Luxembourg is famous for its abundant forest and greenery. The majestic trees within the area have b
Emma Donnely

Member Article

Balmoral International Group Setback: Luxembourg in Nature

Luxembourg is famous for its abundant forest and greenery. The majestic trees within the area have been witnesses of what the country had gone through over the years. However though, as Balmoral International Group Luxembourg has pointed out, Luxembourg’s forest is in dire need of reforestation and more attention.

The Luxembourg forest contains no natural forest and has been strongly stamped by human activity. The different forests types are: broadleaved forests – mostly beech & oak (47% of the total), mixed forests – lobed-leaved trees and conifers such as spruces & pines (35%), coppices and bark hedges (15%), non forested areas – shrubs, forest roads, quarries, clear cuttings, etc. (3%). With the retreat of farming over the last century, the forest area has increased, nowadays covering a bit less than 35% of the national territory as a whole. The Ardennes region is the most heavily wooded. Forests are managed by the public authorities and an association of private owners. Some 33% of the forests of Luxembourg are municipal woods, 11% are owned by the state, 1% belongs to public administration, and the remaining 55% are private forests.

Two threats are of main concern for Luxembourg: floods and forest stability. The higher air temperatures will lead to more frequent and more stringent stress conditions for agricultural plants and forestry, most severely impacting perennial forest trees.

Observations on the phytosanitary state of Luxembourg forest – a rather “old” forest – show a sharp degradation – which seems to have stabilised nowadays – resulting, among other factors (air pollution, diseases due to insect infestations, impoverishment of forest soils, and deficiencies in magnesium and calcium) from climate change. The ageing of the forest also increases the risk of outbreak of diseases and of infestation by insects and other parasites that could proliferate if more mild winters and overall general temperatures are recorded in Luxembourg.

Tangible benefits of forests for people: changes in tree cover; changes in socio-economic resilience; changes in availability of specific forest products (timber, non-timber wood products and fuel wood, wild foods, medicines, and other non-wood forest products).

Intangible services provided by forests: changes in the incidence of conflicts between humans and wildlife; changes in the livelihoods of forest-dependent peoples (also a tangible benefit); changes in socio-economic resilience; changes in the cultural, religious and spiritual values associated with particular forests.

If you happen to pass by the forests in Luxembourg when you visit, acknowledge its vitality and look into its vulnerability. Awareness is what we are vying right now to restore our forest’s growth.

This was posted in Bdaily's Members' News section by Emma Donnely .

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