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14/06/2024 News

Seven projects have been kicked off or continued in 2024 under the aegis of TotalEnergies Foundation and the ONF Endowment Fund - Agir pour la Forêt

TotalEnergies Foundation has contributed to the endowment fund ONF - Agir pour la Forêt since its creation in 2019.  As part of the three-year agreement that binds the two foundations until 2026, seven initiatives have been chosen for 2024 to meet the objectives assigned to TotalEnergies Foundation and the ONF Endowment fund - Agir pour la Forêt, i.e. to introduce young people to these ecosystems and raise their awareness of how to protect them;  and promote the social and professional inclusion of young people in vulnerable situations.

The seven initiatives are:

  • In Mayotte, a 7 ha area of land will be reforested at the headwaters. The project has multiple objectives, in particular contributing to the protection of soil on steep slopes from erosion, restoring flow to waterways, creating conditions for water supply to a dam and fighting against invasive species by planting local tree varieties chosen to help adapt to climate change. Four environmental awareness-raising events will also be organized for students aged 8-15.
  • In Martinique, the clumps of Sargassum that wash up on the beach in Michel bay will be removed. This species of seaweed is the cause of numerous problems, and is a major obstacle for sea turtles, particularly during the egg-laying season. Actions to remove the seaweed have been planned to contribute to restoring the coastal forests and preserving biodiversity. Forest species will also be planted to make sure that the coastal ecosystem takes hold and flourishes.
  • In the state-owned forest of Porge, a project to preserve and restore the Gressier dunes on the coast of the Gironde region. The Natura 2000 site hosts a remarkable range of biodiversity. Protecting it involves regulating footfall. People trampling and wandering all over the dunes can cause a loss of biodiversity in fragile environments and disrupt the dune system. This project aims in particular to protect the natural environment and guide footfall in the area by clearly-defined access routes (restoration of the surrounding area by laying brushwood and planting beach grass). It should also give faster access to the beach (laying boardwalks) and make it easier to organize other actions on site, such as picking up waste in the back dune, organized in tandem with structures that foster professional inclusion.
  • Dune management work at the Pointe de Capbreton in the Landes region. The site faces significant erosion that is causing the forest to retreat and threatening the area of gray dune. The project aims to compare the current management technique that accompanies free dune development, with flexible management of the dune belt, to help the sandy coastline adapt to climate change. A comparison will be made between a series of different, marked-out areas. The ONF (French National Forest Office) which will supervise the project in collaboration with the project owner, the Conservatoire du Littoral (French Coastal Protection Agency) on flexible management actions on the dune belt (bulldozing dune crests, laying brushwood, planting beach grass, erecting fences, signs, etc.), intends to involve organizations that encourage professional inclusion.
  • Acquire more in-depth knowledge on the development of dune ecosystems on the Atlantic coast. The impacts of climate change impose a different approach to dune management. Many different areas need to be explored to understand the natural dynamics of dunes. The ADUCHA 1 project, backed by TotalEnergies Foundation in 2021 and 2022, was designed to develop knowledge in this area, using remote sensing techniques to identify environments. Following on from the project, the second operation aims to improve the quality of remote sensing satellite analyses of natural habitats in the coastal dune, and complete dune vegetation management by running seeding tests on structuring plant species.
  • Support continues for the “Ti Forestié an Mangròv” program, by organizing events and awareness-raising days for around a hundred school-goers, to help them discover the wealth and vulnerability of the mangrove in Guadeloupe.
  • Continuation of the project, which began in 2023, to inventory the beetle population  in the dunes of the Vendee coast. Beetles play an essential role and are a good indicator of the robustness of the ecosystem, comprising 220 ha of dunes in the Olonne forest and Pointe d’Arçay biological reserve. The longer-term objective will be to formulate recommendations on how to manage the dunes (e.g. number of visitors, beach cleaning, presence of dead wood and driftwood). For the 2023/2024 academic year, the ONF and the EPLEFPA Nature at La Roche-sur-Yon (Lycée Nature) signed an agreement to involve first-year BTS (GPN) Nature Management and Conservation students in insect collection campaigns, and raise their awareness to the fragile nature of the dune environment. This course is an integral part of the curriculum.