The Natural Heritage Department (NHD) falls in line with the Muséum’s expertise mission which consists of providing scientific support to French and international stakeholders, public or private, for the development of nature conservation policies, the characterisation of the conservation status of species, habitats and ecosystems, the development of indicators and the evaluation of the impact of new projects and activities. This mission is mainly distinguished by the need to combine scientific rigour with an understanding of the issues faced by those making the request in both the public and private sectors. Its studies and expertise in biodiversity (fauna, flora and habitat) and French geodiversity (land, sea, mainland and overseas) enables more to be learnt about our natural heritage in order, ultimately, to heighten awareness of its preservation.


Inventorise - Manage - Analyse – Disseminate

A strong partnership policy
The NHD works with all biodiversity stakeholders, including national organisations, universities, learned societies and naturalist associations. It develops and provides these communities with methods, frames of reference, protocols and tools for collecting, handling and disseminating information about natural heritage. It searches for concrete solutions to decision-makers’ questions, acting as an interface between research and the world of naturalists.

Supporting national programme management
The NHD provides national public policies with its expertise for implementing major national programmes in terms of knowledge and protection of natural areas at stake: ZNIEFF(Natural Zones of Ecological Interest, Fauna and Flora), Inventory of Geological Heritage, TVB (Green and Blue Belt), Natura 2000, etc. It is included in working groups for setting up the French Information System on Nature and Landscapes (SINP) and the French National Biodiversity Observatory (ONB).

Department organisation
The NHD has a team of around 70 people, including expert naturalists, project managers, geomaticians and computer programmers, who work as a multidisciplinary team combining expertise and research and development. Grouped into themed divisions, the way the department is organised enables it to react very quickly and tailor its working methods to the challenges. A scientific steering committee involving the establishment’s researchers supports the NHD on a scientific level and promotes close cooperation with the Muséum national d’Histoire naturelle research teams.

In charge of the National Inventory of Natural Heritage
The NHD manages the National Inventory of Natural Heritage and its related databases. Information is centralised and stored there, and is accessible for analysis and synthesis work.

The Natural Heritage Department website


The Natural Heritage Department