Topic 2 : The natural environment : a remarkable heritage


With its very young population, fast growing in number, and the evolution of new technologies, Reunion Island is constantly undergoing change, notably in respect of its culture. The conflict between the generations is occurring so quickly that certain important elements of our landscape have virtually disappeared from our memories.

What are the challenges that we will have to face tomorrow? How to update our heritage and make it permanent? How to create jobs connected to the heritage that has contributed to the history of the island, while at the same time preserving our environment ?

A small village located on the hillsides above St Joseph, upstream of the Rivière des Remparts, Roche-Plate was totally deserted following a huge landslide which took place in May 1965. Rich in history and traditional know-how, lying at the heart of a grandiose and spectacular landscape, the area has, during the last few years, seen the creation of an eco-village project. Today, the project is beginning to take shape with the arrival of project-managers applying principles of sustainable development.

La Route des Plaines (the road through the high plateaux of Reunion)
The wonders of nature contain many mysteries and are a source of creation. The inhabitants of the island have succeeded in exploiting elements of their immediate environment, applying techniques brought in from other regions, adapted to the local context.

The Langevin Valley
People have settled along the Langevin river valley, and little villages like La Passerelle or Grand Galet can be discovered. The river is a focal point for tourists, who come to swim in the river or to go hiking along its footpaths. However, if its banks have seen the development of projects, this has also raised questions concerning «... the past and future of the village of Grand Galet and the Langevin River».



Three topics are proposed for the next European Rural University, which will take place on 7th, 8th and 9th September 2010 in Saint-Joseph :

- Europe at the service of the rural community and its inhabitants,
- Rural professions for women,
- Culture : between heritage and innovation.

16 November 2009