The French Law on Biodiversity and the Protection of Soils

  • Maylis Desrousseaux
Part of the International Yearbook of Soil Law and Policy book series (IYSLP, volume 2017)


The French law on biodiversity was voted in August 2016 after 2 years of intense debates between the two chambers and the government. The result is quite positive for soils, even though this law has confirmed that soils are not about to benefit from a proper regime of protection.

Among the evolutions brought out by this major law that came into force exactly 40 years after the law on Nature Protection of 1976, we will develop in this article the perspectives allowed by the recognition of the “Non-regression principle”. Moreover, the recognition of soils as a constitutive element of the national common heritage and the recognition of the concept of “biological processes” are likely to bring new evolutions in favor of the protection of soils.


  1. Anderson M, Ferree C (2010) Conserving the stage: climate change and the geophysical underpinnings of species diversity. PLoS One 5(7):e11554CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Bignon J (2015) Report n° 607 of the Commission for a sustainable development and land use planning on the law on biodiversity, National Assembly, 602 p (French)Google Scholar
  3. Blum W (1993) Soil protection concept of the Council of Europe and integrated soil research, chapter, integrated soil and sediment research: a basis for proper protection, vol. 1 of the series. Soil & Environment, pp 37–47Google Scholar
  4. Bonnin M (2011) Protected areas and ecological networks: global environmental management or management of the conservation institutions? In: Aubertin C, Rodary E (eds) Protected areas, sustainable land? Ashgate, IRD editions, Surrey, 183 pGoogle Scholar
  5. Brauch HG, Spring UO (2009) Securitizing the ground, grounding security, Desertification land degradation and drought. UNCCD issue paper n° 2, 52 pGoogle Scholar
  6. Chaussod R (1996) The biological quality of soils, assessment and implications. Étude et Gestion des Sols 3(4) (French)Google Scholar
  7. Chenu C (2014) Soils and the protection of biodiversity, oral communication for the 2d French world soil dayGoogle Scholar
  8. Desrousseaux M (2016) The legal protection of soil quality. LGDJ, 502 p (French)Google Scholar
  9. Farinetti A (2013) The legal protection of soil quality through water laws. Env. et DD., n° 6 (French)Google Scholar
  10. Favoreu L, Philip L (dir) (2013) The great decisions of the Constitutional Court. Dalloz, 17e éd., p 157 (French)Google Scholar
  11. Gaillard G (2014) Report of the Commission for a sustainable development and land-use planning on the project of law on biodiversity (n° 1847), 668 p (French)Google Scholar
  12. Ginzky H et al (eds) (2016) International yearbook of soil law and policy, vol 1Google Scholar
  13. Godfrin G (2010) The careful management of soil. Construction-Urbanisme, n° 10, étude 10 (French)Google Scholar
  14. Gray M (2013) Geodiversity: valuing and conserving abiotic nature, 2nd edn. Wiley-Blackwell, ChichesterGoogle Scholar
  15. Herve-Fournereau N (2012) Le principe de non régression environnementale en droit de l’Union européenne: entre idéalité et réalité normative? In: Prieur M (dir) La non régression en droit de l’environnement. Bruylant, p 199Google Scholar
  16. Jeffery S, Gardi C, et al (eds) (2010) European Atlas of soil biodiversity. European Commission, Office of Publications of the EU, LuxembourgGoogle Scholar
  17. Keiter R (2004) Ecological concepts, legal standards, and public land law: an analysis and assessment. Nat Resour J 44:943Google Scholar
  18. Kerbrat Y, Maljean-Dubois S, Wemäere M (2015) The international Climate Conference of Paris: how to build a time adaptable agreement? Int Law J, (Clunet) n° 4 (French)Google Scholar
  19. Kramer L (2007) Mieux légiférer et déréglementation du droit de l’environnement. RDUE 4:801Google Scholar
  20. Krolik C (2012) Contribution à une méthodologie du principe de non-régression. In: Prieur M, Sozzo G (eds). Bruylant, Bruxelles, pp 137–150Google Scholar
  21. Lawler J, Ackerly D, Albano C, Anderson M, Dobrowski S, Gill J, Heller N, Pressey R, Sanderson E, Weiss S (2015) The theory behind, and the challenges of, conserving nature’s stage in a time of rapid change. Conserv Biol 29:618–629CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Mathieu B, Verpeaux M (2004) Chronicle on the jurisprudence of the Constitutional Court, La Semaine Juridique Edition Générale n° 51, doctr. 192 (French)Google Scholar
  23. Montanarella L (2015) Govern our soils. Nature 528:30–33CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Naim-Gesbert E (1999) Les dimensions scientifiques du droit de l’environnement. Bruylant, 810 pGoogle Scholar
  25. Prieur M (dir) (2012) The non regression principle in environmental law. Bruylant (French)Google Scholar
  26. Remond-Gouilloud M (1989) The right to destroy. PUF, 304 p (French)Google Scholar
  27. Tukiainen H, Bailey J, Field R, Kangas K, Hjort J (2017) Combining geodiversity with climate and topography to account for threatened species richness. Conserv Biol 31(2):364–375CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.INRAParisFrance

Personalised recommendations