Name: Dr Mirjam A.F. Ros-Tonen
Academic status: Associate Professor at the Dept. of Geography, Planning and International Development Studies and Amsterdam Institute for Social Science Research / Governance and Inclusive Development Group (AISSR-GID)
Research interests: Integrated landscape governance for food security, sustainable livelihoods and climate resilience, interaction between forest governance and forest-based livelihoods, knowledge co-creation and joint learning
As a researcher, I aim to contribute to debates on how to reconcile food security, livelihoods and the provision of environmental services in forested landscapes. As one of the pioneers in non-timber forest research as a strategy for reconciling tropical forest conservation and sustainable livelihoods since the 1990s, and having supervised several PhD studies in this field, I have come to the conclusion that such ‘win-win’ scenarios will be hard to realise in natural forests. Therefore, my research interest has shifted towards the productive landscape, in the conviction that we need integrated approaches to deal with challenges regarding poverty, biodiversity loss, climate change and food insecurity. I thereby see landscapes as dynamic configurations of human-nature interactions in geographical spaces of variable scale, determined by both biophysical characteristics and perceptions, and steered by institutions through which actors negotiate land-use objectives and trade-offs. While many international organisations recently embraced the landscape approach, I want to critically interrogate issues of scale, power imbalances in landscape governance, alignment with administrative boundaries, and rural-urban linkages which, up to now, have been neglected in the debate. The geographical focus of my research is on Ghana and South Africa, while PhD supervision has also included research in Indonesia, Cameroon, Kenya and Honduras. I publish broadly in ISI-rated journals, books, professional journals and publications for the general public.
My managerial tasks include chairing the Examination Board of the Research Masters Social Sciences, Urban Studies and International Development Studies and chairing the GPIO Sounding Board (“Klankbordgroep”).
Outreach dominated my work between 2008-2011. As the coordinator of the Netherlands Development Policy Review Network (DPRN) since its inception in 2004, I succeeded in acquiring a € 1.8 million grant from the Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Affairs for a second phase (2008-2011), which offered opportunities across national borders to create conditions for Dutch and Flemish development experts from different sectors to meet, search for common ground and create synergies. My outreach work also includes being Associated Editor of Environmental Management (IF 1.87) and TESG Journal of Economic and Social Geography (IF 1.122) and being a reviewer for COSUST (IF 4.656), Ecological Economics (IF 3.277), Ecology and Society (IF 3.310), European Journal for Development Research (IF 0.720), Forest Ecology and Management (IF 2.826), Forests (IF 1.583) , Land Use Policy (IF 2.768), NJAS – Wageningen Journal of Life Sciences (IF 0.635), Society and Natural Resources (IF 1.758), and World Development (IF 2.348). I ran a consultancy firm for science writing and editing before I joined the UvA in 2005, and this experience is reflected in the value I attach to making research results accessible to policymakers and the general public through infosheets and policy briefs.
In addition to my affiliation with the UvA I was affiliated researcher (pesquisadora associada) to the Núcleo de Altos Estudos Amazônicos (NAEA) of the Federal University of Pará in Belém, Brazil, in 2005 and 2006, and, both on invitation, visiting professor at the Postgraduate Programme in Environmental Sciences of the University of São Paulo (USP-PROCAM) from June-September 2009, and visiting scientist at the Centre for International Forestry Research (CIFOR) in Bogor, Indonesia, from April-July 2014.
Google Citations Index: i10-index 38 (i.e. 38 papers that have at least 10 citations) : http://scholar.google.com/citations?hl=nl&user=V0MA_y0AAAAJ#
RG Score 21.82 See https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Mirjam_Ros-Tonen,
See Researchgate https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Mirjam_Ros-Tonen, for complete overview and access to publications.
ROS-TONEN, M.A.F., Reed, J. and Sunderland, T. (2018) Editorial. From synergy to complexity: The trend toward integrated value chain and landscape governance. Environmental Management 62:1–14 (IF 1.878) https://doi.org/10.1007/s00267-018-1055-0.
Asubonteng, K.O., Pfeffer, K., Ros-Tonen, M.A.F., Verbesselt, J. and Baud, I.S.A. (2018). Effects of tree-crop farming on the land-cover transitions in a mosaic landscape in the Eastern Region of Ghana. Environmental Management. https://doi.org/10.1007/s00267-018-1060-3.
Foli, S., ROS-TONEN, M.A.F., Reed, J. & Sunderland, T. (2018). Lessons for landscape approaches from community-based natural resource management in Ghana and Burkina Faso. Environmental Management ) 62:82–97. (IF 1.878). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00267-017-0866-8.
Deans, H., ROS-TONEN, M.A.F. & Derkyi, M. (2018). Advanced value chain collaboration in Ghana’s cocoa sector: An entry point for integrated landscape approaches?. Environmental Management 62:143–156. (IF 1.878). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00267-017-0863-y.
