Mediterranean Environments and Pastoralism

A partnership for pasture restoration in the Massif du Luberon

Open Mediterranean environments, linked in particular to pastoralism, are home to birds and many other species whose survival depends on the maintenance of these open spaces. The Massif du Luberon is an area of great ornithological wealth, with some of the most endangered bird species in Europe. The reduction of open areas associated with pastoral abandonment constitutes a major threat to these species. The Luberon Regional Nature Park is working with shepherds, flock owners, pasture and forest managers to plan actions for pasture management, to support biodiversity, the rural economy as well as the use of grazing to mitigate fire risk. The regional branches for forestry (ONF) and grazing management (CERPAM)* have been partners of the Park for almost 40 years, working together towards the restoration of pasture lands. Recently, about 25 hectares of dry grasslands – habitats of European interest – benefited from field work to clear pastures on private and public land, thanks to funding from the European Commission and the French Government (Rural Development Programmes). This is part of a Natura 2000 restoration program with regular activities.

Sophie Bourlon, Luberon Regional Nature Park, Focal Point for the Luberon-Lure Medforval site – sophie.bourlon@parcduluberon.fr 

Photo: CERPAM (Centre d’études et de réalisations pastorales Alpes-Méditerranée); ONF (Office National des Forêts)