Thursday, December 22, 2011
ONLINE RESOURCE: AU-ECA-AfDB Land Policy Initiative
The Land Policy Initiative is a joint programme of the tripartite consortium constituted by the AUC, the ECA and the AfDB, in order to make land play its proper role in African development. The programme is Governed by a Steering committee meeting periodically, while a joint secretariat is implementing day to day activities. The secretariat is assisted by an African Task force on land.
The recently launched LPI website makes available a great deal of information about LPI including ongoing activities, announcements about news and events, publications, and databases.
EMPLOYMENT: ICIMOD Senior Livelihood Specialist and Programme Manager
The International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD) is a regional knowledge development and learning centre serving the eight regional member countries of the Hindu Kush-Himalayas – Afghanistan, Bangladesh,Bhutan, China, India, Myanmar, Nepal, and Pakistan – and based in Kathmandu, Nepal. ICIMOD is looking to hire a Senior Livelihood Specialist and Programme Manager for the Sustainable Livelihoods and Poverty Reduction (SLPR) program.
The Senior Livelihood Specialist and Programme Manager will be responsible for leading ICIMOD’s overall SLPR programme in the Hindu Kush-Himalayas (HKH) region, assuring the quality, integration, planning, and implementation of ICIMOD activities in the regional member countries. S/He is expected to be familiar with the international development agenda and research, and to be aware of the strategic issues related to sustainable livelihoods, governance, and policy issues, particularly in the HKH region. The Programme Manager is also part of the management team of the organisation and must ensure the adequate representation of socioeconomic issues within ICIMOD’s programmes.
Deadline: January 21, 2012
Wednesday, December 21, 2011
EMPLOYMENT: CIMMYT Agricultural Economist—South Asia
The International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center (CIMMYT) seeks a highly qualified agricultural economist to join an international team of scientists working on improving the livelihoods of farmers and the poor in the developing world. As a member of the CIMMYT Socioeconomics Program and in collaboration with national and international partners, you will undertake socioeconomics research on strategies for sustainable intensification of cereal based farming systems in South Asia. You will lead the targeting of innovations and collection and analysis of socioeconomic and value chain data to study options for technology adoption, sustainable productivity and income growth in cereal systems throughout the South Asia region. The position will be based at the CIMMYT regional office for Southern Asia (New Delhi, India). Posting at other locations (Katmandu, Nepal or Hyderabad, India) may also be considered.
Deadline: January 15, 2012
Tuesday, December 20, 2011
PUBLICATION: Outcomes of post-2000 Fast Track Land Reform in Zimbabwe (JPS)
The Journal of Peasant Studies (JPS) has announced the release of their special issue on the Outcomes of post-2000 Fast Track Land Reform in Zimbabwe.
The occupations of large commercial farms that erupted in Zimbabwe in 2000 and lead to the Fast Track Land Reform Programme (FTLR) has attracted an enormous amount of media comment and controversy in Zimbabwe and around the world, on the basis of which people developed very clear-cut stances about its consequences - on agricultural production, on the prospects of rural dwellers and on the overall economy. But until recently the rush to judgement was largely uninformed by any hard evidence, with little exploration of outcomes: what new production systems, changed livelihoods and social relations have emerged. In the last two or three years a significant volume of independent empirically-based material from detailed local studies has begun to see the light of day. This Special Issue is the first initiative to bring these empirical studies in one collection in order to contribute to a more informed and very necessary debate.
Some of these articles can be downloaded for FREE from the JPS website: http://www.tandfonline.com/toc/fjps20/current for a limited period.
Thursday, December 15, 2011
This Week’s Posts
EMPLOYMENT: Faculty Positions at The School of Sustainability, Arizona State University. The school invites applications for up to three faculty positions either at the tenure-track assistant professor level or tenured associate professor level. The appointment is in an innovative interdisciplinary academic program in sustainability. Deadline: January 8, 2012
FELLOWSHIP: Postdoctoral Fellow Position on Climate Adaptation, University of Michigan. A key focus of this work is to examine the intersection of mitigation and adaptation, and how choices in one domain may affect options available in the other. The competing demands for land, water, and energy will be central to the analysis. Deadline: December 23, 2011
SCHOLARSHIP: Ghent Masters Scholarships for International Students from Developing Countries. The master scholarships are awarded for the duration of the studies, aiming at the delivery of a Ghent University diploma after max. 2 years of study. Deadline: December 23, 2011
SCHOLARSHIP: University of Manchester Sustainable Consumption Institute Center for Doctoral Training. The Sustainable Consumption Institute examines issues related to environmental sustainability through the lens of consumption. Deadline: January 31, 2012
CALL FOR PAPERS: 18th Annual International Sustainable Development Research Conference, University of Hull. This conference will provide a forum for discussion on the complex issue of sustainability, welcoming both empirical and theoretical contributions considering developed, developing and transition economy perspectives. CAPRi readers may be particularly interested in the theme on “Large-scale land acquisitions and sustainable development in Asia, Africa and Latin America.” Deadline: December 15, 2011
CALL FOR APPLICATIONS: Workshop on transparency in large-scale land allocations and investments. As part of a project involving the International Land Coalition, Oakland Institute, and Global Witness, the workshop is intended to provide a space for dialogue about the experiences of participants and brainstorm together on how transparency and accountability in decision-making around land-related investments and acquisitions could be strengthened, both at the local and national levels. Deadline: December 19, 2011
CALL FOR PAPERS: 19th Annual Conference of the European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists. The conference will be held in Prague on June 27-30, 2012. Theoretical and applied papers in all areas of environmental and natural resource economics are invited. Deadline: February 1, 2012
AWARDS: 2011 Global Development Awards and Medals Competition. Winners are chosen by an eminent jury at the Global Development Network’s Annual Conference; an event attended by over 500 practitioners in the field of development to whom the finalists present their proposals/papers. Deadline: January 31, 2012
PUBLICATION: Land Rights and the Rush for Land: Findings of the Global Commercial Pressures on Land Research Project (ILC). This report, authored by leading land experts, is the culmination of a three-year research project that brought together forty members and partners of the International Land Coalition to examine the characteristics, drivers and impacts and trends of rapidly increasing commercial pressures on land.
