National Forest Ownership Centre (CNPF - Centre national de la propriété forestière)

The CNPF (National Forest Ownership Centre) contributes to the development of French forests through advisory and coordination activities, research, training and knowledge dissemination.

The CNPF was created on 1st January 2003 when the former National Association of the Regional Centers for Forest Owners became a public body. This association was in charge of missions that were common to all the CRPF, and provided some direct support at the national level.

These missions were naturally transferred to the CNPF, which now interfaces between the CRPF, the public authorities, and the professional bodies for privately owned forests. In 2010, the CNPF and the CRPF merged in a single organisation : the CRPF became the CNPF regional delegations ; and the IDF (Institut pour le Développement Forestier) is the Research developement and innovation CNPF Department.


  • To clarify the public forest policies bringing all the forest development actions related to privately owned forests under a single national body, while maintaining decentralisation at regional level ;
  • To improve the consistency of the forest development measures in the areas of applied research, training for forest owners and forest micro-economics ;
  • To create closer links between the national technical experts (IDF) and the extension agents in contact with the forest owners (CRPF) ;
  • To optimise the use of public funds.

The CNPF has also taken over the coordination and financing of the "FOGEFOR" Forest owners management training programme.

European et international cooperation at CNPF

Its missions, its history  and professional culture, and also the demands of its counterparts and partners, led the CNPF to conduct, since its origins, numerous  actions of  cooperation at the European and international levels.

A well established legal and institutional framework since 2010

  • The ordinance No. 2009-1369 of  6th November 2009 (section 221.1 of the Forest Code) states explicitly that the CNPF's mission is to "promote exchanges between agencies involved in forest development in France and in the territory of the European Union and third countries."

  • In its latest contract of objectives, Objective 3.1: Strengthen coordination with scientists and transfer of research, provides for the development of networks of exchange with foreign countries, especially in Europe, and participation in international programs.

  • To be qualified as a Technical Institute of the network of ICTA, IDF, the CNPF RDI Department, is requested to have a strong enough European dimension.

CNPF is associate member of the European Forest Institute (EFI), through its ECOFOR membership ; member of the R&D group of the European confederation of forest owners (CEPF) ; member of the national support group of the Forest based sector Technology Platform.

Contact : Benjamin Chapelet, Europe projects Officer -


Research, Development and Innovation Department (IDF – Institut pour le développement Forestier)

The IDF is the RDI department for privately owned forests in France. It was founded in 1961 as a non-profit association. On 1st January 2006, it became part of the CNPF.

The IDF comprises more than 30 engineers, technicians and administrative staff, who work partly at the Orléans head office, and partly within regional agencies.


  • to develop some sylvicultural models that are adapted to the technical, economic and human realities of the private forest owners ;
  • to broadly disseminate its results via the Forêt-entreprise journal, some technical and general guides and software applications ; also through training courses and sessions, which may be tailored to specific needs.

The IDF organises and leads some working groups on specialised topics (irregular treatments, regular treatments of the main social broadleaved trees such as sweet chestnut, poplars, lowland conifers, etc.). It also acts as the umbrella organisation for the CETEF (see below).

The IDF experts identify needs and draw up specifications for solutions, then analyse the forest research literature, study the documentation, develop some adaptations and innovations, setting up experiments in close collaboration with their numerous partners.

For example, the Experimentation Centre for French private forests collects data from the most significant experiments carried out by the CRPF and IDF in order to process the results at national level.

10 CNPF Regional delegations (CRPF – Centres régionaux de la propriété forestière)

The CRPF has to guide and develop forest management in the privately owned forests, in particular :

  • to increase the sylvicultural management plans for the 13 French Regions ;
  • to approve the 33 000 simplified management plans for privately owned forests that cover a continuous area of more than 25 ha (3 400 000 ha in total) ;
  • to draw up the codes of good sylvicultural practices and keepi a register of foresters abiding by these codes ;
  • to approve the procedures for the standard management regulations.

As development organisations, the CRPF encourage the creation of forest ownership groups (union associations for forestry works, which cover a total area of more than 110 000 ha), and forest grouping operations ; they also support the joint management bodies such as the OGEC.

The CRPF also provide sylvicultural training and information services to promote diverse sylvicultural methods. Each year, over 300 000 forest owners are contacted and 30 000 receive individual or group training. All these forestry development activities rely on a network of technical and economic references.

CETEF (Centers for forest technical studies)

65 CETEF and forest development groups are working within different French departements. These sylvicultural associations set up technical and economic experiments, inviting neighbouring foresters to share their sylvicultural concerns and experiments of their own.

The Groupements de Vulgarisation Forestière or GVF (forestry extension groups) and Groupements de Développement Forestier or GDF (forestry development groups) contribute to the dissemination of  technical progress at departemental level. 

The CETEF and forestry groups cooperate locally for the implementation of the extension and development activities carried on by the CRPF, the forestry cooperatives and the Chambers of Agriculture. All are non profit associations and work in liaison with the IDF.