LIFE Biodiv’Paysanne

The key steps

On this webpage, please find the news and the main key steps of the LIFE Biodiv’Paysanne project regarding the years.

October 2023

New acquisitions of natural sites in Pyrenees-Orientales (66)

  • Municipality of Thuir : 20-year management agreement signed on the 80 hectares of communal plots of wet meadows of the “Prades de Thuir” (since June)


  • Municipality of Arboussols : 40-year long lease signed with Foncière Terre de Liens, owner of 34 ha of old olive tree terraces, maquis above Lake Vinça
Photo : Arboussols ©Romain Bouteloup CEN Occitanie
September / October 2023

What is next the finalization of the farm diagnosis ?

The field inventory season is coming to an end. Congratulations to the agents of CEN Occitanie, ANA-CEN Ariège, Solagro, Terre de Liens Midi-Pyrénées & Terre de Liens Languedoc-
Roussillon for their achievements and a big thank you to the farmers for their hospitality.

We are now entering a phase of processing, synthesis and analysis of the data collected which will lead to the development of notices and management plans at the end of the year. These documents are really designed as working documents which should “serve the action” in the field and not be stored away in a drawer. This is why we are bringing together a group of 5 farmers from the project to finalize the content and ensure that it is as ergonomic and evocative as possible.

The fall season will also be an opportunity for meetings and discussions in the field between the agents responsible for drafting notices and management plans, in order to share the situations encountered on farms and agree together on the best management recommendations.

From next year, LIFE Biodiv’Paysanne partners will support the 60 farms in the implementation of instructions and management plans.

29 & 30 September 2023

Activities provided as part of the Water Festival in Capvern (65)

A volunteer project to restore a peat bog in the village of Capvern was proposed for the weekend of September 30. The objective? Prevent trees from growing since they would close the so-called open environment. The small team (small but not in terms of quality) started removing all the pieces of trunks and branches, previously cut by the CEN Occitanie natural area management team. They then raked to remove the mowed organic matter present on the plot. The aim of raking is to prevent this bio-material from being deposited, which would enrich the soil with nitrogen and encourage the growth of brambles in particular.

This project was proposed as part of the Water Festival organized by the municipality of Capvern. The CEN Occitanie has an agreement with the municipality for around ten years for the management of more than 150 hectares of wetlands. The LIFE Biodiv’Paysanne project helps to continue receiving funding for the maintenance and the upkeep of this area, true reservoir of biodiversity.

Photo : ©Mathilde Cassé CEN Occitanie
15, 16 & 17 September 2023

Participation in the Volvestre Agricultural Days in Haute-Garonne (31)

The LIFE Biodiv’Paysanne project was present at the Volvestre Agricultural Days, organized on September 15, 16 and 17, in Haute Garonne (31), with an outstanding booth !
The on-site team made up of Franck Gaulard, Raphaël Baron and Alexis Morscheidt was able to highlight the new civil farming society which is being established little by little as well as the key actions of the project.

The team was also able to talk about the values and the actions of CEN Occitanie, project coordinator, for which they work for. 

Thank you to everyone for their involvement all weekend, in important events that require a lot of presence !

Photo : ©Franck Gaulard CEN Occitanie
13, 14 & 15 September 2023

InterLIFE meetings in Limoges

Every year, a French LIFE program invites other national project leaders to meet. An opportunity to see each other and discover the new projects taking place throughout France. These meetings are always privileged moments to discuss the successes, failures, problems and solutions that a European project can meet. Mathilde Cassé and François Salmon represented LIFE Biodiv’Paysanne this year. A big thank you to the Périgord Limousin Regional Natural Park for their kindness and the presentation of their LIFE Wild Bees project.

Photo : ©Mathilde Cassé CEN Occitanie
Summer 2023

Delivery of agricultural equipment for the SCEA

It's all brand new ! All agricultural equipment to operate the SCEA (Société Civile d’Exploitation Agricole) has been delivered. This will be used for the purpose of conservation of biodiversity and will help to promote products resulting from mowing and harvesting: hay and local seeds. This is a new agricultural model that will be tested out and we are impatiently awaiting the first results!

