The partners of the poplar network help, encourage and promote poplar-growing, and restore poplar plantations that are affected by the very destructive rust fungus. To raise awareness among poplar growers,
they communicate on the status of the poplar population in the cross-border forest area.
In light of climate change, the water resources in the poplar habitat and the water consumption at poplar plantations are measured.
A scientific, ecological and legal panel keeps growers informed on new insights into the interactions between the environment and poplars and on regulatory issues.
In addition, the partners encourage the development of new outlets for the poplar sector and support innovating projects and, as a result, revitalise the cross-border industrial fabric. As the sector suffers from a lack
of integration and consultation between producers and transformers, the partners also fill this gap.
Finally, all these actions support the promotion of the poplar, its wood and its applications.
The Transpop 2 project builds on the work of the previous Transpop project (Interreg III programme). It consists of a new cross-border cooperation between theCentre pour l’Agronomie et l’Agro-industrie de la province de Hainaut (CARAH) and the Centre Régional de la Propriété Forestiure (CRPF) Nord-Pas de Calais – Picardie, to meet both the poplar growers’ and the wood sector needs.
This way, in addition to the previous aim to acquire more knowledge on poplar varieties (new and old) and poplar practices, this new project saw its objectives evolve towards the downstream development of the sector (poplar wood processing and use).
The Transpop 2 project is structured around four main themes.
The first theme, knowledge update on poplar varieties was completed by an inventory of poplar resources. In addition, the observation of the evolution of rust fungus attacks remained a recurrent activity. Finally, the evaluation of poplar resources in the eligible area was carried out by each region following a same methodology, so as to provide comparable results and to establish a global synthesis for both areas. The results were presented at the end of project colloquium.
The second theme aims to identify the relationship between the poplar and its environment, and to improve poplar practices and routes, if necessary.
The Transpop team cooperated with the university of Orléans and the INRA in Nancy, in the context of several studies on the efficiency of water and on the root depth of several cultivars. At the same time, a file synthesising the knowledge on the relationship between the poplar and its environmentwas published in the second semester of 2012. The document for public (and private) authorities and managers aims to objectivise the decisions on regional planning, which up until then, were subjective and almost systematically unfavourable to the poplar.
The third theme, research and development for the entire poplar sector, is built around 3 actions.
One for the reconstitution of poplar cultures affected by rust fungus attacks and a more dynamic management through geographically targeted actions. The two other actions are aimed to support the poplar sector downstream.
The final theme, on the one hand, consists in structuring the entire sector. On the other hand, the creation of a collective brand “poplar, wood from here”, should make it possible to promote the poplar as a natural material with multiple qualities that is particularly adequate to meet the sustainable development challenges of its users (professionals, private persons, authorities) by highlighting the strengths of a neighbourhood network, i.e. the cultivation of regional products based on local know-how.