The Minister of Agriculture joins the camp of the defenders of intensive logging

It is a subject, among the package of European texts under preparation, that one could have imagined relatively consensual. It is not so. Since the leak at the end of June of a provisional version of the new European Union (EU) strategy on forests, the standoff has hardened between the promoters of intensive logging and the defenders of better control. take into account climate and biodiversity issues. And in this battle, the French Minister of Agriculture has chosen his camp.

In a letter addressed to the vice-president of the European Commission, Frans Timmermans, in charge of the Green Pact for Europe, revealed Thursday, July 8 by the information site Context, Julien Denormandie expresses his “Deep concern” with regard to a text that he judges “Unacceptable”. His signature appears alongside those of his ten counterparts from Austria, Finland, Lithuania, Germany, Poland, Czech Republic, Estonia, Romania, Hungary and Slovakia. Countries traditionally engaged, for the most part, in the defense of the forest industry.

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This draft strategy “Cruelly ignores the multifunctional role of forests and reduces them to environmental considerations, ignoring socio-economic aspects”, write the eleven ministers. They deplore not having been involved in the drafting of the text, reaffirm the competence of the Member States on this subject and “Strongly oppose” to any legislative proposal on forest planning and monitoring. The Commission recommends the establishment of a common tool to provide more complete and more precise data on the health of the various forest ecosystems. “Such an instrument would create an unprecedented administrative burden”, denounce Julien Denormandie and his counterparts.

Optimal use of wood

This uncoordinated stance within the government is symptomatic of the balance of power between the ministry of agriculture and that of ecological transition. Julien Denormandie’s entourage explains that the minister chose to sign the letter proposed by the Austrian authorities “In order to alert the Commission to its concerns”. The relatives of Barbara Pompili did not wish to speak after the publication of the letter, which does not reflect the official position of France.

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