At the same time, the creation of the SCEA is in progress and it has started setting up its headquarters in Montesquieu-Volvestre (31), on the land of Mme Souque, with whom a Rural Lease with Environmental Clauses is being signed for the use of 400m² of hangar and 35 ha of land.

Photo : SCEA ©Franck Gaulard CEN Occitanie
Spring & Summer 2023

Carrying out passages on farms participating in the project - Ecological Potential Index (IPE)

The IPE tool brings together the last three parts of the diagnosis. It is inspired by a protocol of the same name set up by the National Museum of Natural History in order to assess the potential for biodiversity and ecological functionality of an anthropized environment. It has three main components:

  • standardized inventories (chronoventary) to record invertebrates present on farms.
  • the counting point inventory method is used for the census of birds present on farms.
  • mapping of habitats and flora species is carried out to assess the ecological potential of farms.
Photo : census of birds on Ferme de Lalanette (65) ©Hugo Norel CEN Occitanie
Spring & Summer 2023

Carrying out passages on farms participating in the project - ECODIAG method 

The second mission is listed below : 

  • ECODIAG method : This method, developed by the former CEN Languedoc-Roussillon, helps to identify all the agroecological infrastructures (IAE) present on the agricultural holding. The IAEs are diversified, they can be natural hedges, lines of trees, ditches, dry stone walls and grassy strips, to give some examples. Then, a score is given in relation to the structure, the composition and the degradation(s) of the selected IAE. This evaluation helps to inventory the different IAE and to assess their state of conservation at the farm level. The aim of this action is to improve the functionality of IAEs or even create new ones!
Photo : IAE survey done by Cristiano from CEN Occitanie, accompanied by La Massole farmer (34) ©Lucas Santucci Agence Zeppelin
Spring & Summer 2023

Carrying out passages on farms participating in the project - Agro-socio-economic survey

The year 2023 is an important year in the implementation of the diagnosis combining the three socio-economic, agronomic and ecological approaches. In total, at least 5 passages are listed on each farm. We present the first mission below :

  • Agro-socio-economic survey : This survey is a discussion with the farmer(s) in order to find out about their agricultural practices which may have a link with biodiversity, to have a global approach of the farm and of the current and future projects, and to know the socio-economic aspects that can impact the consideration of biodiversity. The objective is to understand their operating system and the economic and social issues linked to their activity in order to offer realistic recommendations in relation to their practices, their economic model as well as their well-being and their place in the farm. This survey is inspired by the Diagnosis-Action-Biodiversity tool developed by SOLAGRO in a previous project.
Photo : Survey with Carole Lompèdre (81) and Catherine from Solagro ©Lucas Santucci Agence Zeppelin
29 June 2023

Seminar on Rural Leases with Environmental Clauses (BRE) in Montpellier

Organized by the Federation Terre de Liens, the Federation des Conservatoires d'espaces naturels and the Conservatoire d'espaces naturels d'Occitanie, as part of LIFE Biodiv'Paysanne, this seminar aimed to put the subject of the BRE back on track. The discussions focused on the practice of the BREs in the two networks, the advantages, the constraints, the choice of environmental clauses and the monitoring and evaluation of this tool. This day allowed us to mix the different approaches and to end at improvement strategies. The final objective is to create a working group entirely dedicated to this subject, which is now being finalized and which will make a presentation at the next CEN congress in La Rochelle in a workshop dedicated to land property.

Photo ©Mathilde Cassé CEN Occitanie
June 2023

Restoration of natural environments in the Hautes-Pyrenees

Camp de Ger

The CEN Occitanie natural area management team has worked hard to reopen plots on the military land of Camp de Ger. The work of restoring environments on military plots requires enormous management work and respect of specific constraints, such as the ban of the use of mechanical pile drivers due to vibrations and pyrotechnic risks, for the installation of fences for instance. One solution is to rent an excavator and to install the stakes with a bucket (400 stakes), which represents a long-term job. Approximately, 6 to 8% of the overall surface area was restored for this first restraint park. The grazing and the mobilization of animals will be provided by a local breeder, with whom CEN Occitanie is still in discussions.

