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About us

Introduction

“A decade to observe and understand, predict the habitability over a century”

MISTRALS (Mediterranean Integrated STudies at Regional And Local Scales) is a decennial program for systematic observations and research dedicated to the understanding of the Mediterranean Basin environmental process under the planet global change.

It aims to coordinate, across the Mediterranean Basin, interdisciplinary research on atmosphere, hydrosphere, lithosphere and paleo-climate, including environmental ecology and social sciences. The objective is to achieve a better understanding of the mechanisms shaping and influencing landscape, environment and human impact of this eco-region.

Thus, its aim is to anticipate the behaviour of this system over a century, from an interdisciplinary analysis conducted over the 2010-2020 decade. The ultimate goal of this program is to predict the evolution of habitable conditions in this large ecosystem, to meet the public policies concerning resources and environment, to anticipate evolution of the societies and to propose policies and adaptative measures that would optimize them.

Objectives and Issues

Mediterranean is:

  • A civilizational hot spot,
  • An area of major geostrategic interest for environmental and political issues, as well as societal challenges.

Its habitability is questioned for the future:

  • Irreversible changes for continental and marine ecosystems,
  • Threat on access to natural resources,
  • Geotectonic risks,
  • Coastal demographics, pollution of air, sea, inland waters and soil,
  • Hydrometeorological and intense events: wind, drought, fires,
  • Shortage of water inducing conflicts for its use.

MISTRALS is an extensive interdisciplinary program of research:

  • On the atmosphere, hydrosphere and lithosphere,
  • To understand and control the mechanisms shaping and influencing the landscape, the environment and the anthropization of this region.

Framework

Initiative driven by the IOC Environment Committee (Inter-Agencies, 14 partners):

  • Large program of environmental measures between 2010 and 2020,
  • Coordination strategies, international cooperation and priorities,
  • Use of large measurement means (satellites, ships, planes, ...)
  • Development of perennial environmental observatories networks,
  • Structuring research on at least the next 20 years.

Contexts:

  • Coordination of the international scientific communities involved,
  • GMES (Global Monitoring for Environment and Security),
  • “Grenelle de l’ Environement”,
  • Barcelona Convention.

Implementation:

  • Establishment of working groups (2007-2009), incubation and internationalization,
  • Establishment of a governance structure (2008),
  • MISTRALS Mediterranean Initiative Days, Aix en Provence, 3-5 November 2008,
  • First international Symposium, Malta, spring 2011.