A brand new nationwide park in France is getting used as a laboratory to check the results of local weather change


France offers picturesque vineyards, a beautiful coastline and towering mountain ranges. In one part of the country, a laser focus is now being placed on the conservation and sustainability of another jewel in the country's landscape: forests.

The Forêts National Park, established in November 2019, is located in the Bourgogne-Franche-Comté and Grand-Est regions near Paris.

Véronique Genevey, the park's director, described the latest installment of CNBC's "Sustainable Energy" as a space "dedicated to knowledge".

"It's an outdoor laboratory to study forests to study how they develop naturally and how climate change is affecting them," she added. "And this knowledge is then used to better understand the development of the forest."

Forest conservation efforts include marking trees to show whether they need to be preserved or felled for money.

The trees can be used in a variety of ways after harvest. Morgan Martin, an expert in forestry and lumber industries at Forêts National Park, said some parts of the tree are suitable for use in furniture while others are reserved for firewood.

While the timber and timber industries play an important role in the local economy, the idea is to protect a certain number of trees in order to maintain the forest. These are known as "biodiversity trees".

"It's a tree that really matters and we want to keep it all our lives," explained Martin, adding that if the tree died and fell to the ground, it would stay where it was.

He said this is because "about 25% of forest species need the deadwood and these tree species to live".

Zoé Lefort is project coordinator at the French National Forest Office, another party involved in work related to the Forêts National Park.

She wanted to emphasize the beauty of the forest as well as its importance for nature and noted that "a lot of biodiversity, many tree species, many plant species, many wild animals" were to be found here.

Hope but am working to do

While the work of people like Martin and his colleagues is encouraging, it cannot be denied that forests around the world face a range of challenges and threats.

According to a recent report by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United States of America (FAO), both forest degradation and deforestation "continue to occur at alarming rates".

The FAO's 2020 report on the state of forests, while recognizing that the rate of deforestation has indeed decreased over the past three decades, also notes that an estimated 420 million hectares "have been lost to land-use conversion since 1990" ".

Stéphane Hallaire is President and Founder of Reforest & # 39; Action, a social company focused on preserving, restoring and creating forests.

Speaking to CNBC, he said that public action is needed to combat and stop deforestation. "Every single forest needs to be managed sustainably," he added, emphasizing that reforestation needs to be promoted on a large scale.

He said he had "high hopes" about the future of forests around the world.

"I believe that people will begin to understand the importance of forests in our daily lives," he added.

"And this is the entry point for a better future, for us and for the forests. We need companies and individuals to support reforestation."

"You can do that by funding a project of your heart, but you can also come to … fields and plant trees yourself."


Katherine Clark