June 2023

Restoration of natural environments in the Pyrénées-Orientales

Plots of meadows in St-Cyprien

The first restoration work on plots of meadows purchased by CEN Occitanie as part of the project has begun. These natural hay meadows behind the coast are subject to a strong urbanization pressure. It was then a question here of securing the site with the clearing of access and the installation of solid barriers for the breeder who will come to make hay and thus avoid damage. In this same location, the monitoring in control areas was carried out in one of the mown meadows which is in a good state of conservation. The monitoring was also carried out on an area to be restored which had been overgrazed by horses. Restoration will be done by stopping grazing and re-mowing.

Photo ©Romain Bouteloup - CEN Occitanie
08 June 2023

An update on harvesting local plant seeds

June is haying time, it is also the time for many meadow species to spread their seeds. As part of LIFE Biodiv'Paysanne, we wish to harvest a mixture of a diversity of wild species of local origin with the aim of restoring degraded environments. During this spring, we therefore identified seed source meadows: environments in a good state of conservation, with diverse flora, having not been sown or over-sown, not presenting problematic species (invasive exotics in particular) and potentially interesting from a logistical point of view. Three sites were thus selected for this first year of handling harvesting techniques.

Then, the monitoring and the description of the phenological stages of the main target species of each site allow us to determine the optimal harvest periods according to the objectives. This is how we defined, for example, a first harvest on June 8 in a mesobromion type grass in order to obtain mostly erected brome seed.

Harvest tests on several dates on the same environment are planned in order to analyze the links between phenology, composition of meadows and composition of the harvested mixtures.

On Thursday, June 8, the first harvest took place with the SCEA brush machine, with the collaboration of a farmer whom we warmly thank. From this same source plot, a harvest by transfer of green hay, or hay flower, was carried out the same day. The third-third of the plot will be harvested with a brush machine the week of June 12, with good weather conditions.

A very encouraging first step has just been taken for the development of this activity and the acquisition of documented technical references on harvests of meadow seed mixtures.

To be continued in the next episode !

Photo ©Franck Gaulard - CEN Occitanie
07 June 2023
Brosseuse - LIFE Biodiv'Paysanne

Delivery of the brushing machine for the harvest of local seeds

The brushing machine for seed harvesting has officially been inaugurated! This machine will be intended to collect and offer indigenous and local seeds from the region for the re-seeding of meadows. It will be used by the Civil Society of Agricultural Exploitation, created within the framework of the project. The CBN PMP is directly linked to this action and will provide its expertise and recommendations.

Photo ©Franck Gaulard - CEN Occitanie
23 & 24 May 2023
Visite du LIFE Bioscape - LIFE Biodiv'Paysanne

Visit of LIFE Bioscape, based in Denmark

LIFE Biodiv’Paysanne had the honor of hosting the Danish project, LIFE Bioscape alongside LIFE Coteaux Gascons and LIFE Terra Musiva. These days of exchanges between European project builders have been made to discuss the different approaches, methods and tools used by the speakers and to compare them! Very nice presentations and interesting discussions that allow us to question ourselves and improve our processes, always with the objective of taking into account and preserving biodiversity. It is also a real pleasure to feel supported by other European projects.

On the agenda : many meetings but also field visits. Highlighting the agricultural aspects, in particular with the cross-diagnostic tool created by LIFE Biodiv'Paysanne on the Lafage Farm integrated into the project, as well as the visit of the La Plagne Farm integrated into the LIFE Coteaux Gascons and the actions in place to financially help the owner with the installation of fences. Participants were invited to visit natural sites including the Lemboulas wetlands, managed for several years by CEN Occitanie, as well as the re-seeding of meadows near Gimont by LIFE Coteaux Gascons.

Photo ©Pierre Honoré for LIFE Coteaux Gascons
11 & 12 May 2023
COPIL LIFE Biodiv'Paysanne

First meeting of the project steering committee

The first COPIL meeting of the project took place around Carcassonne. A first update meeting on the progress of the actions and the future ones to come was carried out on Thursday afternoon. All the partners, both technical and financial, as well as the associated beneficiaries of the project were present.

The following day, a restricted committe was invited to visit one of the pilot farms, the Domaine de Roquenégade. This was an opportunity to discuss the methods and tools used and to discover, with the farm owners, their expectations and their needs regarding the project.

