National members (or "National Governing Bodies") are independent, national organizations established to develop and implement a PEFC system within their country.
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Luxembourg is a country of 450,000 inhabitants. The total forest area is 90,000 hectares (34% of the total land area). The forest is owned to 53 % by private individuals (13,000 owners with an average of 3-4 hectares per owner), 11% by the state and 36% by local communities.
- Total private forest area: 49,250 hectares (ha) or 55.2 %
- Total public and state owned forest area: 89,150 ha or 44.8 %
Broad-leaved trees, which can be found in 68.6% of the Luxembourg forests, represent the majority with regard to coniferous. In Oesling, coniferous species dominate, while broad-leaved trees are being predominant in Gutland. The total area of the Luxembourg forest is 89.150 ha, or a third (34.3%) of the total area of the country. With 39.3%(2) of the total forest area, the Oesling, which only covers a third of the country, is more wooded than the Gutland.
In spite of its limited territory, Luxembourg shows a broad natural variety that is being expressed by a very broad diversity of its forests. Forests have been deeply marked during the 18th and beginning of the 19th century by human actions, characterized by an over-exploitation due to important needs in cultivable soils and energy sources (wood coal), phenomena that was followed by restoration since more than 150 years. The multitude of forest owners also influences the variety of the forest. Taking this diversity and the high afforestation rate, forest contributes broadly to the attractive structure of the landscape.
Forests play a leading role in our society on social and cultural levels. Development of hunting and fishing may also be identified as special aspects of the touristic use of natural spaces. They also allow a close contact with nature and animals. Luxembourg forests are equipped with a high amount of infrastructures to satisfy all these users: picnic areas, accommodating areas, game parks, educational paths, marked promenades ... The new regulations related to the conservation of notable trees in communes or forests can also be identified as a sign of the population’s attachment to nature.
A law passed on 30th November 2005 fixes the conditions related to production and commercialisation of reproductive forest materials based on directive 1999/105/CE and sets a list of materials which are officially accepted in addition to the origin of these materials. Based on this law, 17 seeds plantings, covering 150.86 ha with eight different species have already been selected as officially accepted basic material. In cooperation with all the concerned actors, and specifically farmers and foresters, Luxembourg sets up management plans for the conservation and rehabilitation of biotopes through the article 3 of the so-called “Habitats” Directive 92/43/CEE. These management plans identify objectives, anticipate and solve potential difficulties with site owners or users, define ways of action, and plan a forest’s conservation for the future.
In 2008, the government adopted a national plan on ‘nature conservation measures’ for the next 5 years which also includes special actions for the forest sector, like total protection of forests, close to nature sylviculture and restoration of monocultures to natural forests.
The importance of the wood chain is difficult to define in Luxembourg. About 75% of wood is exported, whereas most of wood-products are imported. The production of Luxembourg’s sawmills is mainly oriented towards coniferous trees. A pannelboard factory was installed a couple of years ago in the southern part of the country, and gets its wood from the international market and only buys Luxembourg wood.
The public sector currently employs 90 people for all levels of its services including nature conservation activities, plus about 265 forest workers, working in the public forests.
The management of the forests owned by the State, communes and public establishments is ensured by the administration for Nature and Forests, integrated within the Ministry of Environment (public forests). However, forestry (the forestry sector seen under its economical management point of view) is under control of the Ministry of Agriculture, Viticulture and Rural Development.
The administration for Nature and Forests functions are managed by Forest Engineers. The engineers are also in charge of the promotion of private forest ownership in general. The central service of the administration for Nature and Forests is in charge of forest management plans for public forests. It carries out the national forest inventory, national forest statistics, national economic studies of the forest sector and relations to international forest policy forums.
The “Lëtzebuerger Privatbesch”, formerly called “Groupement des Sylviculteurs”, is a non profit organisation, which regroups more than 1500 private forest owners. This association is the only one at national level that seeks to represent the interests of the private forest ownership. It gives the required assistance to implement the ideas behind the Ministerial Conference on the Protection of Forests in Europe, the European directives, the national laws and orders affecting the private forests and their management. It also ensures that practical teaching and developing the economical, ecological, social, and cultural values of forests is ensured. The management of private forests is in theory free. However, the destruction of biotopes, wide clear cuttings, clearing and any land use changes all have to be submitted for ministerial authorization.
PEFC Luxembourg was founded on 8 August 2002.
- Jos Crochet - Chairman
- Georges Glesener - Treasurer
- Joined PEFC: 22 November 2002
- First endorsement: 12 August 2005
- First re-endorsement: 28 July 2010
- Second re-endorsement: 29 July 2014
- Current endorsement valid until: 29 July 2019