Trajectories / Sentinelles

Transdisciplinary research on climate change adaptation in mountain territories at the University Grenoble-Alpes


Area of socio-ecological sustainability transformations

Collective dynamics for climate change adaptation in mountain territories

TOOLS for Knowledge co-production between scientists and practitioners

Multi-stakeholder involvement in data gathering and analysis

Scientific Methods for transdisciplinary knowledge integration

  • Multi-criteria analysis of future scenarios
  • Adaptation pathway analysis

Tools for knowledge co-production

Sentinel Alpine Pastures : An original programme for a new form of shared governance to face the climate challenge. Revue De Geographie Alpine-Journal of Alpine Research 102.

The Ecrins National Park organized a meeting of its Agriculture Commission to discuss repeated droughts and fears arising from the impact of alpine farming practices on high altitude environments. The alpine pasture was pronounced an area of shared challenges in terms of climate change, involving the co-responsibility of livestock farmers and the Park. It was also seen as an ideal area for observation and intervention based on cooperation. The ideas put forward led to the creation of the Sentinel Alpine Pastures programme.
The ultimate aim of this programme is to anticipate the impact of climate events in order to ensure sustainable alpine pasture management. Studying modes of adaptation to events is part of a long-term approach to address the complex dynamics of climate change. We show how this approach, the information collection protocols and the data capitalization methods implemented aim to meet the requirements stemming from this current issue: involvement of all actors (livestock farmers and herdsmen, farming technicians, pastoral systems specialists, researchers and managers of protected areas), collective learning based on shared observations, and integration of an alpine pasture farms system. The programme works as a tool providing help with analysis and decision-making in relation to processes involving the climate, the environment, pastoral practices and livestock farming systems. The work collectives implementing it are also paving the way for new forms of governance in terms of the relations between pastoralism and local area stakeholders.


Tools for knowledge integration

Adaptation d’un socio-écosystème de montagne : évaluation saisonnière de la capacité des écosystèmes à répondre à la demande sociétale d’adaptation au changement climatique


Lavorel et al. (2018). "Mustering the power of ecosystems for adaptation to climate change. Environmental Science & Policy 92:87-97

 Mountain social-ecological systems (SES) supply important ecosystem services that are threatened by climate change. In mountain SES there is a paradox between high community capacity to cope with extremes, and governance structures and processes that constrain that capacity from being realised. Climate adaptation that maintain livelihoods and supply of ecosystem services can catalyse this innate adaptive capacity if new adaptive governance arrangements can be created. Using the French Alps as a case study, we outline a participative framework for transformative adaptation that links adaptive capacity and governance to provide social innovation and ecosystem-based adaptation solutions for mountain SES. Grassland management was the main entry point for adaptation: bundles of adaptation services supplied by the landscape mosaic of biodiverse grassland types can maintain agricultural production and tourism and facilitate income diversification. Deliberate management for core adaptation services like resilient fodder production, erosion control, shade or aesthetic value generates co-benefits for future transformation ability. People activate bundles of adaptation services along adaptation pathways and realise benefits via co-production with other forms of capital including traditional knowledge or social networks. Common and distinctive adaptation services in each pathway create options for transformation if barriers from interactions between values and rules across scales can be overcome. For example conserving mown terraces which is a critical adaptation nexus reflects a complex interplay of values, markets and governance instruments from local to European scales. We conclude that increasing stakeholders capacity to mobilise adaptation services is critical for empowering them to implement adaptation to global change.


Enora Bruley (2019). "Engaging stakeholders to elucidate social-ecological processes of global change adaptation: from the past toward the future". Poster at l’International Mountain Conference, Innsbrück.

Project website