Interdisciplinary cooperation, intersectorality and Sustainability Science


Launched at the end of 2017, the interdisciplinary scientific partnership programmes (PSIP) continued to grow and benefited from the contribution of the Mission for the Promotion of interdisciplinary cooperation and intersectorality.

An internal tool used by IRD for reflection and scientific programming purposes, a number of PSIPs are currently operational and focus on matters relating to:

2018 was marked by rich and varied interdisciplinary cooperation activities.

Internally, numerous workshops and seminars helped consolidate communities wishing to engage more in interdisciplinary cooperation with other non-academic players. Discussions helped move forward on the identification of interdisciplinary scientific fields specific to every PSIP, often at the crossroads of several SDGs. Several PSIPs began to integrate their activities through strong grounding within countries and links with Global South partners according to different approaches.

Geoportal dedicated to climate services

Partnership activities include a “climate services” portal launched in Senegal to respond to the needs of decision-makers. This portal, created in conjunction with scientists and local authorities, is a pilot model. It is intended to be duplicated and adapted to other countries’ needs.

In terms of the outreach of interdisciplinary activities, IRD attended many international events such as the 14th UN Biodiversity Conference in Sharm el Sheikh (Egypt) and the 24th UN Climate Change Conference in Katowice (Poland) as part of parallel workshops where policy-makers (MPs, ministerial representatives, etc.) understood the value of interdisciplinary approaches.

Meetings with international and regional institutions (World Bank, World Health Organisation, World Meteorological Organisation, Sahara and Sahel Observatory, etc.) helped build partnerships to work on issues such as the vulnerability of West Africa’s coastal areas or interactions between climate and health.

To continue to promote Sustainability Science within the Institute and among the research teams involved in the North and South alike as well as non-academic partners, a series of workshops was initiated in 2018.
The first one, “Sustainability Science: building a theoretical and operational framework for sustainable development”, was organised in Montpellier, while 4 other workshops have already been scheduled for 2019

Interdisciplinary cooperation, link between natural and social systems, sustainable development issues: Sustainability Science issues are reflected in all fields of action of the Institute, for example with research programmes combining hard sciences with human and social sciences, links to public policies, experiments in participatory science, etc.