Second fieldwork report: Revealing production of scientific arguments around the nexus between water scarcity and eucalyptus forest lands in South Africa and Australia
Dans le cadre du séminaire « Bouillon d'idées »
Monday 2 March 2020 (12h00 - 13h00) - Géopolis - 3799
The nexus between eucalyptus forest lands and water scarcity at times has controversial environmental explanations between scientific researchers around the world. However, no one has reviewed what the scientific agreements and disagreements are in this controversy, which is an important research gap, especially considering that "scientific arguments" are used for “forest/forestry policy making", and that uncertainty is a challenge for decision makers. Forest hydrology, the scientific study of how water flows through forests, can help to illuminate the connections between forest plantations, native forests and water scarcity. Inspired by this controversy, I went to South Africa (where Eucalyptus is an exotic tree) and Australia (where Eucalyptus is a native tree), because they are countries with a rich tradition in forest hydrology studies. In these countries, I interviewed leading experts from Universities and State Agencies to analyse and compare how in South Africa and Australia the phenomenon of water scarcity in Eucalyptus lands has been scientifically investigated and explained. Specifically, I was analysing how forest hydrology studies have been undertaken, what have been the conclusions, methodologies and knowledge gaps of these studies and their social production. Inspired by those issues, the main research questions are: how has forest hydrology been investigated in these countries? What are the conclusions, methodologies and knowledge gaps of this topic that could help us to identify the scientific points of agreement and disagreement in this controversy? Has this knowledge been produced and circulated autonomously? This informal talk will present the preliminary findings of this second fieldwork of my PhD., which took place over five months in these countries.
Le «Bouillon d'idées» est un séminaire proposé par le groupe de recherche «Développement, Sociétés, Environnements», dans lequel les chercheuses et les chercheurs sont invité·e·s à présenter une recherche en cours.
Institut de géographie et durabilité