Living Forest Letter 67 (from France)

(A peek into the world of francophone forest activism, translated from

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1) This community in India is replanting a devastated forest

Perhaps you’re among those who feel the need to go out and engage in causes that are dear to you? More and more people are deciding to venture out and invest themselves in projects that deal with concrete problems somewhere in the world, from both human and environmental points of view. We [Mr. Mondialisation Team] have spoken with one of these people, Titou, who spent six months in India where he participated in a vast reforestation project, Sadhana Forest.

“I experimented with a way of living that was totally different from what you can experience anywhere else.” Furthermore, he described Sadhana Forest as a “laboratory of social, spiritual, and philosophical research to try and find a way to live on good terms with living beings.” [French]

2) France wants to exploit the forests of the Congo

The French Development Agency is supporting the lifting of the moratorium on the exploitation of forests in the Democratic Republic of Congo, the second largest rainforest area in the world, even as it forbids their exploitation publicly. This program could be responsible for the emission of at least 610 million tons of CO2, according to NGOs. That would be as much as international aviation caused in 2015. [FRENCH] [ENGLISH]

3) Besançon protest on Tuesday, December 5 [2017]: A first for the SOS Forest Collectives and a beautiful success for Adret behind the action. [FRENCH] [FRENCH]

4) Jean-Baptiste Vidalou publishes “ÊTRE FORÊTS” [Being Forests]

For a dozen years, whether it’s in the woods of Sivens, at Notre-Dame-des-Landes, at Bure or in the Cevennes, something’s clearly been going on at the edges of the forests. Some people have begun to inhabit these spaces, with the determination to leave the deadly world of the economy. A completely different relation to the world is built there, remote from the military science of spatial planning – here against a dam, there against an airport, or a biomass extraction. This isn’t only a local affair: the farmers of Guerrero in Mexico have been fighting for more than 10 years to liberate their forests from exploiters; the Cree people in Canada are defending their Broadback boreal forest from deforestation; the Penan in Borneo are arming themselves with blowguns against oil palm plantation companies… Everywhere the battles resound with the same idea: the forest is not a biosphere reserve or a carbon well. The forest is a people in revolt. We have gone to meet these forests and those who defend them. We discovered countless continents, unique paths, ungovernable people. A whole geography from which it was possible, at last, to breathe. [FRENCH]

5) What role is there for French forests and the French forestry-wood industry in climate change mitigation?

This new study reproduced on June 27, 2017, addresses the potential role of the French forestry-wood industry in climate change mitigation. It was realized by the INRA and IGN at the request of the Minister of Agriculture and Food. [FRENCH]

6) Wood energy in Europe: 15 renowned scientists denounce a European bill

The European Ministers of Energy came together on Monday, December 18 to discuss the revision of the Renewable Energy Directive. One point particularly disturbed the scientific community: the extensive use of wood energy to achieve the renewable energy objectives. Fifteen scientists who are respected by their peers, including many members of GIEC, published an op-ed in the newspaper The Guardian which warned of the dangers of producing energy from forest biomass. France Nature Environnement, which has pointed out the possible negative effects of wood energy several times, applauded this move and relayed their words. [ENGLISH] [FRENCH]

7) SNUPFEN: HK and the Foresters: “Wood factories!”

A song written and interpreted by a group of activists from the Snupfen Solidaires union, with the help of HK (Hadadi Kaddour). Music composed by HK and the Raoul Point Bar and played by the latter. Recorded at the Cormo studio in Toul in January 2017. Video made by Agnès Bruckert with images from FX Drouet. [FRENCH]

8) In the Chambaran forest, objectors and zadists [defenders of a Zone to Defend] continue the stuggle against a Park Center

“See you soon in the woods!” This invitation is put forth by the zadists who occupy the woods of Roybon. They will celebrate their third year of occupation this Saturday, December 16. The challenge: to stop the construction of a Park Center by the Pierre et Vacances group. Reporterre takes stock of this struggle to conserve the great forest. [FRENCH]

9) Wild Cat Forestry Group: Let’s save a patch of the Morvan forest!

I would like to highlight this crowdfunding campaign to save a particularly biodiversity-rich patch of the Morvan forest from destruction: [FRENCH] [FRENCH]

This letter was translated by Ulysses. Original letter was published on Posted on December 19, 2017.