Studying birds in the Ariège

The Ariège Pyrénées harbor a rare natural heritage. Pending the attribution of Natural park status, scores of children of the area can discover its fauna and flora.

Environment and Biodiversity

Ariège, France

Laure Duquesne

30 000 € to the Selection Committee at 2007/04/03

  Project leader The association des naturalistes de l'Ariège (ANA), 2007

The highly motivated staff of the ANA are very good teachers. They know how to help discover the plant and animal species by sharing their enthusiasm. Their lectures are also very stimulating. The idea is to encourage reflection on our behavior and its environmental impact. In short, to awaken the curiosity and inculcate respect for this natural heritage.

Laure Duquesne

Slated for 2008, the creation of a regional natural park will protect the vast natural diversity of the Ariège.And yet, the inhabitants of the 145 communes encompassed therein are not always aware of this wealth.The Association of Naturalists of the Ariège (ANA) has launched many projects to foster this awareness among the youngest.

Baptized Discover the Ariège Pyrénées on the wing, the ANA's annual project is putting the accent, in 2007, on the diversity of the natural reserve of Mount Vallier.Four group leaders of the association will relay one another through the year with theoretical courses and field excursions to study the birds.And in the environment near their schools, the students of 15 classes (from primary to junior high) will have to identify the urban ecosystem.This will be followed by reviews and debates in class with two aims: to add to a traveling exhibition on the subject, and to draft educational documents for the use of the teaching staff.

Moving ahead in environmental education

Backed by the local authorities, the ANA is recognized for the integrity of its team: botanists, ornithologists, group leaders, etc. Its 12 permanent staff crisscross the region for studies in the natural environment. The grant from the Veolia Foundation will enable them to buy a "green" vehicle for their travels. The association is also concerned to optimize the school excursions that it organizes. In the field, telescopes and binoculars will now be available for the students, who, back in the classroom, will have the use of computer equipment and a video projector.