PUBLICATION: Who Owns the Land? Perspectives from Rural Ugandans and Implications for Land Acquisitions. A new IFPRI discussion paper by Allan Bomuhangi, Cheryl Doss, and Ruth Meinzen-Dick.
SCHOLARSHIP: University of Manchester Sustainable Consumption Institute Center for Doctoral Training
A minimum of four funded studentships are available on the four year Sustainable Consumption Institute Center for Doctoral Training (SCI CDT) programme. The Sustainable Consumption Institute examines issues related to environmental sustainability through the lens of consumption. A key current focus is on climate change; it is imperative that international, national and company climate change strategies and targets are grounded in climate science. The challenge facing society means that we cannot rely only on technology based solutions to combat climate change and move to a low carbon based economy; it will be vital to also change patterns of consumption and production. The SCI currently has three interrelated themes to guide and organise research activities: Sustainable Consumer Behaviours and Lifestyles, Stimulating Eco-Innovation for Sustainable Production and Distribution and Climate Change and Carbon: Mitigation, Adaptation and Vulnerability.
Deadline: January 31, 2012
CALL FOR PAPERS: 19th Annual Conference of the European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists
The 19th Annual Conference of the European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists will be held in Prague on June 27-30, 2012. The conference is jointly organized by the Environment Center of Charles University in Prague and the University of Economics. You are invited to submit theoretical and applied papers in all areas of environmental and natural resource economics. All papers will undergo the regular peer review process regardless of the session in which they will be presented.
Papers can only be submitted electronically through the conference website.
Deadline: February 1, 2012
Wednesday, December 14, 2011
CALL FOR APPLICATIONS: Workshop on transparency in large-scale land allocations and investments
The International Land Coalition, Oakland Institute and Global Witness have been developing a research and dialogue project which aims to identify priorities and opportunities for improving transparency and accountability in decision-making around land-related investments and acquisitions.
A scoping study has been produced, which brings together experiences from existing literature and selected interviews.
The next step is a brainstorming workshop that brings together CSOs working on these questions. The workshop is intended to provide a space for dialogue about the experiences of participants and brainstorm together on how transparency and accountability in decision-making around land-related investments and acquisitions could be strengthened, both at the local and national levels.
The workshop will take place in Dakar, Senegal, on the 7-8 of February 2012, and will be hosted by CICODEV Africa.
Deadline: December 19, 2011
FELLOWSHIP: Postdoctoral Fellow Position on Climate Adaptation, University of Michigan
Professor Rosina Bierbaum, University of Michigan, is looking for a 1-year postdoctoral fellow to work on adaptation issues and options across multiple sectors, with a focus on the United States. A key focus of this work is to examine the intersection of mitigation and adaptation, and how choices in one domain may affect options available in the other. The competing demands for land, water, and energy will be central to the analysis. The position is open immediately.
Familiarity with the potential impacts of climate change on various sectors and regional adaptation activities are highly desirable. Strong analytic capabilities and writing skills will make the candidate more competitive. The post-doc may be required to travel for 1-3 conferences/workshops. The postdoc will also assist Professor Bierbaum in her work as the lead author on the adaptation/mitigation chapter for the ongoing National Assessment.
Potential topics to be included in the assessment are:
- Mitigation – tracking efficacy (indicators), intended and unintended consequences, cost of alternative approaches, etc.
- Adaptation – appropriate scale, tracking efficacy, unintended consequences Links between mitigation and adaptation (case studies?) Develop inventories of activity and risk based approaches Linkages with disaster preparedness Initiate assessments of effectiveness, e.g. design alternative approaches to data gathering and analysis International linkages and priorities for the ongoing assessment
The salary and benefits package is competitive and commensurate with record and experience. Your application package should comprise your CV, names of three letter writers, and a writing sample. Please submit your application materials electronically as a single .pdf file before December 23, 2011 to the following address: firstname.lastname@example.org
Deadline: December 23, 2011
PUBLICATION: Land Rights and the Rush for Land: Findings of the Global Commercial Pressures on Land Research Project (ILC)
This report, authored by leading land experts, is the culmination of a three-year research project that brought together forty members and partners of ILC to examine the characteristics, drivers and impacts and trends of rapidly increasing commercial pressures on land.
