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Christophe Béchu announces a research program on the adaptation of forests

The Minister of Ecological Transition Christophe Béchu announced on Thursday the creation of a “research program” on the adaptation of forests to climate change, endowed with 50 million euros. This program, organized with the public interest group Ecofor, dedicated to forest ecosystems, aims to provide solutions and decision support tools to owners “to have the most resilient forest possible, to capture and sequester carbon, to have intelligent strategies in terms of planting, exploitation and monitoring”, explained the minister.

During a trip to Gironde, where the fires raged during the summer, the minister also detailed, for 2023, measures to help plant trees, after the promise set by Emmanuel Macron to plant a billion in France within ten years. On October 28, the president had mentioned “a public financing mechanism” to achieve this end, wishing in parallel a “wide mobilization”.

An envelope of 150 million for Ademe

Christophe Béchu specified that in addition to a budget of 100 million euros earmarked for this purpose within the “green fund”, which supports local authorities in the ecological transition, an envelope of 150 million, resulting from the investment program “France 2030”, would be allocated to the Environment Agency (Ademe) to help private owners.

A counter will be opened in January to finance, up to 50%, projects of afforestation or reforestation of plots, specified the minister. Asked by AFP about the sustainability of these measures, he replied that this budget concerned “the only year 2023” and that “the idea, then, is that carbon finance takes over”.

Last March, the government had already mentioned the establishment of “sustainable funding dedicated to forest renewal of 100 to 150 million euros (each year) from 2024, in particular mobilizing the tools of carbon finance”. The objective of planting a billion trees in ten years was considered “unattainable” humanly and technically by SNUPFEN Solidaires, the first union of the ONF. In terms of fire prevention, the Minister indicated that 50 million euros from the “green fund” would also be allocated to municipalities to finance adaptation actions in risk sectors.

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