Présentations Colloques

Oral Presentation
Session 5.05: Groundwater and Ecosystems – Hydrological role of forests and wetlands
Fiquepron Julien
Woodlands for drinking water- for the value of forest services
It is widely recognised that forests play an important role in maintaining water quality , but they have to be cared for to make their protective role as effective and enduring as possible. This work involves associating forest managers in the achievement of good water quality for drinking purposes, through innovative contracting methods.**Accordingly, French private forest organizations (the National Centre for Forest Owners and National Federation of Forest Owners Unions) are developing solutions for partnerships between forest and water stakeholders. A first work in collaboration with INRA (French National Institute for Agricultural Research), developed methods capable of producing reliable economic figures on the environmental services rendered by forests. The issue of absorbing additional forestry management costs incurred to safeguard the water remains to be resolved. The second step aimed to draft contracts defining mutual commitments. Thus, contracts models are available. We also carried out technical projects to optimize forest practices for protecting water. One main result is the publication of technical guidelines for good forest management practices to protect drinking water resources. The third step was to validate partnerships at sites between private forest owners and water operators. **One particularly innovative example is the partnership with the Syndicat Intercommunal des Eaux des Moises (SIEM, water management board in the Haute-Savoie region, France). To improve coordination between silviculture and protection of catchments, the SIEM and forest owners formed an association. Initiatives introduced range from a concerted Plan Simple de Gestion (forestry management plan) to forestry operation specifications, which when implemented, grant entitlement to compensation. **Land use management is a part of the process of producing drinking water. Private forestry organizations in France developed operational solutions to protect water quality. However, political support and improved communication between the forest and water sectors are required before the model can be applied on a large scale. Financial resources, or more specifically different ways of using these resources, are also required as it is usually more cost-effective to fund prevention than remediation.**