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Center Parcs in the Chambaran forest, Roybon, Isère, France

La fôret de Chambaran has become the third occupied place by the Zadistes in France. Together with other organizations, they oppose the mega touristic project Center Parcs, which was finally stopped en 2020.


Environmental French associations denounce the inconsistency of Pierre & Vacances (P&V) project with the 2006 French water law. The recreational Center Parcs would make disappear the wetland of Chambaran forest, increasing the hydrological stress upon Roybon and its surrounding areas. Protected species of the forest would be threatened as well. In spite of the opposition of the independent committee to the project, Center Parcs’ construction was allowed by Grenoble Prefecture. The case went to court and the second judgement is expected in 2016. 

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Basic Data
Name of conflict:Center Parcs in the Chambaran forest, Roybon, Isère, France
State or province:Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes
Location of conflict:Roybon, Isère
Accuracy of locationHIGH (Local level)
Source of Conflict
Type of conflict. 1st level:Tourism Recreation
Type of conflict. 2nd level:Deforestation
Tourism facilities (ski resorts, hotels, marinas)
Wetlands and coastal zone management
Specific commodities:Land
Tourism services
Project Details and Actors
Project details

The project expands over 200 ha., the recreational center would gather 1 000 cottages and a "tropical bubble" (pools complex) heated to 29ºC.

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Project area:200
Level of Investment:400,000,000
Type of populationRural
Start of the conflict:01/08/2008
End of the conflict:07/2020
Company names or state enterprises:Pierre & Vacances from France
Relevant government actors:La préfecture de Grenoble, Office National des forets, Mairie de Roybon
Environmental justice organizations (and other supporters) and their websites, if available:Fédération Rhône-Alpes de protection de la nature (Frapna), Association Pour les Chambaran sans Center Parcs (PCSCP), Fédération de la Drôme pour la pêche et la protection du milieu aquatique, Quelques opposants à Center Parcs (QoCP)
Conflict & Mobilization
IntensityHIGH (widespread, mass mobilization, violence, arrests, etc...)
Reaction stageIn REACTION to the implementation (during construction or operation)
Groups mobilizing:Farmers
Local ejos
Recreational users
Local scientists/professionals
Zadistes, young environmental activists not necessarily from the area
Forms of mobilization:Development of a network/collective action
Land occupation
Lawsuits, court cases, judicial activism
Media based activism/alternative media
Public campaigns
Street protest/marches
Property damage/arson
Mobilization through the "zadiste" network
Environmental ImpactsPotential: Loss of landscape/aesthetic degradation, Groundwater pollution or depletion, Air pollution, Soil contamination, Waste overflow, Deforestation and loss of vegetation cover, Surface water pollution / Decreasing water (physico-chemical, biological) quality, Biodiversity loss (wildlife, agro-diversity), Reduced ecological / hydrological connectivity
Other Environmental impactsWetland under threat
Socio-economical ImpactsPotential: Loss of traditional knowledge/practices/cultures, Loss of landscape/sense of place
Project StatusStopped
Conflict outcome / response:Court decision (undecided)
Withdrawal of company/investment
Project temporarily suspended
Division of Roybon inhabitants, fracture and no dialogue between the two positions. Finally success in 2020.
Development of alternatives:Invest public money in sustainable touristic projects and in sustainable farming. A ban on energy demanding tourism related infrastructure and projects. [3]
Do you consider this an environmental justice success? Was environmental justice served?:Yes
Briefly explain:High risk that the project will be accepted in 2016 if the compensatory plan for the wet zones destroyed in Chambaran forest is satisfactory according to the judges. However, finally the company abandons the plan in July 2020, because of judiciary difficulties and the opposition of the zadistes.
Sources & Materials
Juridical relevant texts related to the conflict (laws, legislations, EIAs, etc)

Loi sur l'eau 2006

Amendement de la loi Censi-Bouvard, 2016 qui défiscalise les residences service (pas passée devant la commission des finances de l'Assemblée Nationale)

References to published books, academic articles, movies or published documentaries

Enquête publique « loi sur l’eau » relative auprojet d’implantation d’un Center Parcs à Roybon (Isère), Grenoble, Juillet 2014
[click to view]

Links to general newspaper articles, blogs or other websites

Des Chambarans à la métropole, la marche des possibles, Attac France
[click to view]

Center Parcs de Roybon : élus, zadistes, écolos... qui veut quoi ?, L. Maurice, Nouvel Obs, 03/12/2014
[click to view]

Frapna Drôme
[click to view]

Chambarans Blog
[click to view]

[1] Center Parcs de Chambaran : un nouveau bétonnage de la nature, Attac France sur Mediapart, 29/11/2014
[click to view]

Tension high before ruling on Center Parcs village in ancient French forest, The guardian, 18/05/2015
[click to view]

A Roybon, la guerre d'usure entre les partisans et les opposants au projet de Center Par, Le Monde, 06/12/2014
[click to view]

Collectif ZAD Lyon, 2/07/02015
[click to view]

Le Monde, (2015), L’avenir du Center Parcs de Roybon à nouveau suspendu à une décision de justice.
[click to view]

Related media links to videos, campaigns, social network

Vidéo Center Parcs Roybon : scandale écologique, économique et politique
[click to view]

[3] Video: Contre un Center Parcs à Roybon (Isère), December 2014
[click to view]

[2] Envoye Special du 29 janvier 2015 : Center Parcs & ZAD chambaran
[click to view]

[4] Libération. Epilogue. Center Parcs de Roybon : enfin les vacances pour les zadistes

Par François Carrel, correspondant à Grenoble — 9 juillet 2020
[click to view]

Crenn.O for « Mediapart », (2017), Center Parcs de Roybon. L’histoire d’une décennie de Lutte à mort.
[click to view]

Magdelaine.C for « », (2015), Encore un grand projet inutile imposé : la construction d’un Center Parcs dans une zone humide.
[click to view]

Meta information
Contributor:Camila Rolando Mazzuca
Last update17/08/2020
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