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Ecological compensation for the A65 motorway : Eiffage and the CDC have fulfilled their commitments



A'liénor, concession operator and subsidiary of Eiffage and Sanef, has fulfilled its commitments regarding ecological compensatory measures for the A65 motorway, within the given deadline.

In order to achieve its objective of securing 1,372 hectares of land in favour of fifteen different groups of protected species, it called on the services of CDC Biodiversity, a subsidiary of the Caisse des Dépôts and the largest biodiversity operator in France.

Commissioned in December 2010, the A65 Langon-Pau motorway is contributing to the improvement of road safety and regional transport in the Aquitaine region, as well as opening up access to the areas that it covers. 

On top of compliance with environmental impact management obligations (water, air, noise and other issues), consideration of biodiversity has emerged as a major issue and was the object of particular attention from the start of the project.


The A65 is the first post-Grenelle motorway, and was designed and built in accordance with the "avoid, reduce, offset" sequence relating to impact on biodiversity, which had already appeared in the 1976 law for the protection of nature, and is now established policy.

In this respect, A'lienor was obliged to offset any impacts on biodiversity that were unable to be avoided or reduced. In order to achieve this, it is committed to ensuring the securing, ecological restoration and the conservation management of 1,372 hectares of natural habitat, until the year 2066. 

Faced with these ecological, economic, legal and contractual challenges, A'lienor appointed CDC Biodiversity to develop, implement and monitor the ecological compensation programme and ensure execution until its conclusion.

To comply with its commitments to A'lienor, CDC Biodiversity activated all the resources and skills necessary to meet these challenges that are on a whole new scale. A dedicated cross-discipline team launched a consultation process with local stakeholders (nature experts, local elected officials, farmers, forestry agents...), conducted land and nature studies, and coordinated the multiple tasks that were assigned to local experts. 

In total, more than thirty areas covering about 20,000 hectares were analysed, 19 sectors were selected in agreement with the authorities, and more than 300 meetings with landowners were organised. The objective to secure 100% of the required land by July 7, 2012, the deadline set by the authorities, was achieved.