NatureXpairs, THE FRENCH HUB FOR PROTECTED AREAS & PEOPLE

Who we are

Network for protected areas

Initiated by the four main networks of protected areas in France, the project is of interest to all protected area managers and, as part of France’s contribution to the HAC N&P, mobilizes a wide array of stakeholders involved in protected areas creation and management. This forms a unique offer of expertise for worldwide protected areas managers interested in delivering on the KM-GBF Target 3.

Conservatoires d’espaces naturels

Established in 1976, 23 Natural Area Conservancies operate in France on a coherent, functional network of 4,100 natural sites, covering 270,000 ha in mainland France and its overseas, over 4,500 municipalities. They contribute to the understanding, protection, management and enhancement of natural environments, and to the development of regional projects. They are grouped together within the Fédération des Conservatoires d’Espaces Naturels, whose main mission is to represent the network and encourage exchanges between its members, in order to strengthen their action in the field.

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French National Parks

Since 1963, French National Parks are the emblem of the national commitment to nature conservation. Across France and overseas territories, the eleven French National Parks offer a network of places considered remarkable for their natural and cultural diversity: Vanoise, Port-Cros, Pyrénées, Cévennes, Écrins, Mercantour, Guadeloupe, French Guiana, La Réunion, Calanques and Forest National Park. They cover almost 8 % of the country and attract more than 10 million visitors every year. With the aim of preserving and sharing nature, French National Parks are places of innovation and their model has received international recognition.

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Parcs naturels régionaux de France

Founded in 1967, based on the presence of areas of national natural, cultural or landscape interest, the mission of each Natural Regional Park in France is to protect and manage this heritage, promote economic and social development, and welcome, educate and inform the public. A regional nature park project is drawn up under the responsibility of the French regions. As of August 2023, there are 58 regional nature parks in France. The Fédération des Parcs Naturels de France is their voice and contributes to the implementation of public policies for the development of rural areas.

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Réserves Naturelles de France

Created in 1982, Réserves Naturelles de France (RNF) runs a network of 359 Nature Reserves (as of August 2023), protecting over 171 million hectares of the French territory (including its Overseas and Corsica), around 3 main missions: to manage, protect and raise awareness. Bringing together 700 members, more than 1,000 employees, 215 management organizations, volunteers, experts and local authorities, RNF constitutes a driving force in the protection of France’s biodiversity and geological heritage. More than 12 million visitors come to the Nature Reserves every year.

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NatureXpairs, the French Hub for Protected Areas & People
French Protected Areas Managers are lovers of their territory and offer a current perspective on the issues that arise.
Pauline Teillac-Deschamps, Expertise France

The team

Our team is based in Dijon, France, at the headquarters of one of the French protected areas networks (Réserves Naturelles de France hosts the project). The managers of protected areas who propose to share their expertise through NatureXpairs are based throughout mainland France and in the overseas territories.

The team, identify expertise, and implement the project’s governance. A monitoring committee brings together the founding members of the project to share ideas and issues, and to define common positions.

Our team consists of 4 people.

Emmanuelle Sarat

Project Coordinator

She is responsible for the daily implementation of the project and ensures the liaison between the project’s funders, financing organizations, and the various partners seeking technical assistance.

Aurélie Chane-Yook

Facilitator of the French HAC N&P Working Group

Aurélie is responsible for facilitating the working group, identifying and providing French expertise on protected areas, and engaging the community of cooperating managers.

Sevahnee Pyneeandy

Coordinator and Facilitator of the Varuna_AMP Program

Based on the island of Réunion, she is particularly responsible for developing a network of marine protected area managers from the islands in the southwest Indian Ocean region, and enhancing their skills through training, technical meetings, and peer exchanges.

Carole D’Antuoni

Project Manager – IRF Congress

Carole is the project manager for organizing the World Ranger Congress, which will be held in Hyères in October 2024. As the president of Garde Nature de France, she receives administrative support from NatureXpairs for organizing the congress.

NatureXpairs, the French Hub for Protected Areas & People
Our approach

Hundreds of experts sharing their passion for nature

NatureXpairs, the French Hub for Protected Areas and People makes the uniqueness of French protected area expertise available in support of delivering on the KM-GBF Target 3, through the mobilization of French protected areas managers, which currently cover 33% of France’s national territory and maritime areas.

Working directly with field-based protected areas managers

Involving a French protected area manager in an international cooperation project means bringing in a peer-to-peer dynamic, relying on practical long-term and on-the-ground expertise, fostering meaningful exchanges and guaranteeing operational outcomes on the field.

Customized teams to meet your needs

Analyzing the expertise needs expressed by applicants, NatureXpairs, the French Hub for Protected Areas and People offers solutions on a case-by-case basis, building customized teams from our pool of managers from France’s various protected areas.

An agile process

When contacted, we will seek relevant skills among our networks of protected areas managers and partners to meet the specific needs: managers sharing comparable contexts, those facing similar challenges, or those having developed sharp expertise on one of the key issues expressed. Considering their availability and the correspondence with their own strategic plans, our experts will confirm their interest in taking part in the cooperation. NatureXpairs, the French Hub for Protected Areas and People is also here to facilitate the project engineering, handle the administrative procedures and the contracting for the remuneration of the mobilized expert.

A privileged gateway to cooperation

In order to facilitate the direct involvement of French protected areas managers, NatureXpairs, the French Hub for Protected Areas and People acts as a focal point for any requests in relation to protected areas management and governance vis à vis the HAC N&P. Based on a clear expression of on-the-ground needs, it provides attentive listening to really match the expectations and offers an on-demand service platform supported by a flexible, responsive contracting system.

