Legislation on financial aid for the maintenance and improvement of the ecosystemic benefits provided by forests includes an aid scheme to restore and improve the favourable conservation status of rare and remarkable forest phytosociological associations exhibiting a characteristic range of plants such that they can be identified as:
This scheme may apply to the residual natural beechwood forests in regions which are dominated by highly artificialised forests, and also to natural common beech or oak forests exhibiting rare or remarkable characteristics in reduced surface areas.
Applicants must submit their application to the district authority with competent jurisdiction, which will notify them of the decision of the Nature Conservation Agency (Administration de la nature et des forêts).
Who is concerned
Anyone wishing to receive aid for the restoration and improvement of the favourable conservation status of rare and remarkable forest phytosociological associations must apply in writing to the head of the district concerned.
To receive the aid, the applicant must confirm that the eligible forests:
- are in a listed green zone. Areas where pesticides are used or where ground work has been done which degrades the soil structure (e.g. tilling and stump removal) are ineligible;
- include a contiguous area measuring at least 40 ares, of which more than 75% is composed of:
o ravine forests;
o riparian or alluvial forests;
o alder carrs; or
o peat-growing birch groves.
- is among the potential sites defined in the "alluvial forest" or "ravine forest" action plan, or fulfil the environmental conditions ensuring a transformation to one of the above phytosociological associations.
The application must be submitted to the head of the district before work commences.
How to proceed
Filing an application
When submitting an application, the applicant must state the following on the form:
- their 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 surface area in question (commune, section, locality, land registry plot number, cadastral surface, surface treated, protection zone).
If the applicant owns a farm, they must also state:
- 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;
- a cadastral extract of the plots concerned;
- a copy of the measures set forth in the management plan authorised by the minister;
- a copy of the proposal for restoration or improvement measures;
- ministerial authorisation for the planned procedures, in the case of peat-growing birch groves.
Once the work has been completed, the applicant must also provide a copy of the receipted invoice.
The head of the district will inform the applicant of the Nature Conservation Agency's decision, and the measures to be taken to receive a subsidy.
Amount of aid
The aid covers a portion of the costs, at the following rates:
- 50% of the total cost of the measures to restore or improve the favourable conservation status in the forest habitats listed in Annex I of the law of 18 July 2018 on the protection of nature and natural resources;
- 70% of the total cost of the measures to restore or improve the favourable conservation status in the forest habitats listed as a priority in Annex I of the law.
The aid is only allocated on the presentation of a management plan. The Minister must approve the said plan in the case of ravine forests, riparian forests and alluvial forests, etc. In the case of peat-growing birch groves, any and all intervention requires ministerial approval.
The beneficiary makes the following undertakings:
- if planting is necessary, to plant only young wild specimens of species that are characteristic of the association to be protected, taken from natural forest stands in the vicinity of the forest to be protected;
- during periodic work to bring about a gradual transformation, to prefer species which are characteristic of the association to be protected, and eliminate non-characteristic species;
- to refrain from introducing other species besides those which are characteristic of the association to be protected;
- to refrain entirely from clearfelling;
- to refrain from removing, displacing or burning any broken or overturned trees, or of any remnants from cutting or pruning.
Repayment of support
Any aid paid out must be repaid to the State Treasury when:
- it was obtained by means of knowingly false or incomplete representations on the part of the applicant;
- the beneficiary has failed to comply with the conditions to which the granting of the aid was subject. In that event, the beneficiary must also pay interest on the amount given, at the legal base rate, calculated as from the day of payment to the day of repayment.
If a false declaration is found to have been made through gross negligence or through failure to adhere to the principles of good forestry practices, the beneficiary is precluded from receiving aid for the year in question.
If they make a deliberate misrepresentation, they are excluded for the following year as well.
Forms / Online services
Demande d’aide pour la restauration et l’amélioration de l’état de conservation favorable d’associations phytosociologiques forestières rares et remarquables
Förderantrag zum Schutz von seltenen und bemerkenswerten phytosoziologischen Waldgesellschaften