Acheampong, E., Insaidoo, T.F.G. & ROS-TONEN, M.A.F. (2016). Management of Ghana's modified taungya system: Challenges and strategies for improvement. Agroforestry Systems 90(4), 659-674 (IF 0.910)
Specht, D. & ROS-TONEN, M.A.F. (2016) Gold, power, protest: Examining how digital and social media are used to protest large scale mining projects in Colombia. New Media and Society Published ahead of print. DOI: 10.1177/1461444816644567 (IF 2.052).\
Gupta, J., Pouw, N. R., & ROS-TONEN, M.A.F. (2015). Towards an elaborated theory of inclusive development. European Journal of Development Research,27(4), 541-559 (IF 0.851).
ROS-TONEN, M. A., Van Leynseele, Y. P. B., Laven, A., & Sunderland, T. (2015). Landscapes of Social Inclusion: Inclusive Value-Chain Collaboration Through the Lenses of Food Sovereignty and Landscape Governance.European Journal of Development Research, 27(4), 523-540 (IF 0.851).
Ingram, V., ROS-TONEN, M.A.F. and Dietz. T. (2015). A fine mess: Bricolaged forest governance in Cameroon. International Journal of the Commons 9(1). http://www.thecommonsjournal.org/index.php/ijc/article/download/516/471
ROS-TONEN, M.A.F, Derkyi, M, and Insaidoo, T. (2014). From co-management to landscape governance: Whither Ghana’s modified taungya system? Forests 5: 2996-3021; doi:10.3390/f5122996
Quaedvlieg, J., Garcia Roca, M. and ROS-TONEN, M.A.F. (2014). Amazon nut certification a way towards smallholder empowerment in Peruvian Amazonia? Journal of Rural Studies 33: 41-55..
Wiersum, K.F., Ingram, V.J. and ROS-TONEN, M.A.F. (2013). Governing access to resources and markets in non-timber forest product chains. Forests, Trees and Livelihoods. [ahead of print]. DOI: 10.1080/14728028.2013.868676.
Derkyi, M, ROS-TONEN, M.A.F., Kyereh, B. and Dietz, T. (2013). FIghting over forest: Towards a shared analysis of forest conflicts and conflict management in Ghana. Society and Natural Resources, 27(3), 281-298.
ROS-TONEN, M.A.F., Insaidoo, T.F.G., Acheampong, E. (2013). Promising start, bleak outlook: The role of Ghana's modified taungya system as a social safeguard in timber legality processes. Forest Policy and Economics 32: 57-67. URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.forpol.2012.11.011.
Derkyi, M., ROS-TONEN, M.A.F., Kyereh, B. and Dietz, T. (2013). Emerging forest regimes and livelihoods in the Tano Offin forest reserve, Ghana: Implications for social safeguards. Forest Policy and Economics 32: 49-56. URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.forpol.2013.03.005.
Insaidoo, T.F.G., ROS-TONEN, M.A.F. and Acheampong, E. (2013). On-Farm tree planting in Ghana's high forest zone: The need to consider carbon payments. Pp. 437-463 in R. Muradian and L. Rival (Eds.). Governing the provision of ecosystem services. Heidelberg: Springer Publishers.
Arts, B., Bommel, S., ROS-TONEN, M.A.F., Verchoor, G. (eds.) (2012). Forest-People Interfaces. Understanding Community Forestry and Bio-Cultural Diversity . Wageningen: Wageningen Academic Publishers.
Arts, B., Bommel, S., ROS-TONEN, M.A.F., Verchoor, G. (2012). Forest-People Interfaces: From local perspectives to global concern. Pp. 5-28 in Arts, B., Bommel, S., ROS-TONEN, M.A.F., Verchoor, G. (eds.) (2012). Forest-People Interfaces. Understanding Community Forestry and Bio-Cultural Diversity . Wageningen: Wageningen Academic Publishers.
ROS-TONEN, M.A.F. (2012). Non-timber forest product extraction as a productive bricolage process. Pp. 29-48 in Arts, B., Bommel, S., ROS-TONEN, M.A.F., Verchoor, G. (eds.) (2012). Forest-People Interfaces. Understanding Community Forestry and Bio-Cultural Diversity . Wageningen: Wageningen Academic Publishers.
ROS-TONEN, M.A.F. and Kusters, K. (2011b). Governance for Non-Timber Forest Products. In: N.R.M. Pouw and I.S.A. Baud (eds.) Local Governance and Poverty in Developing Countries . New York: Routledge.
De Vries and ROS-TONEN, M.A.F. (2011). Bridging Knowledge Divides. The Role of the Development Policy Review Network in Strengthening Research-Policy Linkages. In: Hoebink, P. (ed.). The Netherlands YearbookonInternational Cooperation 2009. Assen: Van Gorcum.
