La Réserve naturelle de Saint-Martin est une aire marine protégée de 30km2 située au nord-est de l’île de Saint-Martin. Créé en 1998, cet espace préserve les cinq principaux écosystèmes de l’île : récifs coralliens, mangroves, herbiers de phanérogames, étangs et forêt sèche littorale. La Réserve gère également les 14 étangs du Conservatoire du littoral et ses 11 km de rivages terrestres naturels.

Reinforcing local and regional commitment to the Réserve

Reinforcing local and regional commitment to the Réserve

Reinforcing local and regional commitment to the Réserve

Le Comité français de l’UICN © Antoine Tomaselli
Le Comité français de l’UICN © Antoine Tomaselli

Nicolas Maslach, director of the Réserve Naturelle of Saint Martin was among the 300 representatives including experts, organizations, and partners at the meeting for the French committee of the UICN (International Union For The Conservation of Nature), which was held on June 12, 2019 in Marseille. The goal of this meeting was to prepare for the World Nature Congress of the UICN, scheduled for June 11-19, 2020 in Marseille. This event included the discussion of 28 recommendations concerning some of the biggest challenges in terms of the conservation of nature on a worldwide basis. The Réserve Naturelle is going to present its candidature for the UICN’s Green List, as it did in 2017, sadly right before hurricane Irma hit the island. This Green List includes 46 sites, 14 of which are in mainland and overseas France. The UICN’s Green List of Protected Areas sets the global standard for best practices for conservation by zone. It includes a system of certification for protected areas (national parks, worldwide natural heritage sites, areas protected by their communities, marine parks, etc.) that are properly managed and promote a positive approach to conservation.

The International Union For The Conservation of Nature (UICN), founded in 1948 in Fontainebleau, is an alliance of more than 1,300 member organizations and 10,000 experts, in more than 160 countries. Created in 1992, the French Committee of the UICN is a network of participating UICN organizations and experts in France. It comprises two ministries, eight public organizations, 42 non-governmental organizations, and more than 250 experts. Its goal is to contribute to the conservation of biodiversity and to the sustainable and fair use of natural resources, in keeping with the global mission of the UICN.
Nicolas Maslach à la tribune, au Sénat Renforcer
Nicolas Maslach à la tribune, au Sénat Renforcer

Invited to the Senate by senator Michel Magras, president of the overseas commission, and by the French Agency for Biodiversity, Nicolas Maslach actively participated in a symposium on June 6, 2019, on the biodiversity of the Atlantic basin, which was also attended by Annick Girardin, French Overseas Minister. This symposium was part of a cycle on overseas biodiversity, intended to make politicians aware of the assets and weaknesses of the natural heritage in these far-off islands, as well as the stakes, challenges, and perspectives to be considered. The director of the Réserve Naturelle spoke on two subjects, each illustrated by a video. The first was a look at BioHab2, the artificial habitat submerged in the waters of the Réserve and constituted of post-Irma debris, decontaminated if necessary and recycled. Today, these innovative structures allow fish and crustaceans to take refuge and improve their conditions for survival. The second presentation by Nicolas Maslach addressed the Caribbean Institute for Insular Biodiversity. The video for this presentation can be found online:

http://videos.senat.fr/video.1187574_5cf6f0bad3618.biodiversites-du-bassin-atlantique?timecode=15363000

Franck Roncuzzi, director of the technical division and nature police, accompanied by Vincent Oliva, a guard at the Réserve Naturelle in charge of educational and environmental missions, participated at the 38th summit for Réserves Naturelles in France, June 5-8, 2019 at Le-Mônetier-les-Bains, in the Hautes-Alpes. They found themselves amongst 350 other administrators of nature preserves. Respectively speaking about the police and education divisions as part of the overseas commission, and have been reappointed for their missions.

Scientific director Julien Chalifour and Franck Roncuzzi, who is in charge of technique service and the nature police, represented the Réserve Naturelle at the annual forum for managers of protected marine zones. This was held in Saint-Gildas-de- Rhuys, in Brittany, November 6-8, 2018. The participants took part in different plenary sessions and technical ateliers over the three days of intensive dialogue and meetings. Topics included management of the public, methods to estimate the capacity of visits at a protected site, as well as the sharing of scientific resources thanks to a new tool that can be used by the network of Protected Marine Zones to share their experiences with the French Agency for Biodiversity

Le congrès français de la nature - The French nature conference
Le congrès français de la nature - The French nature conference

On June 7, 2018 at the Maison des Océans in Paris, Nicolas Maslach, director of the Réserve Naturelle, participated in a French Nature Conference, organized by the French committee of the UICN (International Union For Conservation of Nature), as part of its 25th anniversary celebration. The UICN is the leading worldwide non-governmental organization dedicated to the conservation of nature. The next World Conversation Congress, which is held every four years, will be held in 2020 in Marseille. The main subjects to be presented in Marseille in 2020 were discussed with the participants. At the same time, Jean-François Sylvain, president of the Foundation For Biodiversity Research (FRB) made a presentation on the state of biodiversity around the world, which is subject to more and more pressure, which has led scientific experts to make dramatic predictions. He urged everyone to promote environmental protection and sustainable use of their biodiversity as a strategic, political, and economic priority. He also voiced an optimistic note about France, where public opinion, the business sector, and certain politicians are already thinking in this manner.

Le séminaire “outre-mer” annuel de l’AFB - The annual overseas conference of AFB
Le séminaire “outre-mer” annuel de l’AFB - The annual overseas conference of AFB

The annual overseas conference of the French Agency For Biodiversity (AFB) was held on April 9-11, 2018 in Paris. The goal was to make an inventory of biodiversity projects currently underway in all of the overseas territories, identify the expectations of these territories in terms of the AFB, and to define new modes of collaboration. For the 150 participants, this conference was also the occasion to share experiences native to their own overseas locations, such as Guyana, Reunion Island, New Caledonia, and Saint Martin, represented, of course, by Nicolas Maslach. After a presentation of the challenges in the conservation of the biodiversity in overseas territories, a dozen workshops allowed the attendees to delve into a series of diverse subjects such as the protection of coral reefs, and the ecosystems associated with economic development confronted with biodiversity conservation.

Nicolas Hulot & Thomas Pasquet à Impact2 © Erwan Floc’h
Nicolas Hulot & Thomas Pasquet à Impact2 © Erwan Floc’h

Nicolas Maslach was invited on March 29, 2018 to attend the seventh edition of the Impact2 Forum in the meeting room at City Hall in Paris. Several themes were on the agenda, ranging from social economy and solidarity to ecology, durable development, and artificial intelligence. Anne Hidalgo, mayor of Paris, opened the Forum before giving the floor to esteemed participants, including minister of ecology Nicolas Hulot, deputy and mathematician Cédric Villani, president of the Olympic Committee Tony Estanguet, and astronaut Thomas Pesquet. Close to 50 islands and countries were spoken for—including Saint Martin—by one thousand representatives. Impact2 is organized in Paris every year by INCO, the first worldwide consortium for a new economy that is green and sustainable.

Nicolas Maslach took advantage of this trip to Paris to meet with Véronique Descharrières, the project architect for the Caribbean Institute For Insular Biodiversity (ICBI), in order to confer with her about new challenges delivered by hurricane Irma and the necessity to modify the initial plans for the ICBI.
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