Présentation d'Ecogov, le premier projet de recherche bottom-up du LabEx COTE
Le projet Ecogov (A political sociology of ECOsystem sciences: theories, narratives, interactions and GOVernance) porté par Caitríona Carter (Irstea) a obtenu son financement après un suivi par le comité scientifique du LabEx COTE. Il débutera début 2015 pour une durée de 3 ans et rassemble des chercheurs de l'UMR Biogeco (Inra-UBx), de l'UR LER Arcachon (Ifremer) et de l'UR ETBX (Irstea).
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This project critically examines whether the ‘Ecosystem Approach’ (EA) is being adopted in Aquitaine to redefine science-politics coupling practices in respect of forestry, marine coastal and estuarine management. We argue that the EA potentially poses a dilemma for management and scientific approaches. First, the EA challenges linear coupling practices which assume that science speaks ‘truth’ to ‘power’. Second, it challenges dominant categories of thought mobilized in resource management and which have served to segment reality, e.g., ‘single species’, ‘stock’, ‘sector’ or ‘zone’. Indeed, the very notion of an ecosystem runs counter to this way of reasoning, focusing instead on inter-relationships between species, sectors and/or zones. In applying an EA, therefore, not only will management have to mediate new tensions, e.g. ecosystem versus sector management, but science will too, e.g. ecosystem versus stock assessment. Consequently, how scientific and political responses to these challenges are ‘coupled’ in natural resource management is the underlying objective of this research project. We contend that there is nothing inevitable either about whether actors are likely to choose an EA to resource management, nor the form it will take - which is also likely to vary between ecosystems. This is especially so given the emergence of ‘climate change’ as a key issue for both science and politics. Climate change phenomena, such as wind storms or rising sea levels, can have both long-term and immediate effects on ecosystems, thus introducing a further variable potentially determining coupling practice choices. We therefore aim to (i) assess whether and how the EA is altering science-politics coupling practices in the management of forestry, marine coastal and estuarine ecosystems; (ii) analyse climate change effects on coupling practices; (iii) compare coupling practices between ecosystems and identify institutional obstacles to sustainable EA management in Aquitaine.