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Petit Saint-Jean Estate

: The estate covers 100 hectares. It consists of pine groves, marshes, and semi-natural (agricultural) habitats of great ecological value, which can be a showcase for agroecology. The management of the Estate has been built around the conservation of natural environments and their biodiversity, while implementing a productive, sustainable, autonomous and economically viable agricultural system to optimise its transfer to other projects. The species selected adapt well to climate change (increased number of hot days in summer). They include fruit and nut trees, such as almond, pomegranate, pear, and pistachio. Proper care of newly planted trees (watering, weeding, physical protection against herbivores) which is crucial during the first two years (especially in the Mediterranean region) has been implemented. Legumes have been planted between rows with the aim of improving soil quality by fixing nitrogen, thus making the system more resilient. The choice of grape varieties has also taken into account their resistance to high temperatures and low summer precipitation. (Tour du Valat, 2020).
: France
: Camargue Gardoise
: 2014
: No Data
: Ongoing
: Yes
: Tour du Valat
: 43.5597
: 4.1833
Increased provisioning of ecosystem goods (e.g. Food, water, etc)
Yes, by providing healthy organic food (Tour du Valat, 2020).
Biodiversity conservation or increased biodiversity
The conservation of the natural habitats on the Petit Saint-Jean Estate creates a remarkable biodiversity (for example, there are 350 plant species and 170 bird species) through: Diversification of crops and strata (grasses, shrubs, trees) in the agricultural system: providing habitats and resources to host biodiversity; limiting the overall impact of climate on crops, while protecting them from unpredictable weather (drought, wind, etc.); helping maintain the humidity, structure, and fertility of the soil; providing a root network that enhances colonisation by mycorrhizae – fungi working in symbiosis with plants; mycorrhizae, which improve soil fertility and structure in the long term and mitigate pollution (pesticides, heavy metals, etc.); attracting pollinators, which are essential for the production of seeds and fruit. (Tour du Valat, 2020).
Ecosystem restoration and/or improved ecological connectivity
The agroecology projects on the Petit Saint-Jean Estate are based on ecosystem-based approaches, which mimic the structures of natural ecosystems, help to keep agricultural systems healthy and ensure their resilience while allowing for the sustainable use of their resources. (Tour du Valat, 2020).
Increased quality and quantity of green and blue infrastructures
Green infrastructure such as hedgerows are integrated into the landscape. They can be a habitat for pollinators and scatterers of seeds (as birds), as well as enriching root systems (fungi, animals and bacteria). (Tour du Valat, 2020).
Creation of green jobs relating to the construction and maintenance of NBS
Yes, through the economic and social development in rural areas. This project offers productive systems that support economic and social development while hosting biodiversity.
Provision of health benefits
This agroecology system will allow them to produce a variety of organic food responsibly, while protecting the soil and biodiversity. This agroecosystem offers a wide variety of resources and often other unexpected resources from natural ecosystem development (e.g., fruit). (Tour du Valat, 2020).
Education, knowledge exchange and learning
At the Petit Saint-Jean Estate, some plots have been selected for experiments with agroecology and agroforestry practices that are appropriate for wetlands. This case-study can be used as an example of good practice in the field of agroecology . Agroecology is a way of designing production systems based on ecosystem functions. It enhances these production systems while aiming to reduce pressures on the environment and preserve resources. The aim is to make maximum use of nature as a factor of production while maintaining its capacity to renew itself. (Tour du Valat, 2020).
Ecosystem degradation
The project promotes diversified and functional agrosystems, while improving water retention. (Tour du Valat, 2020).
Food security (SDG2) Zero Hunger
Good health and well-being (SDG3)
Climate action, resilience, mitigation and adaptation (SDG13)
Yes, by optimising the potential for carbon accumulation in the biomass of the agricultural system and protecting soil and nutrients such as nitrogen, phosphorus, and carbon that can turn into greenhouse gases. (Tour du Valat, 2020).
Terrestrial biodiversity (SDG15)
: Tour du Valat. 2020. Agroecology on the Petit Saint-Jean Estate. Information obtained: 2020-11-17. Available at: