In the Auvergne, forests represent more than 27 % of the territory but most of them have been logged, fragmented or disturbed by human activities. However, there are still certain forests that, having been hardly disturbed or left completely unexploited for a very long time, have maintained or regained aspect, composition and functioning close to the original natural forests. These forests, known an “old-growth forests”, have numerous ecological, scientific, social, cultural and other qualities.
These forests represent less than 10 % of forestry cover in the Auvergne today. They are forests in a state of equilibrium, with many different tree species, and include dead wood which is particularly important for biodiversity. Moreover, they are home to many rare, threatened, and endangered species. Despite their scarcity, these forests are only partially protected and their size continues to diminish. There is an urgent need to adequately protect these forests. CEN Auvergne contributes to the preservation of natural heritage and ecosystem services in Auvergne. They have already bought some forest areas and wishes to buy more to prevent them being logged and enable the survival of these important habitats. The aim of the project Sylvae is simple: use EOCA funding to purchase 50ha of these old growth forests and preserve them in perpetuity for future generations.