In 2022-2023, the Foundation launched its first international call for projects to support projects in biodiversity hotspots for 3 years, those threatened ecosystems identified as critical areas for global biodiversity.

According to the Critical Ecosystem Partnership Fund (CEPF), there are 36 global biodiversity hotspots. To be identified as such, the ecosystem must contain at least 1,500 species of plants that are endemic to the geographical region concerned and cannot be found anywhere else on Earth (which makes them both special and vulnerable to extinction), and must have lost at least 70% of its primary vegetation. Overexploitation, pollution and the introduction of non-native species have greatly weakened these threatened ecosystems.  

Haut-Languedoc Regional Nature Park, located in the mediterranean basin, is one of these critical areas of global biodiversity. Straddling part of the Tarn department and part of the Hérault, in the Occitanie region, the territory of the Haut-Languedoc Regional Nature Park and its surroundings are home to an exceptional biological diversity with 170 animal species, nearly 250 species of birds, 120 of which regularly nest, 26 species of bats out of the 33 present in France, and 2,500 species of flowering plants. 

In addition, certain species such as amphibians are historically strongly represented in the Tarn. The department is home to about 1/3 of the species present in France with 12 species. It is the European department with the highest biodiversity of amphibians, including the marbled newt, the natterjack and calamitous toad and the agile, green and red frogs. All the species of amphibians in the department are in decline or threatened with extinction. Sufficient and dense vegetation cover allowing the connection between natural pools and forests is essential to maintain populations.

The appearance in the 1950s of industrial arboriculture, which tends to homogenise practices and cultivated varieties, has threatened the fruit heritage of the Tarn, which used to be known for its old apple varieties. As a result of climate change and industrial agriculture, certain varieties such as these local apple varieties, but also certain species of batrachians are threatened with extinction.



Supported Project

From 2022-2023, the L'OCCITANE Foundation supports the Envol Vert association for its project "Au pré de mes arbres" (In the meadow of my trees). This project aims to enhance the domestic and wild biodiversity of the Haut-Languedoc Regional Natural Park (PNR) by involving as many citizens as possible in the recultivation of old varieties of fruit trees and the protection of the many species of amphibians present in this department. 

Helping farmers to secure their farmland by developing a sustainable activity and to reconnect with the tree within the agricultural systems makes sense today, and this is the mission that Envol Vert has given itself through this project. 

The first part of the project provides for the implementation of agroforestry agriculture on 45 farms located in the Regional Natural Park. The beneficiaries of the project set up more sustainable and diversified agricultural systems, allowing the awareness and consumption of local old varieties during workshops on food and consumption via short circuits. 

The second component includes actions to protect biodiversity and amphibians in particular on the project's beneficiary farms, some of which have natural wetlands or ponds. It also includes the creation of ecological corridors between forests, fruit tree plots and wetlands, as well as the restoration and creation of ponds. 

The third component concerns the sensitization of schoolchildren and the urban public in order to allow them to reappropriate the local wild and domestic biodiversity by the implementation of interventions in classrooms, educational visits and by their participation in participative planting projects. 

The fourth component, which is transversal, aims to create an agroforestry network that will support farmers in exchanging practices among themselves, but also by providing specific toolkits, as well as by creating and supporting thematic groups to develop new skills.

Some Figures

Budget 270,000 euros

Goal 120 preserved hectares

Goal 1,350 beneficiaries

Photo credits ©EnvolVert