News

September 18th, 2015

The completion of the Life+ Cap DOM programme!

After five years of work, the Life+ Cap DOM programme, supported by the European Commission and…
August 31st, 2015

[Video] The STOC in French Guiana

Since 2012, GEPOG has been running a STOC (point count) survey in French Guiana, along with the…
August 25th, 2015

[Video] SEOR: a look back over the five years of the programme

A few weeks before the end of the Life+ Cap DOM programme, François-Xavier Couzi, Director of…

Challenges

France’s biodiversity is located in the overseas entities

The French overseas entities are home to more endemic birds than all of continental Europe. Nearly 98% of French vertebrate fauna species are concentrated on 22% of its territory : in its overseas entities. Guadeloupe and Martinique are part of the Caribbean Islands biodiversity hotspot. French Guiana hosts one of the last, virtually intact primary tropical forests on the planet and Réunion is located in an area boasting one of the highest levels of endemism in the world. Yet, in these regions, biodiversity is under greater threat than anywhere else.

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France is ranked 7th for the largest number of globally threatened bird species. The French Overseas Departments are home to 18 species of nesting birds whose world status is unfavorable.

Halting biodiversity loss in the overseas entities would be both revelatory and symbolic of our ability to reverse the trend.

How can biodiversity be preserved without the appropriate tools ?

The tools are lacking to implement favorable political commitments for the French overseas entities.

The Birds and Habitats Directives and the Natura 2000 network, which are the pillars of nature protection in Europe, are inapplicable in the Overseas Departments. European and national grants are not subject to environmental conditionality, nor are tax exemption schemes.

Located far from continental France and from each other, the overseas entities derive scant benefit from training and innovation schemes in continental France and Europe. Moreover, most of the tools for knowledge, management and protection of biodiversity being developed there are inapplicable in the tropics.

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It is urgent that the human, legal and financial means be given to conservation stakeholders in the overseas entities to enable them to develop the tools and techniques best suited to local ecological and socio-economic contexts.

Life+ Cap DOM : Local actions, national synergy

The specificity of the overseas departments and the distance separating them from continental France necessarily imply that a network of local nature conservation non-governmental organizations (NGO) be created. They represent a significant advantage for taking rapid, concrete action to anchor the protection of biodiversity in the socio-economic development of these areas, with the support of the scientific and institutional partners in the Overseas Departments and continental France.
From 2010 to 2015, pioneering actions will be carried out in French Guiana, Réunion and Martinique, strengthened by transversal actions between these three Overseas Departments. The focus will be on building a network to share knowledge, tools and experience. The results obtained through this innovative programme will be communicated in three languages during exchange seminars and in technical guides and audio-visual tools in order to promote their replication in other French overseas entities and in neighboring countries at the end of the programme.

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