Resources, environment and development

The challenge:

Climate change and biodiversity loss are existential threats that are disproportionally affecting socially and economically marginalised populations around the world, making them key global development challenges. Understanding how political and economic structures and interventions influence social and environmental trajectories is essential for more effective and socially just transitions to environmental sustainability.

Three acute contemporary challenges include:

  • How can increasingly ambitious climate change mitigation and biodiversity conservation strategies (such as expanding protected area networks and reforestation initiatives) achieve their aims, while benefitting people and navigating difficult trade-offs?
  • How can private entities, governments and local communities manage land, agricultural commodities, and natural resources (for example, water and minerals) in more socially just and environmentally effective ways?
  • How can the development of key infrastructure (including roads and dams) be managed in more environmentally and socially sustainable ways?

How we are addressing it: 

Our research is on focused on three main areas:

  1. The political ecology and political economy of natural resource management, climate change mitigation, and biodiversity conservation.
  2. The evaluation and estimation of social and environmental impacts of climate change mitigation, biodiversity conservation, and natural resource management strategies, including interrogating the data justice implications of remote sensing approaches.
  3. Analysis of agricultural production systems, including alternative organisational systems, cooperatives and value chains, in relation to environmental and social sustainability.

Research Projects

Our teaching agenda:

People and publications:

Click on the names below to read their latest publications or read the latest publications from the Global Development Institute.

PhD Researchers and Post-Doctoral Fellows

  • Mapenzie Tauzie - Youth, Innovative Farming and Access to Land: An Exploration of Young Farmers Experiences and access
  • Ambarish Karamchedu - Continuity, change or "crisis"? The political economy of agrarian change in Telangana, South India
  • Romasa Rashid - Ultimate and Proximate Determinants of Food Insecurity in Contemporary Zimbabwe
  • Solahudeen Tando Moomin - Agricultural Value Chains and Local Economic Growth: Smallholder and Institutional Dynamics of Upgrading Donor led Intervention Outcomes in Northern Ghana
  • Esteban Valle Riestra - Green Extractivism', Mining Temporalities and the Governance of Critical Minerals for the Energy Transition in Latin America
  • Mariana Hernandez-Montilla - Sustainable Forest Transitions
  • Sandy Nofyanza - Sustainable Forest Transitions   
  • Mohamad Sukma - Reconstructing of National Parks Management in Indonesia for Social and Ecological Justice


News and insights: