Dynamics of socio-ecosystems on a changing Earth: sustainability or collapse?

30.05 - 01.06.2016  
Chambéry, France
Contact person:
Fabien Arnaud, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Workshop report: 
> Access

The Regional Integration Working Group will hold a workshop, titled "Dynamics of socio-ecosystems on a changing Earth: sustainability or collapse?" in Chambéry, Savoie Mont Blanc, France, from 30 May-2 June 2016.

This meeting aims to gather a wide diversity of researchers to discuss creating a working group to follow in the footsteps of PAGES' Regional Integration theme, which finished in 2015. Organizers aim to promote the emergence of a new scientific community located at the junction of paleosciences, ecological sciences and human sciences.

Workshop details

The workshop, to be held at the Université Savoie Mont Blanc, Chambéry, France, will seek to gather a wide diversity of researchers, beyond merely the paleoscience community, in order to discuss the future strategy of the Regional Integration working group.

This is an open call workshop. Participation numbers will be limited to 30.

Keynote speakers

Confirmed Keynote speakers:

Dan Penny - Australia
Lindsey Gillson - South Africa
Martin Jones - United Kingdom
Kim von Hackwitz - Sweden
Jed Kaplan - Switzerland
Sandra Lavorel - France

Workshop aims

Paleosciences have played a crucial role in the societal acknowledgement of humankind’s responsibility in global warming. Indeed, past climate reconstructions, pointed out the recent disturbance of the climate system accompanying the unprecedented rise of atmospheric greenhouse gases concentration. In particular, the study of Holocene climate variations highlighted rapid climatic events that threatened human civilisations and led them to adapt their own practices.

The Holocene natural and human-disturbed climate variability still needs to be better understood. In particular at a regional scale, the evolution of precipitation patterns and extreme events are particularly critical to maintain a safe environment for humankind. However, while the Earth is facing simultaneously its sixth massive extinction, mainly triggered by human activities and a dramatic rise in human population, it appears more and more obvious that climate is not the sole human-modified system whose dysfunction threatens the security and well-being of humans. Among them biodiversity loss, soil degradation, the spreading of contaminants and disturbed nutrient cycles are particularly under the scope. Threaten ecosystem functioning and sustainability, with respect to the services they provide to human societies hence remain largely unknown over a last long-term perspective.

Highlighting the complex interactions between human actions, climate and the functioning of social-ecological systems is hence critical to prepare a safe future for people. In that aim, new integrated scientific approaches are needed as stated in Future Earth Vision 2025. In particular, a holistic reconstruction of the history of humans, considered as both acting factors and witnesses of global changes, is still missing.

In that scope, the PAGES "regional integration" research theme can evolve with the aim of promoting the emergence of a new scientific community located at the junction of paleosciences, ecological sciences and human sciences. Based both on proxy reconstructions and ecosystem services-oriented modelling, this group will seek to understand how human practices in the past were successful in the face of global changes over long time periods. Hence it will ultimately question the resilience of today’s societies toward global changes in particular with respect of cultural and natural heritage.

Future strategy

Participants will discuss:

- The structure of the WG’s organisation, following zonal (latitude-based) and/or azonal (biome-based) cross-cutting (Dearing et al. 2006);
- The strategy to adopted to put data together in a comprehensive information system;
- The ability of such an integrated approach to be funded through international call for proposals and the downstream necessity to lobby upon international organisations.

Sessions and discussion topics

1. "Why do we need to integrate?" - Scanning the complexity of human-climate-environment interactions.
2. "What to integrate?" - Including the variety of proxies and various archives (history, archeaology).
3. "How to integrate?" - Solving the necessity of comprehensive databases and models and discussing the renewing of the working group’s strategy

Financial support

A limited number of grants (covering travel and accommodation expenses) will be available for young scientists or researchers from developing countries.


If you wish to participate, please submit an abstract via the workshop website link (below) before 4 April.


Workshop leader: Fabien Arnaud



Post-meeting material

PAGES Magazine workshop report

> Revealing social-ecological systems trajectories to enhance their sustainability (vol.24, no.1)