07 May 2023
Ferme de Lafage - LIFE Biodiv'Paysanne

Open day at the Lafage Farm

La Ferme de Lafage, among the 60 farms of the project, organized an open day to discover its production methods and tools as well as its understanding and consideration of the surrounding biodiversity : organic viticulture, hedge plantations, plantations of other fruit species, pastoral management with his flock of sheep, etc.

Supported by Campagnes Vivantes 82 and Terre de Liens Midi-Pyrénées, the project was able to demonstrate its existence and the relevance of its integration into agricultural production methods. The next objective is to apply the cross-diagnosis in order to carry out an inventory of the socio-economic, agronomic and ecological aspect of the farm and to come up with recommendations in order to take even more into account the biodiversity.

April 2023
Kakémonos - LIFE Biodiv'Paysanne

Creation of the project roll-ups

Four different roll-ups models have been created representing the key actions of the project. The models are the following and can be used as supports for particular events or actions:

  1. General explanation of the project
  2. Highlighting actions to preserve and restore natural environments
  3. SCEA Explanation
  4. Explanation of the cross-diagnosis and support for farms
Photo ©François Salmon - FCEN
07 February 2023
ELMEN EEIG - LIFE Biodiv'Paysanne

Annual visit of ELMEN EEIG 

ELMEN EEIG (formerly NEEMO), responsible for monitoring LIFE projects, carried out its annual visit on February 7th. This day took place in the Lot, with the CEN Occitanie natural areas management team, who presented a natural site with ecological issues, Moulin du Pont. A big thanks to them for their involvement !

ELMEN EEIG also returned on March 6, 2023 to the premises of CEN Occitanie for a more in-depth update on expenses and their monitoring.

February 2023

Official launch of LIFE Biodiv'Paysanne to the press

In February 2023, the LIFE Biodiv'Paysanne was officially communicated to the press with the sending of a press release and a press kit as well as a video presentation of the project. This sending aroused the interest of a regional television channel Vià Occitanie, which interviewed Mélanie Némoz, coordinator of the project. You can find the full interview here (in French).

Articles are being written for other media.

February 2023

The action launch on the multi-site management plans

The A5 action of the LIFE Biodiv'Paysanne project plans to experiment with the drafting of multi-site management plans, in accordance with the reference methodology for drafting management plans for natural areas in France: it will therefore be a question to develop, no longer for each site but for each network of sites, a multi-site management plan, including an analysis of the local and socio-economic context, an analysis of ecological issues (inventories, mapping of natural habitats, etc.), the definition of long-term and operational objectives, the development of an action program and the implementation of management measures, as well as their evaluation. A lack of concrete examples of this type of management plans is to be deplored. This innovative work and this experimentation will lead to the development of a technical manual and a toolbox, which can then guide natural areas managers at the national level.

During the month of February, the various partners met for the first time for a meeting about the organization and the methodology to be applied to carry out the action. In total, 12 multi-site management plans are planned, in 8 departments of the Occitanie region.

Start of the year
Hangar SCEA - LIFE Biodiv'Paysanne

A promising year for the Société Civile d'Exploitation Agricole (SCEA)

This beginning of the year made it possible to buy a large part of the agricultural equipment (tractor, mowing equipment, brushing machine for collecting seeds, etc.) and to validate with the land owner in the municipality of Montesquieu-Volvestre the signature of the lease on 30 ha and the rental of a hangar for the storage of the equipment. At the same time, the partnership with the CBN PMP has made it possible to identify three source meadows on which Franck Gaulard will be able to use the equipment and to become familiar with the collection protocols. Meanwhile, four sites have been identified to experiment with mowing, including the Cayenne site (31), which has not been mowed for several years due to a lack of partnership with a farmer.

©Franck Gaulard CEN Occitanie
07 December 2022

Visit of the project on the farm of Martre Bel Air in the Tarn

On the Martre Bel Air farm, simplified surveys of agroecological infrastructures and soil samples were taken as part of the inventory prior to the acquisition of this sheep farm by Terre de Liens Midi-Pyrenees. The day allowed the teams and volunteers of Terre de Liens and CEN Occitanie to strengthen their partnership and discuss their respective practices.

