The CFT is a tool for local territorial development allowing a better inclusion of forests in their local and multi-functional environment.
The territorial forestry charter was implemented by the Law on Forestry Orientation (2001). The French federation of forest municipalities decided to promote that tool and to support it by taking care of the follow-up and networking of the CFT.
The CFT are contractual tools, put forward by the local players and elected representatives of the territories.
They consist in analysing the position of forests and wood within a given economic territory in order to build a common project, with the shared purpose of making forestry a lever for sustainable local development. Thus, it aims to answer economic, environmental as well as social needs, by the realization of strategical goals and operational actions. The priorities of the CFT are the treatment and processing of wood, its mobilisation and commercialisation, and the animation, follow-up and assessment of the programme.
It is based on a cooperative approach, with consultation processes between a variety of actors from upstream to downstream in the local forest and wood sector. The final result is the implementation of a pluri-annual action programme.In 2003, to organise the national CFT network, the federation got the support of the different ministries involved in the forest sector:
- The Ministry of Agriculture, Alimentation, and Fishing (MAAP)
- The Ministry of Environment
- The General Commission for Territorial Equality
At the same time the networking of the various regional stakeholders of the CFT took shape.
To start a CFT, the main contacts are the federation and its network's associations, the MAAP, and the institutional and territorial organizations. Each project approximately costs €45k. The MAAP finances the projects up to €30k, while the territorial organisations can participate in the co-funding.
Evidence of success
As of 2016, more than 140 territories had established a CFT (mainly joint municipalities or "Parcs naturels régionaux"), with approximately 5 million hectares of forest covered in total. For the last 10 years the french ministry responsible for forest and wood and FNCOFOR had a financial partnership regarding animation of the network of CFT (creation of a online tracking platform, creation and maintenance of a mainling list...).
Until 2015, the FNCOFOR produced an annual review of the CFT.
Finding funds was difficult for the project's coordination. The turnover of the coordinator position also made it difficult to progress faster.
Potential for learning or transfer
One of the assets of this tool is the fact that from the very beginning of the project, all of the actors are solicited, and involved in the decision processes. Consultation and dialogue is key to a better anchoring of the project in the territory and an increased viability. Another asset is the flexibility of that tool, allowing a diversity of formats that best suit the territories. It also opens opportunities for foreign localities.