While they may not present a very spectacular appearance to the uninformed eye, dry forests offer a wealth of exciting discoveries and a remarkable biodiversity to those who take the trouble to get to know them.
Among New Caledonia’s vegetation, internationally recognized for the exceptional biodiversity that it brings together, the dry forest remains today the form of vegetation that is most directly endangered. Tropical dry forests are the most threatened tropical forest type worldwide, and the dry forests of New Caledonia are no exception. Intentionally ignited fires, trampling by cattle and the introduction of alien species such as fire ants pose the greatest threats to the few remaining patches of dry forest.
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In a framework agreement signed in September 2001, ten partners (the French State, the North and South Provinces, the New Caledonia Government, the New Caledonian Institute of Agronomy, the Institute for Research and Development, the University of New Caledonia, the Centre for Environmental Awareness, Conservation International and WWF France) joined forces for the first time in the country to put a stop to the continuous erosion of some of the most endangered plant formations in dry forests.
The team is strongly committed at the international level for the long-term conservation of the country. The “Dry Forest” Programme sets the action plan to mobilize energies, capacities and resources to protect the remarkable natural environment threatened with extinction. Since 2011, the Programme is integrated with the coordination structure for marine sites included in the World Heritage List.