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Last update: May 2021

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BASC Presentation

The LabEx BASC gathers fourteen laboratories within a project which mixes research, training and innovation in the context of the emergence of the Université Paris-Saclay. The laboratories parent institutions include four national research institutes (CEA, CNRS, INRAE, IRD) and three higher education institutions (AgroParisTech, universities Versailles Saint-Quentin and Paris-Saclay).

The goal of the BASC Labex is to create a consortium of fourteen laboratories that fosters research for understanding and predicting the dynamics of social-ecological systems (SES) and their components in face of global change. This interdisciplinary research program builds on strong existing disciplinary research in climate sciences, genetics and genomics, evolutionary biology, ecology, agronomy, social sciences and economics. The project promotes the use of this understanding to develop and implement sustainable management strategies based on a well-established capacity for technological innovation and transfer, knowledge transfer to the public, natural resource managers and policy makers, and action to facilitate change in social organisation.

The primary zones of study developed in BASC are mixed-use terrestrial landscapes, especially of temperate regions of France and Europe, but also in developing countries. The primary spatial scale for integration of interdisciplinary research is the "territoire" which is defined as a geographical area that has common social, political, judicial, cultural and ecological characteristics (ca. hundreds to hundreds of thousands of km2). A major underlying theme is the application of agroecological concepts and methods to enhance the adaptive capacity and improve the sustainability of agroecosystems and agricultural landscapes. Three interconnected and interdisciplinary axes of the long-term strategic goals focus on understanding and predicting:

i) the dynamics of interactions between global change drivers including climate change, land use, pollution, and invasive species and their impacts on biodiversity, ecosystem services and SES;

ii) the capacity of organisms, ecosystems and social systems to adapt to global change;

iii) the technical and social innovations necessary to transform SES from unsustainable to sustainable pathways.

The training program is centered on creating synergies between several existing Masters and Doctoral programs and increasing their attractiveness for outstanding French and foreign students. Our goals are to i) put in place courses that are common to all of the Masters and Doctoral programs and that focus on areas of interface between programs, ii) initiate international summer schools related to the strategic goals of BASC and iii) create continuing education programs, including e-learning, for BASC scientists and for the private sector.

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A major element in the emergence of BASC is that most laboratories involved will move to the Saclay plateau starting in 2021 as part of a governmental initiative to create a center of excellence in research and innovation at Saclay. Planning for this move and the restructuration of research at Saclay as outlined in the Idex Paris-Saclay project created opportunities for new strategic alliances and geographically coherent partnerships. BASC is closely linked to several other LabEx in the region, especially L-IPSL (Institut Pierre Simon Laplace - climate) and SPS (Sciences Plantes Saclay), and to the Institut de convergence CLAND. BASC plays the critical role of linking the scales from organisms, the scale where SPS stops, to landscapes, the scale where L-IPSL and CLAND start, and in addition will provide an original platform for strong collaboration between the natural and social sciences.

The LabEx officially started in November 2012.

In 2021, the LabEx BASC has given way to an enlarged project entitled C-BASC (Center for Interdisciplinary Studies on Biodiversity, Agroecology, Society and Climate), within the University of Paris-Saclay.