The report strongly urges models of investment that do not involve large-scale land acquisitions, but rather work together with local land users, respecting their land rights and the ability of small-scale farmers themselves to play a key role in investing to meet the food and resource demands of the future.
The conclusions of the report are based on case studies that provide indicative evidence of local and national realities, and on the ongoing global monitoring of large-scale land deals for which data are subject to a continuous process of verification.
But while research and monitoring will continue, this report draws some conclusions and policy implications from the evidence we have already.
Some of the report’s key findings:
- High global demand for land is likely to continue for the long term, although the steep increase witnessed between 2005 and 2008 may level off.
- The land and resource rights and livelihoods of rural communities are being put in jeopardy by the prevailing model of large-scale land acquisition. There is little in the findings to suggest that the term “land grabbing” is not widely deserved.
- The poor are bearing disproportionate costs, but reaping few benefits, because of poor governance, including the weak protection of the resource rights of the poor, corrupt and unaccountable decisionmaking, the sidelining of their rights within trade regimes, and the policy neglect of smallholder agriculture. Women are particularly vulnerable.
- The weak legal protection of resources held under customary tenure makes local people vulnerable to dispossession as governments make land available for private acquisition. Lands and resources which they traditionally own and use in common are especially vulnerable to loss.
- Insufficient action is being taken by host governments to limit the further impoverishment of rural communities that may be expected from the “land rush”. Nor is international law being properly put to work in service of this requirement.
- The challenge is to stop dispossession and land allocations that do not serve a genuine public interest, to legally recognise the rights of the rural poor, and to steer towards more equitable models that give a key role to existing land users.
The full report and summaries in English, French, and Spanish, are available for download here.
EMPLOYMENT: Faculty Positions at The School of Sustainability, Arizona State University
The School of Sustainability at Arizona State University invites applications for up to three faculty positions either at the tenure-track assistant professor level or tenured associate professor level. The appointment is in an innovative interdisciplinary academic program in sustainability. Applicants must be committed to a research and education program in sustainability and will teach both undergraduate and graduate courses, seek external funding on their own initiative or as part of a team, conduct interdisciplinary sustainability research, publish in sustainability journals in their area of specialization, as well as perform appropriate university, professional, and community service.
The School of Sustainability is the first of its kind: a comprehensive degree-granting program with a transdisciplinary focus on finding real-world solutions to environmental, economic, and social challenges. Established in 2007, the School is part of the Global Institute of Sustainability. Our mission is to bring together multiple disciplines and leaders to create and share knowledge, train a new generation of scholars and practitioners, and develop practical solutions to some of the most pressing environmental, economic, and social challenges of sustainability, especially as they relate to urban areas. The School of Sustainability takes a transdisciplinary approach in its curriculum, addressing a broad spectrum of global challenges, including: energy, materials, and technology; water quality and scarcity; international development; ecosystems; social transformations; food and food systems; and policy and governance.
Successful candidates must have an earned doctorate at the time of appointment in the humanities, sciences, or social sciences, and must demonstrate that sustainability is the core organizing principle in their research, scholarship, and teaching. They must also demonstrate: experience working effectively in interdisciplinary teams; a record of excellence in teaching and other educational activities; a strong record of scholarly achievement and publications appropriate to rank; strong communication skills; and evidence of potential to secure research funding appropriate to rank.
Special emphasis will be placed on candidates who demonstrate rigorous qualitative or quantitative methodological expertise relevant to sustainability scholarship (for example, the analysis of complex adaptive systems, assessment techniques, decision and policy analysis, or participatory [action] research); experience with engaging diverse communities in research practice and problem-solving; research interests at the international level (including collaborative work with partners in developing countries) and innovative approaches to education.
To review and apply to this position, please visit www.academicjobsonline.org and search for the Global Institute of Sustainability. The initial application deadline is January 8, 2012. Applications will continue to be accepted and reviewed weekly thereafter until the search is closed. Applicants must submit a cover letter that addresses the criteria described above, current curriculum vita, statement of teaching philosophy, and the names, phone numbers addresses, and e-mail addresses of three references. Only electronic applications will be accepted. A background check is required for employment. Arizona State University is an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer. The School of Sustainability actively encourages diversity among its applicants and workforce.
Deadline: January 8, 2012
Monday, December 12, 2011
CALL FOR PAPERS: 18th Annual International Sustainable Development Research Conference, University of Hull
This international peer reviewed conference will provide a forum for discussion on the complex issue of sustainability, welcoming both empirical and theoretical contributions considering developed, developing and transition economy perspectives relating to one of the following themes:
- Critical perspectives on sustainable development
- Science of Sustainability
determining the need for transitions, assessing progress and trends
- Effectiveness of governance, institutional and economic structures for sustainability
- Sustainable production and consumption
- Regional approaches to sustainable development
CAPRi readers may wish to take particular note of Track 5f: Large-scale land acquisitions and sustainable development in Asia, Africa and Latin America.