ROS-TONEN, M.A.F and Kusters, K. (2011a). Pro-poor Governance of Non-Timber Forest Products:The Need for Secure Tenure, theRule of Law, Market Access and Partner¬ships. Pp. 189-207 in: S. Shackleton, C. Shackleton and P. Shanley (eds.) Non-Timber Forest Products in the Global Context. Tropical Forest Series. Heidelberg: Springer Publishers.
ROS-TONEN, M.A.F. (2010). 'Changing Prospects for Sustainable Forestry inBrazilian Amazonia: Exploring New Trends', Pp. 139-153 in P. van Lindert and O. Verkoren (eds.) Decentralized Development in Latin America. Experiences in Local Governance and Local Development, GeoJournal Library 97,Dordrecht / Heidelberg: Springer Publishers. DOI 10.1007/978-90-481-3739-8_10.
Berman Arévalo, E. and ROS-TONEN, M.A.F. (2009). Discourses, Power Negotiations and Indigenous Political Organization in Forest Partnerships: The Case of Selva de Matavén, Colombia . Human Ecology 37(6): 733-747. http://www.springerlink.com/content/t0367174158866l4/
ROS-TONEN, M.A.F. and Werneck, A.F. (2009). 'Small-scale Tourism Development in Brazilian Amazonia: The Creation of a 'Tourist Bubble'', European Journal of Latin American and Caribbean Studies 86: 59-79.
Kusters, K., Ruiz-Pérez, M., De Foresta, H., Dietz, T., ROS-TONEN, M., Belcher, B., Manalu, P., Nawir, A., Wollenberg, L. (2008). 'Will Agroforests Vanish? The Case of Damar Agroforests in Indonesia'. Human Ecology 36(3): 357-370.
ROS-TONEN, M.A.F., Andel, T. van, Morsello, C., Otsuki, K., Rosendo, S.and Scholz, I. (2008).'Forest-related partnershipsin Brazilian Amazonia: there is more to sustainable forest management than reduced impact logging'. Forest Ecology and Management 256: 1482-1497.
ROS-TONEN, M.A.F. (2007). Novas Perspectivas para a gestão sustentável da Floresta Amazônia:Explorando NovosCaminhos. Ambiente e Sociedade (Campinas SP, Brazil) 10(1): 11-25.
ROS-TONEN, M.A.F. (ed.) (in collaboration with H. van den Hombergh and A. Zoomers) (2007). Partnerships in Sustainable Forest Resource Management: Learning from Latin America. CLAS Series. Leiden/Boston: Brill Publishers.
ROS-TONEN, M.A.F., Hombergh. H. van den and Zoomers, E.B. (2007). 'Partnerships for Sustainable Forest and Tree Resource Management in Latin America: The New Road towards Successful Forest Governance?' Pp. 4-35 in M.A.F. Ros-Tonen (ed.): Partnerships in Sustainable Forest Resource Management: Learning from Latin America. CLAS Series. Leiden/Boston: Brill Publishers.
ROS-TONEN, M.A.F. and Dietz, T. (eds.) (2005). African Forests between Nature and Livelihood Resources. Interdisciplinary Studies in Conservation and Forest Management. African Studies No. 81. Lewinston/Queenston/Lampeter: The Edwin Mellen Press.
ROS-TONEN, M.A.F., Zaal, F. and Dietz, T. (2005). 'Reconciling Conservation Goals and Livelihood Needs: New Forest Management Perspectives in 21st Century'. In: M.A.F. Ros-Tonen and T. Dietz (eds.) African Forests between Nature and Livelihood Resources. Interdisciplinary Studies in Conservation and Forest Management. African Studies No. 81. Lewinston/Queenston/Lampeter: The Edwin Mellen Press, pp. 3-30.
ROS-TONEN, M.A.F. Tonen, Dietz, T., Adano, W.R. and Njogu, J.G. (2005). 'Sustainable Forests and Livelihoods: Romantic Illusion or Environ¬mental and Social Necessity?' In : M.A.F. Ros-Tonen and T. Dietz (eds.) African Forests between Nature and Livelihood Resources. Interdisciplinary Studies in Conservation and Forest Management. African StudiesNo. 81.Lewinston/Queenston/Lampeter: The Edwin Mellen Press, pp. 393-420.
ROS-TONEN, M.A.F. and Wiersum, K.F. (2005). 'The Scope of Improving Rural Livelihoods through Non-TimberForest Products: An Evolving Research Agenda'. Forests, Trees and Livelihoods 15(2): 129-148.
Kusters, K., ROS-TONEN, M.A.F., Top, G. van der and Dietz, T. (2001). 'The Potential Contribution of Non-Timber Forest Product Extraction to Tropical Forest Conservation: Lessons from a Case Study of Bamboo Utilisation in a Sierra Madre Community, the Philippines'. Journal of Bamboo and Rattan Research 1: 77-94.
