France: The Fate of the Forest Scrutinized by Senate

French Senate
France: The Fate of the Forest Scrutinized by Senate

French Senators discussed the country's forests, on January 12, 2016, in the Luxembourg Palace, Paris, France. The Minister of Agriculture, Stephane Le Foll, expressed his willingness to mobilize 100 million euros for replanting in 2016.

Stephane Le Foll, the French Minister of Agriculture and Forest, wants “to mobilize EUR 100 million in 2016 for the regrowth of trees”. He announced so on January 12, 2016, during a debate on French forests, held in Senate, in Paris. In doing so, the Minister invites stakeholders to take into account local specificities, and “find great basin destinies and specific organizations” for a plural French forest.

Towards innovative financing

These EUR 100 million would come from the national strategic fund, the European Fund ERDF, and the “Investments for the Future” programme, each of approximately EUR 25 million. Yet, EUR 25 million should be added, which may come from private funding and “innovations in terms of funding”, the Minister said.

Forest repopulation fits into a context where the question arises “on the future of this forest with its destiny into transformation or wood energy", Stephane Le Foll added. The announcement comes in response to the concerns expressed by Senators.

Common forests, logging, agroforestry

Senator Gisele Jourda (Socialist group) proposed to better associate local forest communities. This could be a way, according to her, to overcome the “inadequacies” of the National Forests Office (ONF) new contract, that is: “the diminution of the service rendered to municipalities by the ONF, the simplification of planning, the triennial presentation of loggings, the regrouping of management, the lack of structural reform pointing the way forward for the ONF”.

Joel Labbe (Ecologist group) suggested that agroforestry be developed.

Structure the timber sector

Nicole Duranton (The Republicans group) focused on the timber sector. She called for a simplified and better organized timber sector in terms of governance. Notably, this would involve “facilitating the possible cooperation between the two main inter-trade entities in the sector, namely France Bois Foret and France Bois Industries Entreprises; this grouping is also being recommended in the report of the Court of Auditors”.

Such topics are echoing the national plan for forest and timber, which must be presented in February 2016.

Chrystelle Carroy/Forestopic