Projects per year
I am a social scientist who specializes in interdisciplinary research to inform the management of natural resources in developing countries, particularly in relation to governance of protected areas, integrated conservation and development, participatory forestry and agricultural intensification. Recent work has pursued four main themes. Firstly, conservation and environmental justice, including the potential for understanding normative values to support higher quality environmental decision making and to support conflict transformation. Secondly, the analysis of multidimensional wellbeing values to understand links between ecosystem services and poverty alleviation. Thirdly, the use of market-based instruments, including payments for ecosystem services, as a means to resolving trade-offs in environmental governance. Fourthly, using ideas about conflict transformation to examine responses to environmental conflicts and to identify pathways to sustainability. This work has been project funded by ERC, ESRC, NERC, DFID and others. The interdisciplinary nature of my work is reflected in the range of journals that I publish in, primarily in social science journals such as World Development, Human Ecology, Ecological Economics and Global Environmental Change, but also selecting to communicate through more natural science oriented journals such as Biological Conservation, Conservation Letters, BioScience and Nature Sustainability.
I am director of UEA’s Global Environmental Justice research group
I am also a Coordinating Lead Author for the IPBES Assessment of Diverse Values of Nature.
CV and Experience
Key Research Interests
Conservation and development, forestry, protected areas, market-based conservation, ecosystem services, environmental justice, environment and conflict.
Research Groups: Global Environmental Justice
Current and Recent Research Activities
2016-2017 Land-use intensification in forest-agriculture frontier landscapes
This ESPA funded synthesis led by myself asked how agricultural intensification shapes the changing trade-offs between land use, ecosystem services and poverty alleviation. This involved an interdisciplinary working group of experts with strong engagement with key policymakers and practitioners in organisations working on agriculture, conservation and development.
2016-2018 IMPACTS: Issues and Myths in Protected Area Conservation: Trade-offs and Synergies
Led by Emily Woodhouse (Anthropology, UCL) this project convened an interdisciplinary expert Working Group who worked collaboratively to review and synthesise the current state of knowledge on the social and environmental outcomes of protected areas. It carried out a systematic and global review of a variety of different quantitative and qualitative evidence types including from the academic literature, non-academic reports, and ESPA projects, and used innovative narrative synthesis methods to analyse and present the results. The review identified circumstances under which positive relationships emerge between (poverty alleviation) and environmental (ecosystem services) outcomes of protected areas: what works, where, how and why?
2015-2017 Why should ecosystem services be used for poverty alleviation?
This research aimed to find the answer to a fundamental question: why should ecosystem services be used for poverty alleviation? Ecosystem services do not automatically benefit poor people, but have been demonstrated to accrue to better-off and more powerful actors, and although many environmental interventions continue to take place in settings characterised by entrenched poverty, its the demand and pressure from the non-poor on ecosystem services is predicted to rise in coming decades. It is a particularly timely question for the conservation community, because of active debates about the 'new conservation' and the ethical principles underpinning conservation practice.
2016-17 Developing a framework and tools for enhancing equity and justice in protected area management
This 12-month project with Kate Schreckenberg (King’s) and Phil Franks (IIED) responded to the demand expressed by the CBD and the IUCN World Parks Congress that protected areas should be managed equitably. The project drew on two completed ESPA projects, which explored the concepts of equity and justice in the context of ecosystem services, to develop a framework for enhancing equity and justice in protected area management (at site and systems levels). The framework was validated through fieldwork at three sites in East Africa and a regional workshop in Nairobi.
2015-2019 Academic-Activist Knowledge Co-Production for Environmental Justice
Funded by the International Social Science Council. I am Co-I, with project led by Leah Temper (Barcelona) and Ashish Kothari (Kalpavriksh). This project emphasizes and dissects processes of knowledge production and resistance formation against “extractivism” and towards transformative sustainability from the ground-up, with the assumption that therein lies the greatest potential for action and agency towards dealing with environmental and social crises today
2013-2016 Conservation, Markets and Justice: a comparative study of local and global conceptions.
