100 million trees to be planted in the Netherlands by 2030
Over 100 million trees will be planted in the Netherlands by 2030 under government initiatives to limit deforestation and control CO2 levels.
Developing Dutch forests
Last winter,1,6 million trees were planted - double the amount that were planted in previous years - as the first step of the new 10-year plan. Trees will be planted by State Forest Management (Staatsbosbeheer) and provinces and organisations across the country in an effort to combat climate change and keep CO2 levels under control.
The plans for winter 2020 will see State Forest Management plant 200 hectares of forest, with 500 hectares planted every winter thereafter. For context: 500 hectares amounts to approximately two million trees. The organisation hopes to plant 5.000 hectares of new forest by 2030.
Furthermore, the Ministry of Agriculture, Nature, and Fisheries also has plans, known formally as the "Forests Strategy", to plant a total of 37.000 hectares of new forest over the coming 10 years. That is an area larger than the municipality of Rotterdam!
A variety of native and foreign species of tree will be planted, with a particular focus on European species like the Norwegian maple, as they are more resistant to drought and the inconsistent climate. The trees will be planted during the winter months as the weather allows for the tree to be bedded come the spring.
Strengthening local nature
These initiatives come after years in which Dutch forests have been significantly depleted, and are an effort for the Netherlands to catch up with other countries and replenish the local environment.
State Forest Management is a public body commissioned by the Dutch government to strengthen local nature, and is the largest forest owner in the Netherlands. The organisation recently came under fire for a policy which involved cutting down large areas of forest to strengthen biodiversity and saw around 400.000 trees cut down last winter.
Harrie Hekhuis of State Forest Management says these plans to plant trees are important, not only because of the climate and biodiversity, but also because the coronavirus lockdown demonstrated the value of having local natural spaces, and showed how much the Dutch population values the forests.