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" Study of Forestry Observatories":


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1. INTRODUCTION

FORSEE (Gestion durable des FORêts: un réSEau de zones pilotes pour la mise en œuvre opérationnellE) is a pilot project started in November 2003 with a financing of European Union in the Programme of Interreg III B "Atlantic Area". The pilot project FORSEE proposes to consolidate the process of certification by realising a ‘life size’ test of its criteria and indicators in pilot zones of several thousands of hectares. The pilot zones, together 11, are situated in four countries in the Atlantic area: France, Portugal, Spain and Ireland. The project FORSEE aims to evaluate the sustainable management of forests as it has been defined in the interdepartmental conference in Lisbon 1998, implementing the agreements of Helsinki. The main objective of the project is  to supply the participating regions with methods, tools and competencies for the evaluation, oversight and promotion of the sustainable management of forests. It will thus contribute to the promotion and exchange of forestry practices which respect the environment through a network of pilot zones.

Within the project FORSEE we needed to make an inventory of the regional forestry observatories consisting their status, missions and actions. The objective of this study is to see how the different observatories operate and to identify the structures the most suitable for the evaluation of the indicators of the sustainable management of forests .      

After a phase of research study we found five forestry observatories and one environmental observatory to study:

 
2. SYNTHESIS


The Observatories:


  • The Observatory for Sustainable Forest Management of Galice (Spain)
  • The Observatory of Mediterranean Forests
  • The Observatory of Aquitaine Forests
  • The European Observatory of Mountain Forests
  • The National Observatory of Forestry Market, Products and Services, Italy
  • The Departmental Observatory of Environment, Finistère 
Even though all the institutes studied are called "Observatories", we can notice that their functioning vary from each other. Notably their missions are diverse. For example the missions of Galice's Observatory ( certification, forest management) are more practical than those of the Aquitaine's Observatory whose aim is more scientific (collecting and evaluating of scientific data) .  

The main idea of the Mediterranean Observatory concentrates on a diffusion of information with a portal of information concerning with the forests Mediterranean and the field of wood. Even though it has also other projects more concrete concerning certification, wood energy and forestry plans. The Observatory of Mountain Forests has the same objectives than the Mediterranean Observatory, but its activities concern the European mountain forests. Therefore it exercises a politic more extensive and it wants to convey its contribution to the conservation and  to the sustainable management of the mountain forests in the several European countries. On the contrary, the others Observatories operate in the local or departmental level and their influence geographically is more limited (Tableau 1.). The mission of the Italian Observatory is to individualise and promote the actions of developing forestry product markets and services and in same time to conserve the forestry heritage and biodiversity. Thus the Observatory can be considered more focused on commerce than the other Observatories. The objective of the Environmental Observatory of Finistère is to provide an exact information about the Regional council of Finistère interventions within the environmental issues in the departmental level. Forest is represented in their missions, but it has a minor part among the others matters of environment.  In any case, the Regional Council takes part actively in the forestry activities with traditional partners like ONF (Office National des Forêts) and CRPF (Centre Régional de la propriété forestière). All the Observatories are public except the Observatory of Mountain which is a French association of a private law. The most part of the financing comes from a public sector (Tableau 2). The main common point between the Observatories is that they all work for sustainable management.     


STATUT Galice
Méditerranean
Aquitaine
Mountains
Finistère
Public
X
X
X

X
Privet



X

Regional
X
X
X


Departmental




X
European



X

Convention

X
X


Forum



X

Administrative
X



X

Tableau 1: The Institutional status of Observatories


FINANCING
Galice
Mediterranean
Aquitaine
Mountains
Finistère
European Union


X
X

State

X
X
X

Government
X




Region

X
X


Department




X
Self-financing


X


Other financing

X

X


Tableau 2: The Financing of Observatories


Generally, the Observatories are managed by two to four people and their functioning is guaranteed by comities ( Mediterranean, Aquitaine et Mountains). The Galice's Observatory and the Observatory of environment are not structured with comities.   

A portal of information is furnished by the Observatory of Mediterranean Forests and the European Observatory of Mountain Forests (Tableau 3). We can also find a little bit information about forests on the web site of The Departmental Observatory of Environment, Finistère. There are some forestry  links on the web site of Regional Government of Galicia. The Observatory of Aquitaine Forests doesn't provide any portal of information concerning their activities and functions.

The web site of the Observatory of Mediterranean Forests is really well-organised and updated  whereas the web site of  the Observatory of Mountain Forests has not been updated since 2001. However the Observatory of Mountain operates still, participates on the seminars (The role of Ecosystems as water supply, December 2004 and IUFRO World Congress in Australia 2005) and prepares its new web site for September 2005.


SERVICES
Mediterranean
Mountain
Italy
Portal of information
X
X
X
Publications
X
X
X
Current events
X
X
X
Activities
X
X

Links
X

X
Bibliography

X
X
Directory
X

X
Forum
X


Forestry maps
X



Tableau 3: The services furnished by the Observatories of Mediterranean, Mountain and Italy


The Observatory of Mediterranean Forests address its information for all stakeholders of the forestry sector and for a general public (Tableau 4). The Observatory of Mountain Forests doesn't have as wide range of recipients as the Observatory Mediterranean. The Observatory of Italy has as a speciality some pages dedicated to a forestry press. The Observatory of Galice and Finistère are directed more towards functionaries and the Observatory Aquitaine towards scientifiques. 


RECIPIENTS
Galice
Mediterranean
Aquitaine
Mountain
Italy
Finistère
Forest owners
X
X
X

X

Researchers

X
X
X
X

Decision makers
X
X
X
X
X
X
Companies

X

X
X

Financiers

X

X
X

Administrative services
X
X
X

X
X
All citizens

X

X

X

Tableau 4: The recipients of information produced by the Observatories