In the states of West Africa, natural processes and processes intensified by anthropongenic influence such as desertification or the effects of climate change lead to social catatstrophes such as
- increasingly violent conflicts over land use,
- malnourishment of large shares of the population,
- migration processes.
Migration processes are directed towards the few favored areas such as the coastal zones and the metropolises, in which social problems mutually intensify and lead to a dramatic increase in the overuse of natural resources.
One of the regional research focuses is the analysis of the processes that can be observed in these West African states with the objective to develop instruments and methods of conflict regulation and of spatial planning.
The main research topics are in particular
- The conflicts linked to the fishery in the Gulf of Benin, opposing traditional and industrial fisher and their effects on spatial use,
- Socioeconomic processes and land use changes in the coastal areas and the resulting conflicts,
- Use of resources, excessive use of resources, its causes and effects
- Perception and assessment of natural risks by the local population and the actions derived from their perception,
- Effects of external interventions on planned strategies and and measures taken by local actors.