Military Bases and Biodiversity

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The Ministry of Defence owns over 600,000 acres of land, the majority of which is used for armed forces personnel training. Military bases are restricted-access areas that are protected against urbanisation, certain forms of intensive agriculture and industrialisation. As such, they are of particular importance when it comes to biodiversity, both flora and fauna. Around 20% of France's military land is listed under the "Natura 2000" European biodiversity protection network.

In order to protect this biodiversity, the Ministry and the CEN (Conservatoires des Espaces Naturels) Federation signed a partnership agreement in September 2009. The formal signature event was attended by the Secretary of State for the Environment.

The aim of this partnership is to ensure effective coordination (as part of a coordinated management plan) between military manoeuvre and shooting activities and biodiversity protection activities. These management plans include expert assessment activities, management activities (de-weeding, restoration of dry grassland, creation of a farm housing 550 sheep at the Valbonne camp in the Ain region) and educational campaigns.

 

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