ROS-TONEN, M.A.F. (2000). 'The Role of Non-Timber Forest Products in Sustainable Tropical Forest Management'.Holz als Roh-und Werkstoff 58: 196-201.
Insaidoo, T.F.G., Ros-Tonen, M.A.F., Hoogenbosch, L. and
Acheampong, E. (2012). Addressing forest degradation and
timber deficits. ETFRN News 53: 230-239. [Special
Issue Moving forward with forest governance].
Derkyi, M., Ros-Tonen, M.A.F., Dietz, T. and Kyereh, B. (2012). Interactive forest governance for conflict management in Ghana. ETFRN News 53: 19-28. [Special Issue Moving forward with forest governance].
Ros-Tonen, M.A.F. (2011). Forest products-Non-timber. In S.
Fredericks, L. Shen, S. Thompson & D. Vasey (Eds.),
Natural Resources and Sustainability (The
Encyclopedia of Sustainability, Vol. 4) (pp. 163-167). Great
Barrington, MA: Berkshire Publishing.
Ros-Tonen, M.A.F., de Vries, K., Kusters, K., and Donner, J.
(2011). Linking to learn & Learning from linking. Lessons
from Eight years of DPRN. Amsterdam: DPRN (63 pp.).
Ros-Tonen, M.A.F. and Wiersum, K.F. (2007). Forest-based
Poverty Alleviation and theMillennium Development Goals, ETFRN
News 47-48: 33-36.
Ros-Tonen, M. (2006) Tropical forest governance: dealing
with increasing complexity. IIFM Communique 8(2): 4-7.
Wiersum, K.F.and Ros-Tonen, M.A.F (2005). The Role of Forests in Poverty Alleviation: Dealing with Multiple Millennium Development Goals, North-South Policy Brief 2005-6: 1-7.
(Co-promotor/Daily supervisor; Promotor: Prof. Ton Dietz)
Title: Existence versus extinction. Hippo-human conflicts in Lake Victoria Area, Kenya
Problem definition: Human-hippo conflicts are increasing due to anthropogenic factors. This study goes beyond human-hippo conflicts as land-use related clashes between people and hippos by taking the human dimension of these conflicts into account. Hence it focusses on actors’ perceptions and practices regarding hippos and their habitats. By making the underlying principles, values and images explicit, a realistic notion arises of the constraints and opportunities related to dealing with human-hippo conflicts, hence facilitating conflict resolution.
Research question: How can human-hippo conflicts in Lake Victoria Area, Kenya, best be understood and dealt with?
Theoretical Framework: The theoretical framework comprises of three strands of scholarly literature: (1) Literature on wildlife conservation, human-wildlife conflicts, and wildlife damage management; (2) interactive governance theory, including the norms and principles (meta-governance or 3rd order governance), institutions (2nd order) that guide and shape day-to-day management (1st order); and (3) political ecology, which pays attention to unequal access to natural resources, power
differences in wildlife conservation, and the way in which knowledge and discourses are used to retain these power differences and inequalities. The response of people to conflicts and their attitude (avoidance or conflict resolution oriented) determines the course of human-hippo conflicts and ultimately their outcome.
Methodology: The “hippo monitoring project” involved year-round monitoring of human-hippo conflicts and damage assessment in villages bordering Winam Gulf, Lake Victoria. Data collection included a questionnaire survey, which covered three time periods. Focus groups and awareness creation meetings with communities and the Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) covered the more action-oriented part of the study.
Expected results: The perceptions of actors in wildlife governance have come to the fore. The study underlined the need to improve the relationship between residents and KWS. Suggestions are made for co-governance arrangements to sustain the formation of local hippo lobby groups and the creation of ‘hippo conservancies’ as an answer to the ever increasing conflicts.
Expected graduation: October 2017
(Co-promotor/Daily supervisor, Promotors: Prof. Joyeeta Gupta and Prof. Isa Baud)
Title: Community empowerment through spatial knowledge brokering in multilevel forest governance
Problem definition: Scholarly literature on local and indigenous knowledge addresses its importance to forest and biodiversity conservation; indigenous and local people’s rights stipulated in international conventions; and issues related to participation and the principle of Free, Prior and Informed Consent (FPIC), but scarcely examines how the exchange and use of local people’s knowledge in multilevel governance can lead to empowerment.
Research question: How can local people in Ghana’s high forest zone be empowered through participatory spatial knowledge management (PGIS) and knowledge brokering in multilevel forest governance addressing forest conservation?
Theoretical framework: The conceptual framework draws from theories on multilevel forest governance, inclusive development, empowerment, knowledge brokering and participatory spatial knowledge management. It guides the analysis of terms under which local spatial knowledge is produced, exchanged and used, and how knowledge brokering can enhance local people’s empowerment.
