The National Forestry Office will cut nearly 500 jobs in five years

The National Forestry Office (ONF), which manages France’s public forests, will cut 475 of the 8,400 jobs within five years, we learned Friday night from the facility’s management, which is heavily in charge.

“This is not a social plan, these are pensions and natural departures,” the administration told AFP. The reduction in the number of jobs will be done taking into account the “strategic issues of the company”, whose “territorial network has been preserved”, she specified.

This announcement was made on June 10 by the cabinets of various ministries, including agriculture, the ministry in charge of establishment, during a meeting on the next Target and Performance Agreement (COP) 2021-2025. With the National Federation of Forestry Municipalities (FNCOFOR), the latter said in a press release Friday.

“The announcements made to us are unacceptable!” Said this alliance, according to which “additional community contribution to ONF funding” has been requested.

“The project to increase municipal contributions would amount to almost 30m euros,” FNCOFOR said. “In order to keep the weight off, the future COP of the state-ONF envisages the abolition of almost 500 permanent jobs in the ONF. Pay more to have less!”, She concluded.

This announcement confirms the fears expressed in early February by the ONF intersyndicale.

She felt the decision “is likely to seriously exacerbate deteriorating working conditions and undermine the health of ONF staff”.

She particularly stressed that “climate change and forest dying will require more and more work to ensure health monitoring and restoration of forest stands.”

The agricultural component of a recovery plan launched by France to address the crisis Covid envisions 200m euros for forests, including 150m euros for afforestation of forests sometimes severely affected by drought and insect attacks on trees such as bark beetles, beetles dig holes in trees weakened by drought.

This budget differs in size from the resources devoted to afforestation in recent years.

The agriculture ministry told AFP it had mobilized 60m euros in “exceptional subsidies” to “support the ONF and strengthen the balancing subsidy” under the COP, which stems from allowances to 31m euros paid as part of a recovery plan for the ONF. to finance forests that have suffered health crises.

“We will try to strengthen this part,” the ministry said, adding that the balancing subsidy of about 150m euros paid to the institution each year has also been renewed for the next five years.

At the end of 2020, the ONF employed 8,400 people, about half of whom were civil servants or public law contractors.

Public forests represent about 25% of French forests.

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