Protecting Nature

Protecting Nature

Organizations and Networks in Europe and the USA

Edited by C. S.A. (Kris) van Koppen and William T. Markham

Providing a detailed description of all the major nature protection organizations and networks, including overviews of their current membership, activities, and as far as available, budgets, Protecting Nature will be of great interest to lecturers and postgraduate students in social science fields, as well as researchers in the fields of environmental policy, environmental NGOs, social movements, civil society, nature management and policy. Members of nature protection, environmental and other civil society organizations who seek a better understanding of the historical development of nature protection organizations and networks, as well as the strategies employed by those organizations, will also find much to interest them in this book.

Chapter 3: Nature Protection Associations in France

Cécilia Claeys-Mekdade and Marie Jacqué

Subjects: environment, environmental politics and policy, environmental sociology, politics and public policy, environmental politics and policy, european politics and policy


Cécilia Claeys-Mekdade and Marie Jacqué The first French law dealing specifically with nature protection dates only to July 1976, but its adoption reflected efforts by organizations with nature protection goals extending back for more than a century. Born during the nineteenth century, French nature protection was characterized for many years by an elite constituency and a view of nature centred around natural history research, aesthetic enjoyment of nature, and nature’s economic utility. It pursued nature conservation in the context of a society characterized by centralized state control of regional development. After the Second World War, associations developed in earlier periods faced a new situation, characterized by a growing middle class and the emergence of an environmental movement and new competitors. They adapted by modifying their structures and forms of action and increased their memberships, but they remained focused on nature conservation campaigns based on scientific knowledge. More recently organizations with nature protection goals have professionalized, increased their skills and know-how, and become recognized spokesmen for nature in the public sphere. They have also become direct and indirect participants in the implementation of nature protection laws, management of nature protection areas, and environmental education. This chapter presents a chronological analysis of nature protection efforts in France. It emphasizes three main perspectives: (1) the impact of the social class of nature protection advocates on the goals and structure of nature protection efforts; (2) the relationship between associations that promote nature protection and the state; and...

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