PALOC is a group of researchers, research professors, engineers and technicians working together in a joint research unit associating IRD to MNHN. Its main location is at the Jardin des Plantes in Paris.

PALOC focuses on the process of construction and de-construction of natural and cultural heritage, of territories and of biodiversity in the South. It has six research teams responding to three scientific priorities, and it includes a transverse axis, which is conceptual and methodological and consists of scientific animation like workshops, courses and training for research. UMR PALOC is present on all continents and works in partnership with countries from the South and the North. In this capacity, it cooperates with about thirty associate members. The UMR is attached to the Doctoral School of the MNHN, where it is involved in most courses of Master "Museums, Science, Cultures and Societies" and participates to some courses of Master "Environment, Development, Territories and Societies." PALOC's members supervise around thirty PhD students of various nationality.

On the different South fields where they work, PALOC researchers are engaged in scientific programs in partnership with various institutions. These programs fall within different contexts: they can be Research Contracts (ANR, EU, ministries, IFIs, Foundations, ... IDEX), IRD incentive actions, National Museum of natural History transverse actions, recurring operations and transversal actions of PALOC .

Axis 1 (Territories and Strategies) is centered on the construction (and deconstruction) processes of territories, heritages and identities. As a polysemic object, the territory is addressed both as first anchor of local heritage, and as a target of various public policies aiming at managing or protecting it.

Axis 2 (Biological and Cultural Diversity) is focused on the dynamics between cultural diversity and biodiversity. It examines how the construction of local heritage can contribute to their conservation and strengthening.

Axis 3 (Heritage and its "mise en scène") considers local heritage in its museum dimension and focuses especially on the new methods and trends in the elaboration, conservation and staging of tangible and intangible heritage.

The synergy and collective reflection of researchers and of their partners take place in a transverse axis, where PALOC's philosophy and strategy are elaborated. This axis is home to scientific events, expertise, training and education.

PALOC organizes two types of scientific seminars in order to enrich and promote its reflection on local heritage and to strengthen the coherence of its actions on different fields.

External seminars are open to all, they are the forum where various stakeholders and actors on the theme of heritage present and share their research.

The internal seminar is where researchers, PhD students and associated members in the UMR present their work. It is the place where thematic and methodological convergences are elaborated among scientists.





Joint International Laboratory (LMI) 2012-2017



Title : Heritage and Territory of Coastal Wetlands

Areas: West Africa : Mauritania, Senegal, Gambia, Bissau-Guinea


Diakhaté Mouhamadou, MCF, Laboratoty LEÏDI « Territory Dynamic and Development », Geography Department, University of Gaston Berger, Saint Louis, Senegal (, « host » laboratory of PATEO

Cormier-Salem Marie-Christine, DR IRD, UMR 208 PALOC « Patrimoines locaux »/ Local Heritage, , Campus international de recherche UCAD/IRD, BP 1386, Dakar, Sénégal (


Created for five years ( 2012-2016 ) by the IRD, the Joint International Laboratory " Heritages and territories of the Coastal Wetlands " (LMI PATEO) is flat on a scientific, technical and educational platform which intends to analyze the strategies of the actor in environments submitted to strong constraints boundto the global changes. It aims at clarifying the complex stakes that the preservation of the ecosystematic services in connection with the well-being of the populations and wonder about the values of the biodiversity and the sharing of the benefits from socio-ecosystems.


Key words :

Coastal wetlands; Biodiversity conservation; Local development ; Ecosystem Services ; System of values ; Heritage ; Territory; Highing-value tools (Localised productions; Ecomuseum)


Partnerships : 11 partners, 80 members (IE, R & Pr)



  • University of Nouakchott (UN), ENS, ISET, PND (Mauritania)
  • University of Ziguinchor, Senegal
  • NGO GRDR  (Ziguinchor, Senegal and Cacheu, Bissau-Guinea)
  • IFAN-CAD Archeology Department, Dakar, Sénégal
  • UAB, Autonomia University of Barcelona, SGR INTERFASE, « Resources, Territories and Landscapes of coastal Zones » ; SGR AGREST « Archeology and Territory managment », Barcelono, Espagne
  • University of Ferrara

Associated partners:

  • UMR ECOSYM Ecology of coastaland Marine zones
  • UMR DIAL Development, Institutions & Mondialization (UMR225 IRD-Paris Dauphine)
  • UMR CEPED Center of Population and Development (UPD-INED-IRD)
  • UMR GRED Governance, Risk, Environment, Development
  • Direction of Information System (DSI), IRD
  • Service of cartography, IRD



Main Scientific objectives

  1. Identify and characterize the stakeholders of the Deltas’ governance
  2.  Arrest the knowledges, the practices and the institutions mobilized in this governance
  3.  Analyze the interactions between ecosystem services, the conflicts and the modalities of their resolution, by highlighting the claiming (patrimonial, territorial, identity),
  4. Support the innovative strategies of heritages adding-value



Sirena Technical platform– Delta of Senegal River

A participatory GIS focused on the transfrontier Senegal River Delta

Some actions:

  1. Training on geomatic for PA managers
  2. Technical platform (GIS, server)
  3. Collaborative atlas



Heritage Valorization – Delta of Saloum Niumi

Some actions:

  1. Training on participatory museology
  2. House of products from the sea
  3. Ecotourism and ecomuseum in Saloum Delta



Citizen Governance of South Coast – Casamance Geba Basin

Some actions:

  1. Training on participatory mapping
  2. Restoration of wet rice cultivation
  3. Adding value of mangrove-origin products