The LIFE \u201cTemporary Pools\u201d project took place during the period 1999-2004. Its main objectives were to achieve the integrated management of seven sites in Mediterranean France and to develop management tools and met hods for these fragile habitat s which could be transferred to the Mediterranean scale.
The project was organised into seven sit e sect ions (cf . map) and two overarching theme- based sections \u201cAwareness raising\u201d and \u201cIntegrated management\u201d). The Tour du Valat was in charge of the \u201cIntegrated management\u201d section as well as the general coordination of the project. The ot her sections were delegated to six local operators. The cost of t he project was around 1,000,000\u20ac, of which 50% was financed by the EU and the rest by 12 or so partners.
European Commission, Minist\u00e8re de l\u2019Ecologie et du D\u00e9veloppe- ment Durable (MEDD) and its Directions r\u00e9gionales de l'environne- ment (PACA, Languedoc-Roussillon and Corsica), Languedoc- Roussillon region (Agence M\u00e9dit erran\u00e9enne de l\u2019Environnement), Corsica region (Office de l\u2019Environnement de Corse), Provence- Alpes- C\u00f4t e d\u2019Azur region (Agence R\u00e9gionale pour l\u2019Environnement : ARPE), Agence de L\u2019Eau Rh\u00f4ne- M\u00e9dit erran\u00e9e- Corse, Conservat oire de l\u2019Espace Lit t oral et des Rivages Lacust res, Conservat oire Bot a- nique Nat ional de Porquerolles, Conservat oire des Espaces Nat urels Languedoc-Roussillon, Conservatoire Etude des Ecosyst\u00e8mes de Provence Alpes du Sud (CEEP), Associat ion de D\u00e9f ense de la Nat ure des Pays d\u2019Agde (ADENA), Association de Gestion de la R\u00e9serve Naturelle de Roque-Haute, Ecosph\u00e8re, Institut M\u00e9diterran\u00e9en d'Ecologie et de Pal\u00e9o\u00e9cologie (Universit\u00e9 d'Aix-Marseille III), Ecole Pratique des Hautes Etudes (EPHE),D\u00e9par t em en t s du Gard et de l\u2019H\u00e9rault, Office National des For\u00eats (Gard and Var).
Invent ories of the fauna, flora and human activities were made at most of the sites as well as more detailed studies of the species or locally important themes: percept ion of the pools by users and local players, a detailed inventory of the cupular micro-pools, monit oring of t hreat ened species, et c. The result s of t hese st udies served as the basis for measures proposed in the management plans drawn up for three of the sites.
Finally, an initial inventory of the temporary pools in Medi- terranean France was carried out, enabling over 100 sites sup- porting almost 1000 pools to be ident ified.
Control over land use by organisat ions for t he protect ion of nat ural habit at s is an essent ial prerequisit e f or any management of t em- porary pools. In tot al, over 83 hectares were acquired within the framework of the project. In addition, management agreements were made with owners (privat e or communal) on at least two sites, significantly increasing the area for which usage can be con- trolled in the mid term.
Experiment al management work t ook place on most of t he sit es: Scrub clearing, cleaning out, digging-out of a pool, pulling up invasive exotic species, restoration of a filled- in pool, etc. Most of this work was accompanied by careful monitoring of its impact, in order t o draw lessons t hat could be t ransposed elsewhere.
The various site teams regularly interacted with and provided regular information to local inhabitants, elected political repre- sentatives and users. Numerous awareness- raising, communica- tion and environmental education initiatives took place: European \u201cGreen Days\u201d, events for schools, leaflet s, information panel s, web pages, post ers, educat i onal module, press art i cl es, TV programme, video casset t e, et c. Local events were organised t o encourage local inhabitants to prot ect the temporary pools.
On the global scale, a resolution calling for the conservation of temporary pools was drawn up by the project and adopted at the eight h Ramsar Conference in November 2002.
This section provided the framework for discussion prior to all the management work undertaken. It also allowed permanent exchanges to take place between the managers of sites and the scientists involved in the project: exchange visits between sites, theme-based workshops, coordination of the network, etc. Finally, this management handbook was published. A final int er- national conference was also organised, bringing together almost 100 part icipants from all over Europe and t he Medit erranean region.
Permanent coordination between all these various activities and partners was organised throughout the project. A steering com- mit t ee was set up and meet ings organised, regular cont act s were maintained with the European Commission and all the partners in the project.
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