Field Trips

Mid-conference tours will be organised on 30 August. These will involve a half-day excursion to natural areas in the vicinity of Bordeaux with various activities depending on the group. Participants will be divided into several groups and will visit different destinations and conduct various activities. Mid-conference tours are included in the conference fees.

Field trips will be chosen to provide the the clearest possible image of the local context. In this region of France, nature conservation does not take place in isolated and extensive areas. It is centered on very attractive territories that have undergone important socioeconomic changes. The management of recreational areas much be designed accordingly, e.g. on a “territorial basis”.This will be an occasion to focus on some of the specific characteristics of  French management systems.

Our tentative destinations are listed below. More information will be provided soon.

Dune du Pilat

Known for its huge size, the Pilat Dune is also famous for the beauty and diversity of its natural environment. It is located at the entrance of the Arcachon Bay. With 2 million visitors, the fragile and vulnerable Pilat dune is the most frequented natural site in Nouvelle-Aquitaine. This is why the Syndicat Mixte is conducting a vast sustainable development project and long-term management plan within the Operation Grand Site framework. Operation Grand Site is an original French policy tool for a state subsidy approach to local authorities in response to the challenges posed by welcoming such numbers and maintaining such frequently visited classified sites.

Le Teich bird reserve

The le Teich bird reserve was opened to the public in the autumn of 1972. While its focus has shifted at various points in time, its overriding concern has always been to protect the reserve’s unique natural environment and wildlife. In 1989, ecotourism became a priority for the new municipality, in partnership with the Regional Natural Park of the Landes de Gascogne.  This culminated in the opening of the Bassin d’Arcachon Nature Centre. In the French system, a Regional Natural Park is an inhabited rural area that is nationally recognised for its valuable local heritage and landscape, but also for its vulnerability. Such parks are supported by extensive sustainable development plans allowing the protection and promotion of their resources. A Regional Natural Park stands out from other protected areas not only due to the complementarity of its protection and development objectives, but also the voluntary commitment of all stakeholders. Teich Bird Reserve is first and foremost a place for members of the public who are interested intaking a closer look at the natural world.

Coastal state forests

Coastal state forests are some of the most attractive places in Aquitaine, and are home to a wide variety of recreational activities both by tourists and local people (e.g. 300.000 - 500.000 visits a year for a single site). They are managed in a multi-functional way, which takes into account the risk posed by rising sea levels. This style of management is based on innovative schemes (Beach Plan Policy) some of which have existed for long periods of time. Since 2008, the state forests of Lège et Garonne and La Teste are involved in the implementation of the “Forêt d’Exception”. Such a label was created by the National Forestry Office to highlight the territorial management of forests, i.e. based on close co-ordination with local stakeholders.

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