The legislation on assistance to improve the protection and sustainable management of forest ecosystems provides for aid to reinforce the forest ecosystem by nurturing young forest stands.
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.
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 applicant must verify that the forest land in question:
- is in a listed green zone. This requirement precludes surfaces 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
- includes at least 30 ares in a contiguous unit;
- forms a single, contiguous forest stand.
The stand must have the following features:
- contain a minimum of 30 % hardwood species suited to the area;
- have trunks with a prevailing height of between 8 and 12 m.
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):
- the applicant's surname and first name;
- their address;
- their telephone number;
- their banking institution and account number;
- their national identification number;
- the total area of the forest property;
- information about the area in question: commune, section, locality, cadastral number, cadastral surface, surface area affected by the project, height of the forest stand.
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 work site;
- an extract of a cadastral map (scale 1:2,500) for the plots in question.
The head of the district 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 aid is set at EUR 10 per are of land.
The aid is increased by 25 % for projects carried out by a group of at least 2 owners on forest land:
- totalling at least 1 hectare; and
- located within a single area of woodland.
The amount of aid is also increased by 25 % if the measure is carried out:
- on woodlands in a listed protected zone defined by law; and
- in accordance with the measures outlined in the forest management plans enacted by ministerial decree.
The beneficiary must:
- take action to maintain the apical dominance of future trees intended to produce high-quality wood;
- maintain the diversity of the trees.
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.