Methodology: Comparative analysis between relatively intact and degraded forest reserve. Mixed methods, including participatory mapping and Participatory Geographic Information Systems (PGIS), household survey (N=598), participant observation, workshop, 54 semi-structured interviews, and review of literature, internet sources and policy documents.
Expected results: Insights into (a) rich, but partial, spatial knowledge of local people of their environment, (b) interactions between local people and knowledge brokering organisations; (c) the effects of production, exchange and use of local spatial knowledge on people’s empowerment.
Expected graduation: March, 2018
(Co-promotor/Daily supervisor; promotores: Prof. Joyeeta Gupta and Prof. Dr. Meine van Noordwijk)
Title: REDD+ and social safeguards: Land tenure and rights in Indonesia
Problem definition: Land-based climate change mitigation (REDD+) may have adverse impacts on customary tenure and use rights for local populations. This raises the question of how effective common property regimes can be created in forested landscapes that help meeting emission reduction efforts and achieving justice.
Research question: How are community rights to forest affected by and renegotiated in the implementation of REDD+ policies in Indonesia and what are the implications for the (re-)design of social safeguard policies and tenure arrangements for carbon emission reductions and justice?
Theoretical framework: This study combines social justice and 'bundle of rights' theory with discourse analysis.
Methodology: This research uses a multiple-case embedded design, analysing emission reduction policies at national level (Indonesia) and the adoption of safeguards at provincial level (Jambi). Discourse and common property analyses are used to investigate how climate change mitigation and social safeguards regulate the practice of forest management devolution and affect emission reduction and justice.
Expected results: Insights into (a) the effects of the international social safeguards debate on national REDD+ and tenure policies, (b) the effects of national REDD+ policies on forest tenure, use and access by forest communities, and (c) property rights interventions that are needed to ensure that REDD+ is implemented in a way that fully respects the rights of affected communities.
Expected graduation: March 2018
(Co-promotor/Daily supervisor; with co-promotor Dr Bart de Steenhuijsen Piters; promotor: Prof. Joyeeta Gupta)
Title: Exploring the implications of agribusiness driven agricultural expansion for small-scale tree crop farmers in Limpopo, South Africa
Problem definition: Against the backdrop of centuries of large-scale dispossession of land and livelihoods of black South Africans, the need to support the development of the ‘missing middle’ of small-scale farmers capable of producing a marketable surplus is critical to reconfiguring the dualistic and unequal agrarian structure. This remains a structural cause of rural poverty (Cousins 2007, Hall 2009). Subtropical tree crops such as macadamia nuts and avocado have been identified by the state as key commodities to promote amongst smallholders based on their expected high growth and labour absorbing potential (NPC 2011). Despite the apparent potential of these commodities to build this ‘missing middle’, empirical studies have illustrated that the incorporation of small-scale farmers into commercial markets and global commodity chains can be linked to exclusionary practices and adverse incorporation due to unfavourable terms and conditions that govern these arrangements.
Research question: How is the expansion of tree-crop commodification amongst small-scale farmers (re)shaping gendered livelihood pathways, inclusion and accumulation in Limpopo, South Africa and how does this affect food production and provisioning?
Theoretical framework: This study is broadly situated within a framework of the political economy of rural livelihoods framework. It sets out using a class-based analytic (Bernstein 2010) to explore processes of social differentiation amongst tree-crop farmers. The emerging typology is used to explore differentiated access to key resources (Ribot and Peluso 2003), emerging gender dynamics and the relationship between food production and provisioning and tree-crop commodities viewed from a food sovereignty perspective.
Methodology: This study uses a mixed method approach. Quantitative data in the form of an individual farmer survey (n=80) is followed by qualitative methods in the form of in-depth interviews, focus groups discussion and mapping activities. On-going participant observation and informal conversations provide an overarching ethnographic orientation for this study.
Expected results: A better understanding of heterogeneity amongst small-scale tree crop farmers. Insights into how this diversity impacts on processes of inclusion, exclusion and adverse inclusion. Knowledge on how tree crops farming and gendered livelihood trajectories relate to local level food production and provisioning.
Expected graduation: March, 2019
(Co-promotor/Daily supervisor; promotor: Prof. Karin Pfeffer and Prof. Isa Baud)
Title: Tree crop farming in mosaic landscapes: an analysis of spatial effects of tree-crop farming in Ghana and South Africa
Problem definition: Global market demand for food and raw materials is escalating in response to the needs of rapidly growing populations and consumptive urban lifestyles. The governments of Ghana and South Africa facilitate policies and programmes to increase tree crop production for economic growth, jobs and sustained income for rural farmers. Tree-crop expansion has implications for landscape diversity and structure, ecosystem service provisioning capacity, and livelihoods. This study combines the analysis of satellite images with multi-stakeholder understandings of landscape dynamics associated with the expansion of tree-crop systems and their influence on landscape multifunctionality.
