Friday, February 10, 2012
SCHOLARSHIPS: PhD Scholarships exploring the Political Ecology of Forest Protection in Indonesia
Three scholarships, supported by the Royal Society of New Zealand Marsden Fund, are available for PhD study in the School of Geography, Environment and Earth Sciences at Victoria University of Wellington, in Wellington, New Zealand.
The aim of this research is to explore how the United Nations’ Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and forest Degradation (REDD+) programme is reshaping the politics and economics of forest management in Indonesia. REDD+ seeks to prevent the release of carbon stored in forests by developing financing mechanisms that can provide incentives to slow or stop deforestation and forest degradation, and promote sustainable forest management. The programme has attracted widespread interest from private, public and non-government sectors and is expected to eventually generate US$30 billion annually. With Indonesia having the second highest rate of deforestation in the world, and deforestation being the second highest contributor of anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions, there is an urgent need to better understand the impacts this new form of conservation is having upon forest politics, economies and livelihoods.
The successful candidates will be responsible for developing a proposal related to one of the following three research themes:
- The power and politics of REDD+. This theme approaches REDD+ as a new form of power and knowledge that is reshaping forest politics. It traces the genealogy of the programme in Indonesia and focuses on the strategies the new REDD+ networks and institutions are adopting to implement, influence or resist the programme. The project draws from ideas in post-structural political ecology, eco-governmentality, biopower and environmental discourse analysis.
- The economic costs and benefits of REDD+. This second theme approaches REDD+ and associated carbon offsets through a global commodity chain analysis. It seeks to understand how carbon offsets are created, traded and consumed across global networks of actors, and what the implications are for various stakeholders, such as forest-dependent communities and purchasers of REDD+ offsets. The project draws from ideas in political ecology, global commodity chain analysis and ecological economics.
- Impacts and agency of forest-dependent communities. The third project focuses on the participation of forest communities, seeking to understand how they are responding to the new opportunities associated with the programme. It explores the triggers and barriers that are shaping who and how people are choosing to engage. The project draws from ideas in political ecology, participatory research methdologies, and ecological economics.
Students will be based at Victoria University of Wellington where they will receive support from a multidisciplinary international research team.
New PhD applicants should carefully read all application instructions, ‘Notes to Applicants’ and accompanying information available at http://www.victoria.ac.nz/fgr/prospective-phds/applying.aspx. Applicants should then download and complete the form ‘Application for PhD Admission and Victoria Scholarships’ and relevant accompanying forms. Clearly indicate that you wish to apply for one of the three scholarships in the political ecology of forest protection. If you have a preference for one of the three research themes, or would like to be considered for all three, please indicate this as well. Tailor your written ‘Expression of Research Interests’ accordingly.
Deadline: March 1, 2012