DFG Research Group FOR2432/2: Social-Ecological Systems in the Indian Rural-Urban Interface - Functions, Scales, and Dynamics of Transition

Topic of the research project: Social-Ecological Systems in the Indian Rural-Urban Interface – Functions, Scales, and Dynamics of Transition

Names of cooperation partners (lead of the cooperation project): 

Coordinating universities:
Georg-August University of Göttingen
• University of Kassel

Partner institutions in India:
• University of Agricultural Sciences (UASB), Bangalore
• National Institute of Animal Nutrition and Physiology (NIANP), Bangalore
• Ashoka Trust for Research in Ecology and the Environment (ATREE), Bangalore
• Institute of Socio-Economic Change (ISEC), Bangalore
• IIST – Indian Institute of Space Science and Technology (IIST), Trivandrum
• Institute of Wood Science and Technology (IWST), Bangalore
• Azim Premji University (APU), Bangalore

Speakers :
Prof. Dr. S. von Cramon-Taubadel
Agricultural Economics
University of Göttingen

Prof. Dr. A. Bürkert
Organic Agricultural Sciences
University of Kassel

Project funding organisations: German Research Foundation (DFG), Germany and Department of Biotechnology  (DBT), India

Project description

Urbanization and the associated social-ecological transformations in rural-urban transition areas are of global importance. FOR2432 explores these processes using the example of Bangalore in South India under the framework concept Social-Ecological Systems (SES), and in close cooperation between German and Indian project partners and various scientific disciplines. FOR2432 examines these transition processes and their ecological implications, driven by hypotheses, on various analytical levels and collects data on soil physics, crop cultivation and animal production, local market structures and value chains, consumer behavior and people’s attitudes. The operational framework includes interdisciplinary, factorial experiments, a staggered sampling scheme in two research transects, and the use of remote sensing and modelling to connect the various analytical scales. In phase I, FOR2432 was able to show that rural-urban change is reflected in polycentric patterns of land use and eating habits. The associated changes in the varied demands on ecosystem services and in the distribution of socio-economic household structures and value chains showed spatially and temporally non-linear properties and structures within the transects. In addition, the influence of urbanization extends far beyond the visible changes in the landscape.

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