What is a world biosphere reserve?

A biosphere reserve is a territory housing terrestrial or marine ecosystems, in which solutions are deployed to reconcile biodiversity conservation and sustainable use. In other words, these are territories in which sustainable development has its place and allows reasoned management of land, water and biodiversity. 

All biosphere reserves must meet three functions major and complementary. 

  • A conservation function spaces, landscapes and living species.
  • A development function human activities that respect the environment
  • A logistics function to encourage research, knowledge and awareness

Through the concrete actions carried out, a world biosphere reserve promotes a balance between nature and humans.

The Dordogne valley, one of the largest reserves in France! 

The Dordogne Valley covers 6 departments : Puy-de-Dôme, Cantal, Corrèze, Lot, Dordogne and Gironde. They all have one thing in common: they are crossed by the same river, the Dordogne. These territories united under the name ofEPIDOR to build a collective water management policy. 

The classification of the Dordogne as a world biosphere reserve is therefore a long-standing project shared by these six territories. It was in 2012 that the Dordogne watershed was classified as a world biosphere reserve by UNESCO.. From the source at Puy de Sancy in Auvergne to the mouth in Gironde, the Dordogne Valley is full of extremely rich natural spaces, which require real protection. With its 24 km000 surface area, it is the largest reserve in France and one of the largest in Europe. 

A natural heritage to be preserved! 

The Dordogne valley has a natural heritage to preserve and an exceptional environment. From deep forests to steep cliffs to crystal clear river waters, the Dordogne valley has a exceptional natural heritage. This environment and its great landscape diversity provide a quality habitat for a great diversity of fauna and flora. On a more local scale, the territory also has several Sensitive Natural Areas and Natura 2000 areas. Birds, fish, otters and even plant species, nature and life are everywhere in the Dordogne Valley, she listens to herself, she observes herself and she appreciates herself

The river: a link between man and nature 

The Dordogne basin reserve is structured around the river and its hydraulic network. The primary objective is to preserve its river heritage, its resources et its benefits. The river and its presence within this territory are necessary for the sustainable development of the territory, its ecosystems and its inhabitants. We understand that the river is at the heart of the issues, has always been present, it fuels life in the Dordogne valley. 

It is therefore to preserve this close link between nature, the river and man that this site is classified.

Concrete actions are being put in place to guarantee the protection of the ecosystems and species that the river is home to. For example, the conservation of natural heritage, the maintenance and improvement of the quality of aquatic environments, or the restoration of the banks of the Dordogne. In other words, actions that allow human activities to develop while respecting natural balances

Discovering this bubble of nature!

To discover the world biosphere reserve of the Dordogne valley, there is nothing better than immersing yourself in the territory, meeting the species of local fauna and flora. 

The Vézère valley is crossed by two rivers: La Grande Beune and La Petite Beune. To preserve this threatened wetland, the Dordogne Hunters’ Federation has carried out conservation and awareness actions for residents and visitors. An interpretive trail in the Beunes valley has been designed, allowing total immersion in this fragile ecosystem. This 7.5 km hiking trail promotes knowledge of this exceptional environment and the species it shelters. 

For those who wish to go further in discovering this natural environment, head to Corrèze to explore the Villages en Barrages long-distance hiking route. This 200 km hiking trail is an invitation to discovery, awareness and rejuvenation in a grandiose and preserved nature. This route, rather recommended for good walkers, leads to the discovery of the relationship between man, nature and the aquatic environment. It allows you to understand how man was able to tame waterways and to discover large dams like that of Bort-les-Orgues. 

Obviously, hiking is not the only way to discover this reserve, canoe descents allow you to discover the river and the ecosystems that revolve around it. Whether it be on the Dordogne, or on the Vézère, canoeing allows you to be as close as possible to nature and discover all its secrets. Observe the dragonflies circling around you, the fish passing by your canoe. All these species coexist together in a more than preserved nature. 

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