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Who are we ?

The IFREEMIS project to create a resource center (research, training, expertise) on underground environments and karst environments is a collaborative platform bringing together different actors concerned with underground environments and working together to improve the knowledge of underground environments and karst environments, the protection of their natural and cultural heritage, their environments and their enhancement.

It aims to build links, to develop collaborations between the different groups of actors concerned by these issues : training and research organizations, managers of protected natural areas, federal sports authorities, public authorities, companies or structures of engineering, actors in their tourism development or their protection / conservation, mediation specialists,…

It is part of the challenges of going beyond approaches that are often too segmented in underground environments, of developing collaborations on the territory, on a national scale or within the framework of European networks, supporting network stakeholders, mobilizing their expertise for the benefit of protection and enhancement project leads.

The IFREEMIS association has set itself the goal of working towards the creation of a benchmark organization on the underground environment and karst environments, with the following missions :

  • a role as an assembler, mobilizing partners around multidisciplinary joint projects in the fields of improving knowledge, training and support for project leaders,
  • a role of facilitator of exchange times promoting the sharing of knowledge and experiences, the spreading of innovations, the constitution of the network at regional, national, international levels,
  • a role of facilitator by providing tools for the activities that contribute to the issues set out below (seminar room, hotel for projects, digital tools, access to karst study sites or to cavities serving as caves schools or laboratories…).

At its annual general meeting on April 5, 2019, it adopted a three-year activity project for the period 2019 -2021, a roadmap for the mobilization of its member organizations in the collective project.

This project is based on 4 main action principles :

  1. Mobilize the different categories of actors concerned by the knowledge, conservation, protection and enhancement of underground environments and lead them to come up with joint projects making fruitful the exchanges of practices, know-how
  2. Work simultaneously at different territorial scales in a complementary manner according to the foreshadowing actions considered (territorial, national, international)
  3. Approach the challenges of the underground environment in a global manner in order to improve knowledge, protection and enhancement and by working in a complementary manner in the areas of scientific research, training of stakeholders, project support and by seeking the complementarity of action levers
  4. Promote a certain number of values relating in particular to the mediation of ambitions of the protection of natural and cultural environments, ecosystems and heritage of karst environments; the sustainable development of the territories and the mobilization, to this end, of the actors concerned around the challenges of preservation and enhancement of environments and heritage; sharing, pooling of knowledge, good practices and know-how in order to stimulate a dynamic for improving knowledge, management methods, mediation tools.

The 2019 -2021 three-year project is based on 5 main guidelines :

  1. The mobilization of operators in scientific research and the foreshadowing of the creation of a project hotel
  2. Better taking into account the challenges of underground environments in nature protection policies and measures
  3. The enhancement of know-how within an expertise platform
  4. Linking needs and training offer
  5. Pursuing the structuring of the platform and raising awareness among institutional partners
  • The operational adaptation of this ambition gives rise to the internal constitution of thematic working committees.

    The governing authorities are organized by the colleges of stakeholders. The association is open to any organization, any person recognizing themselves in the values and principles of action mentioned above, motivated membership requests being submitted to the approval of the Board of Directors.