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)
Trained as a human geographer with a PhD in Policy Sciences, I am currently working as an Associate Professor at the Department of Human Geography, Planning and International Development Studies of the University of Amsterdam (UvA).
As a researcher, I coordinate externally financed projects on integrated landscape approaches, inclusive value chain collaboration and knowledge co-creation, which I combine into a holistic approach towards inclusive and integrated forest and landscape governance. I thereby aim to merge political-ecological analyses with the more solution- and practice-based integrated landscape approaches. The current geographical focus of my research is on Ghana, South Africa, Zambia, and Indonesia, but PhD supervision has also included research in Cameroon, Kenya and Honduras. I publish broadly in ISI-rated journals, books, and outlets for the general public.
As a lecturer, I am passionate about teaching on the environment-development interface, which I do at both bachelor's and (research) master's levels. I thereby aim to integrate my own research into teaching to engage students in my research. The importance I attach to science-practice interaction and accessible writing is passed on in MSc and PhD thesis supervision and several courses that accompany the final stage of the master's programme in International Development Studies.
My managerial tasks include chairing the Examination Board of the Research Masters Social Sciences, Urban Studies and International Development Studies, while research coordination includes leadership of various NWO-WOTRO-, Nuffic- and CIFOR-financed projects.
Outreach dominated my work between 2004-and 2011 when I was coordinator of the Netherlands Development Policy Review Network (DPRN). A € 1.8 million grant from the Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Affairs 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 several associate editorships of academic journals. My previous experience as a self-employed science writer and editor is reflected in the value I attach to making research results accessible to a broader audience.
In addition to my affiliation with the UvA I was an affiliated researcher (pesquisadora associada) to the Núcleo de Altos Estudos Amazônicos (NAEA) of the Federal University of Pará in Belém, Brazi (2005, 2006), and, on invitation, visiting professor at the Postgraduate Programme in Environmental Sciences of the University of São Paulo (USP-PROCAM) (June-September 2009), and visiting scientist at the Centre for International Forestry Research (CIFOR) in Bogor, Indonesia (April-July 2014) and the University of Cape Town (February 2018). In May 2018 I was appointed Adjunct Professor at the University of Energy and Natural Resources (UENR) in Ghana.
Governance and Inclusive Development
Inclusive Value Chain Collaboration project
Google Citations Index: h-index 26; i10-index 49 (i.e. 49 papers have at least 10 citations) : http://scholar.google.com/citations?hl=nl&user=V0MA_y0AAAAJ#
RG Score 27.47
See Researchgate https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Mirjam_Ros-Tonen, for a complete overview and access to publications.
Ros-Tonen, M.A.F. and Willemen, L.L. (2021). Editorial: Spatial tools for integrated and inclusive landscape governance. Environmental Management 68:605-610. https://doi.org/10.1007/s00267-021-01548-w
Ros-Tonen, M.A.F., Willemen, L.L., McCall, M.K. (2021). Spatial tools for integrated and inclusive landscape governance: Toward a new research agenda. Environmental Management 68: 611-618. https://doi.org/10.1007/s00267-021-01547-x
Calvão, F.,Ankenbrand, C., Ros-Tonen, M.A.F., Beevers, M.D. (2021). Extractive industries and human security: An overview. The Extractive Industries and Society 8(4), 101007]. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.exis.2021.101007
Scholtens, J., Johnson, D., Jentoft, S., Ros-Tonen, M., Chuenpagdee, R., Gupta, J., Kraan, M., Menon, A., Roth, R. (2021). Forging relationships, building bridges, and advocating for social justice at sea: Maarten Bavinck’s contributions to maritime studies. Maritime Studies 20: 449–458. https://doi.org/10.1007/s40152-021-00243-0
