Monitoring and modelling the potential implications of REDD+ for livelihoods and well-being in Tanzania
We seek an excellent candidate with a passion to work on a fully funded interdisciplinary PhD within the ESRC White Rose Doctoral Training Centre (DTC) Studentship Network on Climate Compatible Development Partnerships.
The White Rose University Consortium is a strategic partnership between Yorkshire’s leading research Universities of Leeds, Sheffield and York. The DTC facilitates collaboration the three universities through the award of 48 postgraduate studentships per year within a set of interdisciplinary challenge areas. One such area is the Climate Compatible Development Partnership Network that comprises 3 PhD studentships, numerous associated PhDs and their academic supervisors and collaborators across the Universities of Leeds, York and Sheffield. The partnership aims to assess Community base Natural Resource Management and Payment for Ecosystem Service (PES) schemes across a range of contexts in Africa to enhance understanding of institutional aspects of such schemes in relation to the valuation of livelihoods, carbon and ecosystem services trade-offs and synergies. In doing so, the DTC Network will provide best practice guidance for policy and practitioners.
Dr Rob Marchant (Environment Department, University of York)
Dr Susannah Sallu (University of Leeds, School of Earth and Environment)
Payment for Ecosystem Services (PES) mechanisms translate external and non-market values of ecosystems into financial incentives for local ecosystem service providers. Low income countries are particularly attracted to PES as it provides a new potential funding stream from higher income countries. This is particularly the case for the Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation mechanism (REDD). REDD and the recently developed REDD-plus (REDD+) provide incentives to reduce the emissions of greenhouse gases from deforestation and forest degradation, and, in the case of REDD+, the enhancement and sustainable management of forest carbon stocks. Whilst REDD and REDD+ are primarily carbon sequestration strategies, there is huge potential to harness co-benefits, including biodiversity conservation and poverty alleviation, if the forests are managed sustainably. Aside from carbon sequestration, forests provide extensive ecosystem service benefits such as watershed protection and nutrient cycling, as well as fuel, food, water, shelter and medicines. Forest resources directly support the survival and livelihoods of millions of people while also indirectly contributing to agricultural services and food supply. Much current debate therefore focuses on the potential impacts of PES mechanisms on those dependent on forests for their livelihoods.
Whilst carbon-related schemes such as REDD+ have the potential to provide livelihood opportunities for forest adjacent communities, the relevance and potential of these opportunities contributing towards improved livelihood resilience and wellbeing needs to be considered in the context of past, current and future potential strategies and alternative opportunities.
As such this project will further develop understanding of the potential role of carbon-related opportunities in promoting livelihood resilience and well-being in Tanzania, a country that has been heavily engaged in REDD+ pilot and preparedness activities. Whilst there is some flexibility in how this project will be approached, it is likely that the project will use livelihoods and/or well-being lens(es) to investigate the potential opportunities and challenges of engaging in REDD+ activities across a series of plots established by WWF-Tanzania. The project will consider potential REDD+ -related opportunities alongside other livelihood activities, and consider the dynamics of livelihood and well-being outcomes. Collecting and analysing data at both individual and community scales and along temporal trajectories, considering past and current data that informs modelling of future potential scenarios might be expected.
This project will work alongside a WWF REDD+ pilot project that is involved in broad scale assessments of carbon in Tanzania. The PhD project therefore aims to inform the development of pro-poor models of REDD+, considering whether or not, and how, multiple benefits might be achieved across carbon, livelihood and well-being dimensions. As much of the analysis could take within a GIS, strong geospatial skills would be a distinct advantage. Experience in the application of both quantitative and qualitative methodologies and overseas fieldwork would be highly desirable. A willingness to engage in fieldwork in Tanzania essential with a knowledge of Swahili desirable. It is envisaged that the student will be recruited at +3 level with an appropriate ESRC-recognised Masters degree.
Resource and facilities available
All PhD students are provided with a desk and computer in the York Environment Building and will part of a vibrant wider research group within the Environment Department. In-country field collaboration will be developed with partners at WWF-Tanzania and Sokoine University of Agriculture. Ongoing carbon mapping project work led by York will provide carbon sequestration data to this project and important supervisory collaborations with the University of Dar es Salaam, Ministry of Natural Resources and Tourism and the Tanzania Forest Conservation Group.
Supervisory meetings will take place at least monthly, with more frequent meetings in the first 6 months. Training needs will be assessed and the student will have access to a range of specialist modules at both York and Leeds. The student will be encouraged to participate in other related activities at both universities including seminars, reading groups and workshops (e.g. Stockholm Environment Institute, Sustainability Research Institute and Centre for Climate Change Economics and Policy). PhD Associate status will be provided to the ESRC Centre for Climate Change Economics and Policy, which will provide scope for applying for some fieldwork funding support.
Formal applications should be made online. For more information on the application procedure follow instructions at http://www.york.ac.uk/graduatestudy/applying/. Applications should be submitted online; details can be accessed from the University of York website at
Please include with your application: (i) a full CV and (ii) a brief covering letter specifically explaining why you are interested in the project. Shortlisted candidates will be invited for interviews scheduled for the 15th January with a view to make an immediate start.
For further information on the application process, contact:
The Graduate Schools Office, University of York, Heslington, York YO10 5DD, UK
Tel: +44 (1904) 432142
Fax: +44 (1904) 434039
E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org (general online application enquiries)
Closing Date: 31st December 2013