France and IUCN intensify their efforts to protect global biodiversity

Yesterday IUCN signed a new partnership agreement with France, which aims to support the Union's global biodiversity conservation work, focusing on sub-Saharan Africa, oceans and global governance of natural resources.

The Lagoons of New Caledonia, France

Delphine Batho, Minister of Ecology, Sustainable Development and Energy, Victorin Lurel, Minister of Overseas France, Pascal Canfin, Deputy Minister for Development and Anne Paugam, CEO of the French Development Agency signed the agreement with IUCN, represented by Julia Marton-Lefèvre, its Director General. The partnership aims to bring significant progress in biodiversity conservation that is expected to be achieved by 2016.

Initially signed in 2005 and renewed in 2009, the partnership agreement between France and IUCN has thus been extended for another four years, thereby strengthening France's commitment to protecting biodiversity, in accordance with its international engagements regarding the Convention for Biological Diversity (CBD).

France will invest almost 8 million Euros in order to support actions in three major areas aimed at protecting global biodiversity:

• The conservation of biodiversity and the sustainable management of natural resources in sub-Saharan Africa;
• The governance of the Oceans and the protection of the marine, coastal and insular ecosystems, the EU overseas entities;
• Global biodiversity governance.

With the signing of this agreement, France reinforces its position as one of IUCN’s strategic partners. An organization that was founded in Fontainebleau in 1948, IUCN brings together over 1,200 members - government organisations (including 92 states) and non-government organisations – and 11,000 scientists and experts worldwide.

“With regard to biodiversity, France considers it has a particular responsibility, due to the great diversity of its natural heritage, its overseas territories and its marine areas," said Delphine Batho, Minister of Ecology, Sustainable Development and Energy at the signing ceremony in Paris. "IUCN is carrying out essential work, exploring new areas that need to be monitored and protected. This agreement will help give substance to the priority France gives to the issue of the oceans, and to European and international commitments regarding marine biodiversity. The future of humanity is linked to that of biodiversity. It is simply a matter of protecting all living beings - protecting our living planet”.

“Responding to the current crisis regarding nature on the African continent, ensuring better protection for the oceans and providing scientific knowledge to support the global governance of natural resources – these are the central themes of this new partnership between France and IUCN, said Julia Marton-Lefèvre, IUCN Director General. "I am very happy that we are going to intensify our joint efforts to prove that nature is a source of solutions to global issues such as climate change, poverty, and food and energy security,” 

“Thanks to its overseas territories, France is unique in that it is present in all the oceans," said Victorin Lurel, Minister of Overseas France. "Thus, it has a unique responsibility regarding the protection and sustainable management of biodiversity. Due to their insular nature, France’s overseas territories present specific features in terms of richness of their biodiversity, extremely high level of endemism, and also in terms of their fragility and the threats they face, including global climate change. IUCN’s mission is to influence, encourage and assist societies throughout the world to conserve the integrity and diversity of nature, and to ensure that any use of natural resources is equitable and ecologically sustainable. Moreover, it benefits from an international network, which brings together over 1,200 members, from both the private and the public sectors. These characteristics clearly make IUCN a natural and privileged partner of the French Government in the consolidation of its political commitment to the protection of biodiversity.”

“The protection of biodiversity is, along with the climate, a fundamental issue for sustainable development, said Anne Paugam, CEO of the French Development Agency. "The growth of the world’s urban population, the intensive use of natural resources and the degradation of ecosystems and land threaten food and health security, above all affecting the poorest people in society. This situation is particularly serious in Africa. The French Development Agency (AFD) is about to publish its first biodiversity intervention strategy. Within this context, AFD plans to double its funding, which should reach 600 million Euros over the next four years. IUCN is an ideal partner for taking up this challenge.”

For more information please contact:
Ewa Magiera, IUCN Media Relations,

Work area: 
Climate Change
Global Policy
Protected Areas
Social Policy
Environmental Law
World Heritage
South America
North America
East and Southern Africa
West and Central Africa
West Asia
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