Adeyanju, S; O’connor, A; Addoah, T, Bayala, E, Djoudi, H, Moombe, K, Reed, J, Ros-Tonen, M, Siangulube, F, Sikanwe, A, Sunderland, T 2021. Learning from community-based natural resource management (CBNRM) in Ghana and Zambia: Lessons for integrated landscape approaches. International Forestry Review 23(3): 1-24. https://www.ingentaconnect.com/content/cfa/ifr/pre-prints/content-ifr213a
Aggrey, J., Ros-Tonen, M.A.F. & Asubonteng, K.O. (2021). Using participatory spatial tools to unravel community perceptions of land-use dynamics in a mine-expanding landscape in Ghana. Environmental Management 68: 720–737. https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s00267-021-01494-7
Ros-Tonen, M.A.F., Aggrey, J.J., Somuah, D.P & Derkyi, M. (2021). Human insecurities in gold mining: A systematic review of evidence from Ghana. The Extractive Industries and Society 8(4): 100951
Gupta., J., Bavinck, M. & Ros-Tonen, M. et al. (2021). COVID-19, Poverty and Inclusive Development. World Development 145, 105527
Ollivier de Leth, D. & Ros-Tonen, M.A.F. (2021). Creating shared value through an inclusive development lens: A case study of a CSV strategy in Ghana’s cocoa sector. [Online first] Journal of Business Ethics. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10551-021-04808-1
Olofsson, M., Ros-Tonen, M.A.F., Gupta, J,, Steenhuijsen Piters, B. & Van Leynseele, Y.P.B. (2021). Rethinking the divide: Exploring the interdependence between global and nested local markets. Journal of Rural Studies 83: 60-70
Somuah, D. P., Ros-Tonen, M.A.F. & Baud, I.S.A. (2021). Spatialized community knowledge on threats to forest conservation in Ghana’s high forest zone. Environmental Management 68: 738–754. https://doi.org/10.1007/s00267-021-01455-0
Ewijk, E. van & Ros-Tonen, M.A.F. (2021). Results of agriculture and food related multi-stakeholder platforms in Sub-Saharan Africa – a systematic literature review. Agricultural Systems 186, 102949. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.agsy.2020.102949
Bannor, R.K., Ros-Tonen, M.A.F., Mensah, P.O., Derkyi, M. & Fumey Nassah, V. (2021). Entrepreneurial behaviour among non-timber forest product-growing farmers in Ghana – An analysis in support of a reforestation policy. Forest Policy and Economics 122, 102331. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.forpol.2020.102331
Asubonteng, Ros-Tonen, M.A.F., Baud, I.S.A. & K.O., Pfeffer, K., (2021). Envisioning the future of mosaic landscapes: Actors perceptions in a mixed cocoa-oil palm area in the region of Ghana. Environmental Management 68: 701-719. https://doi.org/10.1007/s00267-020-01368-4
Reed. J., Ickowitz, A., Chervier, C., Djoudi, H., Moombe, K., Ros-Tonen, M., Yanou, M., Yuliani, L., & Sunderland, T. (2020). Integrated landscape approaches in the tropics: A brief stock-take. Land Use Policy 99, 104822(IF 3.573; SJR 1.41; Q1 Forestry) https://doi.org/10.1016/j.landusepol.2020.104822
Asubonteng, K.O., Pfeffer, K., Ros-Tonen, M.A.F., Baud, I.S.A. & Tutu-Benefor, D. (2020). Integration versus segregation: Structural dynamics of a smallholder-dominated mosaic landscape under tree-crop expansion in Ghana. Applied Geography 118. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.apgeog.2020.102201.
Ros-Tonen, M., Bitzer, V., Laven, A., Olivier de Leth, D., Van Leynseele, Y., & Vos, A. (2019). Conceptualizing inclusiveness of smallholder value chain integration. Current Opinion in Environmental Sustainability 41: 10-17.
Ros-Tonen, M., & Derkyi, M. (2018). Conflict or cooperation? Social capital as a power resource and conflict mitigation strategy in timber operations in Ghana’s off-reserve forest areas. Ecology and Society, 23(3).
Asubonteng, K., Pfeffer, K., Ros-Tonen, M., Verbesselt, J., & Baud, I. (2018). Effects of tree-crop farming on land-cover transitions in a mosaic landscape in the eastern region of Ghana. Environmental Management, 62(3), 529-547.
