“It is up to the political authorities to defend the existence of the French Biodiversity Office, responsible for applying environmental regulations”

Lhe decline of biodiversity at an unprecedented speed and intensity has been scientifically established for years, and particularly in the reports of the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES). Threats to water and biodiversity are all of human origin and exacerbate each other.

This collapse of biodiversity, combined with climate change, calls into question the habitability of our planet and questions the future of life, human and non-human.

Faced with this observation, in 2020 the State created a specialized national establishment, the French Biodiversity Office (OFB), dedicated to the protection and restoration of biodiversity in mainland France and overseas. The legislator and the government have assigned it essential missions, in particular:

– knowledge and expertise: better understanding species, natural environments, the services provided by biodiversity and the threats it faces is essential to protect living things;

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– support for public policies: at all levels, OFB teams support public policies to respond to the challenges of preserving biodiversity;

– management and restoration of protected areas: marine natural parks, reserves, support for national parks, networking, etc.;

– the mobilization of stakeholders and citizens: to change behavior towards greater respect for biodiversity, through awareness-raising and communication;

– contribution to environmental policing, whether administrative or judicial, relating to water, natural spaces, flora and wild fauna, hunting and fishing; in the fight against trafficking in wild species threatened with extinction.

Lack of means

Four years after its creation, the OFB continues to consolidate its identity and its place in the institutional landscape. Lacking real political support, this “spearhead of biodiversity” has seen its missions expand and become considerably more complex, while its workforce has only increased marginally.

The lack of human resources remains an obstacle to action at all levels.

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For example, on judicial police missions alone, on the scale of the national territory, the OFB has only 1,700 inspectors to prevent and repress environmental attacks (territorial surveillance, research and reporting of offenses, interventions against poaching, etc.), who must also contribute to knowledge, provide their technical expertise, raise awareness among users, carry out administrative controls under the authority of the prefect, etc. But other OFB agents and professions are also under pressure.

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