Nature Plan in Occitania: You Can Vote for Your Priorities!

You have four days left to “contribute to the nature plan of the Occitanie region. And vote for your priorities.” This is the leitmotif of a community proposal HERE. From the classroom outside the walls to the houses of nature. How to easily protect nature? How do you know her better? How can one take advantage of its benefits? Proposals for action were prepared during a two-day working seminar in late March 2022 by a large panel of experts, associations and citizens.

Neither legislative nor presidential. But a voice on your terroir. The Occitanie region had undertaken – through the voice of its President Carole Delga during COP 26 in Glasgow in November 2021 – to develop a nature plan in consultation with the people of Occitanie. The purpose of this nature plan, christened Noé: to strengthen our connection with nature, at all ages, in all our activities, in all social environments, and to encourage our involvement in its protection. In other words, makes nature everyone’s business.

Four more days to vote

Lake Loudenvieille in the Hautes-Pyrénées. Photo: Olivier SCHLAMA

To date, since May 25, there have been 3,485 participants and 3,735 contributions. So there are four days left to vote HERE to your priorities : Enrich outdoor activities through the discovery and protection of nature; rintroduce nature into the public space through participatory projects; improve the nature experience for all children during their schooling; ffacilitate access to nature for families and young people through appropriate offers and the 5th: act together for nature close to home thanks to dissemination sites.

Conversely to one participant budgetwhere citizens can propose a project that society will fund, Region Occitanie asks citizens “what they want to do with us”. You can say for each of the five suggested themes whether it is “non-priority” or not; “low priority”; “quite a priority”; “priority” or finally “high priority”.

“This plan is a ‘brick’ that questions our relationship with nature”

“We will discuss this nature plan in November, explains Agnès Langevine, Vice President of the Occitanie Region. The idea is, after the confinements, this new relationship with nature which was expressed, among other things by nature area managers, it is a possibility. By aligning itself with the Regional Strategy for Biodiversity, the Community Reference Document. This plan is a “brick” that questions our relationship with nature. “

From the classroom outside the walls to the houses of nature

Montious reserve in Hautes-Pyrénées. Photo: Olivier SCHLAMA

To reject what the region will put in this nature plan, within the framework of traditional participation budgets, it’s time “co-production”. We started by making a first questionnaire, asking the people of Occitan about this theme: “What is nature for you?”; Then we arranged a meeting with a panel of 50 citizens and associations for two days to propose very concrete solutions: It can go from the classroom outside the walls – we have many wishes for teaching outside -; free transport for high school students when they go in nature; visit nature houses, etc. These prepared proposals are therefore put to the vote. And of course we will create mechanisms for to fund training projects and associations. This could also possibly be financially supported within the framework of participation budgets. “

“Occitania, a starry sky destination”

Starry sky. Drawing. DR

We will also find an Occitan in the proposals, “starry sky destination. With this goal in mind, we will at the same time cross the issue of nocturnal biodiversity, as we are the first region to have mapped the black lines in Occitania; we will support communities in turning off public lighting, and 3rd pillar, as nature is also about beauty, emotions and even the sacred for some, we will offer observations of starry skies. Whether it’s at the Pic du Midi, Cévennes Park and other parks, whether it’s the big astronomical association of Gers … The idea is really to make our region a tourist destination with this theme. Experience tourism. Also scientific tourism ”.

The Vice President of the Occitanie region goes further. “You can imagine a guest room from which you can observe the starry sky, accompany them so that the owners equip themselves with telescopes … In addition, this new tourism will be interesting in the summer when there are high temperatures or episodes of heat waves. In southern Spain or in Greece, some are already working on “cool” tourist “products”, forests, nocturnal species, etc. With us, therefore, it would first be the starry sky. “

Olivier SCHLAMA

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