29 November 2022

Beginning of the diagnosis of agroecological infrastructures (AEI) on the Pégarou farm in Ariège

Meeting with the farmers of Pégarou at the end of November for the first stage of cross-diagnosis. Solagro questioned the Croquants collective on the agronomic and socio-economic aspects of their exploitation and the CEN Occitanie and the ANA-CEN Ariège collected on the ground elements concerning the elements of the landscape favorable to the biodiversity (hedges, woods, low walls, grassy strips, ponds, etc.).

28 November 2022

On November 28, the CEN Occitanie and the INP ENSAT Toulouse (school of agronomy) met to celebrate the signing of a cooperation agreement on the preservation of biodiversity, particularly in agrosystems. It revolves around several themes:

• co-supervision of CIFRE theses;

• assistance from ENSAT to help the CEN Occitanie to adapt agricultural practices with a view to increasing biodiversity on farms;

• participation of CEN Occitanie in training modules on the management of natural areas, biodiversity, setting up projects with ENSAT students and support for students responsible for producing an ecological management plan for the campus of ENSAT.

The final purpose of this agreement is to set up a partnership training/research on the preservation of biodiversity in rural areas.

November 2022

The 60 farms' list is finalized

Congratulations to all the farmers who have shown a strong interest in taking biodiversity into account at the scale of their farm. Everything is ready for the start! A first confirmation letter has just been sent to them accompanied by the agreement that will bind them to the project.

From 27 to 29 October 2022

AdNatura exhibition in Montpellier

First participation of the project, represented by colleagues from CEN Occitanie and the Federation, at the AdNatura fair. Many meetings and exchanges with environmental professionals, ecology students as well as people in professional retraining. In total, more than 300 visitors came to see us.

22 October 2022

Forest fair in Gourdon (46)

A CEN Occitanie employee represented the project at the forest fair in Gourdon, in the Lot department. On the program: a booth with all the information about the project and a forest walk which brought together around fifty people.

06 October 2022
LIFE Biodiv'Paysanne_REVER

12th edition of the REVER colloquium, organized by the CBNPMP

On October 6, the CBNPMP, the CEN Occitanie and the town hall of Capvern led a session on the theme of the ecological restoration of wetlands. Indeed, the Capvern wetland is the ideal place to talk about pastoral management and mechanical management since it has been maintained for about ten years by these two methods. This allowed the many participants from all over France to learn more about ecological management practices for natural environments, which have proven and are still proving their worth. They were also able to discover the technique used to clean up part of the clay pigeon shooting, covered with lead balls. In total, 32 tons of lead over 3,500 m² were removed!

From 03 to 06 October 2022

Breeding summit in Cournon d'Auvergne (63)

Some of the colleagues from the Conservatoires des espaces naturels and the Fédération met at the Breeding Summit 4 days of stand holding. It was an opportunity to share and discuss about the biodiversity management undertaken by the CENs in interaction with the agricultural world.

16, 17, 18 September 2022
Zone humide tourbière Capvern

Water Festival in Capvern-les-Bains (65)

Participation of the project in the Water Festival in Capvern-les-Bains (65). 3 rich days with a volunteer worksite organized in the Capvern wetland and a naturalist walk offered on Sunday in this same area. Thank you to the volunteers and the curious ones for their participation.

07 September 2022

In order to close this action-packed day of September 07, 2022, the LIFE Biodiv'Paysanne leaflet is now available for reading and downloading on the website, in the tab Press.

07 September 2022

The Conservatoire d'espaces naturels d'Occitanie is launching a call for tenders for the purchase of various agricultural equipment and supplies.

The objective is to allow the Civil Society of Agricultural Exploitation created within the framework of the LIFE Biodiv'Paysanne, to carry out the missions entrusted to it, in particular:

  • Mowing, harvesting, transporting and storing grass,
  • Harvesting, sorting, transportation, storage and sowing of seeds,
  • Storage of agricultural equipment and supplies,
  • The skidding of ligneous trees by animal traction and the crushing of ligneous trees,
  • The closing pose.

The consultation of documents and the response to the call for tenders are carried out on the dedicated platform:

The call for tenders is open until October 21, 2022.

