Written question – Combating the proliferation of the box tree moth – E-006686/2017

The box tree moth (Cydalima perspectalis) is now present in France and its caterpillars are currently threatening the woods and underbrush of the whole country.

Imported from Asia in 2008, it has gradually reached French forests. It is estimated that hundreds of thousands of hectares have been completely defoliated. However, France is not an isolated case: Germany, Belgium, Italy and the Netherlands are affected.

The activities of the box tree moth are harmful to biodiversity. By endangering the life cycle of the box tree, for example, it leads to serious disruption of the forest ecosystem, with an impact on both flora and fauna. This decline will ultimately lead to soil instability and an increase in the risk of forest fires starting in the South of France.

This caterpillar is a real threat. However, the box tree moth is not classified as a danger to health or a ‘harmful species’.

In the face of this challenge to Europe’s forest heritage, the public authorities must react. What studies has the Commission carried out to assess the damage?

What funding to combat the box tree moth has it, or could it, put in place?