The French National Forestry Office (ONF) is a public agency. As part of its sustainable management of public forests it draws up forest management plans covering a 20 to 30 year timespan for each forest. The usage management plans are based on the latest knowledge of the natural environment (based on the analysis of satellite images, tactical inventories, field diagnoses, nature inventories, and

exhaustive tree-by-tree inventories*) and on knowledge of the socio-economic needs expressed by forest users in local consultation initiatives. Analysis of these various elements results in the drawing up of spatialised priority objectives for each forest (these areas are called ‘series’). The objectives can include all domains of forest management: the strict conservation of environments (series that are of ecological interest and untouched by man), the physical protection of environments (protection series), the sustainable production of lumber and wood for industry or energy in a way that respects the general protection of environments (production series), public access (access series), and use by populations who depend partially on the forest for their survival (usage series).

            The programme of actions relating primarily to production series (pre-logging inventories, trail opening, opening up to logging) is presented annually for the forests in a rolling five-year Regional Forestry Promotion Plan. This local plan makes it possible to establish links between medium-term management objectives and short-term changes in needs in French Guiana whilst respecting the sustainable management of the forests. These actions are implemented at the scale of individual management units of about 300 hectares, called ‘forest patches’.

            The forest management is both a planning and action document and thus operates at several scales of perception, contributing both to land planning and the conservation and enhancement of the forest heritage and the habitats and species it is home to.