The Courrier de l’environnement de l’INRA, 26, december 1995

All articles of this issue are on line (L)

In memoriam : Onychogalea frenata (crescent wallaby); 'Urbi et orbi : in latin !; Sommaire en français.

[R] Dealing with birds in an urban environment (L)
In many towns, pigeons, starlings, sea gulls and crows are seen as pests, due to the noise and mess they make. Is there a way to cut down their numbers? The most modern means of getting rid of them will be useless in the long term (poisoning, sterilising or frightening them away). An integrated management strategy needs to be set up, taking into account bird habits, that is, the way they go back and forth between towns and the surrounding countryside.
By Philippe Clergeau, INRA, Faune sauvage, université de Rennes I, campus de Beaulieu, 35042 Rennes cedex.

[R] The Brouage marshes: from salt to grass and then to cereal (L)
These swamps have been used for various farming activities over the centuries: salt, in the XVIIth century, cattle farming for meat and milk in the XIXth century. However, they then lost their advantage as a grass producer, and this special landscape nearly disappeared as it was used to grow maize.
New development models must be set up in order to reconcile both the interests of farmers and ecologists.
By Thierry Lemaire, collaborateur de l'Ecole nationale supérieure du paysage, 4, rue Hardy, 78000 Versailles.

[R] The welfare and behaviour of domestic birds (L)
Are birds farmed in the best possible conditions? In order to reassure the general public, animal scientists are implementing environmental sciences so as to observe the behaviour of chickens and quails, thanks to different ingenious experimental devices.
They can then propose ways to adapt both the farming environment and the animals' behaviour.
By Jean-Michel Faure and Andrew Miles, INRA, station de Recherches avicoles, 37380 Nouzilly.

[R] A new law for a new policy, the law of landscapes (L)
This article gives a jurist's point of view of the different approaches to landscapes under French law: from a patrimonial and elitist approach to a more open approach with a reinforcement of the role of the State and the application of this approach to relevant geographic scales. The first chapter shows the emergence of the notion of landscapes in French law, whereas the second chapter relates the renewal of this notion in French law.
By Anny Rousso, université de Montpellier, faculté de Droit et de Sciences économiques, 39, rue de l'Université, 34060 Montpellier.

Pasteur, science and society (L)
It seems like a widening gap may be opening between the scientific elite and the general public. More than ever, scientists need to explain their discoveries. Fundamental research, a lesson drawn from pasteurian times, must transgress disciplinary limits, create and develop new aims thanks to free expression and informal networks. This point of view may seem bold to some of us…
By Jacques Chirac

[R] The "jésus" sausage and the temple merchants (L)
In this article, the author talks about the Montbéliarde, a particular breed of cattle from eastern France. The milk of Montbéliarde cows is used to make a special type of cheese, Comté. The production of this cheese allows to fatten up pigs, which, in turn, are made into delicious small smoked sausages called "jésus de Morteaux". But whatever happened when researchers tried to improve that particular breed of cattle?
By Bertrand Vissac, INRA-Systèmes agraires et développement, 147, rue de l'Université, 75338 Paris cedex 07.

[R] An upside down environment (L)
Photographs taken from satellites are no longer a surprise. Observation, surveillance, a global view or a dream… whatever, the interpretation of these pictures is never neutral.
By Jacques Arnould, Centre national d'études spatiales, 2, place Maurice-Quentin, 75039 Paris cedex 01.

[R] Reconquering wetland areas (L)
The elaboration of water management schemes (Schémas directeurs d'aménagement et gestion d'eau (SDAGE)) lead to another observation of wetland areas and to reflect on the appropriate methods for their management and conservation. Agronomic research is required to supply new tools.
This article consists of four extracts of the report presented to the Environment Ministry in 1995: Farming and Wetland Areas, Managing and Controlling Wetland Areas, An Integrated Management of Wetland Areas, Conclusions.
By Jean-Luc Redaud, Conseil général du génie rural et des eaux et forêts, 30, rue Las Cases, 75007 Paris.

[R] In Australia... with Ecos (L)
Four articles from a local Australian magazine, similar to the Courrier de l'Environnement, have been translated for the French public.
- Landcare: why this revolution? (Landcare is an agricultural movement in favour of the restoration of soils).
- How can the savannah be used? (an environment submitted to tough competition).
- A rangeland or a park? (are the high plains of Victoria to be left to sheep farming or turned into World Heritage?).
- Some hope for the restoration of rangelands (sustainable management contracts have been taken out to solve conflicts between farmers and ecologists).
par Véronique Bourgois, DPEnv., trainee, future translator.

[R] Cultivating land in Guyana, a historical perspective (L)
An ever-moving slash and burn type of farming had always existed in Guyana but was fought against during and after the colonial period. First the natives were given cattle to induce them to settle down and later, in the second half of the twentieth century, the French government implemented the Green Plan. A culture shock between inefficient metropolitan rules and the appropriate local practices.
By Jean-Paul Gachet, conseil général de Guyane, Amaryllio II n°34, 97310 Kourou cedex.

Revision : Nicola Scott