Research project funded by ESRC, for which I am Principal Investigator. We are trying to better understand local conceptions of environmental justice in the context of market-based and more traditional biodiversity conservation interventions, in case sites in China, Tanzania and Bolivia.
2013-2016 Ecosystem Services, Wellbeing and Justice.
Research project funded by NERC/ESRC/DfID under the Ecosystem Services and Poverty Alleviation programme. Led by Thomas Sikor, this research builds on our previous conceptualisation of environmental justice, in particular by introducing recent thinking about human wellbeing. Field research is in Laos.
2010-2014 Climate Change and Forests in the Congo Basin: Synergies between Adaptation and Mitigation
Research project funded by African Development Bank. Co-Investigator, working with CIFOR(lead) and Stockholm Environment Institute . This is an action research project to promote, support and investigate projects to reconcile adaptation and mitigation in selected research landscapes in the Congo basin, with particular focus on sites in Cameroon, Equatorial Guinea and Rwanda.
2010-2014 Combining REDD, PFM and FSC certification in South-Eastern Tanzania
Working with Esteve Corbera at the Autonomous University, Barcelona, we are working on a pilot REDD project, led by the Mpingo Conservation and Development Initiative. UEA/UAB are supporting components on governance, social impact assessment and benefit sharing. Funded by NORAD.
2010 – 2012 Just Environmental Management
Funded by the NERC/ESRC/DFID programme on Ecosystem Services and Poverty Alleviation. Exploring socio-ecological trade-offs in ecosystem management, through an environmental justice perspective. Case studies in China, India and Albertine Rift. Led by Thomas Sikor.
2008-2012 Reconciling Conservation and Development through Direct Payments for Conservation in Rwanda
Principal Investigator, funded by European Research Council. This project was an experimental Payments for Ecosystem Services research project operating in a montane rainforest in southwest Rwanda. Key partners were the Rwanda Development Board, Wildlife Conservation Society Rwanda, and National University of Rwanda.
2008-2009 Lessons learnt in community based conservation and transboundary natural resource management in the greater Virunga landscape of the Albertine Rift
Consultancy projects in Rwanda, Uganda and Democratic Republic of Congo. Funded by International Gorilla Conservation Programme and Buffett Foundation.
2008-2009 Recognising and supporting Community Conserved Areas.
Small project in Rwanda, Principal Investigator, funded by IUCN/CENESTA. This involved a survey of indigenous and community conservation areas in Rwanda, and development of a proposal for supporting BaTwa indigenous groups.
2005-2008 Conservation partnerships in Rwanda: building capacity for managing protected areas.
Principal Investigator, funded by MacArthur Foundation’s regional programme for the Albertine Rift.
Research Student Supervision
I welcome enquiries from those interested in research in environment and development, especially those interested in:
- ecosystem services approaches
- environmental justice
- payments for ecosystem services (incl. REDD)
- biodiversity conservation in the global South
- environment and conflict
- agricultural intensification
I am currently supervising the following research students:
Eric Opou: Communication for development: study of REDD+ in Cameroon
Agatha Nthenge: Community forestry in Kenya
Marianne Kuusipalo: social impacts of ‘voluntary’ relocation for gas extraction in Mozambique.
Anni Valkonen: Understandings, practices and power plays around the notion of tenure security. Examining the land policy development and implementation process in Madagascar.
Liz Chidley: The evolution of the indigenous peoples movement in Indonesia
Ruth Pinto: Discourse and politics of mangrove restoration in Indonesia
Director, Global Environmental Justice research group
Areas of Expertise
I teach on geography and international development courses, with a particular focus on the environment, biodiversity conservation and rural development. I have been course director for the MA Rural Development and for the BA Geography and International Development.
