DS01 - Gestion sobre des ressources et adaptation au changement climatique

Pathways for global change adaptation of mountain socio-ecological systems – MtnPATHS

Submission summary

Mountain social-ecological systems contribute critically to ecosystem services at local, regional and global scales. Yet they are critically vulnerable to climate, political and economic changes which compound with natural climate harshness and variability and with natural risks. Therefore co-designing with mountain stakeholders future adaptation pathways towards sustainability is critical. Specific sustainability and global change adaptation issues in the Alps regard the development of a local economy that is resilient to both climate and broader-scale political and economic context, builds on local natural and social assets and benefits from societal demands for mountain ecosystem services. The objective of MtnPATHS is to develop such adaptation pathways by considering ecosystem services and climate adaptation services for the participatory construction of visions for sustainable futures in the Swiss Central Valais and the southern French Alps (Lautaret, Haute-Romanche) and by implementing these visions through participatory modelling. Our transdisciplinary approach will include three interlinked work packages. First an integrated understanding of the social-ecological systems, including key driving variables and interactions, the critical actors and the supply, demand and flow of ecosystem services will be co-constructed with local stakeholders and regional experts, culminating in the formulation of future visions. Based on these visions participants will identify change scenarios leading to desired futures and push back scenarios leading to unwanted outcomes. Second, these scenarios and the visions will be explored using agent-based modelling, with the support of the CRAFTY framework. The three original aspects of this modelling process will be the development of agent functional types relevant across our two alpine regions, the implementation of common trait-based and process-based ecosystem service supply functions and the novel incorporation of climate adaptation services, i.e. those ecosystem properties that support social adaptation to climate change by buffering climate impacts, offering novel ecosystem services and transforming. The model will be run under different climate and socio-economic scenarios and policy options to evaluate changes in ecosystem services provision and demand. To address the challenges of adaptation, diverse management practices and land users’ behavior strategies will be incorporated. The time courses for socio-economic output variables, the state of the biophysical system and its translation into the amount of delivered ecosystem services or into adaptation services will characterize alternative adaptation pathways to visions and provide quantitative information for pathway design, the final and third stage of the research. For the simulated pathways to be implemented requires that their acceptability and social and institutional feasibility are evaluated, and potential barriers or facilitating factors identified. Also future implementation will depend on the empowerment of stakeholders and larger-scale experts, and their ability to communicate their objectives to larger-scale institutions and to urban-based citizens. Workpackage 3 aims to facilitate this process through a participatory evaluation of adaptation pathways and of their associated value-knowledge-rules constraints, and by co-developing a dissemination strategy towards decision makers and the public.

Project coordination

Sandra LAVOREL (LECA - CNRS DR11 Alpes)

The author of this summary is the project coordinator, who is responsible for the content of this summary. The ANR declines any responsibility as for its contents.


ETH-Z Institut Fédéral Suisse de Technologie - Zürich

Help of the ANR 221,834 euros
Beginning and duration of the scientific project: January 2017 - 36 Months

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