The winner of the category “LEADER” is Tiges et Chavées, a project that supports small-scale private forest owners to implement effective sustainable forest management. The project addresses the highly fragmented and small-scale structure of privately-owned forests in the area in Condroz’s part of Walloon region. Due to this fragmentation, most of the forest areas were not managed and did not contribute to rural development, despite covering 25% of the focus area.
The Local Action Group (LAG) of the Tiges et Chavées territory launched their “forest” project in 2016 to support sustainable forest management in the area, by offering training, tailored advice and awareness raising for forest owners and by promoting the collective management of small private forests. The project also aimed to create a social enterprise for construction work using local wood. With this objective in mind, the LAG is developing links with training enterprises that are active in the forestry sector.
"I have inherited a small plot of forest from my parents, but I had no knowledge on forest management. The project has helped in this management. It's a pleasure to give life again to this small part of forest linked to the history of my parents!" said Christian Houzard, forest owner who participated to the grouped sale of wood, in the project description.