The French Federation of Regional Nature Parks brings together the Regional Nature Parks (RNP) of France. There are currently 51 RNP.
Regional Nature Parks
A Regional Nature Park is an inhabited rural area that is nationally recognised for its valuable local heritage and landscape, but also for its fragility. Such parks lean on extensive sustainable development plans allowing the protection and promotion of their resources.
The purpose of a Regional Nature Park is to protect and promote the natural resources, human resources and cultural heritage by implementing an innovative and
environmentally-friendly policy of land-use planning and economic, social and cultural development.
The plan to protect and develop a park’s territory is contractualised in the Regional Nature Park Charter for a period of fifteen years. The management body of a RNP is a combined association gathering representatives of the French Region(s) and Department(s) involved as well as the other towns and villages having adopted the Charter, acting in compliance with the Park Charter.
The National Federation of RNP
The National Federation:
– is the representative body of the NRP before the national administrations and governmental bodies, but also European and international bodies, on all the sectors in which they intervene: environment protection; heritage conservation and enhancement; local development; education (environmental, sustainable development, territory); and public information.
– Coordinates the work of the NRP on a number of topics, including agriculture.
The role of the RNP and their National Federation with regard to farmland:
Farmland is a major component of the territory of most RNP. RNPs and their National Federation act to:
– Preserve farmland from being built or developed and recover abandoned farmland, in particular by:
o Enforcing the Park Charter – by law, all zoning plans adopted on the territory must comply with the objectives of the Charter.
o Adopting specific zoning plans to protect farmland (ZAP, PAEN…)
o Working with local authorities to identify abandoned farmland and converting them back to active agricultural use
o Mobilising local landowners to constitute associations of landowners jointly managing the use of their land
o Avoiding farmland loss by allowing the development of solar panels only on pre-existing buildings and sites.
o Opposing urban sprawl in all urban plans and projects.
– Foster the renewal of farmers’ generations by:
o Creating local networks to anticipate farmers’ retirements, inform interested future farmers and facilitate communication between both parties, including providing training and support to facilitate farm succession (e.g. Livradois-Forez, Scarpe-Escaut, Brenne)
o Supporting the creation of new local businesses and activities, including farmers’ entry into farming through incubators projects, plans for pastoral farming, etc. (e.g. Avesnois, Perche, Verdon)
o Curbing land speculation and encouraging partnerships with local authorities and SAFER, etc. to limit land price increase
o Promoting the farming profession and the positive contribution on the environment and on the territory, through the promotion of local food produce under the RNP brand “Valeurs Parcs” or through programme such as “flowered meadows” to support the income of farmers and raise their public image.
Read more about the Regional Nature Parks of France here: http://www.parcs-naturels-regionaux.fr/centre-de-ressources/document/questions-answers-regional-natural-parks-france-statement