Youngsters from across the globe think about the future of the Sonien Forest

Groenendaal Castle in Hoeilaart (Flemish Brabant) is the setting for an international workshop on the future of the Sonien Forest. Over the next two weeks 40 young graduates from all over the world will be participating in the ‘A Sustainable Future for the Sonien Forest’ workshop. They will think about the future of the forest that is often described as Brussels “green lung”.  

The workshop has been organised by the Flemish, Brussels-Capital and Walloon regional authorities, all three of which are responsible for part of the forest that stretches from Tervuren (Flemish Brabant) in the East to Waterloo (Walloon Brabant ) in the West and from Watermaal-Bosvoorde and Ukkel (both Brussels) in the North to La Hulpe (Walloon Brabant) in the south.   

One of the main topics that that will be looked into in depth is how urban development and the strengthening of the position of the forest as an important natural habitat for flora and fauna can go hand in hand.

Speaking at the start of the two-week long workshop, the Flemish Environment Minister Joke Schauvliege (Christian democrat) said    “The woodland and the built-up area are both under intense pressure and are urgently in need of a common vision, strategic measures and diverse action in order to guarantee their mutual sustainable development.

In addition to the workshop Horizon+ was also launched on Monday afternoon. Horizon+ is a partnership between the regional, provincial and municipal authorities that cover the Sonien Forest.