The Royal Forestry Society of Belgium is the lead partner in a new European Interreg North-West Europe project called MigFoRest, which stands for "Assisted Migration to increase Forest Resilience in NWE". The project has 6 partners, including two from France (Office National des Forêts and NeoSylva), one from Germany (FVA : Forstliche Versuchs- und Forschungsanstalt Baden-Württemberg) and three Belgians (Société Royale Forestière de Belgique, Centre wallon de recherches agronomiques and Instituut voor Natuur- en Bosondorzoek), who will work together to deploy assisted migration of species and provenances as one of the solutions for increasing the resilience of forests in North-Western Europe in the face of climate change. With a total budget of €7.1m, the project will last four and a half years.

Initially, the project will work on identifying the most promising species and provenances, analysing the genetic diversity of southern stands and identifying the best sources of seeds. The risk of invasions and the biodiversity potential of these new species will be assessed.

Pilot areas will then be developed in the three countries by enrichment plantations of assisted migration cells in both private and public forests. The seedlings will be harvested from previously identified stands in the south. The SRFB, for its part, will be responsible for developing an area in Condrus and an area in the Ardennes. These plantations will then be used as an educational tool to raise the issue of assisted migration with a variety of audiences (decision-makers, local elected representatives, private and public forest owners and managers, nurserymen, forestry contractors, the general public, schoolchildren, etc.).

At the same time, three new seed orchards will be set up or planted to ensure that the northern territories will eventually be independent when it comes to supplying seeds from southern species. The CRAw's newly-formed forest genetics team will be called upon to carry out this task.
The project is currently in its start-up phase, with the teams from the various partners gradually being put together.