Managing the impact of outdoor sports in the national nature reserves of the Pyrénées-Orientales.
Fédération des réserves naturelles catalanes
Region & country
France (Pyrénées-Orientales - 66)
The national nature reserves of the Pyrénées-Orientales are legal mechanisms that allow for the effective and permanent protection of remarkable but fragile natural areas.
As the areas are incredibly attractive to people seeking nature experiences and practising outdoor sports, there is a general increase in visitor numbers, which threatens the environment and many species. To tackle this issue, the Federation of Catalan Nature Reserves and local managers worked to analyse the situation and find solutions that ensure a balance between nature and outdoor sports.
National nature reserves in the Pyrénées-Orientales : online tools for controlling of nature sports.
©Raùl Pimenta - FRNC
Background of the project
An increase in the number of visitors due to the development of outdoor sports, with the number of sporting events always growing, constitute the main trend reported on the French national territory, as well as in the national nature reserves of the Pyrénées-Orientales.
Based on this observation, the managers of nature reserves must identify new ways of avoiding or limiting the impact of outdoor sports and thus better reconcile preservation and visitor management.
Solution and actions taken
This observation led the Federation of Catalan Nature Reserves and local managers to draw up a document aiming at finding a balance that will protect the national nature reserves of the Pyrénées-Orientales from the impacts of sporting practices.
You can find it here: Federal plan 2019-2023: towards the mastery of sports of nature in the national nature reserves of the Pyrénées-Orientales.
The European LEADER programme (a European Union initiative to support rural development projects in rural, coastal and urban areas of EU member countries) has made it possible to carry out some of the operations of this Federal Plan 2019-2023.
The Federation of Catalan Nature Reserves has tested online tools for the management of nature sports. From now on, people can identify, according to their practice, the best itinerary and date, the sensitive environments and species that they are likely to encounter and they can receive advice on the correct behaviour to adopt.
All the experience acquired by the Federation of Catalan Nature Reserves has been summarised in a booklet: Digital tools for the mastery of nature sports.
Other institutions or parties involved
Following the EU LEADER programme, the development of the project has led to an increase in the number and of collaborators: associations, local authorities, private local authorities, private companies, etc. This has made the project more relevant, more legitimate, more effective and influential.
Thanks to LEADER funding, Europe has enabled the Federation of Catalan Nature Reserves to place nature at the heart of collective discussions.
The main difficulties encountered were the in-depth consultation between sports enthusiasts, managers, local authorities and administrations, which were sometimes difficult to reach.
The importance of encouraging those involved in and practising outdoor sports to contribute to the preservation of the natural heritage of the national nature reserves of the Pyrénées-Orientales.
Federal Plan 2019-2023: towards the control of nature sports in the national nature reserves of the Pyrénées-Orientales.https://www.reserves-naturelles-catalanes.org/sites/default/files/documents/actualites/frnc_schema-federal_sport_de_nature-_bd2.pdf
Outils numériques pour la maitrise des sports de naturehttp://www.rnn-mantet.fr/wp-content/uploads/2021/06/Brochure_RNN_PO_A4_web.pdf
Maîtrise des sports de nature dans les réserves naturelles nationales des Pyrénées-Orientales
Video: Controlling nature sports in the national nature reserves of the Pyrénées-Orientales, by
Réserves naturelles catalanes - Chaîne de la FRNC
(FR - Subtitles available in English)
Fédération des réserves naturelles catalanes
Related case studies
Responsible “Speo Tourism” in Romania
Despite the fact that speleology is not one of the most popular outdoor sports, its practice is deeply rooted in several European countries such as Romania. The fact that the…
Parco Nord Milano Velodrom: a Health- Cycle Racing Track
The Velodrome is an element for enhancing Park accessibility, combining aspects of natural landscape and social enjoyment.