IRD is a French research institute, original and unique on the European development research scene.
The IRD has operated in South Africa since 1995 and since then has led in collaboration with leading universities and research institutions programs in oceanography, hydrology, modeling of complex systems, nematology and social sciences, especially in urban geography and protected areas.
A new project was started in late 2006 at the University of KwaZulu-Natal (Pietermaritzburg campus) on the themes of water and soil conservation, sporting a young associated team since 2010. An International Joint Laboratory (LMI ICEMASA) was launched in 2009 in Cape Town in the field of oceanography in connection with climate change.
Several institutional European projects have involved the joint office since 2009, and in particular the ERA-Net Africa (ERAfrica), coordinated by IRD from South Africa.