When a nature area is known to accommodate rich flora and fauna, a large variety of habitats of high environmental quality and when it is to be subtracted from human disturbance, it is possible to confer a protection status aimed at its safeguarding. The designation of ‘nature reserve’ is part of a package of several measures to protect natural environments.
Articles of the code of the environment maintain this protection status. Whether it is a national nature reserve (created by ministerial decree) or a regional nature reserve (deliberation of the (former) Conseil Régional, now fused with Conseil Général into CTG, Collectivité Territoriale de Guyane), the regulations ensure preservation of all the richness. Preservation can be done in any way. The only mandatory thing that comes with the status is to give a few rules and precautions in order to achieve preservation of nature. Managers of nature reserves must thus establish management plans that specify all the operations to be undertaken to meet these objectives conservation and recovery.
Read more (in French): http://www.reserves-naturelles.org/
Explanatory video (in French):
Importance of the network of nature reserves in French Guiana
The primary forest of French Guiana covers about 90% of French Guiana’s total area, which makes 84,000 km2, making it one of the last and largest primary forest fragments in the world.
The Guianese rainforest ecosystem includes some of the richest and most fragile, highly dynamic and complex habitats (mangroves, savannahs, marshes, flooded forest, land division, inselberg, table mountains, etc)
In French Guiana, there are seven nature reserves: one national and six regional. They represent:
- 295,000 hectares, or 3,4% of French Guiana.
- 52% of the total area of the French reserves.
In entire France, there are 16 overseas nature reserves; they represent only 6% of the total number of nature reserves, however, they protect 91% of the total surface of nature reserves.
This responsibility is all the greater as the species extinction rate in French Guiana is estimated at more than three times the rate observed in metropolitan France. By the sheer weight of tropical species, entire France is ranked 4th in the world for amount of endangered animal species and 9th for plants.