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Accueil > Recherches > Thématiques de recherche > Biodiversité, écosystèmes et capital naturel

Biodiversity, ecosystems and natural capital

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Development and ecosystem conservation


The links between development and ecosystem conservation issues can be discussed from different ways.


From a theoretical point of view this adresses the question of alternative development regimes and various levels of substitutability between different types of capital (strong sustainability VS low durability).


From an empirical point of view it is necessary to develop interaction indicators for monitoring long-terms dependences between development and conservation issues and understand how these can be related (access to food, to freshwater, maintenance ecosystem services).


From a decision-support perspective, it seems interesting to propose simulation tools to assess how these dynamics can change with regards to different scenarios of land uses, agricultural practices, regulatory, supply and demand changes.


In this context, the use of indicators and models to create some learning-by-doing processes about the trade-offs between development and conservation goals at local, national or global scales can be essential.


It is also crucial to assess evolution of technical tools, organizational forms and institutional structures which could help to reconcile conservation and development issues.


Researchers : Catherine Boemare, Thierry Brunelle, Bruno Dorin, Patrice Dumas, Harold Levrel
PhD Students : Rémi Prudhomme, Abdou Soihili, Améline Vallet.
Post-doctorant : Elsa Mosseri


Ecosystem services assessment


The concept of Ecosystem Services (ES) has been increasingly used during the two last decades, especially since the Millenimum Ecostem Assessment report published in 2005. This concept aims to better understand interdependencies between development and conservation issues through the description of benefits (direct and indirect) that human receive from ecosystems. Our position is that this concept provides a “common language” between disciplines and between users of ecosystems, and help to improve the negotiations processes in different policies areas such as : spatial planning, land use policies, impact assessment procedures, mitigation policies, development of incentive tools (Payment for Ecosystem Services) and environmental accounts. The description of ES relies on different types of indicators (biophysical, monetary, access, etc.) that reflect the diversity of “values” associated to the concept of ES.


The assessment of ES relies on an interdisciplinary approach based on several modeling tools – most of the time spatially explicit – to quantify ES : InVEST, Nexus LandUse, Habitat Equivalency Analysis, SWAT and TESSA. Study sites are in France and in developing countries (Costa Rica and Peru).


Researchers : Catherine Boemare, Harold Levrel, Vincent Viguié
PhD Students : Améline Vallet
Post-doctorant : Elsa Mosseri


Biodiversity conservation policies


Biodiversity conservation policies have been increasingly developed for twenty years now. Creation of park and natural reserves, adoption of EU directives and national environmental legislation, elaborations of green tax, incentive mechanisms such as payments for environmental services, biodiversity offsetting policies.


Within the CIRED, all of these topics are discussed by seeking to : understand the origin of these tools and their theoretical foundation ; compare the environmental effectiveness and economic efficiency of these tools for the protection of biodiversity ; assess the social acceptability of these tools, their operability and reproducibility at different scales.


A specific field of work is the analysis of institutional complementarities that exist between the regulation tools, the incentives tools and the community-based tools, leading to the emergence of hybrid instrument specifically designed for complex policies targeting the protection of biodiversity.


Researchers : Catherine Boemare, Harold Levrel
PhD Students : Rémi Prudhomme, Abdou Soihili
Post-doctorant : Elsa Mosseri