More efficient management of wood-for-energy in the Rhône-Alpes region


The Symbiose project was awarded funding under the French energy agency (ADEME) 2015 call for projects targeting the wood-for-energy industry. The project, which runs until March 2019, will develop methods and operational partnerships to boost the wood-for-energy industry’s capacity to harvest and transform wood, especially in the Rhône-Alpes region. The thirteen members of the project consortium (government agencies, businesses, forestry organizations and landowners, and public-sector forestry organizations) will access 84,000 tons more wood for energy thanks to the support services provided and investments made under the project.

Several complementary initiatives will be rolled out, from making better use of forest land (support services for private landowners, better use of public forest land through the Forest Management Plan, placing abandoned land under management, etc.) and transforming wood for energy (building storage facilities) to more efficiently managing and operating forest resources (creating management documentation, purchasing equipment, setting up public-private partnerships on development projects).

In particular, the project leverages cooperation between all partners and, specifically, the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes Regional Chamber of Agriculture, forestry cooperative COFORET, the forest communities of the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes region, and the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes regional branch of the National Forestry Agency. A framework partnership agreement covering the use and sale of public and private forest resources was signed by the partners on September 29, 2016.


Currently (and in the past), numerous parcels of forest land go unused and the wood goes unsold, either due to technical barriers to accessing resources or because the wood is not of sufficient quality to be commercially viable. Some parcels are too small for harvesting operations to be financially feasible. The partnership was set up to bring solutions to these problems in the form of grouped (public and private forest land) operation and commercialization. In addition to the increased volume of wood that can be harvested through these public-private operations, the four partners’ main objective is to establish and strengthen cooperation that cuts across the usual property lines and that will streamline the operation and commercialization of forest resources over time.

These initiatives will position the thirteen members of the project consortium to increase the amount of wood available by expanding the surface area  of public and private forest land under management and by revitalizing the management of little-used forest-resources.