The French municipalities of Ténarèze and Armagnac, in France, identified that their level of nitrate in water was excessive, and, in addition, the use of soil in agriculture was too intensive. In consequence, local biodiversity had declined. In order to address these issues, the local authorities initiated a consultation process involving all stakeholders of the territory to implement new environmental management practices.
After the consultation, the authorities of Ténarèze and Armagnac introduced a new form of pro-active environmental management, based on plant engineering. These innovative techniques aim at fostering spontaneous vegetation, acting as a wildlife habitat and also a buffer zone to protect natural resources. The project encouraged simple actions, such as the establishment of sustainable elements including hedgerows, riparian forests, thickets or agroforestry that can meet the basic needs of declining species (for example as pollinators) by providing food resources, breeding areas and shelter.
The outcomes of the project have positively contributed to the local environment. First, it raised the awareness of the importance of maintaining and creating spontaneous vegetation among the inhabitants of both areas. At the same time, the new plants act as a filter from nitrate and enhance the productivity of agricultural soils. The spontaneous vegetation located next to the water courses helps in the prevention of flood, while the vegetation along the roads reduces erosion and the frequency to which roads need to be cleaned up.
This is a summary of a Good practice published by the European Network for Rural Development (project examples 2007-2013).
Click here to see more information on the project.
24 September 2014