The interdisciplinary program “Environmental and Ecological Risks in the South” builds directly upon the existing, long-term research partnership that we have with our colleagues from developing and emerging countries.
Indeed, one of the critical issues in research today is how to reconcile economic development with the preservation of the ecological integrity of the environment.
To meet this objective it is imperative that we find responses to one of the fundamental questions in ecology and environmental science today : how does an ecosystem respond to human disturbance and how do these changes affect the ecological, economic and societal dynamics of these environments ?
Important in industrialized countries, this issue is fundamental to sustainable development.
Ecosystems in Southern countries, whether wet or dry, natural or impacted, are subject to stringent constraints that can exacerbate certain processes. These ecosystems are often located in areas where global change (e.g. climate and land use), is intense and rapidly changing. These systems can therefore be considered as giving up forewarning of what may occur on a larger scale in the future.
Therefore, the sustainable use of tropical ecosystems is an immediate challenge for development and for which the members of iEES Paris possess both the knowledge and relevant expertise to provide answers to these problems.
The “Environmental and Ecological Risks in the South” transversal program has for objective the stimulation of multidisciplinary research on, for example :
- the susceptibility of soils to wind and water erosion ;
- the impact of that loss on productivity ;
- the impact of the degradation of soil quality and the increased use of pesticides on the emergence of crop pests ;
- the responses of the grass-tree balance faced with the combined risks of fire and grazing ;
- the evolution of the structure of terrestrial and aquatic food webs under constraints of climate change ;
- and the impact of environmental degradation on the emergence of human and plant pathogens.
The research conducted will bring together members of different teams and departments of iEES Paris in order to answer some of the important questions related to the environmental and ecological risks faced by Southern countries today.
In addition, this program also links with other cross-cutting themes such as urban ecology, ecological engineering and evolutionary ecology.
The members of iEES Paris are involved in national and international collaborations in existing field sites such as those of the SOERE RBV Observatory in South and South East Asia, at the LAMTO Research Station in Côte d’Ivoire or in the Tessékéré Observatory in Senegal as well as in a variety of new and existing study sites in countries around the south Mediterranean coast (e.g. Lebanon, Egypt and Tunisia).
A second objective is to encourage and increase the participation of iEES Paris in the mentoring of Masters and PhD students from developing countries as well in the professional development of early career scientists from these countries.