National parks ask for more resources from Emmanuel Macron

National parks ask for more resources from Emmanuel Macron

Violet Field inPlanetDec 27, 2020 2 min read6 views

National parks are forced to reduce their missions, while the President of the Republic has promised to protect 30% of French lands and seas

Calanques National Park, near Marseille (illustrative image). - GERARD JULIEN / AFP

National parks are worried about "the erosion of the resources" allocated to them. In a letter addressed to Emmanuel Macron, they remind the president of his promises.

“We have lost 15% of our workforce over the past ten years,” warns Laurent Grandsimon, spokesperson for the Conference of Presidents of National Parks, in a letter addressed to the Head of State on December 21. He asks, "perhaps through the intermediary of a presidential moratorium, to put an end to the erosion of the means of national parks and thus to respect your commitments in favor of ecological transition and the preservation of biodiversity ".

More ambition, fewer resources

With a biodiversity plan in 2018, a new protected areas strategy expected in early 2021, and the hosting of the World Congress of the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) in September 2021 in Marseille, France is showing its ambitions in terms of nature conservation. The President of the Republic has pledged to protect 30% of French lands and seas, including 10% "in full naturalness" by 2022.

"We cannot continue to reduce the staff of national parks and hope to have resulted in terms of the defense of biodiversity," Laurent Grandsimon told AFP. "We are abandoning missions," he laments. This concern is shared by the National Union of the Environment-FSU.

Limited educational actions

The lack of staff limits awareness-raising actions for the public and schools, the possibility of combating degradation in parks and risks undermining monitoring programs for certain species, worries Sandrine Descaves, a union member and environmental technician of the Cévennes national park. The downsizing is done "to the detriment of the eyes and ears of the park, of expertise and a force of action on the ground with the inhabitants", she adds.

Elected officials also want to see the resources of national parks strengthened, such as deputy Sylvain Templier, who tabled an amendment during the review of the 2021 finance law to finance ten additional jobs in national parks. The government had issued an unfavorable opinion.