The ‘global land rush’ is usually framed as a problem involving capital rich countries and investors (e.g., from China, Japan, Brazil, or Gulf states like Qatar) on the one hand and resource rich countries on the other. Driven by the food crisis and the rapidly growing demand for bio-fuels, foreign and domestic investors (often supported by the state in the host country) buy or lease large areas of farm land in Africa, Asia and Latin America for the production and export of food and biofuels.
According to the adherents (such as the World Bank), large scale investments in land are expected to be beneficial for the host countries by bringing in new technology and/or offering new sources of tax income. In addition it could help to improving food security, while also generating new perspectives for solving the climate crisis.
It is increasingly acknowledged, however, that the large scale land acquisitions often pose considerable risks, which in-clude the undermining or negating of existing rights, corruption, local and global environmental damage, nutritional deprivation, and political instability. Media reports and empirical research show that large-scale processes of land grab-bing are often at the expense of local populations.
This track aims update current knowledge and raise concerns. In order to stop land ‘grabbing’ while also taking care of food security and inclusive development, the current debate needs to be deepened and broadened. In policy debates much attention is given to the triple goal of improving land governance, protecting local people’s rights, while stimulating responsible investment. However, are such policies enough to turn the tide?
Deadline: December 15, 2011
SCHOLARSHIP: Ghent Masters Scholarships for International Students from Developing Countries
Ghent University provide postgraduate Masters scholarships to international students from developing countries who wish to study in Belgium and obtain a master’s degree at Ghent University. The master scholarships are awarded for the duration of the studies, aiming at the delivery of a Ghent University diploma after max. 2 years of study. The scholarship is in principle paid for the total duration of the studies. In case of a 2-year study programme, the 2nd year will be paid upon successful completion of the first year (minimum 60 credits).
Deadline: December 23, 2011
Friday, December 09, 2011
AWARDS: 2011 Global Development Awards and Medals Competition
The Global Development Awards and Medals Competition is an innovative award scheme launched by GDN with generous support from the Ministry of Finance, Government of Japan, and other donors. Since its inception in 2000, GDN has awarded roughly US$ 2.2 million in research and travel grants to finalists and winners. Winners are chosen by an eminent jury at GDN’s Annual Conference; an event attended by over 500 practitioners in the field of development to whom the finalists present their proposals/papers.
The competition accepts applications in three categories:
- Japanese Award for Most Innovative Development Project (MIDP)
- Japanese Award for Outstanding Research on Development (ORD)
- Medals for Research on Development (Medals)
Deadline: January 31, 2012
PUBLICATION: Who Owns the Land? Perspectives from Rural Ugandans and Implications for Land Acquisitions
A new IFPRI discussion paper by Allan Bomuhangi, Cheryl Doss, and Ruth Meinzen-Dick.
Rapid growth of demand for agricultural land is putting pressure on property rights systems, particularly in Sub-Saharan Africa, where customary tenure systems have provided secure land access. Patterns of gradual, endogenous change toward formalization are being challenged by rapid and large-scale demands from outsiders. Little attention has focused on the gender dimensions of this transformation. Based on a study of land tenure in Uganda, this paper analyzes how different ways of defining landownership—based on household reports, existence of ownership documents, and rights over the land—provide very different indications of the gendered patterns of landownership and rights. Although many households report that husbands and wives jointly own the land, women are less likely to be listed on ownership documents, especially titles, and women have fewer land rights. A simplistic focus on title to land misses much of the reality regarding land tenure and could especially have an adverse impact on women’s land rights.
Thursday, December 08, 2011
This Week’s Posts
EMPLOYMENT: IFPRI Senior Research Assistant/Research Analyst, Climate Change Mitigation & Land Use. The individual will work on research activities for The CGIAR Research Program on Climate Change (CRP7) with focus on but not limited to climate change mitigation policy and land use. Deadline: January 6, 2012
EMPLOYMENT: Junior Faculty Positions, Central European University’s Department of Environmental Sciences and Policy. The new appointees will be expected to contribute to interdisciplinary environmental research, complementary and connecting to the research of other faculty members. Deadline: January 31, 2012
FELLOWSHIP: Making Scarce Water Work for All. The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill invites applications for fellowships at the Global Research Institute (GRI), a leading think tank on salient global issues. Deadline: January 30, 2012
CALL FOR ABSTRACTS: “Embattled Spaces – Contested Orders”. The conference of the Africa Studies Association in Germany (VAD) will take place from May 30 - June 2, 2012 in Cologne, including a panel on "Africa’s land as a contested arena for international and national biofuel policies and actors". Deadline: December 31, 2011
CALL FOR ABSTRACTS: International Workshop on Large-Scale Agricultural Investments. The German Institute of Global and Area Studies (GIGA) invites submissions for an international conference on large-scale agricultural investments on 11 May, 2012, in Hamburg, Germany. Deadline: January 30, 1012
FUNDING: International Science Foundation (ISF) Research Grants. Applications for IFS Research Grants are welcome from young scientists in developing countries to do research on the sustainable management, use or conservation of biological or water resources. Deadline: January 29, 2012
FUNDING: European Commission (EC)–Kenya Rural Development Program. Proposals are invited to address drought and other vulnerabilities of arid and semi-arid lands in northern Kenya. Deadline: January 31, 2012
PUBLICATION: Climate Adaptation for Water Management Institutions (WWF). A new publication identifying a set of common principles for climate-adaptive institutions using case studies from Nepal, Brazil, Tanzania, the United States, and Australia.
