CONSTITUTION DU 4 OCTOBRE 1958
Enregistré à la Présidence de l'Assemblée nationale le 6 avril 2011
SUMMARY OF THE
ON BEHALF OF THE COMMITTEE ON SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT
AND SPATIAL PLANNING
AND PRESENTED BY
Mrs Geneviève GAILLARD, MP,
Pursuant to article 145 of the Rules of Procedure
Members of the fact-finding mission on the aims and tools of an integrated policy aimed at preserving and reclaiming biodiversity are : Mrs Chantal Berthelot, Mr Stéphane Demilly, Mrs Geneviève Gaillard, Mr Serge Grouard (President), Mr Pierre Lang and Mr Martial Saddier, MPs.
If biodiversity - that can be broadly defined as the interaction of animals, plants, ecosystems and landscapes - remains poorly known to the general public, which often amounts it to a problem of extinction of iconic species, all agree on acknowledging its accelerated degradation. The aim of stopping biodiversity loss by 2010 failed to be reached, and France, like the other member states of the European Union, endeavours to fulfil it by 2020.
Since 1945, France had however developed a range of tools and institutions - including some, like the Museum of Natural History, that are part of our historical and scientific heritage- dedicated to the protection of biodiversity and whose competences are often recognized beyond our borders.
Such a paradox shall be resolved by a new approach allowing for an improvement of the links between protecting “remarkable biodiversity”, that is to say protected natural areas, and protecting and enhancing a so-called “ordinary biodiversity”, in other words, biodiversity in all other areas of the country, including agricultural, suburban and urban areas. This approach shall also include a structural optimization that does not necessarily imply a prompt creation of an “Agency for Nature”, but whose main goal shall be to overcome the shortcomings of public policies, particularly in the areas of knowledge management, public awareness and education.
The fact-finding mission draws up 25 concrete proposals that resolutely fight truisms and lay the foundations for a truly integrated policy of conservation and reconquest of biodiversity, first in terms of governance and regulations - the idea is to strengthen the critical role of local authorities-, then in terms of spatial planning – which would include targeting a gradual reduction of soil artificialisation process to a total freeze by 2050-, as well as in terms of research and knowledge sharing - in view of redirecting public research towards the study of ecosystems, which would find many uses, most notably in agriculture-, and finally in terms of economics – inter allia, advocating an in-depth rethinking of overseas investments potentially harmful to biodiversity. Another field of research would deal with the value increase –both in economic and financial terms- of biodiversity and its features, an interesting avenue that may have its pitfalls but nonetheless worth the stakes.
Finally, a political impetus would seem to be a requirement to sensitize and mobilize public opinion in defense of biodiversity. In this respect, the success of some participatory operations of scientific data collection seem most encouraging.
25 PROPOSALS FROM THE FACT-FINDING MISSION FOR A BOLD INTEGRATED POLICY AIMED AT PRESERVING AND RECLAIMING BIODIVERSITY
A.— GOVERNANCE AND REGULATIONS
1°) Presenting preservation and reconquest of biodiversity as a national priority and establishing an interministerial delegate for biodiversity.
2°) Using National Strategy for Biodiversivity (NSB) 2011-2015 in both its state-wide and its local and regional dimensions as a guideline for governmental action in matters of biodiversity reclaiming.
3°) Speeding up the signing of the Nagoya Protocol on access to genetic resources and the fair and equitable sharing of benefits arising from their utilization.
4°) Strengthening the fight against invasive exotics via (inter alia) creating an Observatory for the study of invasive exotics.
5°) Fighting species overexploitation.
6°) Acknowledging in full the leading role of local authorities in matters of preserving and regaining biodiversity.
7°) Strengthening national strategies for the preservation of threatened plant and animal species.
8°) Creating in our positive law a notion of either a conservation easement or a condition of environmental protection.
9°) On the basis of a future report by the Center for Strategic Analysis, conducting a review of public policies to eliminate all tax provisions detrimental to the conservation of biodiversity while promote virtuous measures.
B.— SPATIAL PLANNING
10°) Targeting a gradual reduction of soil artificialisation process to a total freeze by 2050.
11°) Taking into account bio-geographical regions in spatial planning policies.
12°) Improving knowledge of our natural heritage.
13°) Making ex ante implementation of compensatory measures as well as ex post control of said compensatory measures compulsory in all development projects.
C.— RESTRUCTURING SCIENTIFIC RESEARCH, DATA COLLECTION AND KNOWLEDGE SHARING
14°) Organizing a clear division of powers between the main research structures on biodiversity, encouraging the development of natural sciences and furthering research on ecosystems.
15°) Redirecting research in agronomy towards the implementation of an innovative agriculture model that would respect ecological balance and natural resources.
16°) Furthering the study of the correlation between public health protection and biodiversity conservation.
17°) In a spirit of “civic ecology”, developing a “collaborative” model of knowledge acquisition in life sciences.
18°) Raising awareness of young people, elected officials, social partners, tourists to biodiversity issues. Creating a "Green course" to train students in biodiversity issues.
19°) Creating a permanent body monitoring activities and initiatives on the topic of biodiversity.
20°) Promoting a global vision of biodiversity that would include all species and ecosystems.
21°) Developping actions pertaining to the conservation of biodiversity in public programs of development assistance and facilitating their identification.
22°) Furthering efforts to gain knowledge of particularly fragile species and ecosystems in the French Overseas territories - which represent the bulk of biodiversity in France.
23°) Pursuing efforts on economic valuation of biodiversity and encouraging the formation of a market based on the principle of “who damages an ecosystem pays”.
24°) In the agriculture sector, pursuing joint actions with farmers to promote a “green” agricultural production; resolutely improving training in these new farming practices.
25°) Carrying out studies on overseas investments harmful to biodiversity.