Environmental governance of mangrove ecological restoration projects: definition of socio-ecosystemic efficiency indicators

Within the framework of the Mangroves Initiative of the FFEM, a thesis in Geography under CIFRE [1] has just been approved by the French Ministry of Higher Education and Research and will start soon.

It will be supervised by Lisa MACERA, under the co-direction of Julien Andrieu, Associate Professor at the University of the Côte d’Azur, UMR CNRS ESPACE, Sylvain Pioch, Associate Professor in Ecology and Management of the Marine and Coastal Environment, Joint Research Unit Centre for Functional and Evolutionary Ecology (CEFE, DGSE team), in collaboration with Olivier Le Brun, Project Director in Marine Ecology and Sustainable Environment (Créocéan company).

It is entitled “Environmental governance of mangrove ecological restoration projects: definition of socio-ecosystemic efficiency indicators”.

This thesis is based on the observation that mangrove restoration is often of mixed success, as it often relies on inadequate measures resulting :

-a limited understanding of the ecological processes, particularly hydrological conditions, conducive to natural regeneration of mangroves or the inadequacy of the choice of site with the ecology of the transplanted species;
-a limited understanding of the divergent interests between local societies and global environmental measures, which often leads to the exclusion of the people who live off them and to the restoration of productive functions instead of ecological functions.

This 3-year research project – co-funded by the French Global Environment Facility (FFEM) – aims to propose an integrative and multidisciplinary approach to the ecological restoration of mangroves taking into account ecological, biophysical and socio-economic factors. The thesis questions the ecological and social conditions of the effectiveness of restoration techniques, through 3 questions:

What are the scientific and technical evolutions related to restoration techniques applied to mangroves?
To what extent does environmental governance constitute a brake or a lever for the sustainable management of mangroves?
How to better select restoration projects?

It aims at producing in fine a decision support tool relating to the measurement of ecological efficiency, especially ecological engineering techniques applied to mangroves.

1] Convention Industrielle de Formation par la REcherche.

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