Msc STVE Speciality Tropical Ecosystems Management



Msc Life sciences, Technical sciences, and Environment (STVE)

Mention : Mathematics and Modelisation ; Social sciences, Economics, and Management.

Specialisation : Tropical Ecosystems Management (GET)

Career opportunities
Course content
Entry requirements


This Msc is centred upon analysing and comprehending the role of tropical ecosystems in the process of sustainable development, as well as the issues determining their management in the current climate of globalisation which is leading to their ever more rapid destruction. The teachning and research is characterised by a highly specialised emphasis on the environmental considerations and by innovative approaches which articulate, socio-economic, and ecological aspects into environmental management.

The course offers two specialisations :

Tropical Forestry Ecology in Kourou (French Guyana) which is oriented upon the theoretical aspects of ecology and their modelisation. It offers students the opportunity to apply practical solutions in the field in cooperation with the research teams from the UMR (mixed research group) "Guyana Forestry Ecology". This field exercise is carried out within a supervised project which lasts for the whole of the first semester and puts the students in direct contact with local actors who are implicated in the management of ecosystems.

Environmental Management of Ecosystems and Tropical Forests in Montpellier, France, which is also oriented upon theoretical aspects as well as the connections between management processes and environmental results which affect tropical ecosystems (in particular). Students will be in direct contact with the environmental research community in Montpellier, and especially the research groups collaborating with the following units : "Montpellier Management Research" (MRM), "Governance, Risk, Environment, Development, Social Dynamics and Territorial Management" (GRED), "Functional ecology, biogeochemistry, and agroecosystems" (Eco&Sols), "Goods and Services from Tropical Ecosystems : integrating the issues linked to climate change" (BSEF), "The Botany and Biocomputerisation of the Architecture of Plants" (AMAP).

The analysis and comprehension of the role of tropical ecosystems, and in particular, tropical forestry ecosystems within the context of sustainable development give rise to complex controversies, often followed by international engagements (i.e. conservation of biodiversity, regulation of hydrosystems, measures against climate change, global warming, and desertification). The scientific experts and other decision makers confronted with these questions need the necessary knowledge and experience in ecology, forestry, social science, economics, and management. The plurality of actors implicated in the management of ecosystems, the emergence of new arenas of discussion and management decision making which go beyond just national and local scales, the emergence of the question of global goods, and increasingly stringent standards for recruitment at international level are driving the evolution of these professions, and requiring more, and better research and scientific expertise.

The specialisation "Tropical Ecosystem Management" teaches via research to train specialists in the management of ecosystems, specifically tropical forestry ecosystems, and will usually be followed by doctorate level studies, or recruitment directly into the operational field. The cursus also allow the student to pursue subsequent environmental management research programs outside of the tropical context. At the interface situated between ecological sciences, and social sciences which conform to the systemic logic made necessary by the complex nature of tropical forestry ecosystems, this specialisation is commensurate with the M1 mention "Mathematics and modelisation, social sciences, economics, and management". There are links with the mention "Territory, ressources, milieux" and some of the teaching is shared with the Sustainable Tropical Forestry European Msc (SUTROFOR).


Careerl opportunities

Career openings for students with this qualification are :

Research posts in either French or international scientific organisations, i.e; IRD, CIRAD, INRA, CNRS, French, or international universities or International (CGIAR-Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research, in particular CIFOR, ICRAF...).

Management posts overseas working for Governmental Organisations, i.e. UNESCO, FAO, PNUE, FEM, and NGO's i.e. UICN, WWF, CI, for whom the doctorate is the accepted standard.

les postes à responsabilité ou d’expertise à l’international dans les organisations gouvernementales (UNESCO, FAO, PNUE, FEM) ou non (UICN, WWF, CI…) pour lesquels le doctorat est le standard reconnu.

For non-doctorate students there are diverse openings in both the public as well as private operational sectors in the developing countries and Europe, i.e. environmental study groups, environmental management institutions, departments, agencies as well as logging companies, international organisations or companies implicated in environmental conservation (including RSE's), as well as Development NGO's and Environmental NGO's.

The STVE syllabus is intended for the following types of career : mission supervisor for an international organisation, mission supervisor in forestry and environmental study consultant, forestry ecosystems manager, forestry allocation surveyor, protected zone manager, mission manager in forestry-biodiversity conservation, engineer for public forestry/environment department, research and development project chief, environmental officer in a private company...

