How, indeed, meet human needs and aspirations with a limited stock of resources that may also be exposed to exogenous shocks affecting their integrity? How to regulate the interactions between natural and social systems? How do emerge, maintain and sustain the development of agro-ecosystems in which resources are reproduced and renewed? It is the study of the viability of agriculture we have been in this research project. More specifically, we focus on dynamic agricultural systems prevalent in tropical small island territories with for example the French Antilles. These are notable for their focus on spatial scales (ie small) and temporal (ie rapidly changing phenomena) concise, the ongoing global changes and especially the conversion of conventional agriculture to agriculture environmentally intensive. They are from this point of view a laboratory analysis of global change.
Global changes include course climate changes but also human interventions with global consequences, namely: direct pressure (such as various forms of pollution), methods and practices of natural resource management, land (competing uses affecting the availability and access to land, in sharp decline in both areas studied: -25% and -32% regression of agricultural land in Guadeloupe and Martinique respectively between 1989 and 2007), the growing interdependence and liberalization global markets.
The intrinsic vulnerability of small island tropical areas (United Nations, 1998, 2008) is (and will be) reinforced by global changes whose effects induced invite you to examine their terms of adaptation (IPCC, 2007). The expected negative effects may in particular relate to the agricultural sector by changing land use, altering the quality of natural resources, leading to a drop in production and yields and disrupting food supplies. The adaptation to global changes in these small island territories therefore covers major issues such as the maintenance of agricultural activities and their contribution to the wealth produced (income, jobs), development and attractiveness of the territory ( landscape aesthetics and functionality), the sustainability of operating systems. In particular, the challenges these areas will face are:
The imperatives of market structure will be more desperate to face more pronounced mismatch of supply and demand of agricultural products due to the increase of the population and its needs (quantitative and qualitative). Methods of effective management of production systems must be accompanied by mechanisms of market regulation and appropriate public action schemes.
The reduced availability of agricultural land (rising land prices, urban sprawl in rural areas) and labor for agricultural activities due again to the increase in population, negative environmental externalities and increasing demands for these inputs in competing non-agricultural sectors will require an intensification of production systems for which priority will be given to the ecological dimension.
The adoption of more efficient practices in terms of sustainable development - due to the questioning of the productivist model - must be broken in both ways of producing and consuming. The appropriation and dissemination of these practices can be achieved through the developed scale farms innovative actions but may ultimately be expressed through a renewed design courses themselves.
The unpredictability and magnitude of these adverse events (climatic, anthropogenic and merchants) are all factors that contribute to the profound changes that small island territories.
From this point of view, the history of the French Antilles teaches us that the choice of productive specialization inherited from the colonial past contribute to the vulnerability of these areas (Angeon et al, 2007. Angeon, 2011). Indeed, based on monoproduction export, these choices have resulted in economic terms by an external dependency, low competitiveness in markets increasingly globalized, discussed a contribution of the productive sectors in the creation of wealth. On the social level, these choices have resulted in a lower income distribution and poverty of farmers. In environmental terms, are mainly due to pollution related to production systems very Artificial. This vulnerability is partly due to the difficulty in ensuring the competitiveness of price speculation, consolidate relevant markets and thus to allow the profitability of farms and industries. It also notes the low durability (Ozier-Lafontaine et al., 2011) of most production systems (declining soil fertility, loss of biodiversity present on farms, agricultural practices mainly dedicated to the production and performance economic). Finally, the increasing vulnerability of agriculture study areas makes it difficult to achieve the objectives of food security including password by reconciling basins consumption and production.
The rise of consumerism committed and societal demands for transparency on how to produce the invitation to develop processes for producing environmentally friendly, the withdrawal of some public institutions in tariff protection, coupled with the globalization of markets International agricultural products, put basically evil robustness, efficiency of conventional production systems and instructing an opening to other crops and the emergence of alternative pathways. These productive directions explicitly describe adaptation options to improve the viability of farms and industries in small island territories. They call for substantial changes in practices of actors both in terms of production and design of integrated production systems, as well as a collective work (re) definition of the role and the place of agriculture in the society. A fine identification of these productive and organizational changes necessitated by the overall change in the perspective of sustainable agriculture contributes to sustainable regional development is one of the high expectations of the proposed research program.
The reality of island economies studied leads specifically to reformulate the terms of the debate on the viability of agriculture in light of the evolution of entanglement of global changes observed. Besides the fact that these areas are strongly affected by the impacts of global change and the urgency to act is pioneer fronts in terms of experience and learning transferable adaptation, they also learn about the concept of spatial scale relevant to define to implement these changes - or innovations - technical, organizational, institutional and territorial. Because of their small size, these spaces provide a high degree of proximity between the scales of appearance and resolution of problems. They constitute the relevant territories to reason together on these scales. Because of their uniqueness, small island economies then invited to consider the territorial dimension of adaptation. These case studies are as challenging as it is known that the impact of global change comes so locally differentiated and few studies have been undertaken on the territorial aspects of adaptation (of Perthuis et al. 2010).
We also highlight the benefits of localized adaptation character. The benefits derived from the adaptation benefit certain sectors or industries and consequently the categories of actors who are stakeholders. They discriminate therefore the agents of their place, their role, their social status.
It is therefore a reflection on the interaction between agricultural systems and socio-economic systems that we deliver. We will therefore analyze how the technical, organizational, institutional and territorial of the societies we study determine the adaptive capacity of existing production systems. What strategies defined and supported by the people in these territories they determine the sustainability of agricultural production systems and networks arising? That cover these strategies and practices that underlie? What systems of constraints do they generate? At what point doiventelles these strategies be implemented? How and by whom?
All these issues will be a thorough examination through the analysis of the sustainability of agroecosystems and agricultural sectors of the French Antilles and their adaptive capacity. In the study areas, these questions are expressed in terms of choice of speculation favor of ways to produce (individual approach) and supporting industries (group approach). They help identify emerging issues around the revival of agriculture.
Adaptation of production systems - via changes as speculative choice of technical choices - aims to improve the viability and thereby reduce their vulnerability to global change. Depending on the configuration, the nature and extent of vulnerability vary. This would be offset by the benefits to productivity systems, the extent of productive land for building industries. This finding was observed in particular for alternative productive activities to dominant productions out on the environment, on which we assume they contain greater than other potential viability.
To understand the sustainability of agricultural systems studied, we will rely on the mathematical theory of viability (Aubin and Frankowska, 1990 and 1996; Aubin et al, 2011.). Specifically, the analysis of a system by this approach, so lets say, from an initial situation, there is at least a viable future and especially to provide decision rules that will help ensure that " sustainability. " Algorithms viability (Cardaliaguet et al, 2000. Cruck and Saint-Pierre, 2007 Aubin et al, 2004. EtSaint-Pierre Aubin, 2007; Domenech et al, 2011;.. Durand et al, 2010) are developed to answer the questions previously raised digitally. During the last decade, significant efforts have been made to expand their ability to deal with problems of dimension higher and higher.
The framework we propose will refine the qualitative and quantitative analysis of sustainable development of agricultural systems in the French Antilles from a corpus of data and storied correlated to various factors (weather, economic etc.).