Research questions: The study asks (1) What are the effects of tree-crop farming on the composition and spatial structure of mosaic landscapes? (2) How have changes in the landscape impacted ecosystem services availability and access? and (3) how do different stakeholder groups conceive their desired landscapes?
Theoretical framework: Landscape is both nature and a social construct. Landscape multifunctionality is a function of components and structure (shape, size, arrangement, etc. ). Mosaic landscapes with land-cover types of varying but integrated characteristics provide a myriad of services to diverse stakeholders as opposed to those with large segregated blocks, each with a specific functional role. Expansion of tree crops are expected to shift landscapes towards segregation and reduce current availability and outputs of future services. Delivery of desired future services is based on landscape state and current stakeholder decisions regarding the landscape.
Methodology: This study combines geospatial tools, interviews and focus group discussions to assess trends in landscape dynamics and stakeholder perceptions of landscapes dominated by tree crops. It is carried out in mosaic landscapes of cocoa and oil palm in eastern Ghana; and macadamia and avocado in northern South Africa.
Expected results: Expected findings will include (i) Dominant land-cover types and their contribution to total landscape dynamics, (ii) Different stakeholder preferences regarding ecosystem services in mosaic landscapes.
Expected graduation: March 2019
(Co-promotor/Daily supervisor; with co-promotor Dr Bart de Steenhuijsen Piters; promotor: Prof. Joyeeta Gupta)
Title: Livelihood in chains: A cContext-embedded perspective to smallholder farmers’ inclusion in value chain collaborations (VCCs)
Problem definition: Literature on value chain collaborations (VCCs) calls for inclusiveness, so that VCC interventions meet smallholder farmers’ realities and avoid exclusion and adverse inclusion. However, current approaches lack a holistic conceptualization of what inclusion is and view VCC inclusion through a lens of vertical value chain interactions only. Existing perspectives thus provide partial and fragmented answers to our understanding of smallholder farmers’ inclusion in VCCs.
Research question: How do institutions, and the profiles, agency and livelihood trajectories of smallholder tree-crop farmers affect their engagement in VCCs and how does this engagement affect their household food sovereignty?
Theoretical framework: The study adopts an actor-oriented perspective. It moves beyond the preconceived dichotomous notion of smallholder farmers’ inclusion in VCCs as being wanted and good and exclusion as being unwanted and bad with assumedly uniform outcomes for farmers in either scenario. Instead, this study conceptualizes inclusion as a multi-dimensional process encompassing vertical value chain relations and horizontal interactions within the context in which the value chain is embedded. This conceptualization allows us to identify institutions and the individual heterogeneity that determine how and why smallholders are included in VCCs. Thus, we explain VCC engagement and its livelihood and food sovereignty outcomes by looking at the interface of institutional context and individual characteristics of smallholder farmers in terms of their agency and livelihood strategies.
Methodology: Using a multi-case design, this study examines smallholders’ inclusion in cocoa and oil palm VCCs in Ghana through a mixed methods approach. Data collection methods include document analysis, surveys, key informant interviews, focus group discussions, timelines, and verification workshops with smallholder farmers and their households, stakeholders in the cocoa and oil palm value chains and community members.
Expected results: Outputs include a typology of VCCs in both sectors and associated institutions, smallholder farmer profiles and agency typology, and insights into profile-specific livelihood trajectories and how VCC inclusion differs among these. The study also presents profile-specific implications of inclusion and exclusion on household food sovereignty.
Expected graduation: November 2018
(Co-promotor/Daily supervisor; promotor: Prof. Joyeeta Gupta)
Title: Achieving food security and sustaining forest resource through inclusive resource governance in Burkina Faso
Problem definition: Biodiversity conservation is shifting from pure ecological management in nature reserves to minimising trade-offs between natural resource degradation and socio-economic development. Little knowledge exists on design principles for conservation of natural resources in areas of important biological diversity with simultaneous human activity. With growing needs for food, feed and energy, this raises the question of how to preserve a finite base of natural resources globally.
Research question: How can current forest resource governance be re-designed to contribute to improving food security and protection of environmental services in the context of intensifying land use in Burkina Faso?
Theoretical framework: This research aims to intersect current environmental and development debate on managing trade-offs between natural resource management and (socio-)economic development.
Methodology: This study is part of a six-country comparative study on land-use change dynamics and impacts on food security. It employs a set of quantitative and qualitative approaches, namely household surveys and agronomic assessments at farm level and land-use change mapping over the past ±30 years. Additionally, the study uses existing participatory tools (www.padev.nl) to evaluate natural resource management projects in our research sites.
Expected results: The study will produce a detailed documentation to aid the understanding of the effects of land-use change on local food security in Burkina Faso. It will further highlight the resulting access to natural resources including arable land and forest products. Finally, the study will propose a re-design of inclusive land use and natural resource governance that acknowledges the need to manage trade-offs between biodiversity conservation and local development objectives.
