THE regional Environment ministry has teamed up with German tour operator TUI in a project to plant 60'000 trees in an area of Majorca's natural “Llevant” park which has been depleted by forest fires.

An agreement was signed between the two parties yesterday at an “Alternative Tourism” fair in Munich which will mean an investment of 663'000 euros in the reforestation programme. The Balearics were represented by Environment Minister Miquel Angel Grimalt, and TUI by Environment Director, Andreas Koch.

TUI have previously committed to backing a ministry scheme christened “Project Bosque” (wood) in which the tour operator guaranteed to plant a million trees in the Balearics during the term of office of the present regional government. It has already financed planting of 450'000 of them.

An area which is specifically targeted for reforestation is Ses Bolos in the municipality of Arta, which is encompassed within the Llevant natural park. The hillside territory has been susceptible to natural deterioration and the project will witness the planting of 57'600 trees - pines and wild olives - over an area of 48 hectares. The figures assume 1'200 trees per hectare. Because of the nature of soil and exposure to inclement weather in the zone, technical specialists have ruled out plant seeds and opted instead for reforesting with trees which are already on their way to maturity.