Welcome to Scribd, the world's digital library. Read, publish, and share books and documents. See more
Download
Standard view
Full view
of .
Look up keyword
Like this
1Activity
0 of .
Results for:
No results containing your search query
P. 1
A science and nature centre in the making

A science and nature centre in the making

Ratings: (0)|Views: 72 |Likes:
Published by Marine Soichot
This article was submitted and accepted for the 14th Saastec annual conference in Pretoria in Novembre 2012. It exposes the strategy set up by a new science and nature centre on Reunion island, to develop a sustainable couse of actions at every levels.
This article was submitted and accepted for the 14th Saastec annual conference in Pretoria in Novembre 2012. It exposes the strategy set up by a new science and nature centre on Reunion island, to develop a sustainable couse of actions at every levels.

More info:

Categories:Types, Research
Published by: Marine Soichot on Dec 05, 2012
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial

Availability:

Read on Scribd mobile: iPhone, iPad and Android.
download as PDF, TXT or read online from Scribd
See more
See less

12/05/2012

pdf

text

original

 
!!!
A"sustainable"science"
and$nature$centre$in$the$making
!
Dr.!Marine!Soichot,!Arda,!Reunion!Island,!France!
14
th
%Saastec%%Annual%Conference,%2630
th
%Novembre%2012%National%Zooological%Garden,%Pretoria,%Gauteng,%South%Africa%
Sustainability%needed%for%Reunion%Island%%
Reunion!is!a!small!tropical!island!in!the!Indian!Ocean.!It’s!an!overseas!department!!of!France,!twice!as!big!as!New!York!City!.!It!has!many!striking!natural!features.!The!island!is!on!one!of!the!world’s!most!active!volcanoes,!has!young!and!growing!coral!reefs!and!lagoons,!is!an!IUCN!biodiversity!hotspot!and!40%!of!its!area!is!on!the!UNESCO!World!Heritage!List.!However!this!amazing!natural!heritage!is!under!pressure.!Indeed,!Reunion’s!population!is!growing!very!fast!(250,000!inhabitants!in!1960;!800,000!in!2010;!and!a!projected!one!million!in!2030)!and!the!area!suitable!for!settlement!and!farming!is!relatively!small.!Steep!mountains!cover!most!of!the!island!and!most!of!the!people!live!on!the!west!coast!in!an!uninteruppted!urbanized!strip.!Reunion’s!nature!is!beautiful!and!unique!but!also!violent!and!dangerous.!Through!the!island’s!history,!!Reunion’s!people!have!faced!major!natural!risks:!volcanic!eruptions,!hurricanes!and!flooding.!Morevover,!Reunion’s!coast!are!inhospitable!and!full!of!dangers!for!shipping.!Today,!Reunion!is!still!“the!intense!island”.!!Also!striking!are!the!social!and!economic!challenges!faced!by!Reunion’s!residents.!The!island!was!uninhabited!before!the!17th!century!when!it!was!colonized!by!the!French.!Slaves!and!then!free!workers!(slavery!was!abolished!in!1848)!came!from!Madagascar,!Eastern!Africa,!India,!and!China!to!develop!the!colony.!After!the!second!world!war,!Reunion!society!was!rural!and!traditional!with!an!economy!based!on!sugarcane!agriculture.!In!1946,!it!became!an!overseas!department!of!France.!From!that!time!on,!catching!up!with!Metropolitan!France!in!the!fields!of!social!and!economic!development,!has!been!a!major!aim.!Many!schools!and!a!universty!have!been!built!as!well!as!several!hospitals!and!social!housing.!Today,!several!flights!connect!the!island!to!Europe,!Africa!and!Asia,!everyday!day.!The!economy!has!become!more!diversified.!Agriculture!is!still!important!but!tourism!and!IT!and!Communications!are!new!crucial!economic!sectors.!Despite!this,!30%!of!Reunion’s!population!is!unemployed,!with!youth!umemployment!reaching!50%.!Additionly,!since!the!70’s,!Reunion!has!fully!embraced!the!“consumption!society”!with!all!the!problems!this!leads!to!including!a!garbage!waste!boom,!health!issues!due!to!junk!food!and!social!frustrations!for!the!economically!disadvantaged.!!Today,!Reunion!island!is!at!a!critical!point!in!its!history
1
.!It!faces!many!social,!economic!and!environmental!challenges.!Keeping!to!the!model!of!development!the!island!has!followed!for!the!last!fifty!years!would!lead!to!serious!issues!especially!in!terms!of!!ensuring!adequate!supplies!of!land,!energy,!food,!and!water.!Here!more!than!anywhere!else,!sustainable!development!is!a!necessity,!not!just!a!good!idea.!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
1
!To!know!more!about!Reunion’s!history!and!todays!challenges!:!E.!Wolff!and!M.!Watin!(2010)!
La#Réunion,#une#société#en#mutation
,!Paris!:!Economica,!Anthropos.!!!
 
