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About Ian Scoones

Director

Ian is an agricultural ecologist whose research links natural and social sciences, focusing on relationships between science and technology, local knowledge and livelihoods and the politics of agricultural, environment and development policy processes.

All posts by Ian

Will the Sustainable Development Goals make a difference?

This week heads of state assemble in New York to launch the Sustainable Development Goals. The agreed text lays out 17 goals and 169 targets. It is an ambitious agenda for all of humanity. But will they make any difference? We have had the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), which were launched with similar fanfare in…

Resource politics: living in the Anthropocene

By Ian Scoones, Director of the STEPS Centre This week we are hosting a major conference at the STEPS Centre at Sussex on resource politics. There are panels looking at everything from mining to wildlife to carbon to water, with big themes cross-cutting on: Scarcity, politics and securitization; Resource grabbing; Governance, elites, citizenship and democracy;…

Debating Science and Technology for Development in Africa

By Ian Scoones, Director of the STEPS Centre At an event today we will be debating the STISA-2024 (Science, Technology and Innovation Strategy for Africa) initiative by the African Union (AU), the latest attempt to bring science and technology to the centre of the development debate in Africa. The STISA-2024 document opens with a rousing…

Cecil the Lion and Zimbabwe’s conservation carve-up

The huge uproar generated by the shooting of Cecil the lion provides a fascinating lens into Zimbabwe’s new elite land politics and the relationship between humans and “wild” nature. The country’s extensive game ranches and conservancies were mostly subject to land reform in the early 2000s. Many of the former owners were evicted, along with…

Tackling climate change: the contested politics of forest carbon projects in Africa

Tackling climate change is one of the most pressing challenges of our age. And this year is a crucial moment with the Conference of the Parties meeting in Paris in December 2015 hopefully to forge a new climate agreement. Forests, carbon and their management are high on the agenda, and a new book has just…

What Greece can learn from Africa about the effects of austerity after a debt crisis

Ian Scoones, republished from The Conversation   Some have asked what can Africa learn from Greece. I argue that Greece (and others) can learn a lot from the African experience. Debt is on the rise again not just in Greece, but across the world. A decline in commodity prices with a strengthening of the US…

Could changes in beef market regulations open opportunities in southern Africa?

Last month at the OIE (World Animal Health Organisation) Assembly in Paris, changes to international regulatory standards around Foot and Mouth Disease were adopted. This has long been argued for, and will make a big difference to livestock producers across southern Africa. The updated OIE Terrestrial Animal Health Code makes it possible for African countries with wild…

Kenyan Cabinet Secretary for Finance: STEPS Africa is “a huge contribution”

On behalf of the Cabinet Secretary of the National Treasury on Kenya, Hon. Henry Rotich, Professor Judi Wakhungu, Cabinet Secretary for Environment, Water and Natural Resources formally launched the STEPS Africa Sustainability Hub today in Nairobi. The speech underscored the importance of Low Carbon Economy Development in Africa. “Low carbon development will play an important…

STEPS Africa Sustainability Hub launched in Nairobi

“There is no better time to launch the Africa Sustainability Hub than now,” says Dr Mohamed Kyari from the Human Resources, Science and Technology Department of the African Union. The AU strategy science and technology and innovation was confirmed by Heads of State last June. The vision of the African Union is to develop a…

Why access to energy is crucial for economic growth and poverty reduction

This week I am in Nairobi for a conference focused on ‘Low Carbon Africa’, discussing the diverse pathways to low carbon energy. Energy access is a key issue across the continent. Last week Kofi Annan launched the ‘Africa Progress Panel’ report that argued for a massive energy revolution on the continent, with the potential for…