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The unit carries out three missions. (I) Produce knowledge on the dynamics of socio-ecological systems with a particular attention to agriculture-environment-climate interactions at different levels of organization (farm, landscape, supply chain). (II) Support the decisions of public and private actors in order to develop social and technical innovations reinforcing agricultural sustainability. (III) Contribute to the structuring of interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary research within Université Paris-Saclay.
Scientific objectives.
We pursue four scientific objectives.
(I) Analyze the social and economic dynamics of agricultural activities in rural and peri-urban areas. (II) Produce knowledge, methods and tools for reconciling agricultural production and resource preservation at different levels of organization (landscapes, agro-food supply chains). (III) Analyze the mechanisms of technological lock-in of agricultural development in high inputs models. (IV) Analyze and evaluate the forms, performance and functions of agriculture in and near cities.
Strategy of the research unit for the current contract.
The unit’s strategy is developed within the domain of research on sustainable development (sustainability science, Irwin et al. 2018 ; Dedeurwaerdere 20143). We analyses the interactions between social and ecological systems and their impacts on the sustainability of landscapes and agricultural models. Our research combines various modes of knowledge production: disciplinary research (e.g. agronomy, animal science, sociology, economics…); interdisciplinary research (e.g. agroecology): transdisciplinary research to produce actionable knowledge to respond to societal challenges in agriculture. As it is both a research and teaching unit, we make a strong contribution to the development of teaching materials for the AgroParisTech engineering cursus (as well as for other universities), and for various research masters degrees (AETPF, AST, DEBATS, GSSE, TDPP, AEE see section 5).
Our research mostly feeds two of the five research orientations of INRA4: #PERF (on the multi-performance and diversity of agricultural systems), #FOOD (on the development of healthy and sustainable food systems). We contribute strongly to three scientific priorities of the SAD Division: #Agroecology for action, #Coexistence and confrontation of food and agricultural models, #Urban food systems. The unit also orients its research along the scientific priorities of the SAE2 Division: #Analysis of public action, construction and consideration of norms; and #Integrated visions of agro-food and local food supply chains.