Launch of the Orchis Militaris comic book


The Ministry of Defence and the Conservatoire d’espaces naturels Rhône-Alpes hosted the first national presentation of the "Mission Orchis Militaris" comic book about the LIFE Défense Nature 2Mil project on Wednesday 14 October 2015 at the Frère de Lyon headquarters.


Around forty people were present at the launch event for the publication. Lyon's Military Governor Lieutenant Colonel Pierre Chavancy made the welcome speech at the event, followed by Colonel Denis Thiebault, DREAL representative Julien Mestrallet and President of the CEN Rhône-Alpes Jean-Yves Chetaille. The artists were in attendance, receiving thanks from each of the above, accompanied by their teacher and scriptwriter Olivier Jouvray.


A video showing some of the key moments during the creation of the comic book was shown.  During his introduction to the video, Jean-Yves Chetaille reminded us that: "Any similarities to actual persons is not a coincidence, rather the result of genuine field research among professionals: naturalists and military staff who are working together to preserve the biodiversity of military land. Following this journalistic enquiry, each student put all of their own creativity and skill into creating a story that is both accurate in its message and enjoyable to read."


The result of a partnership weaved at the national level : 


A first rapprochement between the CEN Rhône-Alpes and the Ministry of Defence has been engaged since the 1990's in the military camp of Valbonne (Ain), to avoid the progress of the scrub on the 1,200 hectares of dry grasslands and afforestations of this site. This partnership is at the origin of the national agreement between the Ministry of Defence and the Federation of Conservatoire signed in 2009. 

The challenge of this comic book, was by means of an attractive support, to make sensitive the young people, the civilians and the military to the rich natural heritage situated on military land. This comic is the result of a partnership established between the Emile Cohl school, the art school of Lyon, the CEN Rhône-Alpes and the Ministry of Defence. To realize the comic book, the four students of the Emile Cohl school went to meet military and naturalists who work together in the protection of the biodiversity while protecting the operational character of the military sites.


Sessions dedications of the comic book by 4 draftsmen :


The draftsmen were set up to dedicate comic book at first to the Lyon's Military Governor then to each of the participants wishing it. The draftsmen Nicola Bernardelli, Maud Bihan, Rozenn Grosjean and Christelle Pourrot could customize again comics. This moment also was the opportunity for all, military, naturalists, students, civilians, journalists and managers to share this beautiful project in partnership. The comic will be available to teachers and associations for raising awareness of children and students in ecology and environmental preservation.



Publication of the Orchis Militaris comic book


At last, the careful work of the 4 students from the Emile Cohl school is now available !


You can :


- download it here


- order the print version here (you must pay for postage charges)


To find out more about our artists :


- Rozenn Grosjean drew the cover illustration and the visit to the Mont-Caume site and Sissonne camp


- Christelle Pourrot drew the introduction, the conclusion and the visit to the Garrigues camp


- Nicola Bernardelli drew the visit to the Chambaran camp and air base 115 in Orange    


- Maud Bihan drew the visit to the Aspretto naval base and Canjuers camp

European conference on biodiversity in military training areas in Riga


The European conference on the management of disturbances to species and their habitats in military training areas was held in Riga on 26, 27 and 28 May 2015.


The first day was dedicated to the integration of biodiversity into European Commission sectoral policies during the Latvian Presidency.


The presentations can be viewed using the link below:

During the second day, the Life delegation (3 representatives from MINDEF, 1 from CEN Rhône-Alpes and 1 from Syndicat Mixte des Gorges du Gardon) presented French projects for biodiversity in military lands, such as : 

  - LIFE Terrains militaires ( Biodiversity Restoration & Conservation of Remarkable Military Lands In South-East France)

 - The work done with birds by the Syndicat Mixte des Gorges du Gardon and the 2nd Foreign Infantry Regiment at the Garigues camp (  Actions for the protection of birds in the military camp)

 - Scaring and the protection of the little bustard on the Air Base 115 Orange (  A partnership for protection of Tetrax Tetrax on the Air-Base 115)

 - The protection of the bearded vulture during military flights through a partnership between the Ministry of Defence and the Bird Protection League (  Preserving the bearded vulture)


We learned a great deal from the different presentations. We also spoke to Tilmann Disselhoff, an expert at the European Commission who explained the victory obtained by associations from Germany: the free transfer of disused military land. The 150,000 ha conceded will be handed over in 3 lots. It's a fascinating example!


The last day was given over to the LIFE "Birds in Adazi" site. We observed the different restoration techniques: razing, burning, crushing...

The French delegation appreciated the efficiency of the Latvian Defence Ministry's environmental policy. This was an opportunity to pursue the creation of a network of stakeholders in the protection of biodiversity in military lands at a European level. Since then, Mr Raimonds Vejonis, Green Party Minister for Defence, has been elected as President of the Latvian Republic. We look forward to welcoming his ministry during the European conference to be held in France at the end of June 2016. 

Call for contribution - International conference

The French Ministry of Defense and the Conservatoire d’espaces naturels Rhônes-Alpes (a NGO specialized on biodiversity management) organize an international nature conference “Conciliate operational training with preservation of biodiversity on military camps”.

It will be held from 28 to 30th of June 2016, at Nîmes (South of France). The conference is organized in the frame of the Life Project Nature Defense 2 Mil.

The first day is a plenary session devoted to national and international issues. The day will close with a Nîmes city tour.

The visit of military activities and actions of biodiversity restoration will be held the second day at the Garrigues Camp.

Exchanges based on the lessons of experience of militaries or NGOs will take place the day 3.

If you would like to make a presentation or to present a poster, your are kindly requested to register for the event. Here is the link to register on line -

Presentations will be selected at the end of January 2016.

The 1rst of July, conference participants have the opportunity to join a land tour group to discover wonderful sites (roman empire, UNESCO Sites…). This optional visit is covered by participants