Governing the Land-Water-Environment Nexus: grant awardees 2015-2016

The following researchers have received grants for 2015-2016 for research under the project Governing the Land-Water-Environment Nexus in Southern Africa.


Joanes AtelaJoanes Atela: Implications of governing the nexus on REDD+ implementation: a case study for Kenya

Dr Joanes Atela is a Senior Research Fellow at the African Centre for Technology Studies (ACTS) and a researcher in the STEPS Centre Global Consortium- the Africa Sustainability Hub. Joanes holds a PhD in Environment and Development from the University of Leeds (UK) and is passionate about researching how low carbon technologies can contribute to inclusive development in developing countries.


brittanybunceBrittany Bunce: Agricultural investments in the communal areas of the Eastern Cape: The impacts of joint ventures on livelihoods and land rights

Brittany is a PhD student at the Institute for Poverty Land and Agrarian Studies (PLAAS) at the University of the Western Cape in South Africa. She started her PhD studies in March 2015 and is supervised by Professor Ben Cousins. Her research interest is broadly on the political economy of agrarian change.


chris buscherChris Büscher: Water as accumulation strategy in a variegated capitalism: Dutch ‘aid and trade’ development policy reproducing and transforming water and environmental politics in Mozambique

Chris is trained as an (organisational) anthropologist at the VU University Amsterdam. During his BA and MSc studies, he studied the tourism and development nexus in Southern Africa, in particular in Botswana, South Africa and Lesotho. He combined the final (thesis writing) stage of his MSc with a traineeship at the water division of Rijkswaterstaat, the executive agency of the Dutch Ministry of Infrastructure and the Environment. This was his first professional encounter with the world of water. Dedicated to further understanding water in relation to social and political processes, he has worked as a researcher in the Dutch and European water sector (for KWR Watercycle Research institute) since completion of his MSc in 2008. From the 2014-2015 academic year, he has combined his work for KWR with a part-time PhD at SOAS, University of London.


mathew mabeleMathew Bukhi Mabele: Rethinking sustainability under neoliberal environmental policy: Political ecology, deforestation discourses and conservation practices in Tanzania

Mathew Bukhi Mabele is a doctoral student at the Department of Geography, University of Zurich, Switzerland. Trained as a human geographer, he has broad interests in the political ecology of society-environment interactions in rural East Africa. He is specifically interested in researching and understanding the political economy of conservation and development, and politics of environmental knowledge across scales. In his doctoral research, he explores politics and power dynamics over meaning, understanding and representation (framings) of environmental concepts (such as deforestation) at policy level, and resulting consequences (on environmental governance and everyday conservation practices) at the grassroots. He is currently studying national discourses around REDD+ in Tanzania and a Sustainable Charcoal Production project (a policy intervention to address deforestation) in rural Tanzanias to demonstrate his research interests.


agatha nthengeAgatha Nthenge: Can Participatory Forest Management (PFM) deliver ecosystem services and livelihood opportunities for poverty reduction in Kenya? A case study of Mt. Kenya Forest

Agatha Nthenge is an Assistant Lecturer at the Department of Environmental Studies and Resources Development at Chuka University in Kenya where she teaches Environmental Science courses. She is currently pursuing her PhD in Environmental Science at the University of East Anglia, United Kingdom. She has three years’ teaching experience at Chuka University teaching undergraduate students. She has also been an academic adviser guiding and mentoring students at the University.

Agatha has four years of experience in community development and project implementation. She holds a BSc honours degree in Environmental Studies from Maseno University, Kenya and an MSc degree in Environment and Development from the University of Edinburgh, UK. She is a recipient of the prestigious Shell Centenary Scholarship and currently on Commonwealth Scholarship for her doctoral studies.


rapando nancyRapando P. Nancy: An assessment of the role of institutions in uptake of agricultural adaptation practices; the case of Nyando Kenya

Rapando Nancy is a specialist in Agriculture and Natural resources management; having worked both in Kenya and Uganda on projects targeting agricultural resources management, climate smart agriculture and sustainable development. Nancy has worked on programs targeting both policy and livelihood enhancement. Nancy is a graduate of Agriculture Education and Extension with an Msc in Agronomy all from Egerton University and now pursuing her PHD on Climate change and adaptation from the Institute of climate change and adaptation at the University of Nairobi.


andreas schebaAndreas Scheba: Bamboo for green development? A political ecology of commercial bamboo’s land-water-environment nexus in South Africa

Dr Andreas Scheba is a Post-Doctoral Research Fellow in the Economic Performance and Development Unit of the Human Sciences Research Council in South Africa. He has a Masters degree in Socio-economics from the Johannes Kepler University in Linz, Austria, and a Ph.D. in Development Policy and Management from the University of Manchester, U.K. Andreas’ research aims to advance scientific and policy debates on poverty, inequality and sustainable development in Sub-Sahara Africa. He is particularly interested in issues around conservation and development, the green economy and the equitable governance of natural resources in rural as well as urban contexts.


Amos WekesaAmos Wafula: Assessment of the institutional capacities for adoption and scaling up of Sustainable Agriculture Land Management among smallholder farmers Siaya and Bungoma Counties, Kenya

Amos Wafula Wekesa is an environmental scientist and PhD student at the Institute for Climate Change and Adaptation (ICCA), University of Nairobi, Kenya. He worked for 14 years for Vi Agroforestry, a Swedish NGO working in Eastern Africa, as Programme Advisor on Agroforestry, Natural Resource Management, Sustainable Agriculture, Climate Change Adaptation and Mitigation. He has worked with smallholder farmers and communities around Lake Victoria Basin on Sustainable Land Management two regional programmes on adaptation, two Verified Carbon Standard (VCS) carbon projects and 2 water resource and tea adaptation projects. Amos is currently conducting PhD field work on the subject “Enhancing food security through sustainable agriculture land management practices in Bungoma County, Kenya” as well as carrying out field work supported by the STEPS Governing the Nexus in Southern Africa research grant, entitled “Assessment of the Institutional capacities for adoption and scaling up of Sustainable Agriculture Land Management among smallholder farmers Siaya and Bungoma Counties, Kenya” being part of the PhD objective which will lead to the publication of a working paper.

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