Doctrine ERC (Eviter-Reduire-Compenser) — Application of the Mitigation Hierarchy in France

While I know that France has been mak­ing huge efforts to improve impact mit­i­ga­tion and fos­ter bio­di­ver­sity off­sets I just came across some inter­est­ing web­sites by the French Min­istry for the Envi­ron­ment (Min­istère de l’écologie, du développe­ment durable et de l’énergie) — thanks to Bap­tiste Reg­n­ery for point­ing me to it.

In France, a big work has been recently con­ducted by the min­istry which led to the “doc­trine ERC” and the “lignes directrices”.The ERC con­cept, namely Eviter-Reduire-Compenser, can be seen as the “French ver­sion” of the mit­i­ga­tion hier­ar­chy (Avoid-Minimize-Compensate).

The doc­u­ments are avail­able to down­load in French here:
– the “doc­trine ERC”:,28438.html
– the “lignes direc­tri­ces”:

The “doc­trine ERC” is a sim­ple 9-pager which includes the fol­low­ing topics:

  • Objec­tif de la doctrine
  • Con­cevoir le pro­jet de moin­dre impact pour l’environnement
  • Don­ner la pri­or­ité à l’évitement, puis à la réduction
  • Assurer la cohérence et la com­plé­men­tar­ité des mesures envi­ron­nemen­tales prises au titre de dif­férentes procédures
  • Iden­ti­fier et car­ac­tériser les impacts
  • Définir les mesures compensatoires
  • Péren­niser les effets de mesures de réduc­tion et de com­pen­sa­tion aussi longtemps que les impacts sont présents
  • Fixer dans les autori­sa­tions les mesures à pren­dre, les objec­tifs de résul­tats et en suivre l’exécution et l’efficacité

The “Lignes direc­tri­ces nationales sur la séquence éviter, réduire et com­penser les impacts sur les milieux naturels” is a very exten­sive and nicely lay­outed pub­li­ca­tion (232p., Octo­ber 2013) that aims to pro­vide guid­ance for the imple­men­ta­tion of the ERC doc­trine. The ERC doc­trine as out­lined above is included word by word in the first sec­tion of these guide­lines. It is fol­lowed by step-by-step rec­om­men­da­tions how to go through the mit­i­ga­tion hier­ar­chy when plan­ning and imple­ment­ing a project. On 31 the­matic spread sheets sin­gle steps or spe­cific cases are pre­sented very detailed, e.g. for marine environments.

As the links had been moved in the mean time, I have uploaded the pdf of the two doc­u­ments below:

doc­trine ERC France

Lignes_directrices_ERC France


Doctrine ERC (Eviter-Reduire-Compenser) — Application of the Mitigation Hierarchy in France — 2 Comments

  1. Pingback: The mitigation hierarchy, a tool to preserve natural habitats - article by the French ministry of the environment - Biodiversity Offsets Blog

  2. Pingback: Biodiversity Law under Development in France - Biodiversity Offsets Blog

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