On the northern edge of Provence, France a mountain pass winds its way out of a valley of apricot orchards and olive groves into a startling landscape of emerald forest and limestone ridges. This is part of one of France’s newest regional natural parks, the Baronnies Provençales, set up four years ago and spreading across 1800 square kilometres of the Drôme and Hautes-Alpes. Source: The Economist
With a mix of pine, oak and beech, fully 79% of the park is covered by forest, and this share is growing.
In fact, as the world worries about deforestation, the total area of forests in France is actually on the rise. Forests now cover 31% of France.
In terms of area, it is the fourth most forested country in the EU, after Sweden, Finland and Spain.
Since 1990, thanks to better protection as well as to a decline in farming, France’s overall wooded or forested areas have increased by nearly 7%. And France is far from being alone.
Across the EU, between 1990 and 2015, the total forested and wooded area grew by 90,000 square kilometres, an area roughly the size of Portugal. Almost every country has seen its forests grow over the period.