Ros-Tonen, M. A., Reed, J., & Sunderland, T. (2018). From synergy to complexity: the trend toward integrated value chain and landscape governance. Environmental management, 62(1), 1-14
Foli, S., Ros-Tonen, M. A., Reed, J., & Sunderland, T. (2018). Natural resource management schemes as entry points for integrated landscape approaches: evidence from Ghana and Burkina Faso. Environmental management, 62(1), 82-97 .
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(1), 143–156
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
Specht, D., & Ros-Tonen, M. A. (2017). Gold, power, protest: Digital and social media and protests against large-scale mining projects in Colombia. New Media & Society 19(12): 1907-1926.
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.
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.
Ingram, V.J., Ros-Tonen, M.A.F., and Dietz, T. (2015). A fine mess: Bricolaged forest governance in Cameroon. International Journal of the Commons, 9(1): 41–64
Ros-Tonen, M.A.F., Derkyi, M., Insaidoo, T. (2014). From co-management to landscape governance: Wither 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.
Derkyi, M., Ros-Tonen, M.A.F., Kyereh, B. and Dietz, T. (2014). Fighting over forest: towards a shared analysis of livelihood conflicts and conflict management in Ghana. Society and Natural Resources , 27(3), 281-298. Wiersum, K.F., Ingram, V.J. and Ros-Tonen, M.A.F. (2014). Governing access to resources and markets in non-timber forest product chains. Forests, Trees and Livelihoods 23(1-2): 6-18.
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.
Ros-Tonen, M.A.F., Insaidoo, T.F.G. and 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.
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.
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 Partnerships in 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 de Manejo Sustentável da Floresta Amazônia: Explorando Novos Caminhos. Ambiente e Sociedade (Campinas SP, Brazil) 10(1): 11-25.
Ros-Tonen, M.A.F. and Wiersum, K.F. (2005). The scope of improving rural livelihoods through non-timber forest 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
Ros-Tonen, M.A.F. and Boxel, J.H. (1999). El Niño in Latin America: The case of Peruvian Fishermen and Northeast Brazilian Peasants. Revista Europea de Estudios Latinoamericanos/European Review of Latin American and Caribbean Studies 67: 5-20.
(Promotor/Daily supervisor; with Prof. Karin Pfeffer )promotor); and Prof. Isa Baud (co-promotor)
Title: An integrated analysis of the spatial effects of tree-crop farming systems on a mosaic landscape in Ghana
Problem definition: Global demand for food and raw materials is escalating in response to the needs of rapidly growing urban populations and lifestyles. The government of Ghana facilitates policies and programmes that stimulate tree-crop production (notably cocoa and oil palm) for economic growth, jobs and sustained income for rural farmers. Tree-crop expansion has implications for landscape diversity and structure as well as ecosystem services and livelihoods. This study combines spatial analysis 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 and ways to achieve them?
Theoretical framework: The thesis is positioned in debates on sparing vs. sharing, integration-segregation theory, and integrated landscape approaches. A landscape is both a natural 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 various stakeholders as opposed to those with large segregated blocks, each with a specific functional role. Expansion of tree crops is 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 satellite-based remote sensing, a questionnaire survey and focus group discussions to assess trends in landscape structural change, dynamics in ecosystem service use, and stakeholder perceptions of landscapes transitioning into tree crops. It is carried out in mosaic landscapes of cocoa and oil palm, food-crop land, forest and settlements in eastern Ghana.
Expected findings will include:
Expected graduation: December 2020
(Promotor/Daily supervisor; with Prof. Joyeeta Gupta (promotor) and Dr Bart de Steenhuijsen Piters (co-promotor)
Title: Dynamics of production, differentiation and accumulation amongst smallholder tree-crop farmers in 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 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 commodification of tree crops among smallholders (re)shaping rural livelihood trajectories, socio-economic differentiation, land access and food production?
Theoretical framework: This study is situated within the Marxist tradition of agrarian political economy, and explores socio-economic differentiation and related trajectories of accumulation from a class-analytic perspective (Bernstein 2010). This is complemented by the more actor-oriented approach that informs livelihood studies to explore production relations and how tree-crop production is embedded within alternative food networks, in particularly using the concept of ‘nested markets’ (van der Ploeg et al. 2014).
