Public News

Oct. 22, 2021

Focus on the workshop "Island Territories facing climate change" in Réunion Island

After more than two years of preparation, the workshop “Island territories climate change - Reunion Island / Indian Ocean - Actions for island resilience” brought together fifteen professionals and volunteer experts, from Reunion Island and all around the world (Mauritius, Madagascar, Brazil, Indonesia, India, South Africa, Germany, Hungary, France) from 25 September to 08 October 2021.

The initiative was born within the framework of a strategic reflection initiated by the Agence Française de Développement - Trois Océans and supported by Les Ateliers de Cergy since 2019. This approach is embodied in the Indian Ocean and its linchpin is the workshop organized in Reunion island in September and October 2021.

In 2020, the cycle of 3 “Island Voices” online meetings explored the issues that cross island territories in the light of climate change, even though the pandemic prevented any displacement and highlighted the vulnerabilities of these islands. It featured exchanges between various actors from islands around the world: project leaders, researchers, private and public actors, AFD agencies in island territories, etc. These debates highlight common characteristics within the islands: the significant effects of climate change, the position of dependence towards more or less close partners, the littoralization of activities despite the vulnerability of the coast, ... but it also shows the need to rely on the uniqueness and diversity of these spaces and populations to respond to these important challenges.

After two field missions with experts from Les Ateliers mobilized on Reunion Island, the international call for applications and the three round tables organized by videoconference with stakeholders in Reunion Island explored the questions of the workshop : how to enhance the ecological, economic and social continuities between the “Highs” (mountainous areas) and the “Lows” (coastal areas), how to manage the risk management at all scales and decision levels (communities, inhabitants, users, farmers, etc.), how to respond to the significant land pressure by taking into account Reunion's way of living,...

The international urban planning workshop in Reunion Island took place from 25 September to 8 October 2021, organized with the French Development Agency and its agency in Reunion, the Regional Council of Reunion island, the Departmental Council of Reunion island, the Intercommunal structures of CIVIS, TCO and CIREST, and with the support of the Banque des Territoires and the National School of Architecture in Reunion Island (ENSAM).

Three days of field visits led the participants from the heights to the coast and made them meet a multitude of actors on the field. The participants were welcomed by the mayors Ms. Ericka Bareigts (Saint-Denis), Mr. Bruno Domen (Saint-Leu) and Ms. Juliana M'Doihoma (Saint-Louis) on their territories, and were accompanied by technical teams, researchers, national or local institutions, members of environmental associations, etc.

The fifteen participants, architects, town planners, landscapers, anthropologists, engineers, psychologists, agronomists or economists, worked two weeks divided into three teams. It was punctuated by the opening session organized at the Hemicycle of the Regional Council of Reunion (marked by sincere and nourished exchanges between participants and local elected officials), and by the exchange forum, allowing participants to test their first intuitions before continuing to work.

The final presentations took place on Friday, October 8, 2021 at the Hemicycle of the Departmental Council of Reunion Island and in videoconference, with the exceptional holding of two simultaneous jury debates: an on site jury highlighting the most fruitful ideas for the territory of Reunion island, and the other in videoconference bringing together the different territories of the Indian Ocean (Mauritius, Mayotte, Madagascar, Comoros) through AFD agencies and actors of the territories (communities, planning agencies, architecture school, association, companies ...) to draw lessons and perspectives on this scale of the Indian Ocean.

The work now continues with the presentation of the proposals, the preparation of the synthesis of the workshop in Reunion Island and the pursuit of initiatives with the partners of the Indian Ocean, in particular through an upcoming cycle of videoconferences "Lessons and possibilities for the Indian Ocean".


The session book brings together the proposals of the three teams, and briefly presents the subject and progress of the workshop (french and english summaries) :

The context document introduces the territory and gathers the relevant information to understand the challenges of climate change.

The first part shows the territory of Reunion with data, maps and information on the island and the territories of interest:

The second part (Appendices) gathers the summaries of the "Island Voices", the presentation sheets of the territories of the Indian Ocean and the summaries of the round tables with experts from Reunion Island:

The topic-document introduces the subject of the workshop and was the medium of the call for applications:

  • Rencontre au siège de CIREST / Meeting in the East of the island (CIREST) during the visits
  • Mme Ericka Bareigts présente le territoire de Saint-Denis / The mayor Ericka Bareigts introduces the territory of Saint-denis
  • Les questions de pression sur le littoral présentées à Saint-Leu, avec M. Bruno Domen / Coastal preservation was a focus point of the visit in Saint-Leu with its mayor
  • Mme Juliana M'Doihoma accueille les participants pendant leur visite à l'étang du Gol / The mayor welcomes the participants at the étang du Gol
  • Premières présentations au forum d'échange / First presentations during the exchange forum
  • Ouverture de la journée du jury / Opening of the final day
  • Présentations finales des équipes / Final presentations from the teams
  • Vue sur le cirque de Cilaos depuis les Makes / View of the Cilaos circus from the Makes