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New tree protection scheme launches in Ile-de-France

A new scheme to protect “remarkable” trees in the Ile-de-France has been launched, to preserve both their environmental and historical significance.

Yann Wehrling, regional counsellor and former general secretary of the Green party, has launched the “Tree Mission” to identify and protect “remarkable/noteworthy (remarquables)” trees aesthetically, historically, and biologically.

They will then receive the “remarkable” title, and be protected under a special statute.

The scheme forms part of the “Green Plan for Ile-de-France: Nature everywhere and for everyone”, which was itself launched in March this year, reports French newspaper Le Monde.

There are said to be just 16 trees per inhabitant in the Ile-de-France region; 200 million trees in total. Each helps to capture excess carbon dioxide, maintain biodiversity, and regulate the temperature during a heatwave, but some especially old or aesthetically-important trees in the area are said to have historic significance.

Trees that may be eligible for the title of “remarkable” will be identified in the first instance by planning organisations such as the Institute for Urban Planning (l’Institut d’aménagement et d’urbanisme (IAU)) or the National Forestry Office (l’Office national des forêts (ONF)), but local residents will also be able to nominate trees for the accolade.

Residents will have chance to sponsor certain trees, and take part in a guided walk to discover more “remarkable” trees as part of the scheme.

The scheme will also help to prevent too-harsh pruning of trees, and any work at street level or deeper that could damage their roots.

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