Methodology: This study uses a sequential mixed method design. Quantitative data in the form of an individual farmer survey (n=80) is followed by in-depth interviews and focus groups discussions. On-going participant observation and informal conversations provide an overarching ethnographic orientation for this study.
Expected results: Smallholder tree-crop farmers are highly differentiated based on their primary income source. Accumulation trajectories hinge on access to non-agricultural incomes, which in turn differentiates small-scale capitalists from the majority of smallholders who are petty commodity producers. Tree-crop commercialisation is driving the de-facto privatisation of customary land and stimulating a vibrant vernacular land market, making land access increasingly uneven based on market principles. Informal and formal local markets for cash crops provide a means for petty commodity producers to maintain access to high value tree-crops.
Expected graduation: December 2020
(Promotor/Daily supervisor; with promotor: Prof. Joyeeta Gupta (promotor) and Dr Bart de Steenhuijsen Piters (co-promotor)
Title: Smallholders unpacked: farmer diversity and engagement in tree-crop value chains in Ghana
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 value chain contexts, smallholder farmers’ profiles, agency and livelihood trajectories affect tree-crop farmers’ engagement in VCCs and what are the implications for their household food sovereignty?
Theoretical framework: The study adopts a smallholder farmer 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 heterogeneity among farmers that determine how and why smallholders are included in VCCs. Thus, we explain farmers engagement in VCCs and food sovereignty outcomes from a deliberate livelihood perspective 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 study approach, this research examines smallholders’ inclusion in cocoa and oil palm VCCs in Ghana through a mixed methods design. Data collection methods include document analysis, surveys, key informant interviews, focus group discussions, life histories, 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 household profiles, 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: May 2021
(Promotor/Daily supervisor; with Prof. Joyeeta Gupta (promotor)
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 two districts 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. Provide recommendations on safeguarding agriculture in a mining expanding landscape. Provide insights into the governance of the ASM/ farming nexus and identify entry points for integrated landscape governance.
Expected graduation: February 2021
(Promotor/Daily supervisor; with Prof. Terry Sunderland, UBC (promotor) and Dr. James Reed, CIFOR (co-promotor)
Title: Multi-stakeholder platforms for actor engagement in landscape governance: Towards Integrated Landscape Approaches in Zambia
Problem definition: Despite advances made in integrating conservation and development goals, the inherent social complexities and power relations among different stakeholders make interventions in landscape governance difficult to implement. Particularly structural inequalities affecting most marginalised populations in decision-making processes are hard to overcome. Scholars and practitioners alike advocate Integrated Landscape Approaches (ILAs) as a means to resolve these concerns. However, literature points to a number of gaps on how ILAs are being implemented in practice and how stakeholder inclusiveness in decision-making can be achieved. As such there is a need for empirical research to inform landscape debates on what works and not.
Research Question: How can integrated landscape approaches reconcile the interests and land-use practices of multiple stakeholders and foster an inclusive transition towards sustainable rural livelihoods and biodiversity conservation in Kalomo District, Zambia?
Theoretical Framework: This study will be situated in the broader debates on landscape governance and political ecology. It focuses on power dynamics in decision-making, and rights and responsibilities regarding land uses and benefits at landscape level.
Methodology: The research employs a mixed-method design, encompassing Q-methodology, participant observations, focus group discussions, workshops, analysis of policy documents, and key informant interviews. Data analysis includes discourse analysis, stakeholder network analysis, and policy analysis. The case study is being carried out in Kalomo District in Zambia.
Expected Results: This study will provide (i) a stakeholder and network analysis of actors in the Kalomo landscape in Zambia, which will reveal how lines are drawn between stakeholders and non-stakeholders, (ii) a network analysis to unravel stakeholder alliances, (iii) a discourse analysis to unpack landscape imaginaries and interests; and (iv) an analysis of multi-stakeholder platforms and how these reproduce the power politics in decision-making processes. Through these analyses insight will be provided into the key actors in the landscape and how they frame their interests towards common concern entry points for the implementation of an integrated landscape approach. In so doing, the research will contribute insights into ILA implementation; create an evidence base for policy support; and contribute to the global landscape governance debate more broadly.
