Europe and Central Asia
11 May 2011

Life+ Cap DOM: Conservation of priority bird species in the French Overseas Departments (DOMs)

By BirdLife Europe

Life+ Cap DOM (Département d’Outre-Mer) is the first European Programme for the conservation of fauna involving several DOMs and their NGOs. It has been developed on the basis of the conservation priorities defined by the local NGOs and the LPO, with the support of Reunion Island National Park and of numerous other local institutional partners. A programme in response to threatened biodiversity and unsuitable conservation tools in the DOM-TOMs The French overseas departments (DOM) and territories (TOM) contain a remarkable natural heritage: they hold more endemic bird species than the whole continental Europe and the tree species diversity per hectare, only of French Guiana, is higher than that of Europe. Notwithstanding, the pillars of European nature conservation, the Birds and Habitats Directive together with Natura 2000 network cannot yet be implemented to the DOMs, and development projects are not yet adapted to “good environmental practices”, nor subject to strict environmental controls. Birds are the best reliable indicator of the state of the conservation of the environment and can represent how biodiversity is doing overall. In the DOMs, actually 23 bird species are globally threatened, which makes France number 7 among the countries with the largest number of globally threatened bird species in the world. These species are in the core of this project. An innovative approach: 3 main objectives on 3 territories. Firstly, new conservation techniques for species and habitats are tested in French Guiana, Reunion Island and Martinique. These techniques are tested on pilot sites and then shared with relevant authorities in the DOMs and neighbouring countries. Secondly, the Life+ Cap DOM programme aims to reconcile the conservation of birds and their natural habitats  with human socio-economics activities. Thirdly, it aims to integrate biodiversity, especially avifauna, in the development and the territorial planning of these regions. In order to develop this approach fully, the programme encourages dialogue, exchange of know - how and the use of effective tools of decision making. To know more about LIFE+ CAP DOM:

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