Personal profile


Oliver’s primary research interest is the political economy / political ecology of forest governance reform in developing countries.  He mainly focuses on issues of: 1) democratisation, policy and reform rights reform and the associated political empowerment of forest users,  2) livelihood development and poverty alleviation at the forest – agricultural interface, and 3) integrated biodiversity management in forest management.

These interests have been developed through leading a range of research projects with partners across Asia  region , particularly India, Nepal and Burma/Myanmar.  He is co-author/editor, with Piers Blaikie, of ‘Forests, People and Power’ (Earthscan 2007)

Oliver has also worked as a forest and environmental policy advisor on donor-funded projects in India and currently Burma / Myanmar

Oliver is the coordinator of the Burma/ Myanmar Development Research Network:

Websites of projects Oliver has led or been involved in:

The Political Ecology of Forest Ecosystem Services (2011-13)

Community Forestry in Myanmar / Burma (2010-11)

Improving Institutions for Pro-Poor Growth (2005-10)

Strengthening pro-poor wetland conservation using integrated wetland assessment  (2005-2008)

Participatory Forest Management in India and Nepal (2002-2006)

Institutionalising Participatory Integrated Forest Management in Nepal (2002-2005)

CV and Experience

Click here to download Oliver's CV.

Key Research Interests

Forest and natural resource governance, rights tenure and institutions, livelihoods and poverty, participation, biodiversity management, political ecology, political economy, India, Nepal, Cambodia, Tanzania.

Research Groups: Global Environmental JusticePolitics, Governance and the State

Areas of Expertise

Forest management and conservation; South Asia (esp. India and Nepal).

Teaching Interests

Research Supervision

I am currently supervising the following research students:

  • Shankar Dahal; ‘Use it or lose it! Integration of Local Knowledge in Management of Medicinal Plants in the Hills of Nepal: A Case Study from the Sankhuwasabha District, Koshi Hills, Eastern Development Region of Nepal’.
  • Hari Dhungana; ‘Forest Resources and Social Justice: A Case Study of the Policies and Practices of Forest Resources Management in Nepal’.
  • Peter O’Hara; 'Beyond the ‘community’ in community forestry: Exploring and challenging the roles and constructs of professionals through deliberative processes'.

Academic Background

Oliver has a BSc in Economics and Economic and Social History from the University of Wales (1989), an MSc in Economic History from the London School of Economics (1991) and a Ph.D from the Geography Department of SOAS (2001)

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):

  • SDG 1 - No Poverty
  • SDG 16 - Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions

Collaborations and top research areas from the last five years

Recent external collaboration on country/territory level. Dive into details by clicking on the dots or