To conclude this week dedicated to climate with the organization of COP25 in Madrid, we tackle the environmental education component, one of the four pillars of Kinomé’s activity.
The Forest&Life program has been deploying for 10 years a double ambition: to make the youngest people aware of the importance of protecting our forests and to make them aware of what is happening elsewhere in the world, to make them want to protect the forest where it is most threatened! The program has enabled 20,000 children to put their hands in the ground to replant trees. Planting a tree, the children sponsor two others in a threatened southern forest (Peru, Senegal, Gabon and Togo by international solidarity). The program thus engages children in the replanting of our territories, with an educational program in the classroom to discover the forests of the world, all in solidarity with a school in a partner country in the south.
“For here, for there, for all of us”
In metropolitan France, the forest area has been increasing by 0.7% per year since 1980. Today, the forest in metropolitan France covers 16.9 million hectares, meaning 31% of the territory. France alone is home to 10% of all forests in Europe, has one of the best biodiversity, and in terms of quantity, is the fourth most forested country after Sweden, Finland and Spain. In just over a century, from 1912 to 2016, the area covered by forests doubled from 8 million to 16.5 million hectares! Yes, the French forest is growing, and has been for a long time. Only today it is facing new problems: with global warming, forests are experiencing longer and more frequent droughts. Trees are weakening and have difficulty regenerating naturally. Thus weakened, they are more and more sensitive and therefore affected by major health problems that often lead to the death of the tree. For example, ash chalarosis in the Nord and Pas de Calais regions, the beetle or the microscopic fungus Sphaeropsis sapinea attacking our pines rather in the east of France. The arrival of new tree pathogens is taking advantage of rising temperatures to gain new favourable living conditions.
What will the French forest look like at the end of the century? Which species will become extinct, which ones will spread? Rising temperatures are already having very visible effects. For example, as Olivier PICARD, Director of Research and Development at the Centre National de la Propriété Forestière (CNPF) reminds us: “Scots pines south of the Alps are dying out at a high rate. Sessile and pedunculate oaks are showing signs of dieback as far as the banks of the Loire. The beech, a species that fears high temperatures, sees its specimens furthest south of its range, in the Poitou region, suffer more and more from summer heat waves. Conversely, the holm oak has left the Mediterranean scrubland to colonise the Atlantic coasts, going as far as the Vendée, where it was absent from these regions at the beginning of the 21st century. The Landes forest of maritime pine could also settle in the north of France and gain in productivity. But the massif is also threatened by the arrival of the pine nematode, a devastating insect. »
The forestry sector will have to adapt to climate change, and surely change the species that make up our French forests.
The challenge is therefore twofold! To make young people aware of the importance of protecting our forests and to make them aware of what is happening elsewhere in the world, to make them want to protect the forest where it is most threatened! Forest&Life has been doing this for more than 10 years now. The program has enabled 20,000 children to put their hands in the ground to replant trees and through international solidarity by sponsoring two others in a threatened southern forest (Peru, Senegal, Gabon and Togo). Trees are replanted for the general interest in response to climate impact (replanting after fires, storms, drought, floods, etc.), in partnership with the National Forestry Office (ONF) and Canopé (National Academy). A programme involving children in the replanting of our territories, with an educational programme in the classroom to discover the world’s forests, all in solidarity with a school in a partner country in the south.