The Mediterranean is one of 35 biodiversity hotspots worldwide, which are defined as the areas of the planet where biodiversity is particularly rich but also particularly threatened. Mediterranean ecosystems have been in decline for several decades now: increasing population density and the resulting need to develop infrastructure has fragmented and altered these ecosystems, particularly on the coast. However, 90% of biodiversity can be found with 200 metres of the coastal fringe.1 Despite the protection measures and regulations put in place in recent years, the preservation of natural environments rarely appears to be a priority in comparison to certain socio-economic challenges.

1Ministry of Ecology, Sustainable Development and Energy, 2011


Supported project

The L'OCCITANE Foundation supports the French Committee of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). The supported project aims to establish a Red List of Mediterranean coastal ecosystems. The Red Lists developed by IUCN are knowledge tools that inform policymakers, environmental actors and the general public about the risks of biodiversity loss. They are used to design conservation strategies, identify priorities for action, develop policies and regulations and raise awareness amongst stakeholders and the general public.

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The objective of the project is to develop a new global standard for assessing the risks of ecosystem collapse by defining quantitative criteria and thresholds for different categories of threats. This methodology makes it possible to compare and reproduce analyses in terms of ecosystem knowledge, it improves the monitoring of changes to these ecosystems and it enables the definition of priority actions for their management and conservation.

Budget 20 000 euros

Results 41 ecosystems described


Project supported since 2015

Since 2015, 31 ecosystems have been identified, defined and assessed, making it possible to raise awareness and support decision-makers and stakeholders in the region so that developments can be planned more effectively. 

In 2018, the “forestry” chapter was finalized and the results, for 19 ecosystems evaluated, show that 21% of them are under threat, among which are the Salzam Pine Forests, the Marine Pine Forests, the cork oak forests and the Mediterranean chestnut groves.

In 2019, the chapter “Coastal ecosystems on sandy substrates” was finalized and the results show that 7 of the 9 ecosystems constituting the Mediterranean dune ridges and sandy shores, representing around 26% of the Mediterranean coastline in France, are assessed “Endangered ”or“ Vulnerable ”.

In 2020 and 2021, the project aims to finalize and publish the second volume of the technical report devoted to coastal ecosystems on rocky substrates in France, but also to start the evaluation of Mediterranean coastal ecosystems on wet substrates for the third volume of the report. The French Committee of the IUCN also plans to publish its report on threatened mountain forest ecosystems in metropolitan France this year. All of these advances will be highlighted at the IUCN World Congress from September 3 to 11 2021 in Marseille and the results will be disseminated to the general public and to local professionals.

Total budget 110 000 euros

Total goal 31 evaluated ecosystems