Centre for Himalayan Studies
UPR 299
Members of the research unit

Director of research, Head of UPR 299


UPR 299 Centre d'Etudes Himalayennes, CNRS
Centre André-Georges Haudricourt
7 rue Guy Môquet
BP8. 94801 Villejuif cedex. France

E-mail: jsmadja@vjf.cnrs.fr

After completing a thesis on geomorphology in Nepal, she has oriented her work in this country towards the population's perception and representation of environments as well as land use and resource management both in terms of time and space. She has coordinated interdisciplinary teams (geography, ethnology, history, agronomy, forestry) working on the history, diversity and evolution of Himalayan landscapes in the framework of the CNRS's "Environment" programmes. Part of her research deals with the importance of the "tree" as a resource in the Himalayan populations' subsistence economy, and in particular the restoration of a bocage in several Nepalese districts. She is also studying the repercussions environmental protection policies have on agriculture and rural societies, and particularly any ensuing territorial restructurings. Her current work focuses on the eastern (Arunachal Pradesh, Assam) and western (Kumaon, Garhwal) Indian Himalayas, with the aim, from a geographical point of view, of better defining the entity represented by the Himalayan Range, the uniformity and the diversity of environments and territories, and permanent conditions and changes.


Key words: environment, rural geography, tropical mountains, perception of environments, territories, agro-forestry

Nepal : Nuwakot district (Salme), Gulmi district, Argha Khanci district, Palpa district (Masyam), Dailekh district (Dullu)
India : Arunachal Pradesh (West Siang), Assam, Uttaranchal (Kumaon, Garhwal).

Main publications:

2009, (headed by Smadja J.), Reading Himalayan Landscapes over Time. Environmental Perception, Knowledge and Practice in Nepal and Ladakh, Pondicherry : Institut Français de Pondichéry, Collections Sciences Sociales n°14, 671 p.

2003, (headed by Smadja J.), Histoire et devenir des paysages en Himalaya. Représentations des milieux et gestions des ressources au Népal et au Ladakh, (646 p), CNRS Editions, "Espaces et Milieux" collection

1995, Sur une dégradation annoncée des milieux népalais : initiatives villageoises pour remplacer les ressources forestière, Nature, Sciences et Sociétés, Paris, no.3, vol. 3, pp 190-204