As in many other countries, species in Luxembourg are declining and land use is very high. The third national plan for nature conservation was presented on Thursday and aims to expand protected areas.

The Ministry of the Environment's findings are clear. More areas will be protected and renatured under the third National Nature Conservation Plan (PNPN). The details of this plan were presented during a press conference on Thursday.

A new PNPN is drawn up every five years. While the last roadmap achieved "some progress," there is still room for improvement, according to the Ministry of the Environment.

The new plan is based on the Nature Conservation Law and was created in collaboration with stakeholders from the environmental, agricultural, and economic sectors, as well as the general public, Minister for the Environment Joëlle Welfring explained: "We received 254 comments, which is a lot. They were all useful. Two-thirds of them have been incorporated into the plan."


© Pit Everling / RTL

One of the plan's main objectives is to connect habitats to allow animal species to migrate more easily.

Another pillar of the new National Nature Conservation Plan is protection, which aims to expand Natura 2000 sites.

According to Gilles Biver, Government Advisor at the Ministry of the Environment, "the quantified objective is to reach 30% of protected areas. We're currently at 27%, so not far off."

Renaturation entails, for example, the restoration of species-rich meadows and orchards. As with the protection areas, those in charge rely above all on the support and willingness of public actors such as municipalities. "Something is slowly happening here," Biver noted, "awareness is growing in the municipalities and there are more and more initiatives in urban and green areas."

The Ministry also wants to be more proactive in seeking dialogue with private landowners, particularly those in the agricultural sector.

As for international engagement, the plan states that the Grand Duchy will continue to be involved in promoting biodiversity at the global level.

The new PNPN has a budget of nearly €800 million. While this is much higher than the previous plan, it should be noted that the new PNPN is planned over seven years instead of five.