More than 55 people coming from different countries of the European Atlantic Arc assisted the launching of the EFI Regional Office in the Conseil Régional dAquitaine.
The President of the Conseil Régional dAquitaine Mr. Rousset opened the meeting. Is speech was mainly about the importance of developing the forest sector in the region of Aquitaine. Afterwards, Mr. Inazio Martinez, the President of the IEFC (www.iefc.net) and Mr. Risto Paivinen, the Directeur of the EFI (www.efi.int) presented the activities of these two institutions. Jean-Michel Carnus, Vice-president of the IEFC, presented the specific aspects of the cultivated forest in the Atlantic Arc which confirm the need for an EFI Regional Office in the Atlantic Area. Christophe Orazio, Director of the IEFC and of the EFI Atlantic Regional Office presented the main research priorities for the IEFC network and the REINFFORCE project; he also explained how the IEFC and the EFI will interact within the EFI Atlantic.
The donors of the EFI Atlantic presented their expectations from this Regional Office:
F. Maitia (Conseil Régional dAquitaine, Forest-Wood department)
The region of Aquitaine is pleased to welcome the EFI Atlantic. They already had a network of the forest-wood sector, but with the arrival of this new regional office they now have a European network. All kinds of cooperation are needed at the moment, at the inter-regional or European level; this network will help the development of the international cooperation in Aquitaine. The international cooperation that started with the IEFC must be taken forward. The priority today is to adapt forests to the climate changes and this cannot be done without an international cooperation. Aquitaine is the leader of the cultivated forest, its wood sector is highly organised. This region is grateful for welcoming the EFI Atlantic and will support it on its actions.
E. Eraso (Gobierno de Navarra)
Navarre has a small forest area. They have chosen to support the EFI Atlantic because the forest sector on this region is very important, not for its economic importance, but for the rural development and biodiversity. They will also support collaborative projects concerning forestry. Navarre has always supported the IEFC and its European projects as the REINFFORCE project that has just started (about the impact of climatic changes in the Atlantic forests). The region of Navarre will continue to encourage the EFI Atlantic on its actions.
R. Jinks (Forest Research)
The forestry commission is very supporting EFI Atlantic which will enhance European collaboration in forestry. UK has a wide diversity of wood and biodiversity. Such as other European countries, it faces many challenges such as climate change, biosecurity, economic issues, etc., which are transnational issues and thus require cross-national collaboration. Climate change adaptation needs cooperation. In UK, many changes are observed (an increasing risk of storms and floods, drier summers) that have consequences on natural woodland and plantations. Future climate in UK might be similar as Aquitaine or South Atlantic area. At the same time, experience and wind knowledge in Scotland could be as well useful to other Atlantic forests. Thus FR will be part of REINFFORCE project. It has experience in long term experimentation and share of data, and knows the importance and necessity of this project for long term species experiment. EFI Atlantic network has many questions to answer, and FR is delighted by the opening of such an Atlantic European organism.
Alousque (Ministry of Agriculture) France
The IEFC has been part of the European research network for ten years already. The Ministry of Agriculture is pleased with the fact that two EFI Regional Offices appear at the same year in France, forming two great clusters of forestry research. The Ministry is aware that the funding of the forestry research must be done in a long term and they will do their best to do so. But for the time being the funding of the EFI Atlantic is already assured for a period four years. One of Europes greatest challenges today is the climate changes that will need a long term research activity. The forest-wood sector will need the support of the EFI Atlantic in order to get quick results on the following subjects: which kind of forest species must be planted in the future to assure the sustainability of forests suffering from climate changes? To work under the abiotic risk: how the gradient progresses? The energy policy will need scientific answers about the wood energy.
Ascacibar Gregorio (Gobierno Pais Vasco): excused
J. L. Alonso (Gobierno Castilla y Léon)
The forest multifonctionality and the depopulation of rural areas are main priorities for the Spanish government. The support given to the forest sector must contribute to the rural development. To do so the forest multifonctionality is of high importance. It is important to learn how to take profit from the different forest resources in a sustainable way: biodiversity, energy, other resources (resin, mushrooms, pines, rural tourism Everything that the EFI Atlantic can bring to the forest sector will be welcome. CyL are very interested by all collaborative projects and their region will be a very good collaborator in the future.
B. Fauconneau (INRA)
INRA is happy to welcome the EFI Atlantic on the facilities of Pierroton giving them the opportunity to develop the work they had already started with the IEFC. Besides, INRA has a double collaboration with the EFI regional offices, because they also work closely with the EFICENT, Freiburg Nancy Zurich, specialised on the non cultivated forests. The EFI research activities are the same as INRA: sustainable forest management, climatic changes, and the competitiveness of wood and energy production. The research activities of INRA and of the EFI will take benefit from this close collaboration, as we can see with the work that is already being done in common about the climate changes. INRA has experience on working with research networks and European projects, but the EFI Atlantic will help INRA finding its place at the European level and it will also be the opportunity for INRA to start working with new subjects besides biology: such as forest economy and societal aspects. The EFI will also bring a long term vision of the forest research. INRA is thus ready to help this network and encourages its work.
J. L. Martres (USSE)
The forest owners have great hopes in what regards research. However research needs funding to go forward. Forestry has work hard to establish European networks such as USSE and the IEFC. Foresters are pleased to see that the IEFC will become part of the EFI, and they are hoping that this new regional office will bring some answers to their questions. After the recent storm that devastated the South-West of France some questions will be raised before professionals decide to invest again on forestry. For example: which species should be replanted and how to do it without risks within a context of climate changes? USSE is counting with this new European partnership to bring answers to the questions raised by foresters.