The General Directorate of Forestry (OGM) and ONF International (ONFI), a subsidiary of the French National Forestry Office (ONF), which was formed to promote French forestry "know-how" overseas, signed a 150 million euro ($168 million) loan agreement to be used in the forestry sector.
In a statement to Anadolu Agency (AA), OGM Deputy General Director Hayati Özgür said that similar agreements had been made between the parties since 2012, pointing to the "4th-period loan agreement" as the recent deal inked between the two authorities.
Özgür stated that for the last seven years the French Development Agency (AFD) and ONFI have been supporting reforestation and the fight against erosion carried out within the scope of "5,000 Forestry Projects in 5,000 Villages" as OGM, adding they have shared information and technology with ONFI in this regard.
Pointing out that the Ministry of Treasury and Finance is also a branch of this cooperation, Özgür said under the agreement signed with ONFI projects will be carried out in the areas of reforestation, forest rehabilitation and erosion control for two years, stressing that the agreement will contribute to their regular activities.
As with the previous agreements, the teams will go to France and will participate in some technical studies there, he said and added that OGM signed bilateral cooperation agreements on forestry issues with 40 developing countries and provided technical support and capacity building to 30 countries.
ONF International General Manager Pierre Emmanuel Leclercq said the agreement was based on technical and information sharing between the two institutions which are very similar to each other, highlighting the structures of the forests in Turkey and France are quite similar as well.
"We have to compare our working methods, techniques and practices. Because forest areas will not be the same as they are in the future," he continued. "In 2012, we carried out many projects with Turkey in the field of forestry activities and implemented important projects in terms of fighting forest fires in this period." Leclercq further explained that the new cooperation agreement has more comprehensive aspirations, adding the agreement covers 12 chapters, including avalanche risk, forest pests and firefighting, new forestry visions and ecotourism activities.
Leclercq also noted that in France, forests are becoming important tourism areas, adding people have longed for nature with the growth of urbanization, which has led them to focus on ecotourism in the country.
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