Expected graduation: December, 2018
(Co-promotor/Daily supervisor; promotor: Prof. Joyeeta Gupta)
Title: Reconciling artisanal gold mining and food production in multi-functional landscapes: A case study in Ghana
Problem definition: Artisanal/small-scale gold mining (ASM) is widespread in Africa. Its increasing occurrence in agricultural landscapes is raising concerns about its effect on farming, hence food security. It is more worrying when farmers engage in ASM as a safety net to avert poverty when agriculture fails to support income. Several studies have addressed the complex nexus between ASM and farming, but it remains inconclusive whether ASM enhances investments in agriculture, or whether detrimental effects prevail due to labour migration or environmental effects (soil erosion, deforestation and loss of farmland). Even less attention goes to the question of how food production and ASM can be reconciled in multi-functional landscapes through integrated landscape governance.
Research question: How can food production and ASM be reconciled in smallholder livelihood strategies and through integrated governance of multi-functional landscapes??
Theoretical framework: Livelihood diversification and de-peasantization are taken as starting points and linked to scholarly literature on integrated landscape approaches. This will be positioned in the broader inclusive development debate. The relations between the concepts and theoretical strands are visualised in Figure 1.
Methodology: Primary and secondary data will be collected from a critical realist viewpoint, using mixed methods for triangulation to enhance validity. Both quantitative (household surveys) and qualitative (interviews, participatory research methods and policy and literature review) will be employed, focusing on a district in Ghana where ASM prevails.
Expected results: Generate understanding of the effects of interactions between ASM and farming on food production at smallholder level and available land for food cropping at landscape level. Build scenarios for enhancing food production in farmer/miner livelihood pathways. Provide insights into the governance of the ASM/ farming nexus and identify entry points for integrated landscape governance.
Expected graduation: February 2021
(Co-promotor/Daily supervisor; promotor: Prof. Joyeeta Gupta)
Title: Agents, Assumptions and Motivations behind REDD+
Problem definition: The conversion and degradation of forests is a key cause of biodiversity loss and climate change. In 2007, Parties to the Climate Convention decided to add a new sub-regime on policies and incentives to reduce emissions from deforestation and forest degradation and enhance forest carbon stocks (REDD+). The study aims to contribute to the quest for effective, efficient and equitable global forest policies by analysing which actors have been instrumental in shaping the REDD+ regime, what their motivations and assumptions were, and how they used their agency to pursue their interests.
Research question: Which actors have been instrumental in shaping REDD+ policies and policy responses, what are their motivations and how do they use their agency to pursue their interests?
Theoretical framework: This study combines agency theory (which addresses the role, strategies and motivations of specific actors in international regime development) with Earth Governance theory and power-based, interest-based and knowledge-based regime theories (that describe the motivations and strategies actors use to pursue new regimes). Legitimacy, authority, success in terms of achieving the the ultimate objectives, and assumed agency in the eyes of other actors involved in the REDD+ negotiations are the indicators used to analyse the agency of potential actors.
Methodology: Comprehensive literature review, observation of the negotiation dynamics at 24 intergovernmental meetings, empirical data gathering through a review of relevant legal and political documents and financial data; and 61 semi-structured interviews with key actors in the REDD+ negotiations.
Expected results: By analysing the role of agents in an international environmental regime like REDD+, this study expects to (a) contribute insights into their economic interests, influence and knowledge base, strategies, and into the implications this might have on the potential benefits, risks and flaws of REDD+ as a new forest policy regime, (b) further refine agency and Earth System Governance theory, and (b) make evidence-based recommendations for more coherent, environmentally effective, economically efficient and socially equitable policies to address deforestation and forest degradation.
Graduated: 23 June 2017
Theme: non-timber forest products and livelihoods in Cameroon.
Co-promotor, with Prof. dr. Ton Dietz
Graduated: Amsterdam, 18 March 2014.
Non-timber forest products (NTFPs) such as nuts, leaves, resins, barks and honey have medicinal, food, energy, tool and cultural uses. Verina Ingram's PhD thesis, entitled 'Win-wins in forest product value chains? How governance impacts the sustainability of livelihoods based on non-timber forest products from Cameroon', examines eight such NTFP value chains from Cameroon, sold locally and exported worldwide. The study shows that their combined value is over 32 million US$ annually, more than previously realised. Around 34,000 people, including harvesters and traders, derive income from this trade. Multiple arrangements govern access to species and markets in these chains: formal statutory regulations, customary traditions, market-based rules, projects, international agreements and corruption. The mix and intensity of these arrangements results in trade-offs between livelihoods, product and chain sustainability. Wins - generally shorter-term socio-economic benefits - are gained by different chain participants. Losses occur in the long term to the species from which the products are derived due to unsustainable harvesting. Focusing on formal regulations alone in the current socio-political and economic contexts in the Congo Basin does not guarantee sustainable chains. Complementary, plural arrangements are shown to be more effective. They provide bundles of rights and responsibilities governing a species, its ecological niche, chain activities and benefits. Making chains sustainable depends on the mix of arrangements, and the ability, resourcefulness and power of participants to ‘bricole’ new governance arrangements and replace ineffective institutions, such as corruption. Poor and vulnerable groups gained more control and value when aided by statutory, project and market initiatives. Apiculture chains appear both sustainable and positive for livelihoods. The Prunus africana and Gnetum chains are positive for livelihoods but less sustainable.
