A management plan built with the scientific community to ensure the scientific robustness of the Nature Reserve management

Published: 31 August 2017
Last edited: 12 April 2018

Aware of the vulnerability of the French Southern Lands’ (TAF) ecosystems, the scientific community advocated for their enhanced protection, leading to the creation of the nature reserve in 2006. The first management plan (2011-2015) defined 90 conservation and research actions to be conducted on the territory (mostly terrestrial), of which 35% of applied research actions. The second management plan (2018-2027) applies to the entire EEZ of TAF (mostly marine), in accordance with the extension decree and protection perimeter regulation around the nature reserve. In this context and given the knowledge gap on marine ecosystems, in particular for deep and offshore ecosystems, a whole new set of marine research and conservation actions were identified in close collaboration with scientists. While more than 40% of the actions defined by the management plan address knowledge improvement, 60% of them address specifically marine ecosystems. The extension of the nature reserve and the elaboration of this new management plan create new research dynamics and synergy opportunities for science and conservation actions. New international scientific collaborations are also sought in order to strengthen the socio-ecological network of the TAF.


Co-management building
Evaluation, effectiveness measures and learning
Management planning
Scale of implementation
Phase of solution

Enabling factors

- The experience of a first management plan

- Historical partnerships with scientific organizations

- An ecoregionalization process leading to spatial conservation planning and management recommendations

- Innovative science and conservation opportunities arising from setting up one of the largest MPAs in the world.

Lessons learned

- Stakeholders’ involvement in the development of the management plan is essential to ensure the robustness and the ownership of actions to be conducted.

- The prioritization of actions to be conducted in a very large MPA is a complex matter in a context of a territory difficult to access and with limited financial, human and technical resources.