!!!
A%new%science%and%nature%centre%%
In!that!context,!Reunion’s!Regional!Council!decided!to!create!a!new!science!and!nature!center,!asyet!unnamed,!due!to!open!in!2014.!Through!a!theme!of!water,!the!center’s!mission!will!be!to!showcase!the!islands!natural!heritage!and!increase!public!engagement!with!science!and!the!environment.!The!science!and!nature!center!will!be!built!on!an!experimental!aquaculture!farm!which!is!a!research!and!innovation!center!dedicated!to!water!and!tropical!ecosystems.!Together,!the!two!centers!will!form!an!“ecocampus”!where!experts!as!well!as!the!general!public!will!find!suitable!resources!and!activities.!Currently,!we!are!working!on!the!many!aspects!of!creating!this!new!nature!and!science!center.!Given!its!engagement!with!environmental!missions!as!well!as!the!challenges!Reunion!faces!as!explained!above,!developing!a!sustainable!course!of!action!at!every!level!is!obviously!one!of!our!priorities.!So!how!did!we!proceed?!First,!we!wrote!a!general!strategy!and!action!plan!without!especially!thinking!about!sustainable!development.!Then,!we!looked!at!it!in!a!new!way,!paying!attention!to!every!point!and!asking!if!there!was!a!more!sustainable!way!to!achieve!our!goals.!We!kept!in!mind!the!three!cornerstones!for!a!sustainable!development:!environment,!society!and!economy.!In!doing!so!we!focused!not!only!on!low!energy!buildings,!ecodesigned!exhibitions!and!environmental!education!but!also!found!that!smart!governance,!ethical!management,!accessibility!for!disabled!people!and!engagement!in!the!local!community!were!also!part!of!a!sustainable!strategy.!We!are!at!the!beginning!of!the!process!and!as!a!first!step,!we!are!focusing!on!three!aspects!at!the!moment.!!
The%message%we%deliver%and%the%way%we%want%our%visitors%to%be%engaged.%%
One!of!the!center’s!main!features!will!be!a!700squaremeter!exhibition!that!invites!visitors!to!discover!(or!rediscover)!Reunion!by!following!the!path!of!water!on!the!island.!Water!falls!as!rain!from!the!sky;!flows!along!mountains,!shaping!them!as!it!goes;!gathers!into!rivers!and!lakes,!where!it!supports!life;!and!finally!runs!into!the!sea.!Along!this!route,!humans!pump,!store,!transport,!and!use!the!water.!The!exhibition!will!focus!mainly!on!fresh!water!and!address!many!topics!related!to!Reunion’s!heritage,!environment,!and!sustainable!development.!!The!exhibition!will!highlight!natural!Reunion!features!concerning!water.!Reunion!water!resources!are!important!but!unevenly!distributed!in!time!and!space.!While!it!rains!daily!on!the!east!coast!of!the!Island,!the!west!coast!is!mostly!dry.!Additionally,!most!of!the!rain!falls!during!summer!while!winter!is!a!dry!season.!Finally,!as!Reunion!is!a!young!volcanic!island,!the!soil!is!highly!permeable!and!most!of!the!water!deeply!leaks!into!the!rock!so!water!resources!are!hard!to!reach.!However,!we!want!the!exhibition!to!be!a!dialogue!between!people!and!their!environment.!We!don’t!want!to!present!a!“pure”!nature!that!should!be!untouched,!casting!humans!as!the!cause!of!all!problems!and!pollution!in!natural!resources.!Nor!do!we!want!to!show!nature!as!an!array!of!resources!ripe!for!human!exploitation.!For!example,!in!an!ethnographic!and!historical!perspective,!we!will!display!how!water!has!driven!the!island!colonization!by!humans!and!how!people!have!shaped!landscapes!harnessing!water.!!
 
