30 March 2021

Liberating energy to adapt forests to climate change!

On 22nd December last, when the forestry-timber constituent of the French government’s economic restart plan was launched, the sector’s stakeholders handed the Minister of Agriculture and Food their roadmap for adapting forestry to climate change. They also signed a commitment with the government whose objective is to combat woodland degeneration and preserve ecosystems threatened by climate change. We take a close look at the sector’s new roadmap.

 

Climate change impacts becoming more and more evident

Today’s forests are feeling more and more impact from the effects of climate change. Large swathes of woodland can now be seen struggling to adapt in the absence of intervention. A succession of droughts weakens the trees, making them more vulnerable to attack by insects, whose reproduction cycles in turn are shortened by atmospheric warming. The national forestry and timber programme (“PNFB”) has already set objectives for reinforcing forestry ecosystem resilience and the ability to withstand changes in climate, while over recent years foresters have witnessed a new turning point in the effects of climate change. An adaptation strategy is fast becoming an urgent need, adaptation being essential to preserving the forest’s environmental role.

 

« Forestry is a core issue in climate change and ecological transition: investing now in French forests means acting in favour of the climate and developing a green, job-creating economy. »

Julien Denormandie, Minister of Agriculture and Food

 

Roadmap for expanding tomorrow’s forest

Forestry and the use of timber contribute to three important current issues—economic, environmental, and societal. The sector’s roadmap sets out to tackle all the issues at once. It aims to adapt forests to climate change through a renewal programme for protecting biodiversity while addressing society’s need for timber based products. There will therefore be a need to reconcile ecological requirements with the sector’s industrial and market needs, especially when choosing future tree species.

This roadmap must become the basis for stimulating sector-wide adaption and must be backed by government aid. The forestry constituent of the government’s economic restart plan provides 200 million euros over the next two years and will assist deployment through the implementation of a number of schemes. The sector’s stakeholders and the government, on the same day, put their signatures on a commitment to making the restart plan a success.

 

Commitments in the Forestry-timber sector roadmap

  • Take action now, even in a context of uncertainty, by adopting forestry practices favouring resilience, attenuating risks, and limiting the impact of this kind of crisis.
  • Diversify species and technical itineraries, adapting to local contexts and existing tree populations. Seize on all the possibilities offered by combining species and organizing space.
  • Intensify attention to soils and biodiversity and follow good practice recommendations.
  • Explore a full range of solutions at the scale of populations, parcels, and stands.
  • Continually integrate research results, inputting feedback from practical management, and roll out the tools developed by forestry management stakeholders.
  • Deploy the necessary means to support multi-species forest plantation requirements and ensure adequate quality in terms of performance and resilience. The economic restart plan has provisions for assisting company investment, thereby reinforcing production capacities with regard to regenerative forestry equipment.

 

Find out more about the charter of undertaking between the government and the forestry-timber sector

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