Our areas of expertise

  • Identification of protected areas
  • Biodiversity knowledge, monitoring and reporting
  • Ecological planning
  • Ecosystem management and restoration
  • Adaptation of protected areas to climate change
  • Connectivity
  • Sustainable use of nature resources
  • Inclusive governance and concertation
  • Effective and equitable management
  • Sustainable tourism
  • Communication, education and public awareness
  • Organizing the work of rangers and protected area managers
  • Structuring the professional sector
  • Protected areas endorsement by local stakeholders
  • Surveillance and law enforcement
  • Protecting areas beyond biodiversity: landscape-based approaches, geological, cultural and architectural heritage
  • IPLC engagement processes
Our goal is to offer concrete, high-level operational expertise on protected areas.
Anne Legile, Cévennes National Park
NatureXpairs, the French Hub for Protected Areas & People
Our expertise

A French distinctive expertise for nature & people

Through its variety of ecosystems, its long history of integrated and locally managed protected areas, its range of complementary protection tools and its experience of landscape approaches that include people, France can be a source of inspiration for the creation and management of protected areas beyond its borders, in view of the 2030 horizon.

In France, protected areas and ecological corridors are essential components for the territories undergoing ecological transition. Their networks are established to conserve nature and protect biodiversity while both supporting the economic sustainability of human activities and strengthening social wealth of the territories. Such objectives are supported through a multi-scale biodiversity protection policy implemented through a large diversity of protection models and tools, combined with regulatory approaches, technical and financial incentive measures.

Conservation is delivered through a large range of contractual or management modalities that involve civil society organization, local governments and municipalities as well as private landowners or companies in sectors such as agriculture, water, electricity and even ski-resorts and transport. This allows protected areas to match the needs of each territory and, through its inclusive governance, implements a whole-of-society approach. It promotes the French vision and commitment to ensure access to nature for all.

NatureXpairs, the French Hub for Protected Areas and People is an alliance of French protected areas managers with complementary skills, dedicated to the preservation, conservation and restoration of biodiversity. It provides French expertise to international partners while enriching its own practice through the exchanges of experience with other countries and a concrete peer-to-peer sharing approach.

An enabling context to act at all levels

The KM-GBF as an inspiring roadmap for the world, together with the operationalization of the HAC N&P with a clear focus and the approval of the Global Biodiversity Framework Fund as a new financial mechanism are all key drivers towards achieving this global and shared ambition for biodiversity that now needs to be translated into practical national and sub-national policies and actions.

A consistent added-value rooted in long-term practices

Through NatureXpairs, the French Hub for Protected Areas and People, managers of French protected areas bring together their large on-the-ground variety of skills and experiences, which are complementary and find their roots in their respective territories. This plurality of experts and experiences enables us to respond as closely as possible to the needs and challenges of protected areas practitioners seeking practical technical assistance worldwide.

A distinctive approach in a real listening mode

By favoring peer-to-peer exchange, managers of protected areas are talking to other managers of protected areas all around the globe, and sharing their practical experience of protected areas where mankind and nature cohabit. Our project aims to create these links between nature and people, with mutual learning, co-construction and sharing, attentiveness to local needs and expectations and respect at its heart.

An offer for a large range of stakeholders

Given the context and the remaining time to deliver on the KM-GBF targets, we believe our project meets the need of numerous stakeholders seeking international expertise in the creation and management of protected areas: managers, State institutions, development agencies, local authorities, research institutes, consultancies, NGOs, etc.

A common ambition, a mutual aspiration

Reversing the trend of biodiversity loss by 2030 is an imperative milestone towards achieving the global 2050 vision of living in harmony with nature. With decades of natural areas management practices across the whole range of ecosystems, managers of French protected areas share this common ambition and are now determined to bring their contribution to promptly implement the 30×30 Target. Managers of French protected areas from various institutions are now joining forces to offer their expertise to protected areas managers across the world and in return enrich their own practices through international cooperation.

A historical and ecosystem-diversified expertise

“France has a long history of integrated and local-level management of protected areas, which started back in 1861 with the protection of the Fontainebleau forest, South of Paris. During the 20th century, Nature reserves, National Parks, Natural Regional Parks, Natural Area Conservancies and the Coastal protection agency were among the main protection tools to be endorsed in French law. A national strategy for marine and terrestrial protected areas was launched in 2021. It provides a horizon for 2030, and is accompanied by action plans, which are implemented and fed by the territories.

In August 2023, the World Database on Protected Areas censused 6 085 protected areas in France, covering 28,4% of national terrestrial land and inland waters and 49,82% of national marine area (Protected Planet, 2023).

France also harbors the highest diversity of bioclimatic zones among European countries, with many overseas territories in tropical, subtropical and subantarctic ecoregions and territorial waters across all oceans. Those various contexts and their respective challenges have resulted in diversified skills acquired by a large range of practitioners for the creation and the management of protected areas.”

A shared ambition for future projects and mutual enrichment

By joining forces for the common good, that is Nature, managers of French protected areas hope to be able to invest in long-term international cooperation projects, to forge solid human links, enabling transformative change and exemplary results in biodiversity preservation while at the same time enriching their own experience.

Our common goal is to facilitate and encourage networking between nature professionals to protect biodiversity beyond individual boundaries.
Naïk Faucon, French Biodiversity Agency
Our actions
NatureXpairs, the French Hub for Protected Areas & People
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NatureXpairs, the French Hub for Protected Areas & People
NatureXpairs, the French Hub for Protected Areas & People
NatureXpairs, the French Hub for Protected Areas & People
OFB
In support of
NatureXpairs, the French Hub for Protected Areas & People
The French Hub
for Protected Areas & People
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