Fuelwood as an indicator of inconsistencies in a national forest policy: a case study in two French regionsReport as inadecuate




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1 PACTE - Politiques publiques, ACtion politique, TErritoires

Abstract : In France, since 2005, national energy policies have been started to promote fuelwood. Thepoint of the paper is to investigate how fuelwood is a boundary object which forces traditionalforest actors to change their management by confronting them with new actors. Three groupsare involved in elaborating new policies for fuelwood: forestry, energy and territorial actors.The aim of the policies is to develop what is presented both as an opportunity to enhanceharvesting economics and to develop a renewable and local energy, necessary to achieve theEuropean Union climate and energy package targets for 2020. However, in France it appearsthat these actors have considerable difficulties to work together, even with the intervention ofpublic authorities. These difficulties are reinforced by decentralization processes which hadbeen at work for the last 25 years.Historically centralized, forest policy has been impacted by the increasing importance givento environmental and agricultural problems, the growing power of European over nationalpolicies and the introduction of new public policy instruments. Hence, the importance of theState has been decreased and sectoral forest actors empowered. Priority was given to timberduring the 19 th and 20 th centuries. Therefore, forest actors consider fuelwood as the ultimatepromotion for wood products. To the contrary, the top-down approach of energy actorsconsiders energy as the foremost issue, supported by national policies promoting renewableenergies to meet the EU 2020 targets. The tension between these decentralization processesand the top-down approach of energy actor suggest that scale is a key issue between theseactors. This issue was studied by an important geographic literature for the last 30 years(Herod, 2011).Methodologically, the research uses semi-structured interviews conducted with differentstakeholders in two French regions (Rhône-Alpes and Auvergne) and information collected inmeetings of actors from local to national scale.The paper starts with the changes implied in forest governance by the development offuelwood. Secondly, the cohabitation between different users and different sizes of heatingsystem is analysed, then briefly illustrated through two case studies. Finally, we discuss theimportance of scale and how fuelwood highlights specific scalar structuration.

Keywords : Rhône-Alpes scale France energy transition fuelwood forest policy Auvergne.





Author: Antoine Tabourdeau -

Source: https://hal.archives-ouvertes.fr/



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