Current undergraduate modules taught
First year geography field course (Holt)
Second year geography field course (India)
Natural Resources and Development 3 (Governing Environment and Development)
Critical Issues in Resources, Development and Conservation (Just Transformations)
Current postgraduate modules taught
Rural Policies and Politics
Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals
In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):
Dive into details
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NAVIGATE: NAature's multiple Values for InteGrATion into dEcisions
Natural Environment Research Council
1/08/22 → 31/07/25
Economic and Social Research Council
1/12/20 → 31/05/24
ESPA Book Chapter - Neil Dawson
Dawson, N., Coolsaet, B. & Martin, A.
Ecosystem Services for Poverty Alleviation
4/08/17 → 31/12/17
ESPA open access grant - Neil Dawson
Ecosystem Services for Poverty Alleviation
20/06/17 → 20/07/17
Issues and Myths in Protected Area Conservation: Tradeoffs and Synergies (IMPACTS)
Martin, A., Woodhouse, E., Bedelian, C., Dawson, N., Gross-Camp, N., Homewood, K., Jones, J., Morgera, E. & Schreckenberg, K.
Natural Environment Research Council
1/03/17 → 28/02/18
Contradictory distributive principles and land tenure govern benefit-sharing of Payments for Ecosystem Services (PES) in Chiapas, MexicoIzquierdo-Tort, S., Corbera, E., Martin, A., Carabias Lillo, J. & Dupras, J., 28 Apr 2022, In: Environmental Research Letters. 17, 5, 055009.
Research output: Contribution to journal › Article › peer-reviewOpen AccessFile1 Citation (Scopus)1 Downloads (Pure)
Rethinking entrenched narratives about protected areas and human wellbeing in the Global SouthWoodhouse, E., Bedelian, C., Barnes, P., Cruz-Garcia, G. S., Dawson, N., Gross-Camp, N., Homewood, K., Jones, J., Martin, A., Morgera, E. & Schreckenberg, K., 16 Nov 2022, (E-pub ahead of print) In: UCL Open: Environment. 4
Research output: Contribution to journal › Article › peer-reviewOpen AccessFile2 Downloads (Pure)
Summary for Policymakers of the Methodological Assessment Report on the Diverse Values and Valuation of Nature of the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem ServicesPascual, U., Balvanera, P., Christie, M., Baptiste, B., González-Jiménez, D., Anderson, C., Athayde, S., Barton, D. N., Chaplin-Kramer, R., Jacobs, S., Kelemen, E., Kumar, R., Lazos, E., Martin, A., H. Mwampamba, T., Nakangu, B., O'Farrell, P., Raymond, C., Subramanian, S. M., Termansen, M. & 2 others, , 9 Jul 2022, Bonn: IPBES.
Research output: Book/Report › BookOpen Access
The role of diverse values of nature in visioning and transforming towards just and sustainable futuresMartin, A., O'Farrell, P., Kumar, R., Eser, U., Faith, D. P., Gómez-Baggethun, E., Harmackova, Z., Horcea-Milcu, A-I., Mercon, J., Quaas, M., Rode, J., Rozzi, R., Sitas, N., Yoshida, Y., Nyumba, T. O., Koessler, A-K., Lutti, N., Mannetti, L. & Arroyo-Robles, G., 9 Jul 2022, Methodological Assessment Report on the Diverse Values and Valuation of Nature of the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services. Balvanera (& 4 others), P. (ed.). Bonn: IPBES
Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceeding › ChapterOpen Access
The role of the values of nature and valuation for addressing the biodiversity crisis and navigating towards more just and sustainable futuresBalvanera, P., Pascual, U., Christie, M., Baptiste, B., Guibrunet, L., Lliso, B., Monroy-Sais, A. S., Anderson, C., Athayde, S., Barton, D. N., Chaplin-Kramer, R., Jacobs, S., Kelemen, E., Kumar, R., Lazos, E., Martin, A., H. Mwampamba, T., Nakangu, B., O'Farrell, P., Raymond, C. & 6 others, , 9 Jul 2022, Methodological Assessment Report on the Diverse Values and Valuation of Nature of the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services. Balvanera (& 4 others), P. (ed.). Bonn: IPBES
Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceeding › Chapter (peer-reviewed) › peer-reviewOpen Access