07, 08 & 09 September 2022

Participation of the LIFE Biodiv'Paysanne in the National Conference on Biodiversity in Besançon. The project was represented by the Conservatoire d'espaces naturels d'Occitanie and the Fédération des conservatoires d'espaces naturels, the latter of which led several thematic workshops:

  • Workshop B4 "How to reconcile management of tree heritage and bats?" »
  • The C3 workshop “Resilience and adaptation to climate change”
  • Workshop D4 "How to mobilize the younger generation in favor of diversity at the local level"
  • The G3 workshop "Land strategies: a necessary coordination of actors".
July 2022

Signing of an agreement with ENSAT Toulouse in order to help adapting agricultural practices to increase the biodiversity of farms. This partnership was naturally initiated thanks to the common interests and objectives of preserving biodiversity.

28 June 2022

First meeting for the final choice of the 60 farms that will be part of the project. These 60 farms will be accompanied by a socio-economic and agro-ecological diagnosis in order to determine the biodiversity present on their plots and define management actions.

16 June 2022
Domaine de Lastronques - LIFE Biodiv'Paysanne - Diagnostic croisé

First implementation of the cross-diagnosis of farms at the Domaine de Lastronques in Ariège. We discussed about the expectations, needs and constraints of the farmers in socio-economic terms and we identified the agro-ecological infrastructures (hedges, alignment of trees, wetlands, etc.) as well as the species and existing habitats in order to propose adequate management of the farm which takes biodiversity into account.

Presence of members of CEN Occitanie, ANA-CEN Ariège, SOLAGRO and Terre de Liens Midi-Pyrénées.

21 April 2022

Collective meeting organized by the associated partner SOLAGRO, in order to present the work carried out on the development of the cross-diagnosis of the farms and to discuss the issues and the realization of it.

07 April 2022
Jardin du Girou Avril 2022 Bénéficiaires associés

Visit of Maud Latruberce, NEEMO company, in charge of monitoring LIFE projects and communication on the LIFE program. This day rich in exchanges ended with a visit to one of the participating farms in the project, the Jardins du Girou, located in Gragnague (31):

31 March 2022

Launch of the LIFE Biodiv'Paysanne website. The website is an eco-designed site that respects environmental values ​​and focuses the user experience at the heart of concerns. Information becomes easier to find.

1 March 2022

Arrival of Hélène Louis, administrative and financial assistant for LIFE Biodiv'Paysanne. Hélène is responsible for the administrative and financial monitoring of the project with associated beneficiaries and co-financiers.

21 February 2022

Recruitment of Gaëlle Vives, as Project Manager Biodiversity & Territorial Development for the Lot, at Terre de Liens Midi-Pyrénées to follow the project.

14 February 2022

Approval of the LIFE Biodiv'Paysanne logo. The colours of the logo represent the two environments, natural (in green) and agricultural (in brown), which live in harmony with each other. The hug between the two hands also recalls this union. The plants represent the different places where they can be found: the fritillary is found in the natural landscapes of Occitanie, the wheat spike in the agricultural areas and the poppy acts as an interface between the natural and agricultural environments. They are also intertwined to show the union effect. The dragonfly and the butterfly recall the fauna to be protected, in particular the odonates which are highly threatened and are in the LIFE Biodiv'Paysanne project's programme.

21 January 2022

First collective meeting to build the cross-diagnostic tool, led by our associated beneficiary, SOLAGRO.

13 January 2022

Arrival of Mathilde Cassé, communications officer for the LIFE Biodiv'Paysanne project. Mathilde is responsible for developing the strategy and communication tools dedicated to the project.

9 December 2021

Kick-off meeting with associated beneficiaries and SAFER. This meeting took place in the community of Comigne (in Aude). Its purpose was to discuss the common organisation, to initiate the first actions and to exchange on the project and get to know each other better.

25 November 2021

Presentation of the LIFE project Biodiv'Paysanne during the event "The LIFE20 Welcome Meeting Thematic Session" by videoconference. This event provides an opportunity to present and discuss with other approved LIFE projects and to create an exchange with LIFE project co-ordinating partners in other European countries.

15 October 2021

Approval of the LIFE Biodiv'Paysanne project by the European Commission.

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