Projets achevés

REK ABIOS - Regime of Knowledge for Amazonian Biodiversity : From contested policy-relevant science to cosmopolitics

Axe de rattachement au Ceped - Axe 2 - Migration, Pouvoir, Développement

Responsables scientifiques

  • Yann Bérard, Centre de recherche sur les Pouvoirs Locaux, UMR CNRS et université de Martinique
  • PIANTONI Frédéric (CEPED)

Partenariat avec convention

  • EcoFoG
  • IRD-Paloc
  • AgroParisTech-MRM
  • Cirad-Innovation
  • EA Discontinuités
  • UFPA (Pará)
  • Cesupa (Pará)
  • Museu Goeldi (Pará)
  • FAPEAP (Amapá)
  • GIPSA-lab,
  • EREA/IFEA (Bogota)

Membres du CEPED participant au projet

Membres extérieurs au CEPED participant au projet

  • LEEISA Palisse Marianne, MCF Anthropology, Coord. ST 2.2 / Part. ST 2.2
  • IRD-Paloc Aubertin Catherine, DR Economics, Coord. T 4 / Part. ST 2.1, 3.1, 4
  • IRD/EHESS Jacob Théo, PhD Anthropology, Part. ST 2.1, 3.1, 4
  • AgroParisTech-MRM Leroy Maya, MCF Management, Coord. T 2 / Part. ST 2.1, 2.2
  • AgroParisTech-MRM Nicolle Sandra, PhD Management, Part. ST 2.1, 2.2
  • Discontinuités, Morel Valérie, MCF Geography ,Part. ST 2.1


  • Europe, Collectivité Territoriale de Guyane, Labex CEBA (centre d’études de la biodiversité amazonienne)


The aim of this research project is to highlight the regime of production, regulation and appropriation of knowledge for Amazonian biodiversity based on extensive field surveys in two countries in the Guiana Shield : French Guiana and northern Brazil (Amapá, Pará). The concept of regime of knowledge is intended to bring together the modes of knowledge (notions of objectivity and more broadly « the other », tools and standards of evidence, forms of knowledge validation, hierarchy of the disciplines, etc.) and modes of governing (hierarchy of values, ownership rules, forms of government, role of public authorities, etc.) that characterise the evolution of democratic societies over the long term. The elucidation of this regime in the case of Amazonian biodiversity aims to answer one question that can be therefore summarised as : what knowledge for which policy/policies ? This research project hypothesises a plurality of epistemic registers relating to the regime of knowledge for Amazonian biodiversity, which are indigenous, academic and governmental. It proposes to examine their arrangement, i.e., both mixtures and distinctions, using the concept of boundaries. Because it designates differences as much as similarities – on a spatial level as well as a symbolic level – the concept of boundaries is especially relevant to explore these « grey areas » where knowledge and power can both coexist and confront each other at the same time. In order to successfully carry out this programme, the project is based on French and foreign partnerships built around a multidisciplinary research team that is able to process, through their uniqueness and in a coordinated manner, the various epistemic registers involved in the regime of knowledge for Amazonian biodiversity. Within this perspective, the project aims to answer essential questions for both users of biodiversity as well as those who characterise or govern it. By focusing on linking the modes of knowledge and governing, the project intends to provide a greater contribution to empower the expertise of the stakeholders in order to, among other things, support conservation policies and the management of protected areas, to implement access to genetic resources and the fair and equitable sharing of benefits arising from their use, the definition of an environmental compensation standard in relation to a sustainable use of natural resources.

Résumé de la Sous Tache

The aim of this sub-task is to reflect on the social construction methods for the mechanisms for « protected areas » in eastern Amazonia : first by examining the types of knowledge that are part of the legitimisation of their perimeter and second by focusing on the strategies and alliances between the numerous actors who underpin their implementation. Based on this, two major phases shape the empirical surveys that will be carried out under this sub-task.

