July 2020 – July 2023
Comoros, Kenya, Madagascar, Mauritius, Mozambique, Seychelles, Tanzania
The design of the DiDEM project is based on the following observation: while science continues to acquire new knowledge about natural environments, sometimes making alarming findings about their degradation under the effect of anthropogenic activities, their consideration by decision-makers and civil society remains weak with regard to the issues at stake. Strengthening the impact of scientific production on decision-makers, particularly in developing countries, is a priority for the international community.
The project covers the Mozambique Channel area, considered the second tropical marine biodiversity hotspot in the world, up to the area east of Madagascar, where we can find a few thousand seamounts. The geological stability of the continental coasts and the hydrodynamic regime of the canal and its currents make the coastal and pelagic ecosystems of this area rich and diversified, very productive and characterized by a high degree of connectivity, which plays an essential role in maintaining this exceptional biodiversity.
Consequently, the role of deepening scientific knowledge and strengthening research capacities in the South is paramount to enable these States to integrate themselves into the ongoing negotiations and to develop their capacities for decision-making and policy-making for the sustainable management of coastal and marine environments based on scientific knowledge. It is in response to this last challenge that DiDEM has been designed, to lay the foundations, in the Western Indian Ocean (WIO) perimeter, for an innovative approach to support dialogue between science and decision-makers.
DiDEM promotes the results of research programs coordinated by the IRD and relies on the networks of academic, institutional and local partnerships set up by the Institute's teams within the WIO perimeter. It aims to mobilize part of the scientific community, already involved in the WIO's fields, in a multidisciplinary approach that is inclusive of civil society, to disseminate scientific knowledge to regional institutions, national authorities and local communities with responsibilities in the management of coastal and marine environments, and to strengthen the capacities of professionals and students in the region through an intersectoral approach.
The aim will thus be to promote porosity between the world of research and society in the countries concerned, in order to:
- Deploy innovative methodologies and tools for decision support to WIO decision-makers
- Train experts who can advise local decision-makers
- Involve civil society by educating young people and supporting multi-actor partnership dynamics.
DiDEM activities will be distributed around three major Workshop Zones: "Deltas", "Islands and Archipelagos", "International Waters, Deep Sea and Seamounts".
- French National Research Institute for Sustainable Development, France
- National Centre of Research on Environment (CNRE), Madagascar
- Kenya Wetlands Biodiversity research network (KENWEB), Kenya
- University of Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania
- University Eduardo Mondlane, Mozambique
- University of Comoros
- Western Indian Ocean Marine Science Association (WIOMSA), Tanzania
- French Institute for Research in Africa, Kenya
Scientific coordination: Stéphanie Duvail, geographer at IRD (PALOC) for the “deltas” workshop zone, Gilbert David, senior researcher at IRD (EspaceDEV), for the “islands and archipelagos” workshop zone, and Florence Galletti, jurist at IRD (MARBEC) for the “International Waters, Deep Sea and Seamounts” workshop zone.