Session 4: Governance, institutions and actors: the challenges of researching socio-environmental complexity
Dr Daanish Mustafa will give an overview of the theoretical and epistemological questions that arise in socio-environmental research, namely in what regards the interplay of governance, institutions and actors. Following this introduction, the session continues with a more practical tone intended to provide participants with useful insights for their own research. Hence, Tiago Freitas will present a case study from the Brazilian Amazon about the connection between deforestation control and biofuel policies. Finally, Kay Phanthuwongpakdee will present a case study from Thailand about flood adaptation.
Reader, Department of Geography, King’s College London
Daanish Mustafa obtained his BA in Geography from Middlebury College, VT, USA in 1991. His MA was from University of Hawaii Manoa and his PhD in Geography from University of Colorado, Boulder. His research interests have been at the intersection of water resources, hazards and development geography. He also maintains an interest in researching geographies of violence in terror, particularly in Pakistan from a social theoretical perspective. Daanish’s research has been funded by the US National Science Foundation, National Environmental Research Council (NERC), International Development Research Centre (IDRC) Canada, and the Belmont Forum amongst others. He has published research based in South Asia, Central America, Southern United States, Central Asia, and South-West Asia. Daanish was the co-author of the first climate change response strategies for Pakistan in addition to being the lead author for the UNDP (Pakistan) five year flood response strategy. In addition, he has also undertaken policy related work with the Department for International Development (DFID), International Organization for Migration (IOM), Stimson Centre, and United States Institute for Peace (USIP).
While maintaining an active research, grant writing and publication profile, Daanish has also been engaged in teaching. He was the recipient of 2011 School of Social Sciences and Public Policy (SSPP) Excellence In Teaching Award. The teaching portfolio at the undergraduate and post-graduate level includes: Development and Environmentalism in the Global South, Disasters and Development, Critical Geographies of Terrorism and Environmental Thought.
Coordinators: Dr Daanish Mustafa, Tiago Freitas and Kay Phanthuwongpakdee
Place: Old Committee room, Strand Building, KCL
Time: 11h00 – 13h00
One of the most used key words in academia all over the world nowadays is ‘interdisciplinarity’ or 'multidisciplinarity'. From call for papers and conferences, to Deans and rectors’ speeches and description of courses and modules, these words are almost omnipresent. However, problems generally appear when we need to translate these concepts into practice. Dr Vinínius Mariano de Carvalho will open the training by presenting guidelines to successfully explore different areas of expertise within research.
Taking the Amazon rainforest as a point of reference, Dr Vinicius Mariano de Carvalho will expose some of the historical views on colonisation and representation of nature. Subsequently, Grace Iara Souza will present a case study on the Amazonian colonisation through the setting of areas aside for environmental protection.
Questions concerning public policy and regulation in the environment-development debate will be addressed. The focus will be on the role of voluntary multi-stakeholder sustainability initiatives in the context of states with limited administrative capacity. Flavia Donadelli and Larissa Boratti will present a case study on private forest regulation in Latin America in order to stimulate an open debate about the role of alternative environmental governance mechanisms in developing countries.
Session 5: Natural resource management and gender: can pro-poor strategies work in a neo-liberal world?
Natural resources such as land, water and forests are of key importance to the livelihoods of very many people in the countries of the Global South. In many countries most people still live in rural areas and derive significant parts of their livelihoods from agriculture, livestock and fisheries as well as from timber and non-timber forest products. The management of these resources is thus of great significance both for reducing poverty and trying to attain improved sustainability in the use of the natural environment. During this session, Dr Deborah Potts will discuss some of these themes with particular reference to southern African societies, while Giovanna Grandoni will introduce the gendered implications of natural resource management in small rural communities in the Northeast of Brazil.
This session will provide an analysis of cultural, institutional and livelihood dimensions of Indigenous groups and traditional communities and how it can interact with the conservation agenda. Moreover it will present the recent evolution of international and national policies and rights of indigenous and riverine peoples, and explore its consequences on the analytical framework on human-environment interactions.
The local people right to the territory has been one of the major struggles when creating and implementing conservation and development policies throughout natural resource rich countries. Embedded in a conflict between different stakeholders and agendas, conducting research in and about such places require constant adaptation and persistence
Several changes in environmental policies and regulations have happened in Brazil in the past decade. Although commentators and protesters often use the term ‘environmental roll-back’ to describe these changes little research has been published on the actual nature and processes leading to these reforms. This session aims to fill in this gap and shed light on the actual characteristics and drivers of this recent trend.
This session will focus on research with indigenous peoples from an anthropological, environmental and economic perspective, and present the challenges of conducting fieldwork in indigenous territories in the Amazon.
The Socio-Ecological Systems (SES) Reading Group in the Department of Anthropology, UCL invite PhD students to come to our one-day student conference. This one-day postgraduate research conference seeks to bring research across both social/political and ecological/biophysical disciplines to share experiences together. The conference will explore themes in SES and sustainability, including multiple interactions and relations between people and ecosystems; political ecology of human-animal relations, customary modes of natural resource management and their conflict or complementarity with western ideas of management; community-based conservation and development approaches and factors influencing their outcomes; impacts of changes in land use, tenure, access and management on livelihoods; impacts of climate change on human well-being, ecosystems and wildlife; and integrative methodologies in understanding SES.
Given the planetary challenges we face, we urgently need to formulate more explicit projects of transformation and transition. The announcement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in September 2015 emphasises that making substantial changes using tried and tested models is unlikely to work. This paper discusses how we might move beyond the SDGs to formulate diverse pathways to future prosperity, and explains why many of the philosophical and practical ideas arising in the Global South offer innovative ways forward.