The first phase of the survey will focus on the construction of the legitimacy of the « protected areas » through an analysis of the messages conveyed and the interactions between the actors involved in producing the zoning. Each category of actors involved (scientists, political, associations, etc.) produces an argument that legitimises its influence on a reference space (use area, specific ecosystems, etc.). The objective is to analyse the message conveyed by the groups of actors known to be active, showing how everyone takes part in producing « legitimate » areas (i.e., recognised as such by the stakeholders). Consequently, if biodiversity is questioned from the territorial angle it formalises the criteria mobilised by each category of actors, during the process of recognising the ecological value of an area ; which leads to the question of the legitimacy of the process of ecological expertise both in terms of its concepts as well as its tools. One of the goals of the analysis is to show that the large number of actors involved leads to the social construction of protected areas for different reasons and different functions (conservation, geopolitical, etc.). In 2015, as part of the ABIOS project, thirty semi-structured interviews were conducted on Cayenne, Saul and Maripasoula. As part of REK-ABIOS, this involved transposing the approach to eastern and western Guiana (including the coastline), so as to cover all of Guiana and to better integrate the community dimension (Amerindians, Bushinengue) (V. Morel, F. Piantoni).

The other part of the investigation will focus on a comparative analysis of the management systems for protected areas in Guiana and Brazil, by developing innovative research avenues. Environmental management is characterised by successive and competing managerial approaches, reflecting the movements of thought, action and allegiances, which each have their own theories and methodologies. This has been well illustrated by comparing France (Guiana) and Brazil (Amapá) (see again the works of S. Nicolle). In doing so, this research has shown that territorial arrangements for environmental management represent more than mere territories under pressure. In fact, the socio-political processes that built them – different in Guiana and Amapá – influence their implementation and their effectiveness. Therefore we observe, quite logically, a hybridisation of the various types of management tools mobilised. As such, the strategies and alliances between the State, NGOs and local authorities are of crucial importance. Following the ABIOS program, the work proposed as part of this sub-task will first be to review the comparative work that is still ongoing or which has already been completed (C. Aubertin, T. Jacob, M. Leroy, S. Nicolle). The results of these analyses will be presented and discussed during a first team meeting in Paris. On this basis, it should provide an in-depth analysis of the actors’ strategies, possibly determining complementarities with the work carried out by the other teams : such as the use of « new » policy instruments within these systems (law instruments related to biodiversity, for example, refer to T 3.1) or the development of a reference system for ecological compensation (T 4). A Masters 2 (M2) student (under the supervision of M. Leroy) will explore one of these themes. Adopting a managerial perspective, the surveys that will be carried out will all help to better assess the effectiveness of the measures produced by the arrangements to protect biodiversity, with a focus on analysing the bottlenecks and hybridisation factors (M. Leroy, S. Nicolle).

Guyane française, Biodiversité, territoire, mobilité, communauté.

Terrains de recherche :
Guyane française

Début et fin du projet : sept 2016-sept. 2018.


Email : PIANTONI Frédéric frederic.piantoni chez
Site web :


  • 2016 (nov.) Guyanas, between cultural unity and territorial divides. An orogenese and border disputes approach, Montpellier , colloque international The 3-G Network Celebrates the Guyanas (Guyana, Suriname and French Guyane) , session imagining the Guyanas / Across the Disciplines, 15 pages.
  • 2016 (nov) Frédéric Piantoni , Valérie Morel, Les aires protégées en Amazonie : processus de territorialisation par la mobilisation du concept de biodiversité, séminaire du Labex Centre de la Biodiversité Amazonienne (CEBA), Agro-Paris-Tech, Paris, 20 pages.
  • 2015 juin, F. Piantoni, J.-R. Gros-Désormeaux, V. Morel, Légitimité des aires protégées aux Antilles Guyane : processus de territorialisation par la mobilisation du concept de biodiversité, séminaire du Labex Centre de la Biodiversité Amazonienne (CEBA), ABIOS Atelier 3, Cayenne, 16 pages.