A tree for a tree: Dutch nature group to plant a new tree for each one felled
For every tree felled in the Netherlands, another will be planted elsewhere by the Dutch nature organisation Natuurmonumenten. The organisation wants to allow the number of trees in the Netherlands to increase, so should one be felled, there will also have to be a good reason for it.
Felling causes commotion
Natuurmonumenten manages more than 100.000 hectares of nature in the Netherlands, of which slightly less than a third is forest. Staatsbosbeheer is another nature organisation in the Netherlands. Commissioned by the government, it manages 260.000 hectares of nature.
According to calculations by Wageningen University & Research (WUR), the Netherlands has lost 1.350 hectares of forest each year since 2013 due to the felling of trees. In total, 3.036 hectares of forest is felled each year and only slightly more than half is planted back. Due to growing criticism of its policies, in April Natuurmonumenten decided to temporarily stop cutting down trees completely.
Previously, the organisation would fell trees to, amongst other things, create open landscapes and encourage biodiversity, and provide fuel to biomass energy plants. However, with climate change becoming an increasing priority, Natuurmonumenten felt it should stop clear felling, as the trees actually help reduce the effects of climate change by absorbing CO2.
Felling not completely out of the question
Whilst the organisation may not be picking up the chainsaw quite as often, felling is not completely out of the question. In cases where felling trees restores the open landscape and preserves endangered flora and fauna, it will go ahead. In such cases, the organisation will first investigate in the surrounding area whether there is support for the felling.
Something that the organisation will no longer be doing is selling the wood from felling trees to private individuals for them to burn in their own fireplaces and wood burners. Natuurmonumenten will, however, still provide wood to biomass plants, as the process of burning it there is cleaner and more efficient.