Pro Silva Forest Management

The University of Namur received the 2016 Environment Prize from the Baillet Latour Fund for the Pro Silva forest management.

The main objective was to design an economic and ecological management of the natural areas of the Domain while allowing scientific, didactic and social use.

To achieve this, various actions were undertaken, including

  • Ensuring the resilience and profitability of the 300 ha of forest on the estate by favouring a mixture of indigenous hardwood species, natural regeneration of the forest and, for the marketing of the wood, local buyers.
  • Favouring wood from the Domaine in the University's construction sites.  The 300 doors of the new Faculty of Science and the cladding of the new animal house are made of Haugimont wood.
  • To preserve all the interesting biotopes: old high-stem orchards maintained and certified in organic farming, ponds, clay pits, hedges and copses, rare and remarkable trees, etc.
  • To have students, schoolchildren, youth movements, and hunting and fishing tenants living together in the forest, with original specifications that respect the didactic objectives of the University.

This prize from the Baillet Latour Foundation has made it possible to digitise and analyse the 4 complete inventories (1979, 1991, 2009 and 2016) of all the trees in the Haugimont forest in order to provide figures that were cruelly lacking in Wallonia to prove the economic interest of ecological forestry. This prize could also inspire other private or public institutions that own forests and encourage them to follow the example of UNamur, which uses wood from its domain for various carpentry works.