Expected Graduation: June 2022
(Promotor/Daily supervisor; with Prof. Terry Sunderland, UBC (promotor) and Dr. James Reed, CIFOR (co-promotor)
Title: Local knowledge and practices as a contribution to the implementation of integrated landscape approaches in Kalomo District, Zambia
Problem definition: Although integrated landscape approaches (ILAs) have recently gained attention as a framework for multi-stakeholder engagement, there is no consensus about its conceptualization, terminology, and application. While there is agreement that ILAs have potential for balancing competing demands and integrating policies for multiple land uses and multiple actors, the question of how to integrate different types of knowledge remains under-researched and disconnected from political discourses. Giving space to indigenous and traditional forms of knowledge and enhancing knowledge co-production and practices are some of the new challenges facing global environmental governance and sustainable development processes.
Research Question: How can local knowledge and practices contribute to the implementation of landscape approaches in Kalomo District, Zambia?
Theoretical Framework: The theoretical framework combines four theoretical strands to unpack knowledge co-creation for integrated landscape governance and sustainable development: 1) the debate on ILA conceptualization, terminology, and application; 2) indigenous and traditional knowledge and conservation practices, 3) challenges and potentials of knowledge co-production processes; and 4) the politics of knowledge.
Methodology: The study adopts a mixed methods design, incorporating both qualitative and quantitative methods. Primary data will be gathered through participatory observation (attending meetings), and interviews with platform participants. Data analysis includes Q-methodology for discourse analysis, and social network analysis to identify actor alliances.
Secondary data collection: includes a comprehensive review of policy documents, government documents, and archives.
Expected Results: By analysing knowledge co-production processes in multi-stakeholder platforms and negotiation processes, the study aims to generate insights into: a) the terms of participation by different stakeholders in negotiating trade-offs and synergies; and b) the effects of knowledge co-production on the power position of marginalized groups and on power relations in knowledge co-creation processes. The overall aim is to contribute knowledge for the design of strategies for knowledge co-production and ILA implementation.
Expected graduation: September, 2022
(Promotor/Daily supervisor; with Prof. Terry Sunderland, UBC (promotor) and Dr. James Reed and Dr. Houria Djoudi, CIFOR (co-promotors)
Title: Prospects for operationalizing an integrated landscape approach in northern Ghana
Problem definition: Community Resource Management Areas (CREMAs) in Ghana were developed in the 2000s as an alternative to the exclusive and centralized model of wildlife governance, and as a means to reduce human pressure on national parks and wildlife reserves. The scheme has empowered local communities around protected areas to govern their landscapes. The scheme was designed with a view to reconciling conservation objectives with those related to community livelihoods. However, like any community-based natural resource management scheme, the CREMA model also faces constraints related to the plurality of actors with different interests, objectives, perceptions and expectations. Hence the call for integrated and adaptive landscape approaches, through which different landscape actors negotiate the trade-offs between different land uses.
Research Questions: What are the prospects of operationalizing and implementing an integrated landscape approach that reconciles biodiversity conservation and development aims in the governance context of the CREMA in northern Ghana?
Theoretical Framework: Applying the ten landscape approach principles by Sayer et al. (2013) as a guiding conceptual framework, the study will analyse multi-stakeholder dialogues across multiple sectors and decision-making scales aimed at negotiating trade-offs and synergies between different land uses in multi-functional landscapes.
Methodology: Data collection encompasses primary and secondary data. Primary data will collected through semi-structured questionnaires, key respondent interviews, focus groups, workshops, participant observation and participatory mapping. Secondary data will be collected through a structured review of literature using a specified research protocol and including reports, working papers, manuals and policy documents, pee-reviewed papers and books.
Expected Results: The expected result encompass insights into (i) opportunities for creating common frameworks for dialogue and negotiation of trade-offs between various landscape actors with different interests, as a basis for implementing a landscape approach to govern CREMAs, and (ii) how a landscape approach can be operationalised in the governance context of CREMAs, for the benefit of biodiversity and the wellbeing of local population.
