The Francis Hallé association

for a primeval forest

Our association was born out of serendipitous encounters in the summer of 2018 and the multiple connections established during the following months around the necessity of restoring a primeval forest in Western Europe. Noting both the disappearance of the big tropical forests and the devastating damage done to Europe’s last remaining primeval forest in Poland, Francis Hallé decided to turn his ideas into reality, notably through mobilizing strong citizen support.

On February 25 and 26, 2019, 13 people (1) gathered at the Sainte-Croix Monastery in the Drôme department in France to share their ideas. Scientists, naturalists, artists, wildlife filmmakers and photographers, ordinary citizens, they decided to establish “The Francis Hallé Association for a Primeval Forest”.

An efficient setup

This association has several goals

- 1 -

To contribute to the preservation, knowledge, development and rebirth of the world’s primeval forests wherever human activity has caused them to disappear

- 2 -

To promote – on a national and international level – the recognition of this essential resource that supports biodiversity and a balanced development of life on our planet, including human life

- 3 -

To create all the necessary conditions to transmit new natural, restored and perennial commons to future generations, on a multi-secular scale

- 4 -

To as much as possible promote, in agreement with all concerned parties, all forms of experimentation and expression (be they scientific, legal, economic, social or artistic) conducive to the achievement of these objectives, to the celebration of primeval forests and to the diffusion of their importance and beauty to the general public.

Our project to restore a primeval forest in Western Europe falls within this general framework. The association is the institutional and logistical support for all activity related to the project’s realization. Obviously, at this stage, it is not intended to provide legal, financial or organizational support for the forest area itself. Only once the project has been launched will it be time to develop the most appropriate tools.

Today, the association is recognized as being of general public and environmental interest.

A strong dynamic

Requests for information, membership (over 130 members to date since we started less than two years ago) and collaboration have come from all over France, but also from Belgium, Switzerland and Italy. Today, the project has solid foundations to build upon thanks to the creation of working groups, the support of specialized partners (accounting, international legal advice) and the implementation of communication and facilitation? tools.

A series of initiatives have generated a lot of enthusiasm for the project, not only from nature and environmental specialists, but also from French and European institutions and the general public.

At the UN summit on biodiversity held on September 23, 2019 in New York, Francis Hallé addressed Secretary General Antonio Guterres and French President Emmanuel Macron. He stressed the need for a fundamental shift in thinking and action with regard to forests and made a number of concrete proposals to this end.

The columns, interviews, articles in the press and specialized journals such as La Garance Voyageuse and Le Courrier de la Nature, gatherings (La Médicée, the Forest Convention at the Sheepfold of Villarceaux, The Ménigoute International Ornithological Film Festival), drawing, painting and sculpture exhibitions organized by partner association The Forest Art Project of which Francis Hallé is Honorary President, have all created a real dynamic around the idea of restoring a primeval forest in Europe.

Several foundations have already offered their financial support to our initiative: La Fondation Lemarchand (The Lemarchand Association), La Fondation Pour Une Terre Humaine (The Foundation For a Humane Earth) and Reforest’Action.

dessin de Francis Halle
© Francis Hallé


They brought the project to life alongside Francis Hallé. Meet the co-founders and administrators of the association:

portrait de Mark Alsterlind

Mark Alsterlind

Artist, member of Forest Art Project

portrait de Patrick Bleuzen

Patrick Bleuzen

Naturalist, ethno-entomologist and wildlife filmmaker

portrait de Jérôme Bouvier

Jérôme Bouvier

Co-founder, Administrator
Filmmaker, founding member of Festiwild

pierre chatagon

Pierre Chatagnon

Deputy General Secretary

portrait de Gilbert Cochet

Gilbert Cochet

Co-founder, Administrator
Naturalist, Qualified High School Teacher (Holder of the Agrégation), Attaché at The French National Museum of Natural History, Expert at the Council of Europe, President of Forêts Sauvages (Wild Forests)

Jean-Baptiste Dumond

Jean-Baptiste Dumond

Naturalist and photographer, co-founder

portrait de Eric Fabre

Eric Fabre

Co-founder, administrator
General secretary

logo rond association Francis Hallé pour la forêt primaire

Séverine Gaspari

Administrator Teacher CPGE

portrait de Beatrice Kremer

Béatrice Kremer-Cochet

Co-founder, Administrator
Naturalist, Qualified High School Teacher (Holder of the Agrégation), Expert at the Conseil Scientifique Régional du Patrimoine Naturel, Vice-President of Forêts Sauvages (Wild Forests)

portrait de Vincent Lajarige

Vincent Lajarige

Doctor, artist
Participated in the movie "Il était une forêt" alongside Francis Hallé

pierre françois le gal

Pierre-François Legal

Deputy Treasurer
Inspector of Public Finances

clogo rond association Francis Hallé pour la forêt primaire

Franck Mackowiak

Director of property and logistics for the Aurore association

portrait emmanuel mathieu

Emmanuel Mathieu


portrait de Christian Riboulet

Christian Riboulet

Co-founder, Administrator
Forestry expert, legal expert, ornamental tree care expert

portrait de Clément Roche

Clément Roche

Head of the Natural Environments Department for the Association pour la protection des animaux sauvages (ASPAS) (Association for the Protection of Wild Animals).

portrait de Madline Rubin

Madline Rubin

Member of the Executive Committee of the Fondation Nature & Découvertes

portrait de Annik Schnitzler

Annik Schnitzler

Former professor, University of Lorraine, Natural Forest Ecology Specialist

portrait de Roger Tardy

Roger Tardy


portrait de Emmanuel Torquebiau

Emmanuel Torquebiau

Co-founder, administrator
Research Associate at The French Agricultural Research Centre for International Development (CIRAD) in Montpellier, Agroforestry Specialist

The team

General Secretariat

portrait de Eric Fabre

Eric Fabre

Volunteer General Secretary - Strategy and global supervision

flora régibier

Flora Régibier

Project Coordinator

Naomie Maréchal

Trainee coordination officer

noame hatimi

Noame Hatimi

Project Development Officer

photo rozenn torquebiau

Rozenn Torquebiau

Volunteer educational coordinator

Associative Affairs

pierre chatagon

Pierre Chatagnon

Volunteer Deputy General Secretary - Head of the Associative Affairs Department

photo soline nb 1

Soline Bouveaux

Administrative assistant

Catherine Vialle-Devos

Volunteer Human Resources Officer

Aurélien Lemaire - Association Francis Hallé pour la forêt primaire

Aurélien Lemaire

Volunteer and associate consultant - Analysis and planning tools


portrait de Roger Tardy

Roger Tardy

Volunteer Treasurer, bookkeeping

pierre françois le gal

Pierre-François Le Gal

Volunteer Deputy Treasurer

portrait anita rocton

Anita Rocton

Volunteer contributor


damien saraceni

Damien Saraceni

Head of Communications

gaëlle cloarec

Gaëlle Cloarec

Project manager, editorial group, copywriter

felice olivesi

Felice Olivesi

Volunteer - editorial group, copywriter

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