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    Alexis Delaunay
    head of the Inspections and territorial action department at Onema

EDITORIAL - NEWSLETTER # 13 - OCTOBER 2013

The Environmental conference for ecological transition was held on 14-15 September 2012 and confirmed that France intends to become an example for other countries in terms of restoring biodiversity. The government committed to publishing by the end of 2012 the necessary documents for the French ecological network that will preserve and restore ecological continuity.

There are many obstacles to the ecological continuity of aquatic environments, not only weirs and dams, but also large linear infrastructures such as highways and train lines which cross rivers and wetlands. Hydraulic facilities are often included and, in addition to bridges and viaducts, many "minor hydraulic installations" accompany road projects. Until now, their design took into account hydraulic aspects and flooding risks to ensure their durability. Regulations now require that biological aspects receive attention, namely corridors for the movement of animals, preferred zones for reproduction, feeding, shelter and rest for terrestrial species and the habitats of aquatic species.

For new installations, Onema provides technical opinions to ensure that the best available techniques are used to preserve ecological continuity. For the vast number of existing installations, prior to launching renovation work, it is first necessary to identify the ecological corridors and major obstacles, then to determine the best solutions available at an acceptable cost. With the national technical-design centres, Onema participates in producing the technical documents presenting the possible solutions. Its territorial units work together with installation owners, highway and train companies, and local governments on setting priorities and selecting the final project. The territorial units also inspect the work on completion.

 

Alexis Delaunay,
head of the Inspections and territorial action department at Onema

 

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