National legislation

The national biodiversity strategy is the main framework for the action of the French State for biodiversity

The last national strategy was adopted in 2010 for the period 2011-2021 and sets 6 major strategic directions which each group 3 to 4 objectives for a total of 20 objectives. These objectives are consistent with the objectives of aichi. It is regularly evaluated, like the one carried out by the General Commissioner for the Environment and Sustainable Development in July 2015. This strategy is now set to evolve, since France, like the member countries of the CDB, must adopt a new strategy for the decade 2021 - 2030.

Find the details of all the national objectives under this tab.

Regarding its implementation, it was the subject of a major campaign of adhesion with public and private actors, who were invited to commit themselves by a signature system put in place in 2011 by the Ministry of Ecological and Solidarity Transition. In addition to this membership strategy, the French government brought out in 2018 an action plan relating to biodiversity, called "Biodiversity: All living!". This plan of 24 strategic objectives, and 90 actions, aims to complete the operational system overseeing biodiversity at the national level.

Constitutional framework

France has had an instrument of constitutional value since 2004 with the environment charter, which completes the system of French environmental law.

The Charter for the Environment notably mentions in its preamble several provisions which cross elements of the corpus of the Convention on Biological Diversity such as for example, "that natural resources and balances have conditioned the emergence of humanity"; "that the future and the very existence of humanity are inseparable from its natural environment"; "that the environment is the common heritage of human beings", "that biological diversity, the development of the person and the progress of human societies are affected by certain modes of consumption or production and by the excessive exploitation of resources natural ". 

Legislative framework

In 1976, France adopted a fairly innovative nature protection law for the time which would give the bases of nature protection in France, notably by framing the human relationship with fauna and flora species.

This 1976 law now sees most of its provisions repealed, since it has been replaced by a whole series of specific laws. The first to frame certain natural practices such as fishing (1983, now repealed) or hunting (2003, consolidated and modified in 2020). Some, to enrich the provisions relating to specific territories such as the law on Mountain (1985, consolidated in 2018), the law on the coast (1986, modified and partly repealed in 2018), the law of orientation on the forest ( 2001), the law on the development of rural areas (2005, amended in 2017) and the law on national and regional natural parks (2006). Still others, such as the law on landscapes (1993, amended in 2000) will devote an approach to the aesthetic and heritage value of biodiversity. In general, all these laws come in their own way to participate in the structuring of French environmental law.

At the end of the 2000s, a series of political meetings called "Grenelle of the environment" gave rise to the adoption of two laws by French parliamentarians aimed at specifying the framework for action for the French State in matters of Environmental Protection.

The programming law relating to the implementation of the Grenelle de l'Environnement, known as "Grenelle 1" (August 3, 2009), then transcribes into law the commitments made during the Grenelle de l'Environnement and particularly with regard to biodiversity, the prospect of establishing green and blue patterns and halting the erosion of biodiversity in all sectors. This programming law was followed by a law on national commitment for the environment, known as "Grenelle 2" (July 12, 2010). For biodiversity, this law came to define very concretely the measures of the green and blue framework (Chapter 2 of Title IV), the measures relating to the limitation of the use of phytosanitary products in agriculture (Chapter 1 of title IV) as well as measures for the conservation of the natural heritage and in particular of flora and fauna (Chapter 3 of Title V).

Finally, France adopted in 2016 a law "for the recovery of biodiversity, nature and landscapes" which modernizes and supplements the system in force in terms of protection, sustainable use and benefit sharing of biodiversity.

This law, which came into force on August 9, 2016, comes in particular, for its most significant provisions, to insert a natural heritage inventory mechanism in the law (article 7), to allow the creation of a regional biodiversity strategy complementary to the strategy national (article 8), create a national biodiversity council (article 14), create a French biodiversity agency (title III), integrate the provisions of the Nagoya Protocol into French law (title V).

"Protected species" regulation 

To this legislative device, is added a national and local regulatory device.

At the national level, decrees regularly modified and updated set the list of species benefiting from total protection on the national territory. This is the case for marine species (1983), terrestrial species ( 2007) and Birds (2009). Furthermore, at regional and local level, Préfets have regulatory power with regard to the protection of certain protected species.