Research and knowledge sharing related to forest expansion in Flanders (working group & task force)

Project Details


This INBO project gives substance to the coalition agreement (2019-2024) and the Environment Policy Memorandum, which express the ambition to realise 10,000 ha of additional forest by 2030, of which 4,000 ha by the end of the legislature. This ambition is shaped by a working group in which the ANB, the VLM, the Department Omgeving and INBO are represented, under the coordination of Roel Vanhaeren. The final editing will be done by a task force including the cabinet Omgeving and the leading officials of the same entities.

INBO's role mainly consists of quality control and scientific support at various levels: 'best practice' of forest expansion in function of various objectives (ecological, recreational, ...), supplying lists of recommended origins, developing measuring and counting systems, such as the counter of additional forests, and their validation.

In concrete terms, the project has the following main objectives:
1/ Working Group on afforestation programme: elaboration and refinement of the action plan to achieve the objective of 10,000/4,000 ha of additional forest.
2/ Knowledge integration of Flemish and international data/ literature. Specific advice for objective 1/, and a generic overview report for policy makers and managers (knowledge sharing: articles, field visits, ...) of the knowledge currently present in Flanders on the theme.
3/ Research on technical aspects of afforestation of agricultural land, and processes that occur after afforestation. This research is done in a selection of sites that serve as example sites. These include a chronological sequence of afforested farmland (Muizenbos te Ranst), where various planting techniques have been applied (Vorte bossen near Ruiselede), or where various tree species have been planted next to each other (Mortagnebos in Sint Denijs-Zwevegem). More specifically, further monitoring in the research areas will provide knowledge on: the evolution of the availability of phosphorus after afforestation of agricultural land, the development of the above-ground biomass, the tree species composition and vegetation development, the evolution of the soil pH, the development of a litter layer, and the build-up of above-ground and underground carbon stocks.
4/ detailed analysis of C-stocks and -fluxes in Flemish forests, in relation to initiatives on C-credits and LULUCF-reporting
Effective start/end date1/01/2031/12/24

Thematic list

  • Policy

Thematic List 2020

  • Forest