Living Forest Letter 70 (from France)

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

1) Bourgogne Forest SOS: Foresting policy: the wood industry and forest clink glasses

PR move: an information campaign to support the productivist discourse of heavy industry? This information campaign envisaged by the State shows a total hatred for popular opinion and tries to manipulate the public to achieve its purely commercial aims. The latest national forestry and wood program and its regional versions provide for unprecedented intensification of harvesting and planting divided by loads of services to be provided by the forest. In addition to its harmful ecological effects, this productivist turn will pose local problems in terms of social acceptance. [French]


2) The European Court of Justice will judge of the fate of the Bialowieza forest in Poland

Will the European Justice side with the defenders of the environment and the European Commission in their dispute with Poland concerning the primary forest Bialowieza? This was encouraged by the Advocate General of the European Court of Justice, whose opinion is most often followed by the judges. In his conclusions presented on Tuesday, February 20, he considered the Polish authorities to have violated European environmental law by allowing significant cutting and removal of trees in the Bialowieza forest, which is classed as Natura 2000 and registered as a UNESCO world heritage site. [FRENCH]


3) Haute-Vienne: Fundraising to purchase 400 acres of primeval forest in Rochechouart. [FRENCH] [FRENCH]

4) Special Correspondence: The secrets of trees

They communicate, they help each other, they defend themselves, they even move! Trees are endowed with a real form of intelligence. And now it’s a scientific certainty. Trees occupy almost a third of our land and the land area of the planet. Indispensable to our survival, they are also our greatest allies in confronting global warming. Yet we hardly know anything about them. Far from being frozen in their plant world, trees live far richer lives than it might appear. This is the thesis defended by a German forester whose book, La Vie secrète des arbres [The Hidden Life of Trees] has been a global success, and has been translated into 32 languages. From thousands-of-years-old beech forests in Germany to forest therapy centers in Japan, and passing through INRA laboratories that study plant awareness, this book takes us on a voyage to the heart of the fascinating secret world of trees. A report from Raphaële Schapira and Vincent Barral broadcast in “Envoyé spécial” on October 26. [VIDEO MISSING]


5) Corrèze launches a massacre of trees

To protect bitumen from drops of water and install fiber optic. These are the reasons cited by the departmental council of Corrèze for ordering owners of trees hanging over roads to prune them. A massive slaughter has begun, but the opponents of this policy are also taking action. [FRENCH]

6) Women and plantations: when violence becomes invisible

This International Women’s Day, we would like to bring awareness to and denounce numerous realities that generally remain hidden behind so-called “differential impacts,” that are suffered by women living in and around monoculture plantations. The WRM has been struggling against industrial tree plantations for more than two decades. Over this period, we learned about one of the most violent impacts, and at the same time one of the most cruel forms of oppression, exploitation, and domination: ill-treatment and sexual violence against women, a consequence of the establishment of industrial tree plantations. In the present issue of the Bulletin, on March 8th, which is International Women’s Day, we would like to contribute to making the voices and stories of thousands of violently abused women heard; we would like to bring out into the open what was systematically hidden. And we would also like to give homage to all the women who, in spite of difficulties, organized, resisted, and maintained the joy of life and hope that another world is possible and necessary.

Historical and systematic violence [FRENCH] [ENGLISH]