French Biodiversity Office
IUCN French Committee
The French Office for Biodiversity (OFB) is coordinating the integrated Life Marha project, which aims to restore and maintain the good conservation status of Europe's natural marine habitats by advancing the implementation of the 1997 European Habitats, Fauna and Flora Directive and the associated Natura 2000 policy. As such, the project mobilises all those involved in the management of the 162 Natura 2000 marine habitat sites in the waters of mainland France.
On 22 and 23 March 2022, the LIFE Integrated Marha project organised an international conference in La Rochelle, under the aegis of the European Commission, on the crucial subject of strong protection zones (LIFE Platform Meeting).
The aim of the conference was to provide a snapshot of the many issues associated with "strong protection zones" (definition, management, governance, funding, etc.) by bringing together a variety of international examples (285 participants from 35 countries), bearing witness to the challenges and difficulties, but also to good practice and promising results, in order to genuinely strengthen the protection of marine ecosystems in Europe and beyond.
To showcase the results of this landmark event, SML has been commissioned, alongside the IUCN French Committee, to produce a coherent book presenting the conference proceedings in an integrated and contextualised format, with the European Commission as a priority target.