PUBLICATIONS: CIFOR Papers on Largescale Land Acquisitions and EU-approved Voluntary Schemes for Biofuels. Two recent publications from the Center for International Forestry Research.
PUBLICATION: Africa in Focus: Governance in the 21st Century. The first volume of the Africa in Focus series is available online for free download. CAPRi readers may be particularly interested in Section 3 on the environment and natural resources.
PUBLICATION: Climate Adaptation for Water Management Institutions (WWF)
WWF-US is announces the release of a new publication identifying a set of common principles for climate-adaptive institutions using case studies from Nepal, Brazil, Tanzania, the United States, and Australia.
A key challenge for successful climate change adaptation is the development of institutions that can respond more effectively to an uncertain climate future. Because water is the main medium through which we are likely to experience climate change, institutions that play a role in water resources management have a particular need to become more adaptive in their operations and interactions. WWF-US has just published Shifting Course: Adaptation for Water Management Institutions, a report that identifies a set of principles for climate-adaptive institutions. The report includes five case studies from around the world that highlight different institutional responses to climate change and related challenges.
CALL FOR ABSTRACTS: International Workshop on Large-Scale Agricultural Investments
The German Institute of Global and Area Studies (GIGA) invites submissions for an international conference on large-scale agricultural investments on 11 May, 2012, in Hamburg, Germany.
The academic and practical debate on large-scale land investments is just starting, as are several research projects on different aspects of these land deals. The workshop aims at bringing researchers and practitioners together, structure the debate, exchange ideas, shed light on various dimensions of the problem – in short, it aims at stimulating the discussion. It is organized by a research team at GIGA working in a joint research project on “Large-scale land acquisitions and sustainable development” with the Kiel Institute for the World Economy and the University of Greifswald. The workshop will address the following dimensions of large-scale land deals:
- Legal and political dimensions: In which regulatory framework do large-scale land deals take place? Which are the actors in land deals and how do they behave? Does the process of “land grabbing” change power relations among different actors?
- Socio-economic dimension: What are the socio-economic consequences of large-scale land deals? How does the reality of large-scale land deals compare to the contractual arrangements (e.g. compensation) and is there any empirical evidence on the effects on local populations?
- Ecological and ethical dimensions: Are ecological and ethical (e.g. human right to food) considerations taken into account? What about the environmental sustainability of new cultivation schemes?
- Historical dimension: A historical dimension would cut across the above issues: Are largescale land deals a new phenomenon, or are there parallels to earlier similar phenomena (e.g. during or the post-colonial establishment of plantations)?
- Conflict dimension: Again a cross-cutting dimension: Land-use changes and related population dynamics can be a long-term cause of violent conflicts?
Deadline: January 30, 1012
Wednesday, December 07, 2011
EMPLOYMENT: Junior Faculty Positions, Central European University’s Department of Environmental Sciences and Policy
The Department of Environmental Sciences and Policy of CEU announces a search for two faculty members.
The department comprises an international community of scholars focusing on various aspects of interdisciplinary environmental research. The department operates two masters programs: a one-year Msc in Environmental Sciences and Policy and a 2-year Erasmus Mundus Masters Course in Environmental Sciences, Policy and Management (MESPOM) operated jointly with Lund University (Sweden), the University of Manchester (UK) the University of the Aegean (Greece), the Monterey Institute of International Studies (US) and the University of Saskatchewan (Canada). The department also has a dynamic PhD program with 5-7 new students admitted every year. The department hosts 2 research centers and is involved in a large number of international research projects.
The new appointees will be expected to contribute to interdisciplinary environmental research, complementary and connecting to the research of other faculty members. Applicants will be expected to reside in Budapest and be closely involved in designing and delivering our MSc courses (including supervising masters theses), as well as teaching and supervision of doctoral students. Ability to teach in any of the areas of: environmental economics; sustainable agriculture and food security; energy security; forestry management; and/or water resources management would be an advantage.
Deadline: January 31, 2012
PUBLICATIONS: CIFOR Papers on Largescale Land Acquisitions and EU-approved Voluntary Schemes for Biofuels
The Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR) has two recent publications that may be of interest to CAPRi readers.
