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    Alexis Delaunay , Director of the Inspections and territorial action department


The year 2011 is the Year of the Overseas territories. Scattered all over the globe, they represent remarkable biodiversity and variety. Often located in tropical zones, they suffer from a number of handicaps in that they are islands or, in the case of Guiana, confronted with the immensity of the Amazonian forest. They represent a total of 2.6 million inhabitants.

European directives apply to the French overseas departments (FOD) and impose the same goals and deadlines as for continental France (except Mayotte which has an extended deadline), yet they are confronted with 40 years of delays in implementing water policies (basin committees and Water offices were only recently created).

The assistance provided by the Ecology ministry, technical support from the Water agencies in the framework of partnerships and financial solidarity between river basins organised by Onema have enabled overseas basins to launch initial projects and prepare their RBMPs within the deadlines. A great deal, however, remains to be done, particularly in the fields of research, monitoring of water status and treatment of wastewater. Onema contributes notably in terms of funding.

Previously, Onema was present only in Reunion, for a number of historical reasons, but it has now set up in Martinique, Guiana, Guadeloupe and Mayotte to take part in the water police in the framework of joint environmental police forces composed of personnel from Onema, ONCFS and, in certain cases, other partners such as the national parks. The agency is now present in all French departments.


Alexis Delaunay ,
Director of the Inspections and territorial action department

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