Czech Republic Shifts Towards Native Tree Species in Forest Restoration Efforts

PRAGUE, June 21, 2023 – The Czech Republic is witnessing a significant shift towards the planting of native tree species as foresters embark on their third year of planting deciduous trees. This surge in planting activities is in response to the damage caused by the bark beetle infestation, which has resulted in the decline of spruce trees and a loss of biodiversity.

In 2022, the Ministry of Agriculture allocated 4.2 billion CZK towards forest restoration, resulting in the replenishment of a record-breaking 50,058 hectares of forest. Amongst this area, 39,900 hectares were dedicated to tree planting, while natural regeneration occurred on 10,100 hectares.

Last year, foresters planted nearly 226 million trees, with deciduous species accounting for 141.5 million and conifers comprising 84.3 million. This ongoing trend of prioritizing native tree species is expected to continue as foresters strive to create more diverse and resilient forests.

Among the tree species being widely planted, the beech takes the lead, followed by oak and spruce. However, due to the impact of the bark beetle infestation, spruce has now fallen to third place. Consequently, the focus has shifted towards promoting the planting of various tree species to foster mixed forests.

In addition to tree planting, the Ministry of Agriculture provides funding for forest management and the preservation of habitat trees to promote biodiversity. Forestry operators can apply for funding through new programs in the coming years, further supporting these restoration efforts.

The Czech Republic is also actively engaged in combatting climate change by implementing measures to adapt forest ecosystems. The Ministry of Agriculture is currently finalizing the process of notifying the European Commission regarding a new contribution to support the adaptation of forest ecosystems to climate change for the period of 2023 to 2027.

As of the end of 2022, the country’s forests covered an area of 2,680,372 hectares, with state-owned forests accounting for nearly 54% of this area.

Overall, the Czech Republic’s commitment to restoring its forests serves as an exemplary model for countries seeking to revitalize and preserve their natural landscapes. By prioritizing the planting of native species and implementing comprehensive restoration strategies, the country is making significant strides in safeguarding its forests for future generations.

Article by Prague Forum

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