- Social sustainability of EU-approved voluntary schemes for biofuels: Implications for rural livelihoods. The rapid expansion of biofuel production and consumption in response to global climate mitigation commitments and fuel security concerns has raised concerns over the social and environmental sustainability of biofuel feedstock production, processing and trade. The European Union has thus balanced the commitment to biofuels as one of the options for meeting its renewable energy targets for the transport sector with a set of sustainability criteria for economic operators supplying biofuels to its member states. Seven voluntary ‘EU sustainability schemes’ for biofuels were approved in July 2011 as a means to verify compliance. While mandated sustainability criteria of the EU Renewable Energy Directive (RED) have a strong environmental focus, a number of these voluntary schemes have social sustainability as a significant component of their requirements for achieving certification. This paper evaluates the social sustainability of these schemes through a review of the substantive content and procedural rules of these schemes, and discusses its implications for rural livelihoods in producer countries. The absence of social sustainability provisions in several schemes, the limited scope of most other schemes and procedural rules providing compliance loopholes point to the urgent need to expand the scope of EU RED to safeguard rural livelihoods in the global South. Available here.
- Contemporary processes of largescale land acquisition by investors: Case studies from sub-Saharan Africa. Rapid growth of emerging economies, emerging interest in biofuels as an alternative to fossil fuels and recent volatility in commodity prices have led to a marked increase in the pace and scale of foreign and domestic investment in landbased enterprises in the global South. Emerging evidence of the negative social and environmental effects of these large-scale land transfers and growing concern from civil society have placed ‘global land grabs’ firmly on the map of global land use change and public discourse. Yet what are the processes involved in these large-scale land transfers? This paper provides a comparative analysis of legal and institutional frameworks and actual practices associated with large-scale land acquisitions in Ghana, Mozambique, Tanzania and Zambia. Drawing on policy documents, interviews with government officials from diverse sectors and discussions with customary leaders and affected communities, we explore some of the deficiencies in legislation and practice which currently undermine the ability to safeguard customary rights in the context of large-scale land acquisition. Available here.
FUNDING: European Commission (EC)–Kenya Rural Development Program
The European Commission and the Government of Kenya invite proposals to address drought and other vulnerabilities of arid and semi-arid lands in northern Kenya. Grants will build programs and strategies for drought preparedness; livestock health and marketing; fodder development; water conservation; support to communities for contingency plans; and related capacity-building activities. Grants (in two lots) will range from €500 thousand to €2 million. The program is open to NGOs, public agencies, and local authorities in the EU and its candidate countries; countries of the EEA and ACP (including Kenya), and least-developed countries. International (inter-governmental) organizations are also eligible. Concept notes are due by 31 January 2012.
Deadline: January 31, 2012
EMPLOYMENT: IFPRI Senior Research Assistant/Research Analyst, Climate Change Mitigation & Land Use
The International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) seeks a Senior Research Assistant/Research Analyst for a one-year, fixed-term, exempt, renewable appointment in its Environment, Production and Technology Division to work on research activities for The CGIAR Research Program on Climate Change (CRP7) with focus on but not limited to climate change mitigation policy and land use. The Senior Research Assistant/Research Analyst will work with senior research staff, assist in preparation of reports and discussion papers, interact with collaborator project partners, complete other research analysis, and support activities related to the work of the Division. This position is located at IFPRI’s headquarters in Washington DC, but may involve travel to countries where IFPRI carries out its research. Final title and grade will be determined based on experience.
Deadline: January 6, 2012
Monday, December 05, 2011
CALL FOR ABSTRACTS: “Embattled Spaces – Contested Orders”
The conference of Africa Studies Association in Germany (VAD) entitled “Embattled Spaces – Contested Orders”, will take place from May 30 - June 2, 2012 in Cologne. The conference will include a panel on "Africa’s land as a contested arena for international and national biofuel policies and actors", on the linkages between biofuel policies worldwide and african land acquisitions.
Panel 06: Africa’s land as a contested arena for international and national biofuel policies and actors
Land in Africa is an increasingly contested resource, with manifold consequences for economic development, poverty, social differentiation, political stability and conflicts. One of the reasons for this trend is increasing global demand for biofuels, spurred largely by biofuels promotion policies in developed and developing countries. As a consequence, new types of political coalitions and economic investments have begun to emerge from categories of actors new to the continent, for instance: Brazilian development cooperation partners, Asian investors and European energy enterprises. They search for political allies in their quest to establish new markets, and/or want to boost biofuel feedstock production and value chains. On the one hand, as the European Union and other nations with biofuel consumption mandates expect that they cannot produce enough biofuels domestically, African lands have become one of the arenas of a worldwide “battle” over the future of biofuel in future energy policies. On the other hand African countries are actors with their own interests (though less active policies) to shape this battle and the discussion about the proper handling of biofuels is far from being settled both within and outside of Africa. In particular, it is not yet clear how large-scale production of biofuel feedstocks will fit with the existing agricultural production systems, rural economies and social realities, given that this would require a massive reallocation of land use and/or ownership. Given the emerging new international political economic constellations surrounding biofuels, whether and how biofuel feedstock will be produced on African land depends not only on internal decisions but also on external forces, particularly given the fact the African actors are generally politically and economically delicate, as are their alliances. The picture painted here leaves a variety of important questions which this panel aims to address: Are there examples of successful or unsuccessful biofuel production in Africa, and what are the roles of external actors? How do external actors contribute to African biofuel policies and investments? What is the role of African countries in the international biofuel policy debate? The panel is looking to attract papers that explore these, and similar, questions and to provide some answers as to how land use changes related to biofuels and their associated political and economic investments have been influenced by, and are influencing, emerging international constellations of actors, discourses and practices.
