After the One Planet Summit on Monday, devoted to biodiversity, the French government presented its strategy for protected areas on Tuesday. That is to say the detailed measures to meet its objective of 30% of protected territories by 2022. Knowing that France already has 29.5% of land areas and 23.5% of marine protected areas .
The commitment, some would say timid, was made in 2019 the day after publication. a disturbing UN report on the number of endangered species in the world. Touched, Emmanuel Macron had therefore made this promise that a little less than a third of French territory, in metropolitan France and overseas, would be integrated into these protected areas which have many reserves, parks or even natural conservatories.
The real challenge for the government will be to respect the commitment of the President of the Republic that 10% of these areas are under “Strong protection”. “The step is high”, concedes to AFP the Secretary of State in charge of biodiversity to the Minister of Ecological Transition, Bérangère Abba. France remains for the moment below 2% if we include in this name the hearts of national parks, national nature reserves (RNN) or biological reserves.
To remedy this, the government is promising a ten-year strategy with the idea of extending twenty RNNs and creating a new one in a wetland in Yvelines. It is also a question of reinforcing the protection zones in the Scattered Islands in the Indian Ocean and on the southern lands, or to improve the protection of the coast, wetlands and forests.
“Far from the account”
Regarding protected areas in the broad sense, Bérangère Abba defends a strategy “French-style” wants “To detach from the putting in a bell” for “Restore the balance between nature and human activities”. The government’s strategy is broken down into several objectives which for the first time concern land and sea areas, in metropolitan France and overseas.
There is the creation and maintenance of a network of protected areas resilient to climate change, its effective management, or the creation of“Sustainable activities” within protected areas. With the idea in the background, already defended this Monday by Emmanuel Macron during the summit, of “Defend an ambitious global framework” in view of the biodiversity COP15 which is to be held in China in 2021.
On the angry issue, that of the money, Bérangère Abba promises financial and human resources as well as “Support in terms of jobs by 2023”. Nothing very specific therefore and that should not be enough to reassure the skeptics in the face of this great announcement. Especially since there are many in associations and climate defense organizations. No later than this summer, France Nature Environment considered that France was “Unfortunately very far from the mark for the moment”. The ball is still in the government’s court.
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