Feedback on the InterLIFE 2017 !


This year, the Réunion National Park and its partners had the pleasure and the privilege to host the French InterLIFE 2017 from the 4th to the 8th of December. This was the first time since the LIFE programme was created in 1992 that an Overseas department hosted such an event.

This event gathers each year the LIFE projects’ coordinators from every from all over France, Belgium and the French overseas department. This year’s edition, the BEST (Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services in Territories of European Overseas) projects’ promoters were invited to come and share their experiences and good practices in the presence of the European Commission’s high representatives in charge of the LIFE programme.
The goal of the 2017 InterLIFE was to offer the opportunity to the different LIFE and BEST projects’ team to share their progress, advices and have experiences’ feedbacks.

Highlights of this event

The InterLIFE was the chance to illustrate the savoir-faire of the Réunion teams. It was also the chance to present the work that they have been accomplishing over a decade in order to preserve the Réunion biodiversity.

The LIFE+ Pétrels programme showcased to the delegation every aspect of the petrels’ conservation. The delegation’s members were welcomed on the belvedere of “Bois court” and its plunging view over “Grand Bassin”. There, they were introduced to the Mascarene petrel through its history and the legendary bond of the ”Timize” it has with the inhabitants of Grand Bassin. They then exchanged with the LIFE+ Pétrels’ team members on the different technicals aspects of the project throughout workshop: means of prospection used to find the Mascarene petrel, invasive species control methods, and innovative communication. The association “AVE2M” presented its work on “employment integration” through environmental training course.

During the afternoon, the importance of a plan of action on the scale of the island was emphasized. Petrels are a good symbol of unity of the different part of the island as they connect “Les Hauts” (the highlands) and “Les Bas “(the coastline). The preservation of theses birds depends on the efforts put in place by everyone all over the island. Thus, 3 major actions were underlined: the SEOR’s rescue network of stranded petrels, the annual festive event “La Rentrée des pétrels” (co-carried by the Réunion National Park, the town of Saint-Louis and the LIFE+ Pétrels) and the event called “Les nuits sans lumières” (Lightless nights) which raises awareness on the 2 petrels species’ safeguarding by reducing light pollution.

The LIFE+ Forêt Sèche is a project of restoration and preservation of la Réunion dry forest. Community volunteering projects where highlighted during the project dedicated day. There, the delegation members participated to the planting of endemic semi-xerophilous forest trees.

Photo credit : Guillaume Verbeke, Camille Payet and Catherine Bouchez