Deadline: December 31, 2011
PUBLICATION: Africa in Focus: Governance in the 21st Century
The first volume of the Africa in Focus series, Governance in the 21st Century, is available online for free download.
The Africa in Focus series is an initiative of the Human Sciences Research Council (HSRC) that creates a forum for African scholars to frame research questions and examine critical issues affecting the African continent in the 21st century. The series should inspire robust debate to help inform the orientation of public policy in Africa.
Will Africa’s recuperative powers have dispelled the shadows of historically imposed predicaments by the end of the century? This question is at the core of this first volume in the series, in which contributors wrestle with ‘lived realities’ related to the unfolding process of democratic transformation across the African continent. The volume interrogates a range of issues: knowledge and its transformation; the need to manage natural resources; the economy viewed through the lens of actual livelihoods; other thorny challenges affecting social well-being in Africa and Africa’s relationship with the rest of the world.
In the early part of this 21st century, colonial legacies continue to circumscribe many of the hopes and aspirations pinned on democracy by people of the African continent. The challenges of the African state cannot always be explained through reference to the past, and the contributors put forward strong arguments for self-reliance among African people, ethical leadership, economic democracy, the indigenisation of knowledge and institutional reform.
This seminal collection will be of interest to political scholars, students and professionals in the field of African Studies, as well as to policy-makers and public officials across the continent.
CAPRi readers may be particularly interested in Section 3 on the environment and natural resources, which includes chapters on climate change and Africa agriculture, exploring environmental consciousness, the challenges of implementing an African water resource management agenda, and investigating local institutional design for reducing climate change risks in Zimbabwe.
FELLOWSHIP: Making Scarce Water Work for All
The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill invites applications for fellowships at the Global Research Institute (GRI), a leading think tank on salient global issues. During academic years 2012-13 and 2013-14, the GRI is focusing on the challenges faced by a world population likely to rise to 9 or 9.5 billion by mid-century, seeking to provide water, sanitation and hygiene for all.
With urbanization continuing to advance, and with more and more of the world’s growing, increasingly urban population seeking to share in the bounty of economic growth and development, demand for water, already furious, will intensify further. Even in the face of daunting challenges, many innovative researchers have pioneered new ways to use existing supplies of water more efficiently and to distribute such supplies more equitably, made advances in the fight against water-borne diseases, and met pressing environmental challenges. People across the globe are becoming increasingly conscious of both the value and price of water, and the era of “smart water” is clearly upon us. There is, then, much reason for hope, even optimism, going forward.
Accordingly, the GRI will offer a limited number of fellowships in 2012-13 to researchers working on topics germane to the themes outlined above. We therefore encourage exceptionally talented scholars and practitioners from around the world to work with water experts at UNC-CH in fields such as public policy, planning, sustainable development, environmental engineering, and global health.
Deadline: January 30, 2012
FUNDING: International Science Foundation (ISF) Research Grants
Applications for IFS Research Grants are welcome from young scientists in developing countries to do research on the sustainable management, use or conservation of biological or water resources. This broad statement covers natural science and social science research on agriculture, soils, animal production, food science, forestry, agroforestry, aquatic resources, natural products, water resources, etc. Open to citizens of developing countries, with a Master’s degree and under 40 years of age (45 in sub-Saharan Africa).
Deadline: January 29, 2012
Thursday, December 01, 2011
This Week’s Posts
EMPLOYMENT: WorldFish Postdoctoral Fellow, Community-based natural resource management (Ghana). The Fellow will design and conduct research on integrated coastal management and fisheries governance in the Western Region of Ghana as part of the USAID funded initiative. Deadline: open
EMPLOYMENT: Professorship in Social Sciences from Leibniz Center for Tropical Marine Ecology (ZMT) and University of Bremen. ZMT looks for an innovative researcher, who provides additional perspectives for understanding the sustainable governance of marine and coastal resources. Deadline: January 6, 2012
EMPLOYMENT: World Agroforestry Centre Climate Change and Policy Associate Scientist (Cameroon). The selected candidate will be based in Yaounde, Cameroon and travel within the region to the country offices of the different nodes and within the ASB platform network. Deadline: January 15, 2012
SCHOLARSHIP: PhD Opportunities in Environmental Economics in Birmingham. The Department of Economics in the University of Birmingham has recently been awarded two +3 PhD scholarships in Environmental and Natural Resource Economics. Deadline: January 15, 2012
FELLOWSHIP: Inter-American Foundation Grassroots Development Fellowship Program. IAF's Fellowships are intended to increase awareness of grassroots development efforts while building a community of professionals and scholars knowledgeable in the subject. Deadline: January 17, 2012
CALL FOR APPLICATIONS: Land Deal Policy Initiative (LPDI) Small grant competition Part 2. Grants of up to US$3000 per study are available to successful applicants who wish to undertake original field research, carry out follow up fieldwork on an ongoing related initiative, or write up a paper based on research that is being/has been undertaken on any of the call’s themes. Deadline: December 15, 2011
CALL FOR PROPOSALS: Support for Communities and Vulnerable Groups (IADB). The call seeks to obtain technically and financially sound community-based development proposals from civil society organizations legally established in one of the IDB’s 26 borrowing member countries. Deadline: December 31, 2011
CALL FOR PAPERS: Conference on the Economics of Ultrapoverty: Causes and Remedies. George Washington University will be hosting the "International conference on the Economics of Ultra-poverty: Causes and Remedies," on March 22 & 23, 2012. Deadline: January 2, 2012
PUBLICATION: Gender, Assets, and Agricultural Development Programs: A Conceptual Framework. A new CAPRi Working Paper
PUBLICATION: Green Economy for Sustainable Mountain Development : A concept paper for Rio+20 and beyond. A publication by The International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD).
