Tatiana Fuentes, Ranger, Conservatoire du Littoral
|What is your job?
I’m the Conservatoire’s ranger and Wetland Ecologist at the protected site of Canavérier, in the south of France.
I do various different things every day: surveys, public education and awareness, water quality control and level management, wildlife monitoring (like surveying and ringing birds), habitat management, data reports, cartography… and all this in one area!
How long have you been working for your organisation?
I started my job in 2016, so less than two years. I studied for a masters in Environmental Science at university in Spain (I’m actually Spanish!) and I arrived in the south of France five years ago to work in Wetland Management.
What inspires you most about what you do?
When I wake up in the morning, it’s so inspiring to do something I love. And I can see the positives changes taking place in nature day-to-day. When we manage a site with the objective of protecting the environment, I feel very optimistic.
Why do you think your work is so important?
I think that my job is important because, while as an ecologist and lifelong passionate fan of nature and wildlife, I fundamentally believe in defending the environment.
I spend most of my time outside. I think that is very important to discover the particularities of the Canavérier wetland and to know how to manage the risks and find the best solutions.
What’s it like working as a woman in your organisation?
I’m the only woman in the Wetland Management team, but nowadays those attitudes are changing and women are increasingly recognised in the ranger role.
Do you think the industry you work in has changed over the last 100 years for women?
Given that nature conservation is quite a new field, it is already more adapted to women’s rights and gender equality because in the 1980s a new social movement emerged in Europe.
Historically, rangering was considered a man’s job but it is changing and actually so many women have joined the ‘environment police’!
In contrast in higher nature qualifications (such as conservationists and biologists), women make up the majority.
What question would you like to ask another inspiration woman from one of our international organisations?
“Is there something about being a woman that stops you reaching your goals?”
What is the Conservatoire du Littoral?
The Conservatoire du Littoral (“Coastal Protection Agency”) is a French public organisation created in 1975 – modeled on the National Trust’s Neptune Coastline Campaign – to ensure the protection of outstanding natural areas on the coast, banks of lakes and stretches of water.
The Conservatoire acquires around 7,000 acres a year. After ensuring all the restoration work, it then entrusts the management of its lands to local authorities or other local groups or organisations. The Conservatoire uses specialists to decide how the sites should be managed and what activities (such as agricultural or recreational activities) can take place.
It now cares for nearly 500,000 acres – or 900 miles of coast (13% of the French seacoast – their objective is to reach one third in 2050).