Promising snowfall across the Southern Alps

Snow has fallen on the mountains of the south of France – just in time for the opening weekend of ski resorts across the region – with flurries as low as 600 metres in some parts of the Alpes-Maritimes.  

What a relief it was for the winter destinations of the Alpes du Sud when snow finally began to fall in significant amounts last week. There was already enough for some ski stations to open their pistes this past weekend, such as Isola 2000 and La Colmaine, but it is on Saturday 10th December that the vast majority of resorts in the Alpes-Maritimes, Alpes-de-Haute-Provence and Hautes-Alpes will launch their winter season.  

Météo France has been advocating caution to mountain goers because of the recent snowfall and ongoing weather conditions, while the local French press has reported on a number of apparent avalanches over the last few days – one in La Grave and another in Enchastrayes – although thankfully no deaths or serious injuries are known to have occurred. 

On Tuesday 6th December, the risk of avalanches in the Alpes du Sud stands at Level 3, down from Level 5 on Monday 5th December.  

More snow is set to fall from Thursday, building hopes for a strong start to the winter sports season following a difficult last winter and the rest of 2022, which has been the hottest year on record for France.  


Photo source: Isola 2000/Facebook

EU bans import of products linked to deforestation

The European Union has reached a ground-breaking agreement to significantly reduce its role in global deforestation, greenhouse gas emissions and biodiversity loss via a ban on all imports of products linked to deforestation.  

On Tuesday 6th December, the European Commission (EC) announced that a provisional political agreement to implement a new law on deforestation-free products had been reached with European governments, just 12 months after the concept was first tabled.  

Once the regulations come into force – a grace period of 18 months following the formal adoption of the law will allow a gentle adaptation the new rules – companies will be required to adhere to a number of mandatory “due diligence” rules in order to import or export a set range of products.  

Traders and operators will have to provide proof that their goods were produced “on land that was not subject to deforestation after 31st December 2020” and legal or “compliant with all relevant applicable laws in force in the country of production”. They will also need to “collect precise geographical information on the farmland where the commodities that they source have been grown”.  

The EC will be running a benchmarking system alongside the new law, which will assess countries’ efforts and assign them a “level of risk of deforestation and forest degradation” from low to high. The onus of penalising companies for not following the rules will be on EU member states.  

Day-to-day commodities on the list 

The new rules target a set of key commodities: palm oil, cattle, soy, coffee, cocoa, timber and rubber as well as derived products such as beef, furniture and chocolate. The products listed have earned their place on the list due to their significant impact on deforestation caused by agricultural expansion, according to the EC. This list will be continuously reviewed and updated as needed. 

“The new rules will not only reduce greenhouse gas emissions and biodiversity loss, but also help secure the livelihoods of millions of people, including indigenous peoples and local communities across the world, who rely heavily on forest ecosystems,” said the EC in a public statement.  

The public has shown overwhelming support for this initiative, despite concerns about the impact the new law will have on supply chains, with more than 1.2 million responses received during the Open Public Consultation for this proposal. This represents the second largest response in the history of the EU.   

Ben Lambrecht replaces Jean-Emmanuel de Witt as Monaco CEO

Jean-Emmanuel de Witt, who was appointed AS Monaco CEO only six months ago, has been replaced by Ben Lambrecht, who joins the Principality side from satellite club Cercle Brugge. 

In a move that highlights the increasing synergies between Monaco and their Belgian satellite club, Lambrecht succeeds de Witt. The latter was only appointed to the role of CEO in May of this year, but according to AFPhis profile was ultimately too detached from the specificities of football.

Lambrecht comes in with a knowledge of the multi-club project, having contributed to the good results and business development of Cercle Brugge, who have bounced back after a difficult start to the 2022/23 season. The sides are currently joined in Benidorm for a mid-season training camp.

Lambrecht had occupied his role at Cercle since March 2021, and has since been working closely with the management of AS Monaco in implementing a global strategy and helping modernise and strengthen the existing structures and synergies between the two clubs.

Lambrecht was trained at the INSEAD Business School, and has 28 years of business experience at places like KPMG, Delacre and Coca-Cola. He has worked in Belgium, the Netherlands, the UK and France.


Photo by AS Monaco