The project, which will cost nearly 200 million euros, was launched to fight against global warming and could be carried out with the involvement of schools across France.
Mr Denormandie described the challenge of repopulating forests as being at the highest post-war level, with extensive damage to trees from beetles digging holes in drought-ravaged tree trunks.
Contact a specialized news channel Cultivonsnous.tv, the minister said planting the right kind of trees to tackle climate change and finding enough seeds and saplings would also be a “huge challenge”.
He said, “Take mature ash trees. Today ash trees need a certain amount of humidity, and there are many places where we can see that if we replant ash trees in 30 or 40 years, they will not be able to survive.
Minister rejects criticism
Some criticized the project, saying natural forests should not be disturbed or used as tools to protect the environment, but Mr Denormandie disagreed. He said, “You have to protect a forest, just like the soil, and cultivate it, just like the soil.
“One does not work in opposition to the other. [If you] cutting down some trees to let others grow is not a crime against the environment or nature. It allows management in terms of protection and culture. ”
Mr Denormandie said that involving schoolchildren in the planting project would be a huge opportunity to “connect the earth [and them]”. Discussions with the Ministry of Education are planned.
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