Agroforestry and vitiforestry: creation of ecological corridors that promote biodiversity
Duration of the partnership
Located on the Château de Flaugergues estate just outside Montpellier in France, Oasis Citadine is the city’s first collaborative urban farm. The association promotes agroecology, permaculture and the planting of trees and hedges as alternatives to agricultural and wine-growing models that tend to rely on plant protection products that pollute the soil, water and air, and destroy biodiversity. Over the last twenty years, new forms of agroforestry adapted to viticulture have produced very promising results.
As such, the association is looking to run a pilot project to trial the creation of agroforestry systems in a collaborative way, in order to help raise awareness and support education efforts. The Château de Flaugergues wants to maintain a successful wine-growing business in the face of urban land pressure and the difficult climate context that the estate is already facing. In total, the pilot will rethink the way nearly 15 hectares of vines (Shiraz, Muscat and Grenache) are managed, maintained and monitored, with a view to transitioning them to an agroforestry model.
For Oasis Citadine, it is then a question of extending this initiative to the Ferme de la Condamine and Parc de Grammont farms, in order to continue with its commitment to developing new agro-ecological practices that respect biodiversity and ecosystems. The goal of this project, which involves a number of local stakeholders, is to create an ecological corridor as well as an agroforestry landscape structure with a vine grown across nearly 15 hectares of land. In addition to restoring the benefits to the ecosystem provided by hedges and trees in the countryside, it also hopes to reconnect those living in urban areas to nature, and to rebuild social ties.
The Maisons du Monde Foundation is supporting Oasis Citadine in this pilot project by way of a three-year partnership to restore landscapes and their ecosystems, monitor farmland and maintain it over the long term.
The project has three main objectives:
Direct beneficiaries are members of the association (about 500 people), the winemaker and the employees of Château de Flaugergues (20 people), students involved in the Des enfants et des arbres (Children and trees) programme (150 children), and those receiving dedicated training and workshops (almost 200 people).
Other beneficiaries are Oasis Citadine students and visitors (almost 6000 people) as well as visitors to Château de Flaugergues (almost 50,000 people).
The approach taken by Oasis Citadine and its partner, Château de Flaugergues, reflects their desire to run a pilot project that can be replicated in other areas. This participatory approach, which involves school students and professionals alike, demonstrates a strong commitment to transition in the viticulture sector, which is part of French cultural heritage. This process also allows the city of Montpellier to make up for lost time when it comes to preserving rural areas.
The Oasis Citadine association is Montpellier's first collaborative urban farm, located on the Château de Flaugergues wine estate to the east of the city. Created in 2018 in Montpellier, the association aims to promote agroecology and permaculture – in particular by setting up collaborative and educational micro-farms – and to facilitate access to healthy and high-quality foods. Its mission is also to educate people on the environment and sustainable development in order to help them transition towards more responsible, equitable and healthier consumption behaviours, to protect biodiversity and to contribute to its development through collaborative action;
Oasis Citadine is a place where city dwellers (re)learn to be and do together. We accompany them in their transitions by helping them to regain the power to act in the face of the challenges of our society. The farm is our field of possibilities. All together, we are trying to create a more virtuous alternative for humans and more respectful of Nature, inspired by the ethics of permaculture: Take care of the Earth, take care of humans, create abundance and share it fairly.David Viala Co-founder of Oasis Citadine