Management of the Reserve

The management of the national nature reserve (NNR) of the French Southern Lands is entrusted to the Prefect and high commissioner of the French Southern and Antarctic Lands (TAAF). The TAAF administration therefore manages the French Southern Lands and Seas.

Like other nature reserves, the Prefect and high commissioner of the TAAF relies on an advisory committee and a scientific council to manage the French Southern Lands:

– advisory committee: article 3 of amended decree n. 2006-1211 makes the advisory council of the TAAF the advisory committee of the nature reserve, of which 6 other members are a part of, in particular the representatives of the southern fisheries operators and recognized environmental NGOs. The advisory committee gives its opinion on the operation and management of the nature reserve, as well as the conditions under which the measures provided for in the nature reserve’s declaration document are carried out. It may ask the State representative to carry out scientific studies and collect any opinions to ensure the conservation, protection and improvement of the natural environment of the nature reserve.

– scientific council: according to article 4 of amended decree n. 2006-1211, the French inter-ministerial Committee for the Polar Environment (CEP) serves as the scientific council of the French Southern Lands NNR. It may be called upon for any scientific matter affecting the nature reserve. It especially provides advice on requests for the manipulation of species and access to protected areas of the nature reserve for scientific purposes.

Unlike other French nature reserves, the French Southern Lands NNR is uninhabited—the only non-permanent residents are scientists, military men and civilians whose presence ensures France’s sovereignty. Indeed, no local elected representative sits in the management bodies of the nature reserve. The nation’s collective interests are represented by four members of Parliament who are a part of the advisory council of the TAAF. This shows how important these territories and their management are for the country.