Course content

The course programme takes place at the AgroParisTech campus, Montpellier, and in Kourou, French Guyana. Only the research part of the programme may be undertaken in an outside laboratory. Montpellier is home to the largest number of researchers and professors and post graduate studies in the domain of agroecosystems and tropical forestry ecosystems of anywhere in the world.

The GET specialisation is composed of :

An academic teaching programme in the form of lectures and TD given by the permanent staff of the GEEFT team, the Mixed research Unit "The Guyana Forests Ecology", associated researchers and research professors (from partner institutions), and consultants from private companies. This is concluded by a diverse range of exercises aimed at evaluating the students capabilities (either individually or in group, by written examination, synthesis exercises, or fieldwork).

Either a collective practical field exercise (Guyana) or an individual field exercise lasting at least four months and culminating in a written report and an oral presentation in front of a jury with the participation of a designated outside expert who will also supervise a part of the fieldwork.

The experience of working in a geographically multicultural (many participating students will be from developing countries) as well as an academically multicultural educational milieu (diversity of course content from one EU country to another, and diversity of personnel from public, or state organisms, universities, and private sector companies).


Teaching unit (UE) ECTS Supervising Professor
3rd SEMESTER, Environmental Management (Montpellier)    
UE G1 – Tropical Forestry (Guyana) 5 Stéphane Traissac
UE G2 – Ecology of tropical forests and Global change 5 Raphaël Manlay
UE G3 – Tropical Forestry Sylviculture and Agroforestry 4 Georges Smektala
UE G4 – Social sciences for forestry management and environmental management in the international context 5 Maya Leroy
UE G5 – Economics, and the politics of forestry and the environmental in developing countries 4 Maya Leroy
UE G6 – Systems dynamics and Geographical information systems 4 Georges Smektala
UE G7 – Scientific communications 3 Raphaël Manlay
3rd SEMESTER, Ecology (Kourou)    
UE E1 – Biodiversity origins and preservation 7.5 Bruno Hérault (UAG)
UE E2 – Evolutive botany 2.5 Bruno Hérault (UAG)
UE E3 – Functional Ecology 2.5 Jean-Christophe Roggy (INRA)
UE E4 – Modelisation of ecological systems 3 Bruno Hérault (UAG)
UE E5 – Methodological tools 4 Eric Marcon
UE E6 – Applied ecology in conservation management 3 Stéphane Traissac
UE E7 – Social science and applied management in ecosystems management 7.5 Maya Leroy
4th SEMESTER    
UE TC2 – Individual research stage 30  


Entry requirements


Students are admitted in M2 having completed their M1 year in one of the following specialities :

The M1 specialisation STVE "Mathematics, Economic Science, and Social Science" which is co-organised by AgroParisTech and the Ecole des Ponts ParisTech. In this M1 the students follow a multidiscilinary syllabus employing methods common to economics, ecology, and biology, as well as complementary studies in sociology. A certain number of candidatures are open to students issued from the Msc STVE "Espace, resources, milieux" (Territory, Resources, Biodiversity) specialisation.

Students may also be admitted from M1 first year environmental sciences (ecology, biology), or economic and management sciences (political science, geopolitics), as well as graduates of the Frech Ecole Normale Supérieure, or qualified engineers in environmental or natural sciences (agronomy, forestry) or equivalent.



Candidates for the academic year 2013 may apply after March 2013.

To apply : click here.

Selection of candidates

The student candidates will submit a written application which will be considered by a jury of Master GET team teaching staff at the annual admission reunion in June.The jurys decision will be final.


The academic calendar

The forthcoming academic year begins on the 1st of September in Kourou at the start of the "Tropical Hulid Forest" module wich ends on Septembre, the 29th. The subsequent teaching programme in Montpellier starts on October, the 3rd at 10 hrs.



Dr Maya Leroy
GFR « Gestion Environnementale des Ecosystèmes et Forêts Tropicales » (GEEFT)
648 rue Jean-François Breton
BP 7355 - 34086 Montpellier Cedex 4

Dr Eric Marcon
Campus Agronomique - BP 316
97387 Kourou cedex
Guyane française

UFR G-ENV — AgroParisTech

Centre de Montpellier
648 rue Jean-François Breton
BP 44494
34090 Montpellier Cedex 5