On the 3rd of September, the French Prime Minister presented the “France Relance” plan, a roadmap for the economic, social and ecological refoundation of the country. 100 billion euros are dedicated to this recovery plan, including 1.2 billion for the “agricultural transition, food and forestry” section. 200 million will be allocated to forests over the period 2021-2022.
The recovery plan aims to adapt forests to the challenges of climate change by:
- – Improving the resilience of forest stands and ecosystems;
- – Increasing carbon sequestration through new stands.
The plan concerns 45,000 hectares of forests that will be improved, regenerated of reconstituted, representing approximately 50 million trees. A call for expressions of interest has been launched for reforestation aimed at economic operators in the upstream forestry sector of the forest-wood industry. Aid will be granted for the adaptation of vulnerable forests to climate change, for stands considered as poor or to be transformed, and forests declining due to bark beetles or other health issues. The diversification of species, seen as a principle for controlling the risks associated with climate change, is set as a condition for access to aid with a percentage of species diversification of at least 20% within a minimum area of 10ha.
The plan includes the preservation of jobs in rural areas: forestry companies, forestry cooperatives, forestry experts, wood transporters, forest nurseries, sawmills, energy, wood construction, etc. The confirmation of the role of forests in the challenge of climate change should increase the attractiveness of forestry professions. This measure will also have positive impacts on the preservation of biodiversity, adaptation to risks (fires, rock fall, erosion) and the improvement of the quality of social services through forests and hedgerows.
By 2021, the National Research Agency’s* budget will be increased from 518M€ to 953 M€, anticipating by two years the increase in research programming, which will peak in 2027 at 1,518M€. This additional budget will be used to significantly increase the success rate from the current 16% to over 25%, in line with that of the world’s best research agencies.
*The French National Research Agency (ANR) is a government agency that finances public and partnership research in France.
Author: Armand Clopeau (IEFC)