The BIOindicateurs program was initiated following a call for projects by ADEME in 2004.
The general purpose of this program is to provide private sectors and public actors new risk monitoring, characterisation and evaluation tools based on the biological properties of soil.

ADEME, whose missions include, among others, the prevention of soil pollution, the management of contaminated sites and soils and the evaluation of environmental impacts of atmospheric fallout and the biological management of waste, wished to promote the development of bioindicators intended for: It is therefore necessary to develop accumulation and effects bioindicators capable of accounting for the interactions of pollutants with their surroundings, their bioavailability and their transfers in trophic chains. The results achieved by some indicators could be used in transfer models (ex: biogeochemical models, bioaccumulation models).
Furthermore, some bioindicators could, in the long run, complement the tools necessary for the inclusion of natural resources and habitats preservation in the national contaminated sites management policy

The program was split into two stages: an initial development phase followed by validation of the indicators.

1   As regards contaminated sites and soils, parameters defining soil quality should, among other requirements, be put in relation to the current and/or future use of soil.
2   Morvan, X., Saby, N.P.A., Arrouays, D., Le Bas, C., Jones, R.J.A., Verheijen, F.G.A., Bellamy, P.H., Stephens, M., Kibblewhite M.G. (2008) Soil monitoring in Europe: a review of existing systems and requirements for harmonisation. Science of the Total Environment 391, 1-12.
3   Kibblewhite, M.G., Jones, R.J.A., Baritz, R., Huber, S., Arrouays, D., Micheli, E., Stephens, M. (2008) ENVASSO final report part 1: scientific and technical activities. ENVASSO project (contract 022713) coordinated by Cranfield university, UK for scientific support to policy, European Commission 6thFramework Research Programme.
4   In comparison with “soft” sites, as defined in point 1.
5   The French contaminated sites management policy relies on use-specific risk management principles. New tools developed by the Meeddat [the French Ministry of ecology, energy, sustainable development and land-use planning], the Interpretation of the State of Habitats [the "Interprétation de l’Etat des Milieux" or IEM in French] and the Management Plan ["Plan de Gestion" in French], makes it possible to examine the compatibility of the state of habitats with known practices on the basis of the quantitative evaluation of sanitary risks. The evaluation of risks for ecosystems is not taken into consideration at this stage of the analysis of habitats since natural resource and habitat preservation is the subject of specific regulations (ex: The Habitats Directive, ZNIEFF, ZICO, SDAGE).
6   In the aftermath of the call for projects launched by ADEME, several research contracts have been selected through other calls for projects by the MEEDDAT (ex: APR PNETOX), the INRA (ex: APR ECOGER), the ANR INSU-ECODYN or related to GIS Sol programs (ex: RMQS) in which ADEME participates.

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