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Science-Based Pathways for Sustainability Initiative Now Launched in France

In May 2019, in partnership with the French National Committee on Global Changes (CNFCG, French Future Earth Committee) and key national partners, Future Earth launched the Science-Based Pathways for Sustainability Initiative in France. This launch is an occasion for the French research community to come together under a pilot initiative that explores pathways to meet the SDGs in France and beyond.

Future Earth Day (Journée Future Earth)

Last May, together with the French National Committee of Future Earth CNFCG, CNRS, MESRI, AllEnvi, ANR, IDDRI and FRB, the Paris Hub of Future Earth brought together 120+ French scientists around the topic of global sustainability to mobilise the French Future Earth community. The event gave the French scientific community a chance to learn about and discuss Future Earth, its priorities, and the broader Future Earth network (including the Global Research Projects and Knowledge-Action Networks), as well as to initiate new collaborations within the community.

Photo 1: French-based members of the Future Earth Global Research Projects (left to right) Véronique Garçon, Christian George, François Mancebo, Laurent Bopp, Paul Leadley and Jean-François Guégan, during a session moderated by Anne-Hélène Prieur-Richard (ANR) (Photo: K. Slavik)

The event was the occasion to launch Science-Based Pathways for Sustainability in France, an initiative designed to start a cross-cutting reflection on the implementation of the Life-Supporting Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in France (goals related to freshwater, oceans, biodiversity and climate), in interaction with the other SDGs (e.g. health, cities). After a session on the importance of integrated approaches and on the SDGs as a possible research framework, the Science-Based Pathways for Sustainability Initiative was presented and discussed. Participants then broke out into four thematic discussion sessions in order to prepare for the upcoming workshops by identifying relevant entry points into the initiative at the French level, like biodiversity loss or freshwater quality and quantity. Pairs of Early-Career scientists were selected and supported by Future Earth to help prepare and run the parallel sessions.

The day’s synthesis report can be read in English and French.

Photo 2: Glenn Mainguy, from the Future Earth Day team of Early Career Researchers, facilitating a discussion on land artificialisation (Photo : K. Slavik)

Four Upcoming Workshops

To co-design pathways around the themes of biodiversity, freshwater, ocean and land for France, scientists and stakeholders will be invited to participate in four workshops between October 2019 and April 2020. To prepare these, four science committees have been convened and will work with the support of the Future Earth Secretariat. A fifth workshop will be organized at the end to integrate the outputs of the thematic workshops.

Figure: The 5 planned workshops for France, which take the four Life-Supporting SDGs as entry point while accounting for the interactions with the full SDG framework.

Biodiversity workshop

October 3-4, 2019

Science committee: Xavier Le Roux (BiodivERsA, Future Earth France and Natural Assets KAN), Martine Hossaert, David Giron, and Edouard Michel (Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, CNRS), Jean-François Silvain et Hélène Soubelet (Fondation pour la recherche sur la biodiversité, FRB and Future Earth France), Aleksandar Rankovic (l’Institut du Développement Durable et des Relations Internationales, IDDRI)

Future Earth Secretariat contact: Hannah Moersberger,

Freshwater workshop

November 19-20, 2019 in Rennes, France
Hosted by the University of Rennes 1

Science committee: Jean-Nicolas Beisel (Ecole Nationale du Génie de l’Eau et de l’Environnement de Strasbourg), Lila Collet (IRSTEA), Agathe Euzen (CNRS, INEE), Alexandre Gauvain (Université Rennes 1), Nathalie Hervé-Fournereau (Université Rennes 1, CNRS), Denis Salles (IRSTEA and Future Earth France), Eric Servat (Institut Montpelliérain de l’Eau et de l’Environnement, OSU OREME), Marie-Laure Vercambre (French Water Partnership)

Future Earth Secretariat contact: Vincent Virat,

Land workshop

April 2020

Science Committee: Thierry Brunelle (CIRAD), Glenn Mainguy (IRSTEA), François Mancebo (Reims University and Earth System Governance), Olivier Mora (INRA), Abdou Soilihi (independent expert), Jean-François Soussana (INRA)

Future Earth Secretariat contact: Sandrine Paillard,

Ocean workshop

September 2020

Science Committee: Victor Brun (CRIOBE, Sulubaai Environmental Foundation), Philippe Cury (Directeur de recherche, IRD), Françoise Gaill (Conseiller scientifique au CNRS & Vice-President Plateforme Océan Climat), Thomas Lamy (Marine Science Institute, University of California Santa Barbara et Centre d’Écologie Fonctionnelle et Évolutive), Pascal J. Lopez (CNRS-BOREA), Marie-Alexandrine Sicre (CNRS-LOCEAN).

Future Earth Secretariat contact: Vincent Virat,

You can find more information here on the Science-Based Pathways for Sustainability Initiative.