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Agency Organisation and gouvernance

The Agence des Aires Marines Protégées, a French public establishment of an administrative nature, is placed under the governance of the Ministry of Ecology, Sustainable Development, Transport, and Housing. Its head office is in Brest (Finistère). It has branches in mainland France and overseas, outreach teams linked to natural Marine parks and park projects. Its government is exercised by an executive board on which other deliberating authorities are dependent (the Natural Marine Park management advisory councils and board) and a consultative instance (the Scientific Council).

Deliberating authorities

The executive board

The executive board is the main decision-making authority of the agency. Its members are appointed for three years. Its president is elected from within.
The executive board meeting of 25 February 2010 re-elected Jérôme BIGNON (Member of Parliament for the Somme), as president and Pierre-Georges DACHICOURT (President of the Comité National des Pêches Maritimes et des Élevages Marins) and Ferdy LOUISY (President of the Parc National de Guadeloupe), as vice-presidents.

This board is made up of two colleges (composition is defined in article R334-4):

  1. State representatives (16 members)
  2. elected members, users, and associations (23 members)

Article R334-8 of the environmental code defines its sphere of competence, which notably enables the executive board to define Natural Marine Park and Marine Protected Area management policies in its sphere of competence (creation, management, evaluation).
The executive board meets approximately 3 times per year.

The executive committee

Within the executive board there is an executive committee comprised of the executive board president, the vice presidents, a representative of the governing ministry, a representative of the ministry responsible for the sea, a representative of the ministry responsible for maritime fishing and marine farming, a representative of the ministry responsible for overseas departments, a representative of regional authorities, a president of the Natural Marine Park Management Council, a representative of another category of Marine Protected Area, the establishment employee representative, and another qualified person.
The committee prepares works, monitors the execution of executive board decisions, and exercises the powers given to by the executive board. It also meets approximately 3 times per year.

Natural Marine Park management councils: local governance

The natural Marine Park Management Council groups together the main local people involved representing the different users of the maritime area; maritime professionals and leisure users, environmental protection and cultural heritage associations, elected representatives, qualified celebrities, State departments, etc. The composition of the management council of each park is laid out by the decree concerning the creation of each park.
The objective of a park management council is to associate each of the people concerned to decisions relating to the sea and its management. This participative means of operating constitutes one of the original features of a natural marine park. In fact, the state is traditionally the only organisation competent at sea.
The management council is the decisional authority of the park. It draws up the management plan, a document specifying the park’s objectives over 15 years, action plans, means, and monitoring indicators of the classified maritime area to be put in place. The management council can issue simple or compliant opinions when activities are likely to have a notable effect on the Marine Park environment (article L 334 – 5 Environmental Code).
To put in place its policy, the management council has delegations of the executive board of the Agence Des Aires Marines Protégées, and the use of a team of agents and financial and technical means put in place by the agency.

Agency consultative authority

Scientific Council

The Scientific Council is consulted by the president of the executive board or the director of the agency for any question concerning all the assignments of the agency, including Natural Marine Parks.  (refer to article R 334-17 of the Environmental Code).
It is notably consulted concerning projects regarding the creation of Natural Marine Parks and their management plans.
The Scientific Council is made up of 10 people appointed by an order issued by the governing ministry due to their competence in the fields of protection, rehabilitation, or sustainable development of the natural marine heritage.
The president of the Scientific Council is Eric FEUNTEUN.