The Czech Ministry of Agriculture is planning to promote non-state forest owners with up to 2.5 billion crowns, or just over 97 million euros, to mitigate the effects of bark beetle calamity. The new funding program was approved on 30th July.
According to it, up to 1.5 billion kroner should be paid out in 2019, and again in 2020 up to 1 billion kroner. The funding program still has to be registered at the EU Commission.
The funds are intended to enable forest owners, despite the collapse in round timber prices, to continue to properly manage their forests and reforest the bare areas.
Forest owners can apply for funding from the end of October, according to a forest law amendment, which should have taken place by that time. Depending on the volume of funding raised, up to CZK 1.5 billion will be paid out this year and up to CZK 1 billion in the first quarter of next year.
According to the Ministry of Agriculture, in 2018, 23 million cubic meters of calamity wood were produced, of which 13 million were due to bark beetles, twice as much as in 2017. At least the same amount is expected for 2019. The affected area is up to 50,000 ha, ie just under 2% of the total forest area in the Czech Republic.
The total volume of support for forest management, including the new support program, will amount to around 4 billion kroner in 2019.