Because of its history and topography, the Nord Pas-de-Calais is one of Europe’s most densely populated and urbanised region. It also inherits a long agricultural and industrial history. This unique situation explains the rarity of natural spaces and the very low afforestation rate of the region (9% at regional level against 30% at national level).
This exerted pressure on the environment has many economic, social and environmental consequences: a seriously endangered biodiversity, higher natural risks than the national average (especially flooding, alarming water, air and soils quality), standardised landscapes, and a lack of leisure and relaxing spaces…
Planting trees leads to actively fight against these phenomena. This is the project that has now been implemented for over 3 years now by the Planteurs Volontaires Association, relying on the active participation of the Region’s inhabitants.
Around 15 projects per year are implemented across the entire regional territory, all run by volunteers from various backgrounds (schools, salaried employees, residents, prison inmates, people with disabilities…).
- Conservation of the local biodiversity by protecting and restoring the natural environment.
- Heightening awareness of the local population towards the trees and forest’s multifunctionality.
- Safeguarding the air and water quality and fighting against the erosion of the soils.
- Fighting against climate change thanks to the vast amounts of CO2 stored into the trees’s biomass.
Planteurs Volontaires is a regional association which develops afforestation projects (anti-erosive hedgerows, reforestation for wood production, green grid, orchards…) in urban and rural areas.
The goal of these plantings can be environmental, economic or social. Their specificity lays on the fact that all the plantings (60 000 in 3 years time) are carried out thanks to the mobilisation of volunteers as part of a participative and citizen approach.