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.

Some figures

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.

2020 budget 20 000 euros


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 2019, the first chapter on Mediterranean forest ecosystems reveals that 21% of them are threatened while 37% are almost threatened. The main pressures are related to the loss of natural areas within the region (particularly due to urban sprawl), the introduction of non-indigenous species, and climate change, which is responsible for the aridification of the Mediterranean climate and the intensification of fires. The results also highlight the consequences of agricultural and pastoral decline that are changing the composition of some forests.

In 2020, the project aims to finalize and publish the second chapter on coastal ecosystems on rocky substrates in France, but also to validate the list of Mediterranean coastal ecosystems on wet substrates that will be at the core of the third chapter. In addition, the IUCN French committee also plans to publish its report this year on threatened mountain forest ecosystems in mainland France. These different results will obviously be valued and disseminated to the public.

Total budget 110 000 euros

Total goal 31 evaluated ecosystems