Expected Graduation: October 2022
(Promotor; with Prof. Terry Sunderland, UBC (promotor) and Dr. James Reed (co-promotor)
Title: Customary arrangements as entry points to implementing an integrated landscape approach in Kapuas Hulu, West Kalimantan
Problem Statement: The Labian-Leboyan sub-watershed of the Kapuas River in Kapuas Hulu, West Kalimantan (Indonesia) is an area where several indigenous communities are involved in natural resource disputes because competing statutory and customary regulations govern the land and resources. Interests also differ within communities, where members have different social-political and educational backgrounds, ages, and interests. Integrated Landscape Approaches (ILAs) aim to bridge different interests among stakeholders, especially regarding the conservation and use of natural resources. Little attention has been given so far to the role of customary arrangements as entry points for the implementation of ILAs. Since it is unclear how different people perceive and understand their customary laws and concepts, this study aims to gain insights into how customary governance arrangements are understood and what are the the potential and hindrances of using them as entry points to inclusively engage local communities in integrated landscape approaches.
Research Question: How are customary arrangements being understood across and within different communities in the Labian-Leboyan sub-watershed of Kapuas Hulu, West Kalimantan, Indonesia, and what are the prospects of using them as entry points in current landscape initiatives?
Theoretical Framework: The study will combine theoretical strands from legal pluralism, customary law, polycentric governance, indigenous and traditional knowledge, community-based natural resource management and ecosystem management.
Methodology: Fieldwork is carried out in four villages along the Labian-Leboyan River in Kapuas Hulu, Indonesia. The qualitative study design encompasses semi-structured interviews, focus groups, participatory mapping, and participant observation, the data of which will be triangulated with a structured review of peer-reviewed articles, policy documents and grey literature.
Expected Results: The study will generate insights into (i) how community members with different geographical, generational, political and social backgrounds perceive customary practice, (ii) the potential and constraints of using customary arrangements as entry points for the implementation of ILAs, and (iii) the prospects of using customary arrangements for effective and inclusive stakeholder engagement in integrated landscape approaches.
Expected Graduation: June 2022
(Promotor; with Prof. Karin Pfeffer, University Twente (promotor)
Title: Indigenous People, National Park and Tourism: Value Negotiation in a National Park Landscape, Indonesia
Problem Statement: Landscape governance involves multiple actors, who operate at different levels and have diverging interests. Disputes and tensions between landscape actors abound – either resulting from past or current decision-making. Such potential conflicts also exist in the Bromo-Tengger-Semeru (BTS) National Park landscape, where conservation interests potentially compete with the cultural values and livelihood needs of the indigenous community living inside the area. The tourism programme initiated by the national government has added to the complexity. Knowledge on how landscape governance can be made more interactive and inclusive of the local community is scarce. This study aims to address this scarcity with a focus on the different knowledges used in landscape negotiation processes.
Research Question: How are different kinds of knowledge used in negotiating competing values and interests in the governance of the Bromo-Tengger-Semeru (BTS) landscape (Java, Indonesia) and how can these negotiations and governance processes be made more inclusive?
Theoretical Framework: This study applies interactive governance theory to study interactions between actors in the governing system and the system-to-be-governed Kooiman et al., 2005). Specific attention is thereby paid to the use of knowledge in multi-stakeholder decision-making.
Methodology: Fieldwork will encompass a case study in two villages in BTS National Park, East Java, Indonesia. Content analysis of written (online) sources such as policy documents and news archives will be conducted to generate insights into landscape governability. Interviews will be held to identify stakeholders, their values, interests, and networks. Participatory cognitive value mapping will be employed to identify the knowledge and values of various actors in the landscape. Finally, participant observation and analysis of meeting reports will be applied to capture the negotiation process (multi-actors, multi-knowledges, multi-interests) in decision-making about the BTS landscape. The research approach is qualitative and spatial in nature; qualitative data and geographic information analysis will be used to code and analyse the data.
Expected Results: The primary goal is to generate insights into the governability of the landscape and how this is being shaped through communication and negotiation processes between landscape actors and actor networks with different knowledges, values and interests. The ultimate goal is to contribute insights that can help make landscape governance more interactive and inclusive of local and indigenous knowledge and values, for a more equitable landscape.
Expected Graduation: March 2023
(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; 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.
Graduated: October 2017
(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.