TUNE UP Project: Improving communication using a participative approach

TUNE UP Project: Improving communication using a participative approach


Status: complete

Categorization: habitat and biodiversity, local development

Country: France

Period: /

Contact info

Name: Lisa Ernoul

Organization: Tour du Valat

Email: ernoul@tourduvalat.org



Summary description: There are often communication gaps and weaknesses that impede an effective participative planning process. In order to overcome these obstacles, we conducted a targeted survey to identify the perceptions of different actors concerning the communication about the site and to identify the existing gaps. The perceptions of the actors allowed us to target different actions in order to increase participation and acceptance during the planning process.

Type: project

EU Challenges for sustainable tourism: (i) preserving and giving value to natural and cultural heritage and diversity, further challenges

EU Principles: (iii) involving stakeholders

Reason of interest for COASTING: The implementation of the communication survey was interesting for the project because it allowed us to immediately put in place different communication activities to increase the participation in the development of the MPA contract. The results also identified concrete actions that were included in the MoU (development of a web site).

Financial information

: 0.00 €

Financial sources: TBD

Background information

Territorial context: The site includes 23 habitats of community interest, including 6 priority habitats. It hosts the largest and most diversified sand dune system at the regional scale. 540 plants species are inventoried, including 27 protected species. 312 bird species are inventoried, for 6 of them the site is of international importance. 51 fish species are inventoried in the coastal lagoons including the Critically Endangered European Eel. The site also hosts an important population of Pond Terrapin (Emys orbicularis), while other threatened fauna include the rare dragonfly Lestes macrostigma.

Relation to policies and strategies: This practice can be part of the stakeholder analysis and is essential in the planning stage.

Regulation framework: It is not part of a policy or program, but rather it helps unite the stakeholders together to ensure a participative strategy.

Specific information

Objectives: The principle objective of the good practice is to better understand the current communication about the site and to improve the communication with the different actors of the territory.

Developers (and governance): Tour du Valat


Innovation aspects: Many times the communication activities are developed by the project partners and not in a participative manner. This allows for the development of different tools, but sometimes the tools do not respond to the needs of the targeted audience. By involving the participants in the interviews, we were able to identify the best methods for communicating. We hope that these methods will allow for better communication flow and more participation in the future.

Actions: • Develop a stakeholder analysis to identify the different actors • Develop a questionnaire about the communication and information available about the site • Implement the questionnaire to a broad range of actors to have an overall idea of the communication gaps and needs • Identify key activities to reduce the gaps and provide more effective communication tools. • Identify the different actors who will engage in making the communication tools

Stakeholders involvement: The stakeholders are at the center of the activity as participants in the interviews. Their input is directly used in the development and structuration of the communication activities that are part of the action plan for the site.

Results achieved: As a result of the participative survey, we were able to identify and prioritize the key communication activities to include in the MoU. A website is now being developed for the site and newsletters have been distributed.

Potential for learning and transfer

Challenges and obstacles: The biggest challenge is taking into account the participants’ suggestions and the reality of the situation in terms of resources (human and financial). The website is now being developed and it was not difficult to finance, but it is imperative that the site remains lively over time, requiring an important effort by the different partners.


Transferability in COASTING project: It is necessary to adapt the questionnaire to the local context and identify the appropriate actors, but this tool can be easily replicated in other sites.