Posted on Dec. 2020 at 17:34Updated Dec 16. 2020 at 18:04
The “most important forest repopulation since the post-war” project. The Minister of Agriculture, Food and Forests, Julien Denormandie on Wednesday specified the main lines of France’s project to plant 50 million trees, in order to fight against the effects of global warming.
The ministry confirmed that the budget for the operation was 150 million euros. The project was unveiled in September as part of the government’s two-year, 100 billion euros post-Covid recovery plan.
The repopulation of 50 million trees corresponds to the target of 45,000 hectares of plantation set in this recovery plan, a priori with this same agenda. This reserve of 45,000 hectares would capture an additional 150,000 tons of CO2 each year.
Finding tree species adapted to the climate change and sufficient seeds and plants available will be a “huge challenge”, especially for nurseries, explained Julien Denormandie. Through aid to forest owners, public or private, and support for the timber industry, the ambition is to renew and adapt the forest park to climate challenges.
“Take ash groves today, ash trees need certain humidity, and there are plenty of places where we say to ourselves that if we replant ash trees, in thirty or forty years they will not be able to resist », Detailed Julien Denormandie.
One of the emergencies is also to respond to the damage caused by bark beetles, beetles that dig holes in trees weakened by drought.
To raise awareness of climate issues from an early age, the Minister hopes to be able to involve schools and national education in the project, as some local associations are already doing on biodiversity preservation programs.
Plant trees to save the planet. The idea is presented as an a priori obvious solution to the problem of global warming. But for some specialists, planting trees is not enough to create a forest. The botanist Francis Hallé, at the origin of the project to revive a primary forest in Western Europe, believes that “a forest is much more than trees”.
Without tackling the project of the Ministry of Agriculture, Francis Hallé warns of this confusion and the monoculture of certain species. “We are talking about the“ Landes de Gascogne forest ”, whereas it is a pine plantation”, quotes the botanist in particular.
A position known to the Minister of Agriculture, who made a point of stressing during the presentation of the project, that we should not “judge” the “extraordinarily sincere” positions against the exploitation of forests in the name of defense of the environment. “A forest is protected, just like the soil, and it is cultivated, just like the soil” claims the Minister, “one is not in opposition to the other”.