In France, many forests are properties belonging to private individuals. These forests are often abandoned or insufficiently exploited, which is in part responsible for the impoverishment of rural regions.
The idea of the project is to work in collaboration with the owners to give these forests and the natural ressources they possess a clear utility. This way, local consumption would be boosted, new jobs could be created and a responsible exploitation eventually be archieved.
The multiple objectives of the project are to:
- Preserve the biodiversity of the forests and their ecosystems
- Valorize natural ressources by locally transforming them to products with high added value
- Structurize channels to help out small local producers for fair commercial exchanges and transparency
- Sensibilise the public to the stakes of preservation and valorisation of forests with the help of fair trade and agro-foresty.
The students’ mission is dual: they need to put in place an inventory of the forest patrimony as well as elaborate a catalogue of solutions where the students will present different alternatives of forest exploitation (tourism, local wood production, alternative products like honey, mushrooms, fruit etc) that will assure the revival of rural areas, support local distribution channels and revalorise the forest areas that are unexploited.
The students will have a total liberty in the preparation of their solution and can use their creativity to come up with potential partners and ideas.
The association Cœur de Forêt is a french association founded in 2005 which aims to valorize and protect forests as well as the people living there.
More info on https://www.coeurdeforet.com/
- Students with a background in bioengineering (if possible, specialists in forest management), chemistry, pharma, management/economics
- If possible a student with knowledge in informatics/web development. He/she could help set up the automatisation of the data treatment (inventory, surveys etc) that could be useful to expand the project.