Despite having very dense urban centre, the Esterel Côte d’Azur FLAG teritory also has many natural areas and a rich fisheries heritage. The coastline is dynamic and heavily influenced by tourism with sailing, yachting, diving, and fishing (both professional and sport) being prominent activities.
Small-scale artisanal fishing has existed in the area for hundreds of years but is now facing fierce competition from other maritime activities. Challenges to the FLAG include the ageing of the artisanal fishing fleet as well as a need to redefine priorities and objectives in line with changing available resources. Another specific challenge confronting the FLAG is the need to reduce the economic dichotomy between its coastal region, which characterised by increased tourism and urban developments, and its surrounding areas which are disconnected from the ocean and therefore don’t benefit from the same economic opportunities.
The FLAG area has several protected areas including the restricted fishing areas of Cap Roux, Saint-Raphael and the marine park of Théoule-sur-mer, two inland national parks of Estérel and Pointe de l’Aiguille and a series of Natura 2000 sites
The FLAG’s overarching strategic objective is to reinforce the area’s maritime attractiveness, exemplary fisheries and it’s cultural and environmental assets. More specific aims include:
Example project ideas include:
The FLAG makes one official call for projects annually, but project submissions are considered year-round. More information can be found on the FLAG website: http://apampeche.blogspot.com/p/lapam-groupe-fep-varois.html
The FLAG has experience in both local development and protected area management. It is interested in cooperation a regional, national and transnational levels, specifically with other Mediterranean FLAGs.
Three cooperation projects are already identified, which include the recycling of used fishing nets and the enhancement of a mutual maritime cultural heritage.
The FLAG does not share its territory with a LEADER group. Cooperation is planned with the Thau, Corsica and Sardinian FLAGs.