Research objectives

The research carried out within the framework of the WIODER network aims at understanding the functioning of the delta specific socio-ecosystems, at describing their recent evolutions and at analyzing the impacts of the current public policies (conversion of the floodplains or on the contrary the creation of protected areas).

Our overall research question is: how do local populations adapt their strategies (through flexibility of their practices, diversification of their activities and also in terms of migration), to the environmental, economic and social changes in the Western Indian Ocean deltas? What lessons can be drawn from our examples for a critical analysis of the public policies and what recommendations could be made for the future?

Main objectives

In this context, the members of the WIoDER network have the following objectives: 

  • to highlight the specificities of the Western Indian Ocean deltas for the research community and for the policy-makers 
  • to acquire and analyze data on several deltas and compare the results at at a regional level;
  • to develop research methodologies adapted to the delta studies; 
  • to share and disseminate appropriate scientific approaches and tools; 
  • to connect students, researchers, decision-makers and delta inhabitants; 
  • to promote long-term, knowledge-based action and participatory research.

 A long-term goal is to set up a sustainable regional cooperation for the development of an observatory of Western Indian Ocean deltas dynamics.

Data acquisition

We are collectively developping a normalized data acquisition in order to compare the different Western Indian Ocean deltas. We create data from systematic reports, participative research tools, remote sensing and field studies. The analysis will capture – in a consistent way- the dynamics of natural and anthropic processes, their interactions and their trend through history.

Capacity building

  • unite researchers and students around pluridisciplinary issues focused on deltas ;
  • support the students’ training and valorise scientific expertise by developping field schools (thematic schools) and online formations (MOOCs) ;
  • intensify regional collaboration by supporting the creation of a local -and multilingual- research network through the Western Indian Ocean countries.