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Separated by coma

REHABSReconciling Ecological and Human Adaptations for a Biosphere-based Sustainability

The International Research Laboratory (IRL) REHABS stems from a strong scientific collaboration between the CNRS and the Nelson Mandela University in South Africa on the functioning of the interface between protected areas and their neighbouring production landscapes, wildlife ecology and human-wildlife coexistence along gradients of anthropogenic transformation, the use of biodiversity in livelihoods in the face of climate change, and adaptations to cope with environmental risk.

The idea of this project is to refine the principles of Reconciliation Ecology, i.e. wildlife where people live and work, explore nature-based solutions for ecosystem services provisioning and human wellbeing. The IRL REHABS aims to be a hub for innovative research on socioecological systems and biosphere-based sustainability for the world we live in.


The IRL REHABS aims to work on 4 complementary topics:

  • Humans as hyperkeystone species: understanding how responses of biodiversity and ecosystems to human practices form a dominant force in the functioning of the biosphere in the Anthropocene, and how anthropogenic pressure acts as a selection force for wildlife species.
  • Nature’s contribution to humans and humanity: reconciling perspectives on development, innovation, risk and wellbeing with biosphere foundations and cultural pluralism.
  • Environmental governance and coviability in multifunctional landscapes.
  • Methods and approaches for long-term social-ecological studies and engaged research: developing frameworks, co-designing protocols, adapting analyses to multiple sources of data and information, co-learning and engagement.

The University of Angers in the IRL REHABS

UA has been involved in several projects related to the functioning of the socio-ecological systems in tropical areas involving human/nature interactions in savanna landscapes. UA is in the steering committee of one of the IRL field sites, the Hwange Long-term Social-Ecological Research (LTSER) in Zimbabwe (CNRS Zone Atelier). This IRL REHABS is thus an outstanding opportunity to strengthen the dynamics of collaborative projects and to play a crucial role in developing new conceptual framework that guide the use of sustainable landscape for the coexistence between human and biodiversity.

UA is particularly involved in theoretical and fieldwork projects of the IRL REHABS related to the understanding of socio-ecological drivers (e.g., land use/land cover changes) shaping the dynamics of animal community (with a particular interest on large vertebrate species), human-wildlife coexistence and wildlife conservation/management in tropical savanna and farmland landscapes.


Visit the REHABS website


  • Nelson Mandela University (George, South Africa)
  • CNRS-INEE (France)
  • University Lyon 1 (France)

Foundational research units

  • Sustainability Research Unit, Nelson Mandela University
  • Biometry and Evolutionary Biology Laboratory, CNRS-University Lyon 1

Main associated institutions

  • University of Angers (UA)
  • South African National Parks (SANParks) – Scientific Services

Director of the IRL: Hervé Fritz (CNRS)
Contact at the UA : Olivier Pays -