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Research to manage the Environment for Development

Recent publications


Effects of climate change on agricultural households’ welfare in Kenya

Natural and artificial ecosystems (such as agricultural ecosystems), confer benefits in the form of provisioning, regulatory, cultural and habitat goods and services to nations and humanity as a whole. Degradation of ecosystems through different threats and drivers compromises their ability of provide these goods and services. In Kenya, just like many African countries, climate change and variability is a driver affecting weather patterns and causing seasonal shifts.


Thanks but no thanks: A new policy to reduce land conflict

Land conflicts in developing countries are costly both directly and through increased land degradation. An important policy goal is to create respect for borders. This often involves mandatory, expensive interventions. We propose a new policy design, which in theory promotes neighborly relations at low cost. A salient feature is the option to by-pass regulation through consensus. The key idea combines the insight that social preferences transform social dilemmas into coordination problems with the logic of forward induction.


Fairness versus Efficiency: How Procedural Fairness Concerns Affect Coordination

What happens if a mechanism that aims at improving coordination between individuals treats selected individuals unfairly? We investigate in a laboratory experiment whether procedural fairness concerns affect how well individuals are able to solve a coordination problem in a two-player Volunteer's Dilemma. Subjects receive external action recommendations that can help them avoid miscoordination if followed by both players.


Climate Change and Food Security in Kenya Does Climate Change Affect Food Insecurity in Kenya?

The research analyzes the impact of climate change (including increased variability and less predictability of temperature and rainfall) on food security in Kenya. The study is based on county-level data, collected over time, for yields of four major crops (maize, beans, sorghum and millet), four climate variables (precipitation, temperature, runoff and total cloud cover), population, soil and agro-ecological zones data spanning over three decades. The paper estimates models of main food crop yields and also of the probability of a county being food insecure.


Whereto with institutions and governance challenges in African wildlife conservation?

African wildlife conservation has been transformed, shifting from a traditional, state-managed government approach to a broader governance approach with a wide range of actors designing and implementing wildlife policy. The most widely popularized approach has been that of community managed nature conservancies. The knowledge of how institutions function in relation to humans and their use of the environment is critical to the design and implementation of effective conservation.


Climate change and South Africa’s commercial farms: an assessment of impacts on specialised horticulture, crop, livestock and mixed farming systems

South Africa, a main food exporter in SADC, is characterised by a dual agricultural economy consisting of a well-developed commercial sector and smallholder, often subsistence, farming. Using the Ricardian cross-sectional framework, we examine the impact of climate change on a nationwide sample of crop, horticulture, livestock and mixed commercial farming systems.


Decentralization, market integration and efficiency-equity trade-offs: Evidence from Joint Forest Management in Ethiopian villages

Extant literature on Joint Forest Management (JFM) impact evaluation has concluded that it generally does not provide sufficient incentives to justify the costs that forest use restrictions impose on local people. However, there is a dearth of evidence concerning whether alternative JFM intervention with improved market linkages for non-timber forest products has similar implications.


Why Anglers Fish Where They Do Knowing South Africa’s Preferred Fishing Spots Can Help Manage Fish Stocks

Recreational angling in South Africa is not well monitored, even though recreational fishing contributes to over-exploitation of line fish stocks. This is because authorities don’t have the resources or political will to patrol the entire coastline. This study shows that anglers tend to seek out fishing spots where they are likely to catch the most fish. If enforcement officials target these ‘hotspots’, they can monitor whether anglers are adhering to their permit conditions, which limit the number and size of fish that they are allowed to catch.