Luxembourg's Nature and Forest Agency (ANF) has announced that the number of hunting lots in the Grand Duchy will be increasing to 621.
Luxembourgish territory is currently subdivided into hunting lots (according to Article 21 of the Hunting Act of 25 May 2011), each of which must have an area of at least 300 hectares. However, the ANF has noted that the current subdivision (valid until 31 March 2021) is out of date and does not meet this criteria for 124 lots.
In order to prepare a new grand-ducal regulation on this matter, the ANF participated in a meeting on the subdivision of hunting lots and the relevant ecological criteria. The meeting resulted in two possible solutions: the one-off modification of the existing boundaries and the distribution of these 124 lots to the existing neighbouring lots; or the creation of a completely new lot distribution by applying the hunting and ecological criteria provided for in the current law. After consultation with the Superior Council of Hunting on 10 May 2016, the latter was approved.
The ANF then drew up the first draft of the new lots on maps and after consultation with its stakeholders in the field, namely the nature and forest managers. On 1 March 2019, the Luxembourg Cabinet agreed with this preliminary draft grand-ducal regulation setting the limits for hunting lots and its submission to the public consultation procedure. In order to involve the public in the development of this plan, a public consultation took place between 15 March and 16 April 2019. Thus, any interested person could consult the lots electronically on the website www.emwelt.lu (details also available on www.geoportail.lu) or in person at five ANF regional offices.
The public submitted a total of 222 proposals, of which 17 were considered irrelevant. Of the remaining 205 proposals, 102 were fully or partially accepted. The other 103 could not be incorporated for various reasons. Having analysed these proposals, the preliminary draft grand-ducal regulation has been updated to provide for the subdivision of the national territory into 621 hunting lots (with modified limits taking into account these proposals). These lots have an area between 300.5 hectares and 668.4 hectares, with an average of 418.7 hectares. The Cabinet received and approved the bill on 19 July 2019. It is therefore currently in the regulatory process.
The ANF has reiterated that, although some of the proposals could not be accepted, public participation has proven very useful in determining these new boundaries.