The IRD's research thematics address global issues that touch everyone. In order to promote the results of their work and to share the scientific culture with the general public, especially with the youth, scientists are carrying out various actions to foster the dialogue between science and society.
A few examples are public conferences, media relations, participation in science events and forums, exchanges with scholars, etc. These initiatives are carried out in Reunion with the goal to share, exchange and debate on research and its challenges. IRD-Reunion regularly takes part in the Fête de la science and the European Researchers' Night and organizes several conference-debates each year.
Raising awareness of coral reef conservation
PAREO - The Reef Heritage of the Indian Ocean in our hands
The PAREO project is an innovative environmental educational project which combines the transmission of scientific knowledge, the discovery of the environment thanks to digital technologies and concrete conservation actions. It takes place in three Indian Ocean islands: Reunion, Mauritius and Seychelles, which all share an exceptional reef heritage, currently deteriorating under human pressure. In the interest of all, coral reefs require enhanced protection, combined with awareness programs to ensure their protection.
By working with children of the islands during a whole school year, the project aims to lead to the implementation of conservation actions, bringing children together and linking science and society.
The main objectives of the project are to:
- Convey scientific knowledge on coral reefs in a fun way, in particular thanks to the MARECO educational kit;
- Connect children to coral reefs to better understand this ecosystem and change their behaviour;
- Create a network among children of the Indian Ocean, but also among local decision-makers and citizens to advance the conservation of coral reefs.
To find out more, visit the project Facebook page.
ePOP - e-Participatory Observers Project
An initiative for the benefit of populations exposed to the impact of climate change and other environmental issues
The purpose of ePOP is to allow island communities to enter into a dialogue with scientists, experts and decision-makers, at local, regional and international levels.
By using their smartphones to produce short video clips, young “ePOPers” (aged 15-30) are voicing the feelings, sharing the experiences and expressing the concerns, in the face of global changes, of the different generations of their communities, in particular the older generations. The views they gather will be widely disseminated to a local, regional and international audience, via France Média Monde and other national and international social media, and among scientific experts and decision-makers through various public and international events. After being tried and tested in the Pacific region with a network of young observers in New Caledonia, Fiji, Vanuatu and New Zealand, the ePOP method was presented at the COP23 conference in Bonn (November 2017) and for Ocean Day (June 2017), as well as at various festivals and public meetings held to mark the 30th anniversary of the IPCC (March 2018).
IRD (French public research institution) and RFI Planète Radio have been working on ePOP for the last two and a half years. Today, as the network extends to the Indian Ocean, West Africa and the Caribbean, ePOP is being rolled out in Reunion Island through a partnership involving the University of Reunion Island, the French Development Agency (AFD), Caisse des Dépôts (CDC) and various schools and civil-sector organisations (Lycée Georges Brassens in St Denis, Isolife, etc.).