What is a world biosphere reserve?

A biosphere reserve is an area containing terrestrial or marine ecosystems, in which solutions are deployed to reconcile biodiversity conservation and sustainable use. In other words, these are areas where sustainable development has its rightful place, and where land, water and biodiversity can be managed sensibly. 

All biosphere reserves must meet the following criteria three functions 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-raising

Through concrete actions, a world biosphere reserve promotes a balance between nature and people.

The Dordogne valley, one of France's largest reserves! 

The Dordogne valley covers 6 departments Puy-de-Dôme, Cantal, Corrèze, Lot, Dordogne and Gironde. They all have one thing in common: the same river, the Dordogne, runs through them. These areas have come together under the name ofE.P.I.D.O.R 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. In 2012, the Dordogne catchment area was classified as a World Biosphere Reserve by UNESCO.. From its source at Puy de Sancy in the Auvergne to its mouth in the Gironde, the Dordogne Valley abounds in a wealth of natural areas that require real protection. With a surface area of 24,000 km2, it is the largest reserve in France and one of the largest in Europe. 

A natural heritage worth preserving! 

The Dordogne valley has a natural heritage to preserve and an exceptional environment. From deep forests to sheer cliffs and the crystal-clear waters of the river, the Dordogne valley boasts an outstanding natural heritage. exceptional natural heritage. This environment and its great diversity of landscapes provide a high-quality habitat for a wide variety of flora and fauna. On a more local scale, the area also boasts a number of sensitive natural areas and Natura 2000 zones. Birds, fish, otters and plant species - nature and life are everywhere in the Dordogne Valley, it listens to, observes and appreciates itself

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 preserving its river heritage, its resources and its benefits. The river and its presence in this area are essential to the sustainable development of the region, its ecosystems and its inhabitants. It is clear that the river is at the heart of the issues at stake; it has always been there and it sustains life in the Dordogne valley. 

It is to preserve this close link between nature, the river and mankind that this site has been listed.

Concrete action is being taken to protect the ecosystems and species that the river supports. These include conserving the natural heritage, maintaining and improving the quality of aquatic environments, and restoring the banks of the Dordogne. In other words, actions that enable human activities to develop while respecting the natural balance

Discover this bubble of nature!

There's no better way to discover the Dordogne Valley World Biosphere Reserve than to immerse yourself in the area and meet the local flora and fauna. 

The Vézère Valley is crossed by two rivers: the Grande Beune and the Petite Beune. To preserve this threatened wetland, the Fédération des Chasseurs de la Dordogne (Dordogne hunters' federation) has carried out a number of projects. conservation actions and raising awareness among residents and visitors. An interpretation trail has been designed for the Vallée des Beunes, allowing visitors to fully immerse themselves in this fragile ecosystem. This 7.5 km footpath will help you to learn more about this exceptional environment and the species it shelters. 

For those who want to explore this natural environment even further, head to Corrèze to take a stroll through the region. the Villages en Barrages long-distance hiking route. This 200km hiking trail is an invitation to discover, learn about and recharge your batteries in a grandiose, unspoilt natural setting. This itinerary, which is best suited to good walkers, explores the relationship between man, nature and the aquatic environment. It will help you to understand how man has managed to tame watercourses and to discover large dams such as the one at Bort-les-Orgues. 

Of course, hiking is not the only way to discover this reserve, Canoe trips Discover the river and the ecosystems that surround it. Whether it's on the Dordogne, or on the VézèreCanoeing is a great way to get close to nature and discover all its secrets. Watch the dragonflies circling around you and the fish that swim past your canoe. All these species live together in an unspoilt natural environment. 

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