TRAJECTORIES : Social-ecological trajectories of French alpine valleys under climate variability
Mountain social-environmental systems (SES) host major economic activities, and in some alpine valleys increase population attracted to their natural resources and amenities. Mountain SES provide a disproportionate measure of critical ecosystem services to people living both in- and outside mountain regions, such as energy, water, food, protection from natural hazards, and multiple cultural ecosystem services (Huber et al. 2013; Körner et al. 2005). The provision of these services depends largely on land use, which itself is shaped by long-established interactions of humans with nature in SES (Rounsevell et al. 2012). Regarding the biophysical dimensions of global change, mountain regions world-wide, and the Alps in particular are already experiencing faster temperature change than the global average, precipitation regimes are uncertain and unlikely to experience increased variability, and serious hazards are expected to results in terms of natural risks (5th report of IPCC, 2013).
Within this general context, the French initiative, TRAJECTORIES, funded by IDEX University Grenoble Alpes aims at improving knowledge of interactions between human societies and environment. The project fits into the overarching scheme of co-constructing decision-making expertise with involved territorial actors in 3 French alpine valleys.
Based on transversal research integrated natural, geoscience, engineering, and human and social sciences, the project aims at promoting an emerging methodology based on:
– Observations of social, economic and environmental evolution; this issue strongly relies on a integrated vision of existing ZA-Alpes, SNO GLACLIOCLIM and Sentinel des Alpes observatories;
– Efforts to model coupled society-environment dynamics aiming at providing keys to both understand patterns and predict pattern inter-relations.
– Territorial assessment to connect locally structuring human activities with both the way these activities draw on their territory’s resources to metabolize them and turn them into sources of wealth, and the way this metabolization depreciates social and physical environment.
– Prospective scenarii built on an iterative mode, and which starting points are local decision-makers’ territorial projects, connecting with global institutional constraints (related to sustainable development goals). The overaching goal is to feed a dialogue among researchers and territorial actors with observation, models, and assessment in order to create likely territorial trajectories.
The presentation will introduce the structure as well as the main challenges of the 4-year TRAJECTORIES project.
KEYWORDS : Integrated observation and modeling systems, Socio-ecological trajectories
PhD offer : PhD-proposal-Trajectories_Ziebelin_Anquetin
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