On Sunday 6 February 2022, during Forest in One Day, the national tree planting event organised by Luminus, Jane Goodall Institute (JGI) Belgium, De Bosgroepen and Sylva Nova, over 700 people planted 15,000 trees at two different locations in Belgium. In Halen 5,725 trees were planted in one day, representing a forest of three football pitches. At the same time, a tree planting event also took place in Waasmunster. On Sunday 13 February 2022, 300 volunteers showed up in Crisnée to plant 3,000 seedlings. In total 18,125 trees were planted in the framework of Forest in One Day.
Forest in One day in Halen
In Halen, a site on Zandstraat has been transformed into a climate-smart forest of 5,725 trees and shrubs. Until recently, this was a diseased coniferous forest that was so weakened by climate change that the syrphon beetle, which loves spruce, had free rein.
“Unfortunately, clear-cutting could not be avoided, but it did create the opportunity to transform a languishing monoculture into a mixed, climate-smart forest,” says Karolien Van Diest of Bosgroepen Limburg. “For the reforestation we chose a healthy mix of tree species. This ensures that the forest is stronger, more biodiverse and less sensitive to diseases and plagues. More than half of the plots were planted with species that are typical of the indigenous forest type that belongs here, such as pedunculate oak, sessile oak, hornbeam, sycamore maple, silver birch, gorse, … In addition, indigenous species such as lime, yew and bilberry were also planted. The other species are from the list of climate-smart species such as swamp oak, mulberry, sweet chestnut and tree hazel. This will make the forest even more resilient and allow it to absorb a maximum of CO2.”
Erik Van Roelen, mayor of Halen: “We keep finding it very important to make continuous efforts to strengthen the green character of our town. In addition to last year’s tree planting actions in Mosstraat and along Kolenbergstraat, we are pleased to be able to plant additional trees here as well. By opting for a climate-smart forest, we are also making an extra contribution to CO2 capture in our town.”
A partnership between Luminus en JGI Belgium
In 2019, Luminus and JGI Belgium made a 3-year strategic partnership. Every year, on the first Sunday of February, in close collaboration with De Bosgroepen and Sylva Nova, they organise a tree planting event at three different locations: Luminus Forest in One Day. In three years time, at least 36,000 trees will be planted in Belgium and 3,600,000 in Africa. In Africa, a tree has a greater impact than in Europe because trees there convert CO2 all year round and provide shade, shelter and food for people and animals.
Grégoire Dallemagne, CEO of Luminus: “We are proud of our partnership with Jane Goodall Institute Belgium and our tree planting campaign Luminus Forest in One Day. Deforestation and the emission of greenhouse gases, including CO2, are the cause of climate change. We estimate that thanks to our tree planting actions in Belgium and Burundi, 80000 tonnes of CO2 can be removed from the air every year. This is very important in the fight against climate change. And Luminus has made this fight its reason for being: working together to build a CO2-neutral energy future, where protection of the planet, well-being and economic growth are reconciled thanks to electricity and innovative solutions and services.”
Anouska Plasmeijer, Executive Director of JGI Belgium: “For every tree that goes into the ground today, the Jane Goodall Institute plants more than 60 in Burundi – a total of 1.2 million. These trees not only sequester CO2, but also help to protect against erosion, provide shade for schools and homes, and increase the habitats of wild animals like the chimpanzee. We are grateful that we can carry out our activities both in Belgium and in Africa thanks to the support of Luminus, and underline the importance of the private sector in taking care of the planet. Everyone can make a difference every day, by planting trees but also, for example, by not buying products that contribute to deforestation elsewhere in the world. Let us together make sure that worldwide, also in Belgium, more trees are added than disappear. ”