Introduction

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In 1997, the Luberon, that is the Natural Regional Park, in existence since 1977, became part of the Biosphere Reserve network. It is bordered to the south and east by the synclinal fold of the Durance, one of the largest rivers southeast of the Rhône which feeds important wetland habitats. The site is made up of Mediterranean plains and hills irrigated by several rivers whose flow regimes are irregular and torrential (Calavon, Largue, Lauzon, etc.). The east-west-oriented mountain ranges of Provence dominate, with some influence from the Alps. These are the Luberon massif (1,125 m) and the Vaucluse Mountains (1,256 m).

The area is well known for its biological and geological heritage. This long-inhabited region has a rich human history, and many remnants remain in its superb heritage – villages, castles and religious buildings, industrial heritage, vernacular architecture, etc. – but also in the traditional practices and knowledge still alive today, especially in the varied agricultural practices: viticulture, arboriculture, cereal, vegetable, and aromatic plant cultivation, as well as livestock farming, particularly sheep.

Over the past few years, relationships have been developing between stakeholders of the Luberon and those of the northeast, on the southern slopes of the Montagne de Lure (1,826 m), which is virtually a continuation of the same range with many features in common, particularly its significant biological and cultural value. In 2009, during the periodic review of the Luberon Biosphere Reserve, it was found that a new partnership could be forged by expanding the Biosphere reserve – the plan was approved by UNESCO in June 2010.

Administrative authority: Luberon Regional Natural Park

The Biosphere reserve comprises the Luberon Regional Natural Park and the municipalities of the cantons Banon and Saint-Etienne-les Orgues (on the southern slopes of the Montagne de Lure, represented by their intercommunal organisations), and the course of the Durance, left bank, which is managed by the Syndicat mixte d’aménagement de la vallée de la Durance (SMAVD; authority for the development of the Durance valley).
An "Operational Committee" is currently being established which will provide coordination between the various local authorities and stakeholders.

Number of municipalities90
Population175 000
Area    230,000 ha
RegionsProvence Alpes Côte d’Azur
DepartmentsAlpes de Haute Provence (04), Bouches-du-Rhône (13), Var (83), Vaucluse (84)
Creation date1997, expanded to include the Montagne de Lure in 2010

Territory

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carte du territoire

Gateway to the Mediterranean Lower Provence, and confined by the Alps, this vast region has many and varied landscapes, whose quality attracts a large number of tourists. Key resources include its agricultural land and landscapes. The issue of land preservation, and thus control of urban sprawl, has emerged as a priority in the face of rising land prices, urbanization of agricultural land, increased population and expansion of urban areas.

Although a general awareness of the threats faced by ecosystems is already taking hold, the need to create new opportunities for local agriculture means that environmentally conscious perspectives must be encouraged.

The main risk is habitat overuse and its impact on living conditions. Water resources and maintaining diversity and quality of natural habitats are key issues.
If these challenges are to be met, the issues must be collectively addressed on a social level by changing individual behaviour. The Biosphere reserve could serve as an ideal space for individuals to try to improve "living together" conditions.

If population growth is seen as a key factor, changes should be monitored – ageing population, varying unemployment rates, increasing poverty, inefficient public transport systems, and more generally, declining public services. Obviously this all hinges on how well the region is able to provide acceptable living conditions to its inhabitants, in terms of employment and income, housing and services. As a laboratory for sustainable development, the Biosphere reserve should take up these issues to test solutions in line with society’s expectations.

Activities  

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Les Trophées 2012 de la Réserve de biosphère Luberon-Lure

Ce concours est destiné à aider des personnes physiques ou morales qui mènent des projets concrets et participatifs mettant l’accent sur les relations entre l’homme et la nature.
Une dotation de 1 000 € récompensera les 10 meilleurs projets.
Les dossiers devront être envoyés au plus tard le 15 mai 2012.
La remise des Trophées aura lieu lors des Assises de la Réserve de biosphère en juin 2012.

Sciences participatives

Dans le cadre du lancement d’un programme de Sciences participatives, la Réserve de biosphère Luberon-Lure et l’Office de tourisme municipal de Robion ont organisé conjointement d’octobre 2010 à juin 2011 un cursus de formation destinées au grand public sur le patrimoine naturel, sa connaissance, sa préservation, sa gestion, sa valorisation.

Il s’agissait de donner à de futurs « observateurs de la nature » des éléments et des arguments pour participer à différentes actions s’inscrivant en particulier dans le cadre du programme « Vigie nature » initié par le Muséum national d’histoire naturelle. Ces actions devraient se développer à partir de l’automne 2011 avec la collaboration des associations naturalistes locales et régionales volontaires.

De la ferme à ta cantine

En collaboration avec des organisations agricoles locales, il s’agit de développer l’approvisionnement des établissements de restauration collective (et notamment les cantines scolaires) avec des produits locaux de Haute-Provence et du Luberon, éventuellement d’origine agrobiologique. Ce programme comporte différents volets visant à identifier les agriculteurs susceptibles d’approvisionner les établissements, à former le personnel de cuisine et d’intendance à l’utilisation préférentielle des produits frais d’origine locale, à conduire des actions d’animation et d’information à l’intention des enfants et des parents.

Slideshow

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Chargement légende

Learning about the geology of the Luberon_PNR LuberonAgriculture_PNR LuberonIn the Vachères region, Alpes de Haute-Provence_PNR LuberonThe cliffs of the Little Luberon, Vaucluse_PNR LuberonLe rocher d’Ongles et Lure (Alpes de Haute Provence)_PNR LuberonOchre cliffs, Roussillon, Vaucluse_PNR Luberon
Ochre cliffs, Roussillon, Vaucluse_PNR LuberonThe grassy summit of the Big Luberon_PNR LuberonSaint-Symphorien priory emerges out of the trees, Claparèdes plateau, Vaucluse_PNR LuberonA geological nature reserve protecting a rich paleontological heritage_PNR LuberonHarvest time in Pays d’Aigues, Vaucluse_PNR LuberonThe village of Dauphin, Alpes de Haute Provence_PNR Luberon
The village of Dauphin, Alpes de Haute Provence_PNR Luberon