Verina has a Master degree in Science in Environmental Technology (Distinction) from Imperial College, Centre for Environmental Technology in London. She has o ver 15 years working experience with governments, NGOs, business and communities in Africa, Western-Central & Eastern Europe and Asia. Being an experienced adviser and manager of projects and teams in collaborative natural resources management and market development and with excellent organisational, communication and process facilitation skills, Verina finds challenges in policy development, institutional strengthening, training, capacity building and reaching creative,practicalsolutions. In 2008 she started working for CIFOR-Cameroon in the framework of which her PhD study has been carried out. Verina currently works as senior researcher at the Agricultural Economics Research Institute (LEI) of Wageningen University & Research Centres.
Theme: Fighting over forest in Ghana
Co-promotor,with Prof. Dr.Ton Dietz
Graduation: Amsterdam, 27 September 2012
Conflicts over forests and trees are the order of the day in Ghana's high forest zone. This not only adversely affects local people's livelihoods but also complicates good forest governance. Conflict management should therefore be recognised as a key building block of forest governance, argues Mercy Derkyi in her PhD thesis entitled 'Fighting over forest - Interactive governance of conflicts over forest and tree resources in Ghana's high forest zone'.
Mercy Derkyi argues that the complexity and dynamics of forest use and management inevitably lead to conflicts. For a proper understanding of these conflicts and the ways in which they can be managed, she investigated conflicts under eight different forest governance regimes, using a rich blend of theories on interactive governance, political ecology, conflicts, conflict management and forest-related livelihoods.
Derkyi makes a case for the integration of non-violent conflict management strategies into forest policy and management as a key to ensuring better forest governance.
Mercy Derkyi holds a BSc and MSc from the Institute of Renewable Natural Resources of Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology inKumasi, Ghana. Her bachelor thesis was concerned with the evaluation of public parks for outdoor recreation purposes in Kumasi Metropolis. Her Masters thesis dealt with agroforestry as a sustainable land use system in Ghana, and described the case studies of Atwima and Offinso Districts. During her PhD study, Mercy was affiliated to the Tropenbos International-Ghana Programme, which provided a scholarship for research. Mercy has previously worked as a consultant: building capacity of local communities in forestry and agroforestry, research into sustainable community management and assessment of livelihood support schemes. As a director of an enviromental NGO, she also promoted and developed community ecotourism.
Non-timber forest product trade: A trade-off between conservation and development. A global comparison of livelihood and environmental outcomes of NTFP trade systems and a case studyof the damar agroforests in Sumatra, Indonesia (September 2009).
Co-promotor, with Prof. Dr. Dietz, Dr. Brian Belcher (Royal Roads University, Canada) and Dr. Manuel Ruiz Perez (Universidad Autónoma de Madrid, Spain).
Koen Kusters (Ulicoten, 1975) studied Human Geography at the University of Amsterdam. Between 2002 and 2006 he worked as a researcher at the Center for InternationalForestry Research (CIFOR) in Bogor,Indonesia. For CIFOR he conducted research in Vietnam , India, Lao PDR, China and Indonesia. He also has working experience in Brazil,the Philippines and Tanzania. In January 2009 he finalized his PhD dissertation on the relation between forest product trade, conservation and development. In 2009 he started working as a freelance research journalist for Wereld in Woorden - Global Research and Reporting.
Overall objective of thePhD study:
To provide insight into the possibilities of NTFP trade to contribute to conservation and development objectives.
To what extent, and under what conditions, can NTFP trade contribute to development and forest conservation objectives?
Indigenous People. Conserving the Rain Forest? The Effect of Wealth and Markets on the Economic Behaviour of Tawahka Amerindians in Honduras (November 2001).
Co-promotor, with Prof. Ton Dietz and Prof. Annelies Zoomers.
After studying biology at the University of AmsterdamJosefien Demmer and Han Overman decided to join an American research team for a study about the impact of modernisation on Amerindians in Central America and on their ecological habitats. Although their research resulted in high-profile co-publications (even in Nature ) they could not graduate there and decided to come back to the Netherlands to do so. Caught between biology and social sciences they found it difficult to find a promotor and finally came to the Geography Department at the University of Amsterdam where they successfully defended their thesis in 2001.