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LIFE NaturArmy in brief

LIFE NaturArmy is an extension of an experiment conducted at local level as part of another LIFE programme, ‘Défense Nature 2Mil’. Under the new programme the French ministry of the Armed Forces is stepping up its actions to promote biodiversity.

Led by the French ministry of the Armed Forces working in conjunction with the network of Conservancies of Natural Areas (CENs), this project aims to improve the conservation status of the species and habitats that justified the classification of the military sites as Natura 2000 sites.

LIFE NaturArmy, which falls within the Governance and Information category, is intended to consolidate the armed forces’ role as managers of Natura 2000 through a strategy of intervention and communication at national and European level.

(If you would like to know more about Conservancies of Natural Areas network, consult this quick presentation containing key information)


Duration 4 years : September 2019 – June 2024

General Coordination: French ministry of the Armed Forces

Associate beneficiaries and main subcontractors:

  • Federation of Conservancies of Natural Areas (FCEN)
  • Champagne-Ardenne CEN
  • Nouvelle-Aquitaine CEN
  • Pays de la Loire CEN
  • Loir et Cher CEN
  • University of Western Brittany (UBO)


  • European Union – LIFE contribution (55%)
  • French ministry of the Armed Forces (32%)
  • Ministry of Ecological Transition (MTE) (7%) and the French Biodiversity Agency (OFB) (4%)
  • Project beneficiaries (2%).

Promote and strengthen the Armed forces as managers of Natura 2000 sites in France and in Europe


Les landes de Montmorillon

LIFE NaturArmy, a programme with ambitious objectives

Orchis militaris
Orchis militaris (@CEN Nouvelle Aquitaine)

To achieve exemplary management of the Natura 2000 sites on military land

The preservation of biodiversity on the Natura 2000 sites under military control will be achieved by the end of LIFE NaturArmy by:

  • Formalisation of 4 procedures including biodiversity in every link of the decision-making chain of the French ministry of the Armed Forces (MINARM). These procedures will involve: the application of the Natura 2000 regulations to military sites, the reconciling of Natura 2000 objectives and military activities, the inclusion of nature issues on the armed forces’ geographic information portal and the continued taking into account of biodiversity on Ministry land no longer used for military purposes.
  • Implementation of a ministerial strategy on the preservation of biodiversity on military land
  • The structuring of a network of partners in France and in Europe, by mobilising the armed force’s network, DEFNET (“Defence Network”). A Europe-wide intervention strategy for the partners and 3 major events will be organised to disseminate the results of the European actions.

The good ecological management of at least 30,000 hectares of military land will continue, with the signing of 10 new agreements with the Conservancies of Natural Areas (CENs). 11,000 hectares on military sites classified as Natura 2000 will be subject to exemplary biodiversity-oriented management. A scientific quantification will be carried out of the high ecological value of the Natura 2000 sites under military control.

To demonstrate the major role played by the Armed forces in the management of Natura 2000 sites

The communication component of the LIFE NaturArmy programme aims to publicise the actions carried out to promote biodiversity on military land.

The actions planned are intended to inform: the French biodiversity institutions (Ministry of Ecological Transition (MTE), French Biodiversity Agency (OFB) and the 18 Regional authorities), the European Commission and the European armed forces’ DEFNET network).

Communication actions will also be conducted to raise awareness of the biodiversity strategy among French ministry of the Armed Forces staff and bring them on board. Thus over 100,000 MINARM managers and 100% of commanding officers, seconds-in-command, training organisers and military camp officers will be informed about Natura 2000. A Natura 2000 training programme will be made available to the armed forces. Two MINARM training schools will be involved in training future armed forces officers on the subject.


The pilot sites

Places of experimentation and feedback

Find out the actions

Find out more information about the LIFE programme :

The pilot sites

The LIFE actions

The project partners

A project driven by :

In partnership with :

With financial support from :

With technical support from :