bark beetle infestation, and that the damage was due to force majeure. Such a certificate can also be obtained from the competent district authorities. In addition, the minister must declare the circumstances a natural disaster.
The beneficiary must:
- regularly maintain the enclosures and individual protections;
- allow the authorities access to the big-game monitoring device for monitoring purposes. The big-game pressure monitoring devices must be installed in accordance with the government administration department's guidelines, and there must be no more than 1 unit per 100 ha of forest, regardless of who owns the land;
- remove the enclosure when the forest stand reaches a height of 1.5 metres, unless deer are found in the vicinity, and in any case, as soon as it no longer serves its purpose.
Repayment of aid
The beneficiary will be required to repay the aid received if:
- it was obtained by means of false or incomplete statements;
- they have failed to comply with the conditions to which the granting of the aid was subject. In that event, the beneficiary will also be required to pay interest at the legal rate, calculated as from the day of payment to the day of repayment.
For the year in question, the beneficiary will also be precluded from receiving any aid for improving the protection and sustainable management of forest ecosystems in the event of:
- a false declaration due to gross negligence; or
- failure to abide by the principles of best forestry practices.
If their application is denied, or if they are required to repay any aid received, the applicant may appeal the administrative decision by the usual means of appeal (non-contentious appeal, legal appeal), provided they observe the legal limitation periods.
It is also possible to lodge an appeal with the Ombudsman.
Forms / Online services
Demande d'aide pour la préservation de l'écosystème forestier par des travaux de protection, dispositif de contrôle de la pression du grand gibier
Förderantrag zwecks Subventionierung von Pflanzenschutzmaßnahmen, Weisergatter
Förderantrag zwecks Subventionierung von PFLANZENSCHUTZMAßNAHMEN, WEISERGATTER (ART. 9)