Presentation of the National Inventory of the Natural Heritage


Article L 411-5 of the Environmental Code establishes for the entire land, river and marine territory a national inventory of natural heritage, defined as "an inventory of ecological, fauna, flora, geological, mineralogical and paleontological resources".
The State ensures its design, animation and assessment. Regions can be associated with the implementation of the inventory within the limits of their skills. The Muséum National d'Histoire Naturelle (MNHN) ensures the scientific responsibility of the inventories executed within this framework.
INPN is a system implemented to ensure in a standardised way the restitution of synthetic data needed for the expertise, the development of conservation strategies and the dissemination of information and national and international reports relating to the French natural heritage (plant and animal species, natural habitats and geological heritage).
INPN was initiated in 2003 and officially launched in 2005 on the basis of the data managed since 1979 by the Secretariat of the Fauna and Flora (SFF) of the MNHN.


Its objectives are:

  • to ensure the development of a national reference bank of French biodiversity, allowing the consistency of data issued by various backgrounds;
  • to disseminate data from national programs of different types:
    • area: ZNIEFF, Natura 2000, protected areas, national inventory of geological heritage
    • distribution: national inventories, inventories per departmental unit, conservation status, inventory and participatory science programs, collections
    • species status: taxonomy, protection and regulation, threats (red lists)
  • to provide consolidated information on subjects related to conservation of the biodiversity - with robust validation processes -: knowledge distribution and bases (texts on species and habitats, iconography);
  • to enable the expertise of gaps and needs for inventory and monitoring of biodiversity including on behalf of the Ministry of ecology;
  • to summaries and communicate about the evolution of biodiversity and geodiversity
  • to contribute to the national and international reporting (CDDA, INSPIRE, conservation status, Habitat Directive)

INPN presents an information component on natural habitats (currently being developed).

Source of data

The information comes from many national programs and data provided by various partners .

UMS PatriNat organizes their synthesis and validation as part of their statutory mission and ensures distribution through their website in particular. This distribution respects the suppliers ensuring the data source is entirely traceable.

Links with the SINP

The SINP organises the exchanges of data between stakeholders and covers, In addition to the thematic to be included in the INPN, a landscape genetic component.
The source of data contained in the INPN can be:

  • exchanges data issued by the SINP wherein INPN feeds itself under the Protocol governing the SINP divided into two broad categories:
    • data from producing partners or managers of local or national program
    • data from programs managed by the MNHN (ZNIEFF, Natura 2000, national inventories)
  • other sources than the SINP: research, collections and organisations or experts not yet members to the SINP or other partners from other countries, GBIF

INPN manages and disseminates the reference data of the "geodiversity and biodiversity" part of the SINP and thus is:

  • the production space of the synthetic reference cards of the SINP with the data mentioned above and approved by the MNHN;
  • the place of provision of repositories of the SINP stakeholders, including species and habitats repositories, meshes, protected zoning or zoning for inventory, species status (protected red lists);
  • the visible portion of the SINP with the website towards the general public: publication of the maps and syntheses indicators related to Natural Heritage;
  • an interface with international reporting bodies including the European Commission: INSPIRE, Birds and Habitats Directives reporting, CCDA