EC approves EUR 100 mln Romanian state aid scheme to support forest regeneration
The European Commission (EC) approved on May 24 a Romanian scheme worth EUR 100 million to support the regeneration of damaged forests. The scheme will be funded through the Recovery and Resilience Facility (RRF).
“The aim of the scheme is to support forest owners to advance forest regeneration in areas affected by forest fires, adverse climatic events, pest infestations and catastrophic events,” the Commission said.
The scheme will run until June 30, 2026, and will take the form of direct grants to private and public forest owners, as well as their associations.
“The Commission found that the scheme is necessary and appropriate to encourage forest regeneration. Furthermore, the Commission concluded that the scheme is proportionate and will not have undue negative effects on competition and trade in the EU. On this basis, the Commission approved the scheme under EU State aid rules,” reads the press release.
Meanwhile, Romania’s environment minister Tanczos Barna announced in a Facebook post that a budget of EUR 730 million had been allocated for new forests and reforestation projects through the Recovery and Resilience Facility.
“To encourage landowners to create new forests and increase the resilience of existing ones, we have prepared two aid schemes, one for new forests and one for reforestation. The European Commission has now approved the state aid scheme for the regeneration of damaged forests. We have laid the foundations of this scheme through a law since 2020, and now the possibility of financing through RRF has opened up,” the minister said.
State and private owners can receive direct grants for the restoration of forests affected by forest fires, adverse weather events that can be likened to a natural disaster, pest infestation or catastrophic events.
In addition, according to minister Tanczos Barna, Romania will have 56,700 ha of new forests by the end of 2026. “We have prepared the financing guidelines and will soon launch them in public consultation to start the afforestation campaign,” he said.
(Photo source: Adrian Ionut Virgil Pop/Dreamstime.com)