FRANCE – Boulogne-sur-Mer: educational project to replace diseased ash forests

Planting in La Rochelle ©kinomé

Background & challenges

Since 2010, ash trees in Hauts-de-France have fallen victim to chalarose, a foliar fungus disease for which there is no effective treatment. The risk of falling trees or branches due to this disease has led the National Forests Office to forbid access to certain state forests with a high density of ash trees, out of concern for the safety of hikers.

The goal is now to cut down and replace all the sick and dying trees. This project is part of a vast replanting programme, with two million trees to be replanted over the next 10 years.

This first objective has an educational angle because several school classes in the region will gain environmental awareness throughout the year. Children, who today are increasingly out of touch with nature, will discover the forests close to home as well as others elsewhere in the world, thanks to a twinning with schools in Togo following a similar approach. Each child will plant from 5 to 10 trees during a half-day trip to the forest.

The educational aspect of this project will encourage children, through tree planting, to:

  • ‘get their hands dirty’, discover the riches of the forest and reconnect with nature;
  • act in the public interest through a gesture related to the notion of long-term, free for oneself, for others and for future generations;
  • take the opportunity to act for the planet now, instead of waiting until they are adults, and thus reveal their potential as eco-citizens.
  • participate in international solidarity by discovering the world’s forests and exchanging ideas with their peers in Togo who, like them, are replanting trees on their territory. A twinning has therefore been set up between French and Togolese classes, whereby three partner schools in Togo are accompanied in the same way to plant 7,200 trees. The Togolese teachers also organize two workshops during the year to present the approach to the children and have teaching materials for studying the world’s forests.

From an environmental point of view, the trees planted will deliver the following benefits:

  • contribute to soil structure throughout their life cycles;
  • serve as natural shelters for a wide range of fauna and flora;
  • provide a cooler microclimate, thus mitigating the effects of climate change;
  • directly tackle global warming through carbon sequestration and the introduction of  suitable tree species.

Project type

Forestry

Beneficiaries

Around 100 children from four schools and four classes in France. Likewise in Togo, about 100 children will be involved in at least three classes.

Number of trees

In France: 3,600 trees planted in total, to retain 2,880 for up to 40 years.

In Togo, twice as many will be planted in parallel, i.e. around 5,760 permanent trees.

Species planted

In France : sessile oak, pedunculated oak, beech (local species) together with natural regeneration that will recolonise the soil with maple, hornbeam, birch, Alisier, alder, aspen, cherry…

Partners

Kinomé, Canopé and ONF

Lesson on the world's forests ©kinomé

Works timeline (in France)

Period 1: spring 2020 (March and April)

  • selection, visiting the plots to be replanted and recording their GPS coordinates
  • identifying partner schools and contact with the French academic inspection office

Period 2 –  June 2020: project presentation to teachers as they prepare for the start of the 2020/2021 school year

Period 3: September to October 2020

  • Tillage using eco-friendly technics
  • Project presentation in schools
  • Providing the E-Twinning digital platform for teachers and training so they can access educational resources and publish the learning outputs of their classes

Period 4: November to December 2020

  • planting in the two areas by children and installing wildlife protection fencing
  • presenting the children with individually named planting certificates
  • running the digital work platform: publishing web series on the world’s forests, online reports by French classes on their planting experiences, etc.

Period 5 – January to June 2021: initiation of twinning between French classes and a selection of schools in Togo where children are also involved in replanting 

Replenishing at T+2 years (2022): if less than 70% of trees stay alive, replenishment of plots

Every year for five years (2021, 2022, 2023, 2024, 2025): cleaning (to remove invasive plants in particular)

T+5 : removal of protection fencing

Every five years : maintenance and lopping

T+40 years, then every 10/15 years : thinning (selecting the healthiest trees and cutting down others so they will continue to grow well)

Planting partners

Kinomé, a social enterprise created in 2005, carries out four activities: consulting, project management, applied research, and environmental education. Kinomé’s main objective is to reverse the deforestation curve, as well as the disastrous trajectory of climate change and biodiversity collapse, essentially by bringing a different vision of nature and restoring it at the heart of a new model of economic and social development.To set this new paradigm in motion, Kinomé brings together all the stakeholders (NGOs, companies, scientists, institutions, schools, experts, individuals, etc.) through  groundbreaking cooperation to multiply the positive impacts on the living conditions of populations.
Kinomé’s partners in this project are the National Forests Office (Office national des forêts, ONF), French public authority in charge of managing state forests, and Canopé, a public administrative institution and publisher of educational resources, dependent on the French Ministry of National Education.

Budget

The total budget to be collected is €60,480, or €21 per tree, broken down as follows:

  • technical work and supervision: €4.75      
  • plants and protection: €2.67           
  • activities and follow-up in France: €3.88
  • coordination and project management €2.04
  • educational action in Togo: €3.75
  • collection, follow-up and communication costs for A Tree For You (18.62%): €3.91

This price includes one tree in France and two trees in Togo.

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