Green verges new management practices
Today, land transport infrastructure (LTI) managers are aware of the importance of green verges (GV) toward biodiversity (species and habitats conservation, connection to green and blue corridors), and are willing to implement new management practices in these spaces. Currently, the implementation of more biodiversity-friendly practices in GV is being considered primarily through the development of managerial knowledge and by transferring knowledge from external expertise. Regardless of its interest, this approach has temporal, economic and social implications that are neither necessarily within the reach of all managers, nor the best answer to all situations encountered in the field.
The Gedev project deals with an alternative and complementary approach. It considers the operational and legal feasibility of GVs’ management by competent local actors already involved in the management of (semi-)natural environments. For LTI managers, using the skills of local stakeholders in natural environment management may be a solution to meet their need to implement biodiversity-friendly practices in GVs (conservation, connectivity). However, such initiatives remain occasional, poorly known and hardly perennial. The possibilities for replication in other contexts remain unclear.
On one hand, the Gedev project is based on a review of the legal consistency of DVs at national level (for the various types of LTIs, in order to integrate the specificities of their operating constraints). On the other hand, the project requires a census of field cases of partnership management of various types of GV (past or current) in order to identify all the issues raised by these initiatives (definition of management objectives, skills of actors and relations between them, encountered difficulties, provided solutions, etc.). This census will be carried out through the study of grey literature and by consulting LTI managers.
From this package of cases aimed to provide complementary learnings (success, failure, difficulties, solutions) a limited number (≈4) of particularly instructive cases in virtue of their success (achievement of objectives, durability of collaboration, development) will be selected for deeper investigation. This sample of case studies will illustrate a variety of GV management objectives and LTIs. For each case study, an analysis of the rules of land use defined by actors (owners, managers, service providers) and the analysis of the legal, socio-economic, ecological and agro-ecological determinants of the arrangements between actors will be carried out. For each of them, the possibilities of transferring these types of arrangements to other contexts (other types of LTI and/or other contexts) will be considered. All of this information, incorporating ecological, legal, socio-economic and agro-ecological factors, we will enable sustainable partnership solutions to be proposed over time for various management objectives and types of green verges. Finally, various types of stakeholders (associations, local and regional authorities, companies, etc.) may be consulted in order to get their feedback regarding the operational acceptability/applicability of the suggestions resulting from this study.