Life on Land

Life on Land Goal-15

Goal 15: Sustainably manage forests, combat desertification, halt and reverse land degradation, halt biodiversity loss

Forests cover 30 per cent of the Earth’s surface and in addition to providing food security and shelter, forests are key to combating climate change, protecting biodiversity and the homes of the indigenous population. Thirteen million hectares of forests are being lost every year while the persistent degradation of drylands has led to the desertification of 3.6 billion hectares.

Deforestation and desertification – caused by human activities and climate change – pose major challenges to sustainable development and have affected the lives and livelihoods of millions of people in the fight against poverty. Efforts are being made to manage forests and combat desertification.

Interested Scholars

The following scholars are interested in this topic:

PhD Candidate Egypt Academic Discipline: Computer/Data Sciences, Economics, Political Science, Public Policy Interests Keywords: Big Data, Computational Models., Decision-Making, development, Disasters, Game Theory, political economy About me: Sustainable Development Goals: Affordable and Clean Energy, Clean Water and Sanitation, Climate Action, Decent Work and Economic Growth, Gender Equality, Good Health and Well-being, Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure, [...]

Current Masunungure comes from the rugged and scenic Eastern Highlands of Zimbabwe. Growing up in such an environment, he fell in love with nature and completed his honours degree in Forest resources with distinction at NUST, Zimbabwe. He was then awarded the prestigious Beit Trust Scholarship to pursue his MSc in Environmental Science, Rhodes University. His current research interest focus on management of invasive alien plants under inherent uncertainty and risks.

Joshua is a Decision Analyst with diverse experience in research and development. He has worked with Topimage Limited, a below the line advertising agency, as a Trade Development Representative and he currently works with the International Center for Research in Agroforestry (ICRAF) as a Research Fellow. He has supported decisions for different organisations including the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) in its program on Biodiversity Management. He holds a bachelors degree in Microbiology from Kenyatta University and he is currently pursuing a masters degree in Management Information System (MIS) at the same university. His current work focuses on scientific advice and foresight in complex systems, where he strives to learn from interventions targeting livelihoods and soil conservation.

I am a political scientist and cultural anthropologist. My research interests include international relations, foreign policy, security, political power, climate change, identity, discourses, practices, small and Pacific Island states. ​

My research investigates the political economy of governance and environmental management in developing countries. One main strand of my research addresses the ways that foreign donors can support better environmental management in the countries where they work. My book Giving Aid Effectively examines when and why member states and civil society groups can make the multilateral development banks, which manage approximately half of all international development finance, responsive to their environmental performance. Other recent projects investigate when foreign aid catalyzes private sector investment in emerging technologies, when externally-financed institution building persists over time, and how remotely sensed data can be used as part of geospatial impact evaluation to improve the evidence behind environment and development interventions.

Another main strand of my research investigates experimentally the effects of transparency on governance and political accountability. I am currently leading or co-leading several field experiments that investigate when information about the programmatic performance of politicians changes vote choice, whether citizen-sourced data on public services improves the governance of urban public services, how transparency encourages citizens to seek accountability from governments, why national-level transparency rating programs affect the actions of local governments in authoritarian contexts. All of these field experiments are designed and implemented as part of strong partnerships with implementing agencies around the world.

I am currently working as a postdoctoral Senior Research Officer, at the Department of Government, University of Essex, as part of the Evaluation Team (Catalyst Project), where I have been working with collaborators to acquire, process and analyse administrative data to support local authorities (such as Essex and Suffolk County Council, Essex County Fire and Rescue Service) improve the impact of programmes and interventions for the communities they serve. A computational linguist by training (text analytics, natural language processing, mathematical models of language) (PhD in Computational Linguistics, Essex – 2010; MA in Computational Linguistics, Essex – 2004), I have been working as a data scientist since 2010 (UK Data Archive (Essex); Endangered Languages Archive (SOAS, University of London); Administrative Data Research Network (Essex)), when I took up my current role.