The original semi-dry forest covered 56 800 ha on the west coast between Saint-Denis and Saint-Pierre.Today, only 1% (255 ha) remains. As part of its "Life +" biodiversity programme, the EU has co-funded a major forest restoration project in La GrandeChaloupe, costing €2.6m over five years (2009 - 2013). The project is coordinated by the National Park of La Réunion with funding from La Région, Le Department, the DEAL and the Conservatoire du Littoral. Many environmental organizations are involved in the project. The CBNM, the University and the CIRAD are conducting studies and the ONF and GCEIP are involved in the restoration work.
The aim was to restore 30 hectares of existing forest and to recreate an entirely new forest on anadditional plot of 9 hectares on the plateau overlooking La Grande Chaloupe on the north side.
Between August 2011 and February 2012, work was carried out against invasive alien species. Planting began in January 2012 and ended in early April. 33,000 trees have been planted inwhat will become the new forest and 5050 trees were planted in the areas of restoration.