SAPS-RA-AI - Science avec et pour la société –Ambitions innovantes

Grounded sentinel : a characterization and local facilitation method to grasp anthropocene issues – STar

Submission summary

The anthropocene refers to the entry into a new geological era, characterised by the disruption of the biogeochemical processes of the Earth system by human activities (Crutzen, 2002). The Anthropocene is therefore a global, planetary phenomenon, taking place over a long period of time on a scale that is difficult to comprehend from the perspective of the day-to-day situations and professional practices of stakeholders of the territories.
Confronted with the ecological manifestations and transformations of the Anthropocene, such as climate change, some local and regional stakeholders are being tested and are having to adapt their professional practices, sometimes as a matter of urgency. There may be divergence, or even conflict, between different perceptions of the trouble and ways of responding to it. Not all the stakeholders in a given territory are experiencing the Anthropocene in the same way, and over the same temporality.
Some territories, because of their geographical location and dependence on ecological entities or natural resources, are confronted earlier and more intensely than others with critical ecological situations: the case of the mid-mountain region. This is why these territories are referred to as sentinels (Blanchon et al., 2020). Sentinels are animal species and natural ecosystems that are sensitive to these early warning signals. Territorial sentinels are originally located on the crest lines of warning and attest to new coalitions between humans and non-humans, between science and society (Keck, 2020).
Given the possible discrepancies and dissonances between the generality of scientific knowledge and the singularity of situated practices, between the abstract injunction of collective action and the actual disparity of the stakeholders involved, the challenge arises of building a method with partners (Permanent Centre for Environmental Initiatives (CPIE) Clermont Dômes and Regional Park (PNR) of Volcans d'Auvergne) at a relevant scale of action, which is that of a territory: the Massif du Sancy, in France.
The aim of this project is to develop a method for (i) better characterising the appearance (warning signs) of the anthropocene, and (ii) better ensuring that local and regional initiatives are transmitted, so that everyone can tackle these issues through their own investigations: making use of local expertise that is sometimes marginalised, initiating democratic methods of exchange and arbitration, designing sentinel systems, and activating a sentinel community on a local and regional scale. The question of the conditions for transferability and generalisation of this method to other territories will also be included.

Project coordinator

Monsieur Karim BERTHOME (UMR Territoires)

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.


CPIE Clermont Dômes Centre Permanent d’Initiatives pour l’Environnement Clermont Dômes
UMR Territoires UMR Territoires
PNR des Volcans d’Auvergne Parc Naturel Régional des Volcans d’Auvergne/Réserve Naturelle de Chastreix-Sancy
CleRMa Clermont Recherche Management (UR 3849)

Help of the ANR 139,151 euros
Beginning and duration of the scientific project: December 2023 - 24 Months

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