The Life present at the 9th European Conference on Ecological Restoration



The 9th European Conference on Ecological Restoration was held in Oulu (Finland) from 4 to 8 August 2014. A delegation of 2 people (MINDEF and CENRA) joined scientists and practitioners from 25 European countries to discuss issues related to restoring functional ecosystems.

Forest environments, bogs and wetlands, grasslands and grazing areas, rivers and streams and marine ecosystems were the subject of specific workshops. The concepts of ecosystemic, evaluation or networking services were also the focus of some debate.

A Life session developed both at the workshop and poster presentation levels was a common thread throughout the entire programme.

It is in this context that the Life project on military land was presented. It was of particular interest to our European colleagues through the diversity of the situations addressed and the complexity of restorations in place on each site. The question of the pyrotechnical risk focused the attention of some and was shared by other European Lifes. The presence of Lieutenant COGNE, the MINDEF representative, in military uniform, was a surprise to many and helped forge numerous contacts. Thus links with naturalists were developed on military projects (beyond the Life project).

SER's management has asked us to address the next Conference.

The symposium was a key moment when we took the measure of the challenge that networking on a European scale entailed. Revitalisation of our projects, stimulation of our ambitions, promotion of the results. We came back enriched from this exchange and now must take up the challenge at the closing seminar of our Life where we will have the pleasure of inviting our colleagues from other European countries who share the same concerns as we do... So see you in Nîmes in 2016.

The winning photographs in the competition exhibited at the Wildlife and Nature Photo Festival in Montier

festival montier

For the first time, the Rhône-Alpes Natural Areas Conservatory and the Ministry of Defence were present at the 18th International Wildlife and Nature Photo Festival in Montier en Der (Haute-Marne / Champagne-Ardenne) from 20 to 23 November.

Together with its numerous partners (ONF, ONCFS, LPO etc.), the Defence stand featured the Life Defence Nature 2mil project, 

Staff from DMPA, EMZD Lyon and the Rhône-Alpes CEN (Natural Areas Conservatory) took turns during these four days in the main tent of the festival to increase awareness among the numerous and curious attendants about biodiversity on military land. 

This was an opportunity to display the winning photos in the photo competition along with the awareness posters.

The festival received over 40, 000 visitors.


A new face in the Corsica team

Jessica Charrier joined the CEN Corsica teamon 1 March. She is working on the project with Gilles Faggio and will be responsible for monitoring and coordinating activities at the Aspretto site.

CENCorse Mars2014 digueCENCorse Mars2014

Working alongside military personnel from the base, her first task will involve installing additional "no entry" signs and equipment around the sea wall (boards and chains).


A day dedicated to the European Rabbit

JourneLapin Mars2014

On 14 March this year, a meeting was held in Saint-Remèze (Ardèche). The topic of discussion was the European Rabbit, and the event was attended by natural space managers, hunting representatives, dry stone professionals and naturalists.


It was organised jointly by the Ardèche Gorges Management Association (SGGA) and the Gardon Gorges Public-Private Entity(SMGG). It involved a tour of the area and provided an opportunity to discuss experiments on the reintroduction of the European Rabbit. The attendees also had the chance to inspect the mechanisms introduced by SGGA in partnership with local hunting associations and by the Ardèche Hunting Federation (FDCA).              


Therabbit population has been declining sharply in Franceover recent decades, in particular as a result of degraded habitats and diseases such as myxomatosis. As well as being a major natural asset and an important hunting species, rabbits are also a key source of food for the Bonelli's Eagle.  Under the Life Défense Nature 2 Mil programme, the SMGG is responsible for conductingrepopulation operations at the Garrigues campin conjunction with local partners, including the construction of dry-stone warrens and the reintroduction of rabbits.


Photo competition prize-winners

The military base biodiversity competition was organised by CEN Rhône-Alpesand the French Ministry of Defence. It was open to Ministry of Defence personnel and natural space managers working in partnership with military facilities. We received 66 photographs from across France.

The selected photographs will be included in an exhibition that will tour France, and the prize-winners will be used as part of an awareness campaign on biodiversity at military bases.

See the photos


1st prize: His Majesty at the Sissonne military camp, by Cyrille Tanguy, 8thQuartermaster Regiment (Mourmelon)

2nd prize: Hide-and-seek in the forest at the Bitche camp, by Frédéric Karmann, 16thBattalion of Chasseurs

3rd prize: Wild apiary in Mourmelon, by Ingrid Lamand-Robert, 8thQuartermaster Regiment (Mourmelon)

Garrigues and dry grasslands

1st prize: Two-tailed Pasha in its natural habitat at the Garrigues camp, by Gaëlle Laporte, SMGG

2nd prize: Garrigue flora at the Garrigues camp , by Gaëlle Laporte, SMGG

3rd prize: Spiranthes spiralis at Châteaudun 279 Air Base, by Arnaud David, French Air Force

Lakes and wetlands

1st prize: The Longhorn Beetle's hide at the Chambaran camp, by  Laurène Trebucq, LPO Isère

2nd prize: A view by Monet at the Chambaran camp, by  Laurène Trebucq, LPO Isère

3rd prize: Marbled newt at the Fontevraud camp, by Arnaud Bajek, Saumur Military Academy

Marine environments

2nd prize: Man and machine at the Brest naval base, by François Coutant, Civil Defence


1st prize: Eagle after a meal at the Canjuers camp, by Stéphane Benedicti, 1stRegiment of Chasseurs d'Afrique

Jury's favourites

1st prize: European Bee-eaters at the Sissonne military camp, by Cyrille Tanguy, 8thQuartermaster Regiment (Mourmelon)

2nd prize: A haven of natural tranquillity at the Hyères Naval Air Station, by Yann Valton, French Navy

3rd prize: Flowers among dry grasses at the Cuers Pierrefeu Naval Air Station, by Sébastien Marti, Cuers Pierrefeu Naval Air Station