A vast forested area close to Luxembourg-Kirchberg will soon be given protected zone status, making it the largest protected forest in the country.
Environment minister Carole Dieschbourg announced on Tuesday that procedures were underway, saying they would expand existing protected areas to cover the entire “Gréngewald/Grünewald”, 93% of which is covered in forest.
Owned by the government, the area is environmentally important not only because of its proximity to the rapidly expanding Kirchberg plateau but also because it provides around 2.8m m3 of drinking water each year, supplying 1 in 20 people. This area also hosts the sources of the White Ernz and Black Ernz rivers.
Zones protected in the national interest are defined under law as nature reserves or protected landscapes, subject to restrictions designed to safeguard habitats and species and the landscape. According to the environment ministry, there are some 57 zones, the largest of which is in Boulaide/Rambrouch in an area spanning 1,477 hectares. By 2018, just over 8,000 hectares of land were defined as zones protected in the national interest, a figure which has quadrupled since 1998 and doubled since 2013.