E=RC+ - Promote ‘avoidance’ (in the mitigation hierarchy) in an integrative way and measure its consequences on ‘minimization’ and ‘offset’ as part of infrastructures and development projects
The erosion of biodiversity in Europe is mostly related to the fragmentation and loss of (semi-)natural habitats. The reinforcement of regulatory texts and the emphasis placed on the ERC sequence with the publication of the ERC sequence (Avoid, Reduce, Compensate), have led to a slowdown in the artificialisation of land; however, development projects still do not properly take into account biodiversity issues and, as a result, artificialisation and erosion are continuing.
The recent regulatory evolution, from the almost unique consideration of protected species to the consideration of ecological functionalities through ordinary biodiversity and ecological continuities, introduces the need to think differently about the implementation of the ERC sequence. Indeed, if the E is relatively feasible with respect to so-called heritage biodiversity, is it the same when integrating common biodiversity and ecological functionalities?
This type of questioning calls on the sciences of ecology and law to make progress together on the efficiency and the consideration of ecological functionalities, by making the link between biodiversity, functional integrity and ecosystem services. Moreover, the design and evolution of a development project and its impact on the territory have all the characteristics of a highly complex system. In this respect, they can only be apprehended by adapted methodologies based on the sharing of issues and the elaboration of co-constructed proposals, as well as on the analysis of the link between the work itself and the imperatives of preserving ecological functionalities and biodiversity over time (prospective approach).
The objective of the E=RC+ project is to propose a reproducible process resulting from a co-production and reflection approach in a prospective framework that could be systematized in the preparation (upstream) and evaluation (analysis of the socio-ecological footprint) of LTI projects (new infrastructure or requalification). E=RC+ will develop operating methods that will make it possible to integrate the complexity of the issues at stake and the questions raised by the ecological transparency of ILTs.
To do so, the E=RC+ project will invest the E of the ERC sequence and will measure its consequences on the R and C through two concrete cases of ILT projects. These cases will be treated by relying on the co-construction of a prospective process (i.e. the elaboration of scenarios of evolution of the territories) and integrative (i.e. integration of biodiversity upstream of the development projects, but while taking into account the stakes and the obstacles of the developers) allowing the improvement of the ecological transparency of the linear infrastructures of transport (ILTs) In order to achieve this integration of issues, the scientists and planners of the GASBI group (Group of exchanges between planners and scientists for Biodiversity and Infrastructures) will work together in a collaborative logic and in collective intelligence (basis of co-construction), constructive, learning and producing mutual benefits (planning constraints / biodiversity) Different scenarios of land use changes integrating the issues related to ILT and integrating or not the constraints related to the avoidance and conservation of ecological functions will be co-constructed in workshops. They will serve as a basis for the evaluation (modeling) of ecological continuities; the positive or negative evolution of ecological continuities will allow the scenarios to be revisited until a balance is found between the development project and biodiversity issues.