Action for biodiversity

Ten years of exemplary actions in the French Capital of Biodiversity competition

12 April 2023

Since 2010, the French Capital of Biodiversity competition identifies, promotes and disseminates the best actions of French municipalities and inter-municipalities in favour of biodiversity.

Launched as part of a European programme, the French Capital of Biodiversity competition is primarily a means of raising awareness and educating, identifying and rewarding good practice, regional activities and knowledge-sharing between the local stakeholders. Every year the competition organisers publish a collection of the best actions identified for that year’s theme as a source of inspiration to others.

The 2020 edition presents exemplary actions across France and its overseas territories such as:

  • Besançon, a natural management approach
  • Versailles, pioneering in its pesticide ban
  • Knowledge-sharing delivers results in the Guadeloupe National Park Morne-à-l’eau
  • In Val d’Ille-Aubigné, analysis drives action
  • Protecting water and biodiversity in the Rouen Normandy Metropole
  • Avignon regreens its ramparts
  • Bonnelles: standing up for nature
  • In Lille, construction goes hand-in-hand with biodiversity
  • Rennes: ecology locked in at every stage
  • Muttersholtz, where dialogue and law support nature
  • Lyon Metropole the “Canopée” project
  • Saint-Paul on Réunion island: restoring nature to build resilience
  • Less is more at Rosny-sous-Bois
  • Agricultural management at Mouans Sartoux, an international Benchmark
  • Working together at Saint-Privat de Vallongue
  • The urban community of Maubeuge Val de Sambre turns its brownfield sites green
  • Grande-Synthe nurturing residents’ participation
  • Strasbourg, the green-fingered city
  • Albi’s educational guides
  • Raising awareness in the urban community of Marne et Gondoire


VERSAILLES. View over Les Gonards cemetery at Versailles, where the council has even introduced beehives to produce honey. / Jonathan Flandin, ARB Ile-de-France.


AVIGNON. Restoring soil permeability and renaturing through planting enables ecological functionalities and the need for visual appeal to co-exist happily, as seen in this flower meadow at the foot of the ramparts. / Cécile Vo-Van, Cerema.


Sea turtles need several different habitats throughout their life cycle: coral reefs, seagrass beds, beaches, etc. For councils in French overseas territories such as this one here in the ANTILLES, sea turtle populations will be restored by preserving all these diverse habitats while protecting them from human activities. Aymeric Bein, French Biodiversity Agency (OFB)


ROSNY-SOUS-BOIS. The school’s load-bearing structure comprises entirely coated straw bales, produced from organic cereal farming in Seine-et-Marne. Marc Barra, ARB Ile-de-France.


STRASBOURG. The Eurometropolis of Strasbourg has committed to a partnership charter, “United for biodiversity” aimed at the region’s private sector. In return for their involvement, the Métropole provides consultancy throughout their activities. This is a visit to a pond dug by a company. Jérôme Dorkel, Eurometropolis of Strasbourg


Further reading

The 2010 edition available in French.

The 2010 edition available in Spanish. 

This study is linked to the following theme :