Environment and Biodiversity
Paca region, France
15 000 € to the Selection Committee at 2006/01/31
Project leader Forestour
« Designed with the help of technicians from the Centre Régional de la Propriété forestière, and then reviewed by the specialists of the National Institute for Agronomic Research (INRA) and the National Forestry Board (ONF), the project has been recognized by the sustainable development delegate of the Ministry of the Environment and Sustainable Development. Apart from the question of carbon “sequestration”, the importance of reviving a wood-energy system for future felling waste, in a period of soaring fuel prices, is undeniable. »
The initiative was launched on June 2, 2006 during the national sustainable development week. Since then, Forestour (Forêt réseau tourisme en région Alpes-Côte d’Azur) offers tourists visiting and traveling in the Paca region the opportunity to fight the harmful effects of greenhouse gas emissions (partly produced by their vehicles) by sponsoring tree plantations in the region.
Buttressing a number of initiatives launched by the Alpes-Maritimes département and promoting the use of renewable energies, particularly wood, the principle of the operation is simple: Climat-Forest coupons costing 20 euros are sold to the public in service station networks, supermarkets, hotels and at various hostels. Symbolically, each driver who buys a coupon will finance the planting of a tree, thereby becoming its “sponsor”.
An Ambitious and Federating Project
Scientifically speaking, the Forestour project will help create new "carbon wells": dense forest areas capable of "sequestering" greenhouse gas emissions from automobiles and aircrafts.
From the human standpoint, the Climate-Forest coupons will primarily serve to raise public awareness of the challenges of sustainable development. Within the few years necessary to see the first reforested zones reach sufficient maturity, they will also encourage the emergence of a more environment friendly "green" tourism.
And in economic terms, it will help revive the wood-energy system, with a view to controlled and sustainable operation.
For these various reasons, Forestour enjoys the backing of the regional council and the general councils, small and medium sized undertakings, banks and miscellaneous foundations. They all participate in the project, either financially, or in kind, for example by offering fallow land for reforestation. The 15 000 euros granted by the Veolia foundation will serve partly to cover the cost of launching the operation, estimated at 210 000 euros.