Country info:France - organisations

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List of organisations for France

Organisation Web site Notes
Les Agences de l’Eau (Water Agencies) http://www.lesagencesdeleau.fr/ There are six regional water agencies which are public institutions of the Ministry for Sustainable Development. They help reduce pollution from all sources, and protect water resources and the aquatic environment. The water agencies implement the objectives and provisions of the Water Development and Management Master Plans (SDAGE, French management plans of the Water Framework Directive).
Les Comités de Bassins (The Catchment Area Committees) http://www.comitedebassin-reunion.org/ In France, there are seven Catchment Area Committees; one for each major drainage basin and one for Corsica. Members of the committees are either elected or chosen for 6 years. They comprise a variety of water and river management actors: representatives of local government, users and professionals, and representatives of the state and different state funded organisations including ONEMA or ONF. The Catchment Area Committees design a water and river management strategy at the local level. This strategy must be consistent with the one decided by government at the national level. The Committees are often compared to “Water Parliaments”.
The French National Agency for Water and Aquatic Environments (ONEMA) http://www.onema.fr/IMG/EV/index.html A French national agency which aims to preserve water quality and good ecological status of aquatic systems.
Regional Directorates for the Environment, Planning and Housing (DREAL) http://www.developpement-durable.gouv.fr/Pourquoi-la-DREAL,12610.html A unified regional ministry for the environment, planning and housing. This structure pilots regional policies for sustainable development.
French Ministry for Ecology, Energy, Sustainable Development and the Sea http://www.developpement-durable.gouv.fr/ This Ministry is responsible for State Environmental Policy (Preservation of Biodiversity, Climate Kyoto Protocol Application, Environmental Control of industries, etc.), Transportation (air, road, railway and sea regulation departments), Sea, and Housing Policy. The Ministry of Ecology, Sustainable Development, Transport and Housing distributes funds to Research Agencies or Councils.
Office National des Forêts (ONF) - National Forestry Agency http://www.onf.fr/ ONF work to resolve issues of sustainable development: the fight against climate change, renewable energy development, conservation of biodiversity, water quality, prevention against natural hazards in forests and natural areas while ensuring the continuation of timber production.
Comité National de l’Eau (CNE) – National Water Committee http://www.comitenationaldeleau.fr/ The committee is a consultative body of the ministry of the environment, and more specifically of the Water Supervision Board. It brings together various actors of river management such as users, environmental associations, and local governments, representatives of the state, technical river restoration advisers and management and drainage basin presidents. It has a total of 156 members. The Committee gives its views on any topic related to water. Their views have to be taken into consideration when policies are being developed and new laws and regulations are written. The CNE does not have the power of decision; it is only consultative. The CNE has an impact on ONEMA strategies, on various river restoration projects (even on the elaboration of SAGE and SDAGE) and decisions concerning fish.
Voies Navigables Françaises (FNW) – French Navigable Waterways http://www.vnf.fr/vnf/home.vnf?action=vnf VNF was created in 1991 to replace the ONN (Office National de la Navigation –National Office for Navigation). They report to the Ministry of the Environment. VNF agents manage 6,700 km of the 8,000 of navigable waterways of France (4,160 of 4970 Miles).

Some are managed by local governments or private companies such as EDF. 3,800 km (2,360 Miles) are canals and 2,900 km (1,800 Miles) are major or minor rivers. VNF also manages waterway hydraulic structures including dams, locks, navigable aqueducts and tunnels, levees and land.