The works carried out on restoring natural habitats come with a considerable financial investment. In exchange for this investment, it must be guaranteed that the restored habitats are maintained and preserved. There are three possible types of guarantee:
- purchase of the plot of land. This guarantee only pertains to private owners.
- the signing of a so-called “thirty-year” agreement between the Region of Wallonia and the owner. In signing this 30-year agreement, the owner guarantees to respect the restoration works carried out by the LIFE-Lomme project and to continue to manage the plot so as to allow the natural habitats concerned to be conserved. This guarantee only pertains to private owners.
- the plot becomes available to the Département Nature et Forêt (Department for Nature and Forests, or DNF) of the Region of Wallonia. The DNF agrees to oversee management of the plot. This handover is systematically accompanied by a strong protection status: Réserve Naturelle Domaniale (National Nature Reserve) or Zone Humide d'Intérêt Biologique (Wetland Zone of Biological Interest). This guarantee essentially concerns public owners but may also pertain to private owners.
B1. Land management
Thanks to the inventories tabled during the preparatory stages, the areas of land with high restoration potential have been pinpointed. The private owners of these areas are then contacted with a view to buying back their plot(s). They generally only have marginal forestry or agricultural production (very wet soil, peat soil and alluvial soil). Land buyback efforts are essentially concentrated on land that would allow an existing site of biological interest to be extended, land that allows isolated sites to be opened up and that is important for the regional dynamic and land that creates connecting corridors between sites of biological interest.
What is the outlook for land purchased by the LIFE-Lomme project?
- all of the plots of land together are resold to the Region of Wallonia which formally agrees to protect the species and natural habitats, thus contributing towards maintaining or restoring the biotypes that are seriously threatened, harbouring species that are endangered or are of particular importance.
- these plots of land will benefit from a strong protection status: Réserve Naturelle Domaniale (National Nature Reserve Area)
Surface area of the land acquired by the LIFE-Lomme project 32 hectares.
B2. Usage management
Public owners (municipalities, provinces, church administrations) in possession of land with high restoration potential receive a detailed file on the proposed activities for restoring these plots of land. The files are produced in close cooperation with the DNF which is the department responsible for managing forests for public owners.
Public owners contacted :
|Owner||Surface area for which the LIFE-Lomme project has proposed cooperation||Surface area for which the owner has given a cooperation agreement|
|Municipality of Libin||186 hectares||109.57 hectares|
|Municipality of Libramont||61 hectares||49.34 hectares|
|Municipality of Saint-Hubert||71 hectares||47.07 hectares|
|Municipality of Tellin||86 hectares||48.57 hectares|
|Municipality of Wellin||26 hectares||16.84 hectares|
|Province of Luxembourg - Domaine de Mirwart||40 hectares||29.70 hectares|
|Fabrique d'église de Smuid||1.6 hectares||1.60 hectares|
|Idelux||5 hectares||5.05 hectares|