Protecting threatened Over-seas biodiversity

The LIFE is launched in French Guiana !

LIFE BIODIV’OM is officially launched in French Guiana!

Wednesday 13th February, the GEPOG teams organised a launch meeting in order to present the European programme and especially those contents that would concern Guiana’s dry savannahs.

A twofold reason for choosing Guiana.
LIFE BIODIV’OM envisages actions that not only aim to preserve a threatened natural habitat, Guiana’s dry savannahs, but also a species of fish, the Atlantic goliath grouper which is present in Guianan waters. These actions are coordinated nationally by the “Ligue pour la Protection des Oiseaux” and locally by the “Groupe d’Etudes et de Protection des Oiseaux de Guyane” that will assure that each operation runs smoothly.

A remarkable ecosystem
Guiana’s dry savannahs only cover 0.3 % of the country and are one of its rarest habitats. Covering a small area but biologically very rich, these savannahs are home to 18 species of endangered birds and are a habitat of numerous other heritage species.

Strong involvement
More than 30 participants took part in the meeting, they included not only representatives from communes, of some protected sites and of different associations, but also from the Agricultural college, the Scientific Regional Council for Natural Heritage, botanists, two rural care organisations, two consulting firms, an anthropologist, the Guiana Space Centre, the DREAL (Regional representative for state environment policies), Guiana territorial collectivity, the Parc naturel regional and Guiana Forestry commission.

The dry savannahs were part of a European programme from 2010 to 2015, LIFE+ CAP DOM. Conservation action was taken concerning these habitats which are highly threatened by legal and illegal agricultural practices, economic development projects and the incursion of invasive alien species. The LIFE+ CAP DOM project particularly allowed, through various awareness actions, for much understnading of the fragility of these habitats and of their value and thus 75 % of the savannahs are now in protected areas (SAR). Methods to control invasive alien plant species were tested in order to select those that appeared to be most efficient.