Funded project

The VALDECO project was aimed at employing a methodological guide to draw up a strategy for claiming compensation that ensures greater consideration of and better reparation for environmental damage in the wake of oil pollution in French territorial waters.

The project established a state-of-the-art system for quantitatively assessing the effects of oil pollution and for determining the monetary value of damage to natural resources and to their non-commercial uses. The project also provided the means to determine a strategy for obtaining effective payment for such damage, setting out as clearly as possible the options relating to specific compensation mechanisms (within the framework of CLC/FIPOL agreements) and legal action.

The project set out a claims strategy in the form of a practical guide aimed at government departments and regional authorities, identifying the relevant legal framework and the stakeholders – in particular coastal community councils and environmental protection organisations – who were most appropriate to assert the right to and obtain compensation for environmental damage. The guide sets out different methods for calculating demands for compensation, including a unique method based on the surface area of the shoreline affected.

The VALDECO project also highlighted the continuing conceptual and empirical problems involved in matching a monetary assessment of damage as closely as possible to the reality of its actual impact. Recommendations are given which are intended to correct this situation in the future.


Spin-offs and future developments

- A 24-month fixed-term contract led to 1 permanent post created at IFFSTAR and 1 Cifre thesis at the AMURE university research unit

- 3 scientific publications

- 7 papers on the VALDECO project presented at scientific symposia

The work undertaken as part of the VALDECO project has led to collaboration in the academic and institutional fields involving participation in discussion groups organised by MEDDE. Different INTERREG projects (CAMIS, ARCOPOL +) have also benefited from the results of VALDECO. These results were summarised in the form of points of reference in a European Parliament communication in April 2013. The project partners have also been approached by the European Commission to pursue discussion of the effectiveness of the international compensation regime for damage caused by oil pollution.

The issues tackled as part of the VALDECO project are today the subject of important research in the legal, economic and environmental fields in the wake of institutional developments in recent years, which have broadened the range of environmental damage for which compensation may be due.

  • - Allegans, Brest
  • - Total, Paris
Research centers
  • - Cedre, Brest  [Project Developer]
  • - AMURE-UBO, Brest
- Agence Nationale de la Recherche
Overall budget
406 K€