RUSE - Urban and Socio-ecological Resilience of Pondicherry Bioregion

Start Date: Jul, 2020
Status: Ongoing

Project Details

Department Ecology Social Sciences
Funding Agency(ies)

Agence Française de Développement (AFD)

Team Anbarashan MUNISAMY
Anthony GOREAU
Balachandran NATESAN
Frédéric LANDY
Nicolas BAUTES
Venkatasubramanian GOVINDAN

Project Description

General framework of the project

This research project is elaborated around a partnership with the Agence Française de Développement. It engages a regular scientific dialogue between institutions around issues related to urban development, social and ecological resilience, governance and the sustainability of socio-ecological systems in the Pondicherry region.

As a Franco-Indian research center, active in the reflection on the present and future issues of the city of Pondicherry and its region, IFP's interdisciplinary team, in particular researchers from the Science Departments Social and Ecological, aims to ensure the production and sharing of scientific knowledge on its territory, and to strengthen debate and animation around the main challenges in the context of global environmental change. It is this role that this partnership aims to strengthen.

The overall objective of this partnership is to support IFP's scientific expertise and public facilitation approach around the major social and ecological issues of regional society. This task is implementing through a monitoring on local and regional development, from three dimensions: social, sectoral of view (water, heritage, urban governance and ecology), and spatial (from neighborhood to region). This work is part of a context marked by the increasing involvement of IFP in the discussions and debates under the auspices of the Smart City Mission and the regional development plan to promote integrated approaches.

Issues, approach and actions to be taken

The partnership will contribute to strengthen and deepen the work process conducted by our research teams on these related themes, and articulate them with a view to building an integrated approach that can stimulate exchanges with local and regional institutions. To date, due to lack of specific funding, these studies are exploratory, the requested grant offering the possibility of sustaining them. The work will be divided into two parts, which cover the major challenges of the sustainability of the urban and socio-ecological systems of Pondicherry and its region, in the double context of the orientations initiated within the framework of the urban development plans recently defined or in the course of approval (City Development Plan, Smart City Plan, Regional Plan of development-Bioregion):

Part 1 - The challenges of urban production, heritage and the cultural economy

Part 2 - The social and ecological challenges of adaptive wetland management urban, peri-urban and rural

For each of them, three combined approaches are to be implemented:

A monitoring and identification of actors and issues associated with each of the themes, to produce and analyse first and second hand data, giving rise to regular scientific publications. It will be first and foremost to make a state of knowledge (studies, reports) on the topics addressed and to establish a mapping of the actors involved from near or far in the issues they raise. The grant will help train this cartography in a transversal and systematic way. This inventory, shared with our institutional interlocutors, will serve as a basis for action research strongly local people in the production and analysis of knowledge, but also to more classical studies in ecology, geography and sociology. This corpus will lead us to produce analyses at different temporal and spatial scales and at different levels of organisation (family, exploitation, sectors, neighborhood, municipality, region, watershed).

An institutional networking work: on the basis of the identification of the actors involved in each field of study and their mapping, the analysis of their field of competence and the actions carried out, we will organise meetings - workshops gathering all or public and private actors in local or regional or national. The objective is to publicly submit this empirical knowledge, and to consider collective responses to these issues, and identify levers and obstacles to both collective action and public action. The content of the exchanges established during these workshops will be synthesised and returned in an annual report submitted to AFD. This approach will help to link the actors to each other, ignoring the boundaries between sectors (several departments of the Government are concerned), between spaces (out of the Federal Territory of Pondicherry), in an integrated approach ranging from the analysis of issues associated with each of the dimensions (urban, environmental, related more specifically to the issue of wetlands and water management), to the analysis of the challenges they pose in terms of governance.

A series of public debates and animation: alongside other actors, governmental, NGO or others (Smart City Mission, Auroville, PondyCAN ...), the aim is to organise specific actions in different places of the city and its near region, in view to make the general public aware of the different issues: workshops, exhibitions, photography competitions, coordination of exhibitions or artistic interventions, public debates, presented below.

In Media