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Protecting threatened Over-seas biodiversity
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The LIFE+ French Guiana dry forest program!

In May 2019 two members of staff of the LIFE+ Reunion dry forest program came to accompany GEPOG staff in Guiana in order to lend their expertise in some of the Life BIODIV’OM actions.

Training of GEPOG agents by LIFE + Dry Forest of Reunion Island © GEPOG

Guiana’s dry savanas

Guiana’s dry savannas cover just 0.3% of its area and is amongst the rarest habitats on the island. Small but very rich in biodiversity, these savannas are home to more than 18 threatened bird species and are the habitat of many other species of heritage value. Unfortunately this habitat is threatened by the invasion of two plant species introduced to Guiana, the Paperbark tree and Acacia mangium.

Within the Life BIODIV’OM program, the GEPOG aims to instate control methods that will limit the expansion of these two invasive non-native plants. Given the present use of Acacia mangium the Life BIODIV’OM program aims to identify local plants as substitutions and test for the production of these plants. It’s in these aspects that GEPOG benefitted from the help of Life+ Dry Forest experts.

The Dry Forest Life+

Coordinated by the Reunion National Park (PNRun), this European Life project started in 2014 for a duration of 6 years. The aim of this program was to stop the decline of a heritage and biodiversity unique in the world; the Reunion dry forest. It followed on from an initial Corexerum Life project (www.lifecorexerun.fr/) which had already started to treat this same subject.

The actions in the Life project aim to extend the forest, re-establish interactions between the fauna and flora, integrate the herbaceous layer in the control of the invasive non-native species, reduce management costs in order to perpetuate the actions whilst integrating the Reunion people in every stage of the project.

Given the expertise of PNRun staff in the management of invasive non-native species and production of species of local plants, a training program was organised in Guiana in order to share methods and experiences of the two Life projects.

The Life BIODIV’OM program

The Life BIODIV’OM program encourages exchange between environmental workers in order to increase each one’s competence. With this in mind, scientific committees will be set up on common themes in the different territories and technical seminars organised during the 5 years of the program in order to favour exchange and improve the installation of conservation actions on each territory.