For the period 2023-2027, the LEADER program is led by the GAL Des Cévennes au Rhône.
This GAL is located in the region Occitania, in the north of Gard and borders the limits of Lozère, Ardèche and Vaucluse. Bringing together the actors of the mixed union of the Pays des Cévennes and the Gard rhodanien, it includes :
Bordered by the Rhône valley to the east, the Mediterranean to the south and the Central massif to the west, this territory has a geological diversity and a diversity of landscapes : forest massif of pines/chestnut trees typical of the Cévennes to the west, scrubland and plain to the east. It includes a rich biodiversity in connection with a large part of forest and semi-natural environments (57%) and two major rivers which cross the territory from west to east, the Cèze and the Gardon.
CHARACTERISTICS OF THE TERRITORY, DIAGNOSIS AND STRATEGY :
Several sites are classified Natura 2000 and 37 municipalities have signed the charter of the Cévennes National Park. Within the Gard rhodanien, there is a project, with Uzège, for a regional natural park “Garrigues de l’Uzège”. The landscape of the Cévennes has been particularly marked by human activity, agricultural activity in particular with terraced agriculture and the practice of pastoralism. The Cévennes have a rich built heritage (faïsse, murets, capitelle, etc.) inherited from these activities. The landscapes shaped by the passage of herds have been on the UNESCO World Heritage List since 2011. Part of the territory of the GAL belongs to this classification “Causses and the Cévennes, cultural landscape of Mediterranean agropastoralism”.
According to the diagnosis of the territory (2022), the three cities, Alès, Bagnols-sur-Cèze and Pont-Saint-Esprit concentrate the demographic, economic and service dynamics. Apart from these cities, the majority of the municipalities are rural, have less than 2000 inhabitants and share many difficulties : mobility and isolation of the inhabitants, loss of services (shops, administrative, health, etc.), aging of the population, existing but fragile economic life and land to be reconquered (vacant premises). The economic life of the entire territory is based primarily on trade and market and non-market services, and secondarily on industry, construction and agriculture.
Local resources are numerous : land, forests, rivers, sun, landscape, and generators of multiple economic or non-profit activities (sports and nature tourism, agriculture, transformation/recovery of wood, etc.). They contribute to the attractiveness of the territory for urban populations wishing to get closer to nature. The future of these local resources and their use must be accompanied.Given the general environmental context, the GAL wants to support the ecological or energy transition in the territory so as to supplement the existing financial mechanisms and allow more initiatives for more resilience.
For the 2023-2027 programme, the GAL will therefore have the overall strategy of relying on the preservation and enhancement of the multiple assets of the territory (living environment, heritage, diversified natural resources) and on the implementation of the ecological and energy transition to improve living well and working well in the territory.
This strategy is declined into 4 action sheets :
ACTION SHEET N°1 : Support ecotourism, enhancement and access to natural and cultural heritage. Divided into two sub-actions :
- Preserve and enhance the natural and cultural heritage
- Support the transition to sustainable ecotourism
ACTION SHEET N°2 : Enable sustainable economic development based on the qualitative and consistent enhancement of local resources”. Divided into two sub-actions :
- Promote the maintenance and development of agricultural and forestry activities, promote diversification
- Helping the creation, development, recovery and ecological and energy transition of businesses (shops, crafts, services)
ACTION SHEET N°3 : Improving the well-being of the territory and promoting doing it together. Divided into two sub-actions :
- Enable active local life in rural areas through the development of collective spaces
- Meet the needs of the inhabitants and provide a pleasant, stimulating and coherent living environment
ACTION SHEET N°4 : Cooperation
Support for cooperation projects between GALs in France or Europe on themes related to the problems encountered in rural areas.