Valuing Afforestation of damaged woods with Innovative Agroforestry

The Landes de Gascogne forest is located in the south-west of France, in the Nouvelle-Aquitaine region. It is an artificial forest planted since the end of the 19th century. It is mainly made up of maritime pine, extending over nearly one million hectares in a sandy area. Due to the hot and drying climatic conditions and the intensive monoculture of resinous trees, the forest is very sensitive to fires and is not very resilient to climatic and health hazards. Since the 1950s, the Landes forest has been regularly hit by storms and large-scale fires.
The last major one occurred in January 2009. The storm, known as Klaus, caused damage to almost half of the forest and around 210,000 hectares were more than 40% damaged. It is estimated that the violent winds, reaching up to 172 km/h, destroyed 30 million m3 of wood, four times the annual harvest in the forest.

These events have shaped the landscape through the destruction, replanting and creation of non-forested areas called "firebreaks". These areas grid the forest and limit the spread of fires and other damage caused by falling trees. These areas should be developed through innovative agroforestry systems in order to allow (i) their maintenance and profitability, (ii) the reinsertion of a diversity of species within thousands of hectares of monoculture, (iii) the adaptation and protection of the forest in the face of climate change and (iv) the development of ecological corridors for the reintroduction of biodiversity habitats.