Various training programmes already exist within the French ministry of the Armed Forces , since each armed force, directorate and department has its own staff training needs. Nevertheless, natural heritage preservation has not been an official topic so far.
Devising a biodiversity training programme
A working group is being set up by the French ministry of the Armed Forces to identify the training needs of each audience at the Ministry. Based on the outcomes of the working group, the LIFE NaturArmy programme should be able to develop appropriate biodiversity training and awareness-raising actions.
The target audiences are 200 environment officers and 10,000 members of staff concerned by environmental risk prevention. Training sessions may address issues such as: introduction to the Natura 2000 network, how to carry out a Natura 2000 impact assessment, application of the ARC (avoid, reduce, compensate) method, as well as potentially covering other topics specifically tailored to the needs of the staff concerned (ecological corridors, restoration actions, biodiversity monitoring, etc.).
Progress so far
In January 2020 the Ministry launched a national working group on training staff with responsibility for the environment. The training programme is due to be rolled out in stages until 2023. Awareness-raising actions have also been organised with the CEN network which have reached over 7,000 actors from a variety of backgrounds. For example, on 2 February 2021, an awareness-raising day was held at Rennes EMZD (defence zone general staff) and the EMAT (army general staff) with the participation of the Pays de la Loire CEN.