Landes / 2021
It is in the southwest of France that the largest artificial forest in Europe is located. The Landes forest, planted in the 19th century by order of Napoleon III to replace insalubrious swamps, is composed almost exclusively of maritime pines and has shaped the identity of the territory. Beyond the image of dunes leaning against the pine forest, this massif cohabits with women and men who have been lumberjacks, silviculturists or paper workers for generations.
Intended for production from the outset, this forest has built up an interdependent industry and accumulated a wealth of knowledge. It is home to some of the most advanced genetic selection research in the world, a flourishing paper industry, innovations in reconstituted wood, new packaging to replace plastic... Within a 100 km radius, 30,800 people are directly involved in the management, harvesting and transformation of wood. Its economic weight is equivalent to that of the wine industry in New Aquitaine.
Because of this intensive exploitation, the Landes forest is shaped in its landscapes, socially, economically and culturally. It is a real « foresting area » anchored in its territory. At a time when certain French woods are being exported and this material plays a strategic role in the ecological transition, the Landes forest offers the guarantee of a 100% local industry.