GROUVE Axis: management and governance of agri-forestry landscapes

The Grouve axis - Management and Governance of Agri-Forestry Landscapes - aims to promote interdisciplinary thinking on and for the management and governance of agri-forestry landscapes. Whether in an agricultural, forestry or agri-forestry environment, management practices (of farmers, foresters) are at the heart of many of the unit's works. The Grouve axis addresses the question of their social determinants and implications.

The decision of a stakeholder to adopt a given management method in a given environment depends on a set of individual (e.g. interests, values, knowledge and representations) and collective (e.g. social interactions, public policies) determinants. The Grouve axis is thus interested in landscape governance, i.e. the set of rules and mechanisms that govern interactions between individuals about this landscape, and their influence on ecosystem practices and management. For example, some agro-ecological practices are based on the enhancement of ecological processes whose dynamics go beyond the farm level, and require coordination processes between the multiple actors that shape this landscape.

The Grouve axis is also interested in the social implications of management practices, for those who implement them (e.g. farm income), but also for other stakeholders who are indirectly impacted by these practices, through their effects on landscapes and ecosystem services or dis-services (e.g. landscape aesthetics, biodiversity). The management and governance of agri-forestry landscapes involves in particular managing antagonisms between services (e.g. between agricultural or forestry production and biodiversity conservation), and the associated conflicts of interest and values.

The Grouve axis is based on the premise that studying and supporting sustainable management and governance of agri-forestry landscapes is best done in an interdisciplinary way, combining ecology, social sciences and remote sensing, rather than through multidisciplinarity. Indeed, the socio-ecological systems that we study are characterized by the interweaving of the social and ecological subsystems that make them up. Their management and governance are therefore necessarily confronted with issues that are both environmental (preservation of ecosystems and biodiversity) and social (acceptability, equity, justice). The interdisciplinary posture can, for example, help to position management and governance objects and issues at spatial, temporal and organizational scales relevant to both environmental and social issues, and thus avoid the pitfall of separate disciplinary studies at incompatible scales. The interdisciplinary posture can also favour research questions formulated in terms of boundary objects (indicators, public policy devices, maps, models) and thus facilitate a reappropriation of common work in each discipline. Finally, the two preceding points can contribute to the creation of favorable conditions for the study of the dynamics of socio-ecological systems, which requires a common understanding of the environmental and social feedbacks induced by management and governance choices.

Moderators: Cécile Barnaud and Fabien Laroche

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