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First meeting with Luc Monteil and Pierre Darmet, President and Secretary of IBPC

For this edition of the 8th season, two founding members of the International Biodivercity Property Council (IBPC), Luc Monteil, President of IBPC, and Pierre Darmet, Secretary of IBPC, give us their view on what is the current state of global biodiversity, and how does IBPC work to preserve biodiversity. The IBPC contributes to the development of professionals on the theme of biodiversity with the aim of moving from a pioneering movement to a general mobilization of all stakeholders.

During this cross-examination, we discussed the current situation of biodiversity in the world, where one million plans and animal species are threatened with extinction, and IBPC’s roles in urban biodiversity.

Green Soluce: What are your observations on the consideration of the issue of biodiversity in our society?

Luc Monteil: We are currently facing a paradox. We are all aware, thanks in particular to the media, that biodiversity is in difficulty on a global scale and that erosion is a major threat to humanity. However, biodiversity remains inaudible in the general discourse on the preservation of the planet. Thus, biodiversity in cities has so far been forgotten and appears very little in the standards and tools for facilitating progress that contributes to the construction of a more sustainable city. In practice, these tools, including traditional environmental certifications, give only limited attention to the subject of nature and their effects are sometimes contrary to the objective of creating the potential for spontaneous development of biodiversity around buildings.

Pierre Darmet: The stakeholders generally come from training courses where performance measurement uses unique, well-defined indicators, such as energy. Living organisms are characterized by their high variability and systemic nature, which requires great humility in the face of hazards. We do not measure ecological performance, but potential, directly influenced by the local environment. The term biodiversity is relatively recent – 1988 – and not well understood. However, nature and life are terms that are gaining ground in the lexical field of the general public and real estate. IBPC was interviewed last March in a special edition of Business Immo devoted to living things in real estate, which is indicative of the fact that a shift is currently taking place and that the subject of biodiversity is finally entering the real estate sector.

Green Soluce: You are at the initiative of the creation of the International Biodivercity Property Council (IBPC). Why did you create the IBPC?

Luc Monteil: Faced with these observations, and based on an original idea by Olivier Lemoine, Head of the Biodiversity Department at ELAN, we have begun to develop the idea of a reference system dedicated to biodiversity. In 2012, the idea of creating an association came naturally, under the impetus of Gecina and other promoters, practitioners and experts, both companies and intuitu personae pioneers in taking this subject into account, including Les Jardins de Gally, the LPO, the Caisse des Dépots group, who wanted to put into practice their commitments and efforts to preserve biodiversity. IBPC therefore created the BiodiverCity® label and launched its association at the end of 2013.

Green Soluce: What are IBPC’s missions?

Pierre Darmet: IBPC contributes to the development of professionals on the theme of biodiversity with the aim of moving from a pioneering movement to a general mobilization of all stakeholders. Its purpose is to develop urban biodiversity, in particular the Man-Nature link. It is a question of responding to what scientists call “the extinction of nature’s experience”, responsible for our environmental apathy in the broadest sense: “the less we live connected to nature, the less we protect it”. In order to accelerate the integration of biodiversity into urban projects, IBPC advocates the introduction into academic training of terms such as “green infrastructure”, which is in line with the concept of a green and blue grid, so that biodiversity is no longer an accessory, supplementary or a key element in the discourse of stakeholders but becomes an infrastructure in the technical sense of the term.

Luc Monteil: IBPC’s action is divided into two levels, both of which are very important:
– The first is to promote the BiodiverCity® tool, a label dedicated to the protection and enhancement of biodiversity
– The second level consists in creating a place of exchange between the city’s stakeholders (landowners, architects, builders, project managers), and actors of the new urban biodiversity sector.

For several years, actors from the scientific and research academic world have been mobilizing on biodiversity issues and producing publications, tools and guides to integrate biodiversity into urban projects. The documentation available on the subject is substantial but does not find echoes in the professional world.

By engaging these researchers in dialogue with companies, IBPC aims to provide assistance for the translation of scientific publications into practical tools and for the initiation of certain long-term research, in particular on biophilia, evapotranspiration or the contribution of living organisms to the city’s resilience to climate change.

Don’t miss the rest of this interview in the next episode of Urban Chronicles™ to discover how to integrate biodiversity into urban projects!

Interview by François Aze and Lucille Christien for Urban Chronicles™

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Green SoluceFirst meeting with Luc Monteil and Pierre Darmet, President and Secretary of IBPC
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