Skip to main content

Research to manage the Environment for Development

Recent publications


    Rural Households’ Forest Use in Fragmented Forest Landscapes

    The overarching purpose of this discussion paper is to provide a starting point for consideration of the implications of changing households’ access to forests and forest products and to changing management of lands outside of reserves. We study five communities located in and around the Amani Nature Reserve and the Nilo Forest Reserve, within the broader landscape of the biodiversity hot spot of Tanzania’s Eastern Arc, the East and West Usambara Mountains.


    Behavioural Nudges for Water Conservation in Unequal Settings

    In the period 2015-2018, the City of Cape Town experienced a sustained drought that eventually reduced the city’s usable reserves to 10% of capacity. Fortunately, there were individual water meters in many homes, and as part of the city’s response to the water crisis, it was able to implement increasingly stringent water restrictions, using both price (higher water tariffs) and quantity (lower water pressure and legislated constraints on daily use by households).


    Back to the plough: Women managers and farm productivity in India

    In India, role of women as farm managers has been veiled behind image of men as primary decision makers on farms. Data shows that approximately 8% farm households had women farm managers in India in 2004, and this number increased to 11% in 2011. This rising phenomenon of farm management by women begets an in depth understanding about these farms, including, differentials in productivity levels across men and women managers. This paper uses three measures to capture productivity – production value, profit value and crop specific yields.


    Identifying the local factors of resilience during cyclone Hudhud and Phailin on the east coast of India

    The vulnerabilities of coastal communities have increased in recent years, as more people have to live in hazard-prone areas due to population growth. The east coast of India is one such vulnerable area that faces the combined challenge of climate risks and poverty. This study identifies the environmental and socioeconomic factors contributing to the resilience building that helped the communities in the study area to cope with cyclone Phailin in 2013 and cyclone Hudhud in 2014. We used questionnaire surveys, GIS and satellite data, and econometric analysis to identify these features.


    Urban Rail Transit Can Improve Air Quality: New Evidence from Chinese Cities

    In this research, we investigate whether urban rail transit expansion improves air quality. We also compare the magnitudes of the effects across cities and explain the variation. The results suggest that opening subways alleviated air pollution, especially during non-rush hours in the daytime. We find that the effects are smaller in the cities with higher income and more subway lines, while the effects are larger in the cities with higher population density. Furthermore, the effect of the first subway line opening is stronger, compared to expansion of an existing subway system.


      Creating Protected Areas on Public Lands: Is There Room for Additional Conservation?

      Most evaluations of the effectiveness of PAs have relied on indirect estimates based on comparisons between protected and unprotected areas. Such methods can be biased when protection is not randomly assigned. We add to the growing literature on the impact of PAs by answering the following research questions: What is the impact of Chilean PAs on deforestation which occurred between 1986 and 2011? How do estimates of the impact of PAs vary when using only public land as control units?


      A synthesis of three decades of socio-ecological change in False Bay, South Africa: setting the scene for multidisciplinary research and management

      Over the past three decades, marine resource management has shifted conceptually from top-down sectoral approaches towards the more systems-oriented multi-stakeholder frameworks of integrated coastal management and ecosystem-based conservation. However, the successful implementation of such frameworks is commonly hindered by a lack of cross-disciplinary knowledge transfer, especially between natural and social sciences. This review represents a holistic synthesis of three decades of change in the oceanography, biology and human dimension of False Bay, South Africa.


      Saving Water at Cape Town Schools by using Smart Metering and Behavioural Change

      Cape Town made world headlines in 2018 as a major city on the brink of seeing its taps run dry. Its predicament drew attention to the challenge that water scarcity presents for cities in the 21st century. Globally, over four billion people face severe freshwater shortages and this number is expected to rise (Mekonnen and Hoekstra, 2016). The Water Resources Group (2017) predicts that by 2030 there will be a 40% gap between freshwater supply and demand if business-as-usual water management continues.