On your balcony or in your garden: how to act at home to preserve biodiversity


Elephants, tigers, gorillas, blue whales. And repeated UN reports on the collapse of the living. This is what the word “biodiversity” evokes: a distant drama triggering a feeling of helplessness. Yet, according to the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN), France is among the ten countries hosting the largest number of these 38,543 endangered plant and animal species – a large third of all those that are endangered. are studied. In metropolitan France and overseas, 1,742 species are in danger of disappearing soon.

If you only have a balcony (here rue Lepic, in Paris 18th arrondissement), prefer native plants to ornamental plants that grow back every year, useful to bees and other pollinators.

To curb this unprecedented decline in nature, the French have a master asset: 20 million gardens, terraces and balconies that can turn into biodiversity reserves, in the countryside as well as in the city. “There is the possibility of acting everywhere”, ensures the French Public Office for Biodiversity (OFB), which promotes “ simple actions to adopt on a daily basis ” (listed on the Act platform). At home, on hundreds of square meters of garden, and even on a few square meters of courtyard, terrace or balcony, a few square centimeters of windowsill, ordinary flora and fauna can be protected.

BEGINNER LEVEL: pay attention to living things

Pampas grass, like all invasive exotic plants, should be avoided in favor of local plants.

Gentle gardening to respect natural balances. Synthetic phytosanitary products (pesticides, weedkiller fertilizers, antifoam) have been banned in private homes since January 2019. Partially replaceable by natural liquid manure, products used in organic farming and by manual weeding, they become especially less essential as the garden is gaining in biodiversity, welcoming biological control aids (ladybirds, lacewings, grasshoppers, dragonflies, robins, etc.). Compost, the breeding ground for a large fauna (microorganisms, worms, slugs, woodlice), advantageously replaces chemical fertilizer. The earth is not turned over to spare the earthworms which drain it, aerate it and fertilize it. But decompressed with the grelinette. And protected by mulching.

– Think before planting or sowing. According to the OFB, 45 species of local plants are endangered due to invasive exotic plants such as Asian knotweed, witches claws, pampas grass, certain bamboos, acacias, rhododendrons. Better to choose native species (listed on sites Vegetal-local.fr Where Corsicagrana.corsica) adapted to the soil and climate, which are home to useful microfauna.

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