EMPLOYMENT: World Agroforestry Centre Climate Change and Policy Associate Scientist (Cameroon)
The World Agroforestry Centre is looking for a Climate Change and Policy Associate Scientist to be based in Yaounde, Cameroon. The selected candidate will be required to travel within the region to the country offices of the different nodes and within the ASB platform network. The successful candidate will have the following responsibilities:
Policy, capacity building in the area of climate change, REDD+ and payment of environmental services
- Promote links to regional forestry and environmental management policies
- Actively engage in the development of relevant policy for agroforestry development through science-policy processes
- Contribute technical expertise in the development of REDD demonstration activities in the ASB benchmarks
Fundraising and project management
- Develop project concepts (seeking opportunities for proposals, developing proposals, follow ups) and raise resources for research activities in the West and Central Africa region
- Assist the Regional Coordinator in steering and managing specific projects
Deadline: January 15, 2012
PUBLICATION: CAPRi Working Paper, “Gender, Assets, and Agricultural Development Programs: A Conceptual Framework”
CAPRi is happy to announce the publication of a new CAPRi Working Paper, “Gender, Assets, and Agricultural Development Programs: A Conceptual Framework,” by Ruth Meinzen-Dick, Nancy Johnson, Agnes Quisumbing, Jemimah Njuki, Julia Behrman, Deborah Rubin, Amber Peterman, and Elizabeth Waithanji.
Being able to access, control, and own productive assets such as land, labor, finance, and social capital enables people to create stable and productive lives. Yet relatively little is known about how agricultural development programs can most effectively deliver these outcomes of well-being, empowerment, and higher income in a way that acknowledges differential access to and control over assets by men and women. After reviewing the literature on gender and assets, this paper offers a conceptual framework for understanding the gendered pathways through which asset accumulation occurs, including attention to not only men’s and women’s assets but also those they share in joint control and ownership. Unlike previous frameworks, this model depicts the gendered dimensions of each component of the pathway in recognition of the evidence that men and women not only control, own, or dispose of assets in different ways, but also access, control, and own different kinds of assets. The framework generates gender-specific hypotheses that can be tested empirically: i) Different types of assets enable different livelihoods, with a greater stock and diversity of assets being associated with more diverse livelihoods and better well-being outcomes; ii) Men and women use different types of assets to cope with different types of shocks; iii) Interventions that increase men’s and women’s stock of a particular asset improve the bargaining power of the individual(s) who control that asset; and iv) Interventions and policies that reduce the gender gap in assets are better able to achieve development outcomes related to food security, health, and nutrition and other aspects of well-being related to agency and empowerment. The implications of these gender differences for designing agricultural development interventions to increase asset growth and returns to assets as well as for value chain development are discussed. Based on this analysis, additional gaps in knowledge and possible investigations to address them are identified.
CALL FOR PROPOSALS: Support for Communities and Vulnerable Groups (IADB)
This Call for Proposals seeks to obtain technically and financially sound community-based development proposals from civil society organizations legally established in one of the IDB’s 26 borrowing member countries that:
- Support well-targeted poverty reduction and social development activities that respond directly to the needs of socially and/or economically disadvantaged people.
- Stimulate wide spread stakeholder participation (i.e. civil society groups) at the community level.
- Pilot alternative and innovative approaches or partnerships with CSOs, including community based organizations, as implementing agencies to reach groups currently not being reached by other programs.
- Support capacity building of community-based organizations in low income communities to provide sustainable solutions for poverty reduction.
Eligible proposals will be focused in the following sectors:
- Provision of basic social services such as health (primary and reproductive), nutrition, early childhood development, education, social programs for vulnerable groups (i.e. at risk children, youth, women, indigenous peoples, peoples with disabilities).
- Support for productive activities such as: business and technical skills training, microenterprise activities for sustainable livelihood, rural development of marginalized areas.
Proposals may also contain a component for capacity building of community based organizations involved in the main activities forseen for the project.
Deadline: December 31, 2011