!!!We!want!our!visitors!to!explore!and!marvel,!especially!at!Reunion’s!natural!heritage.!We!will!also!give!them!the!keys!to!understanding!the!ins!and!the!outs!of!water!issues,!so!they!are!empowered!as!citizens!to!form!their!own!opinions!and!make!their!own!choices.!As!far!as!we!can,!we!will!provide!them!all!information!in!a!neutral!and!impartial!way
2
.!We!know!it’s!tricky
3
.!To!do!so,!one!possibility!is!to!give!a!voice!to!stakeholders.!For!example,!regarding!water!supplies!for!sugarcane!watering,!the!exhibition!could!present!accounts!of!a!farmer,!an!agricultural!engineer,!an!elective!representative!and!a!water!supplier.!Each!time,!we!will!look!at!water!uses!and!their!positive!and!negative!impacts!but!moreover!levers!for!action!to!change!the!situation!in!a!more!sustainable!way.!At!least,!increase!public!awareness!of!water!saving!is!part!of!the!center!mission.!However,!we!want!to!avoid!simplistic!and!moralistic!instructions!to!save!water!that!would!patronise!our!visitors.!We!prefer!to!help!them!to!understand!what!is!at!stake!in!the!complex!water!issues,!why!it!matters!and!how!they!can!take!part.!!!
The%high%environmental%quality%of%the%building%and%outdoors%
We!are!convinced!we!have!to!match!our!words!with!our!actions.!So!alongside!our!message!about!environmental!protection,!we!are!trying!to!build!a!site!with!high!environmental!quality.!The!main!point!is!that!the!primary!building!will!work!without!air!conditioning.!It!is!designed!to!produce!airflow!and!cross!ventilation!so!that!the!temperature!felt!inside!the!building!is!4°C!below!the!outside!temperature.!It!will!be!built!on!pillars!over!aquaculture!ponds!and!exposed!to!the!prevailing!wind.!!The!architect!has!worked!with!the!National!Agency!for!Environment!and!Energy
4
!and!a!specialized!engineering!team!to!check!how!the!building!reacts!to!wind!and!to!optimize!the!thermal!performance.!They!also!have!to!make!sure!the!building,!which!is!11m!high!can!generate!good!airflow,!while!being!resistant!to!hurricanes.!In!order!to!have!efficient!ventilation!the!building!has!many!openings,!which!can!be!problematic.!!Firstly,!birds,!especially!pigeons,!can!come!in!and!cause!lot!of!damage.!Secondly,!the!air!from!the!outside!will!be!humid!and!salty!that!is!not!the!best!for!screens!and!projectors!(our!servers!will!be!in!a!small!technical!airconditioned!room).!We!have!found!special!IT!materials!that!resist!extreme!conditions!but!we!are!still!looking!for!the!best!solution!to!avoid!the!bird!issues.!!!We!will!also!work!on!other!aspects!of!the!outdoor!environment.!Our!landscaper!plans!to!recreate!natural!landscapes!and!ecosystems!from!elsewhere!on!the!island!such!as!dry!river!beds!and!lake!edges.!We!will!use!indigenous!and!endemic!species!as!far!as!possible!and!plants!that!don’t!require!chemical!fertilizer!and!watering.!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
2
!See!Kelly!(1986)!for!more!details!about!impartial!neutrality.!!!Kelly,!T.!E.!(1986)!«!Discussing!controversial!issues!:!Four!perspectives!on!the!teacher’s!role!»!Theory!and!Research!in!Social!Education,!vol.!19,!pp.!113138.!
3
!Xeres!(2004)!gives!an!interesting!example!of!that!problem!with!an!exhbition!about!nuclear!power.!!Mazda,!X.!(2004)!«!Dangerous!Ground?!Public!Engagement!with!Scientific!Controversy!»!Creating!Connections.!Museums!and!the!Public!Understanding!of!Current!Research,!D.!Chittenden,!G.!Farmelo!et!B.!V.!Lewenstein!(eds.),!Walnut!Creek:!AltaMira!Press,!pp.!127144.!
4
!www.ademe.fr!!

You're Reading a Free Preview

Download
/*********** DO NOT ALTER ANYTHING BELOW THIS LINE ! ************/ var s_code=s.t();if(s_code)document.write(s_code)//-->