France Nature Environnement (FNE) is the French federation of associations for the protection of nature and environment. Created in 1968 as the Fédération française des sociétés de protection de la nature, it was recognised as being d’utilité publique in 1976.
We speak to Jerome Partos, Vice President of FNE and EEB Board Member.
Tell us a bit more about the main activities, campaigns and/or projects you are working on at the moment?
FNE is working on all types of environmental issues, mainly global warming, pesticides (not only glyphosate, but the basic principle that industrial agriculture must change towards health issues, not only short term food supply), soil protection, circular economy, shortening supply circuits, air quality.
Globally we are pushing for increasing the concern that health and environmental issues are closely related and that France should make more coherent its political speech (the Paris agreement for example) and hard facts.
What does EEB membership mean to your organisation? How does it help you in your daily work and to bring about the changes you would like to see in Europe and beyond?
The EEB membership is extremely important to us, as environmental issues are borderless. Regulatory wise, most regulations are now initiated at the European level by EU authorities.
Moreover, when facing legal issues against French public authorities, we sometimes need to bring our case to the EU court of law
Do you have a recent success story that you would like to share with us?
The termination of the Notre Dame des Landes airport project is probably FNE most emblematic and recent success story.
Plans to build this new airport started in the 1960s when Notre-Dame-Des-Landes site was identified in 1967. Opposition grew as local farmers and environmental NGOs joined forces.
Supporters of the Notre-Dame-Des-Landes project said it would aid economic development in the Loire-Atlantique region. They argued the old and inner-city airport would cost too much to upgrade.
FNE’s position was that the project was environmentally unfriendly and a huge waste of money, at the time of Paris Agreement. On site FNE members played a key role in helping for a consensus and steady positions among the diversity of opponents.
Finally, last January, the French government abandoned plans for the new 580 million euros airport, a sensitive decision which past governments had shirked for decades. “The Notre-Dame-des-Landes airport is abandoned,” prime-minister Philippe decided.
The environmental issues weighed heavily on the government decision with President Emmanuel Macron having championed the fight against climate change since his election, with promises to “make our planet great again”. It was also a long and difficult legal battle, both at the national and at the European level.
For more information:
Emma Ernsth, Membership and Development Manager, European Environmental Bureau