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Current Research Projects

Land-use Intensification in Forest-agriculture Frontier Landscapes: Effects on Ecosystem Services and Poverty Alleviation

Funded by - Ecosystem Services for Poverty Alleviation (co-funded by DFID, NERC, ESRC)

Principle Investigator - Professor Adrian Martin, School of International Development

Co-Investigators: Dr Neil Dawson, School of International Development, UEA; Dr Janet Fisher and Dr Casey Ryan, University of Edinburgh; Professor Ole Mertz and Mrs Laura Vang Rasmussen, University of Copenhagen; Dr Unai Pascual, Basque Centre for Climate Change; Dr Esteve Corbera, Autonomous University of Barcelona

UK-based project partners: University of Edinburgh, International Institute of Environment and Development

International project partners: University of Copenhagen, Basque Centre for Climate Change, Autonomous University of Barcelona

Bringing together an interdisciplinary working group of experts with strong engagement with key policymakers and practitioners in organisations working on agriculture, conservation and development, this research project aims to generate insight into the evolving trade-offs between land use changes, ecosystem services, associated values and well-being in transitional landscapes at the forest-agriculture frontier in the global south.

Evidence will be gathered relating to five specific domains of enquiry, which are:

  • The effects of agricultural intensification on ecosystem services;
  • The effects of agricultural intensification on human wellbeing;
  • The influence of cultural, institutional and governance contexts on the evolving nexus of trade-offs between land use change, ecosystem services, and wellbeing;
  • The effects of how trade-offs between land use changes, ecosystem services, and wellbeing are negotiated and managed by communities and authorities;
  • How agricultural intensification affects ecosystem service values across key stakeholders and associated facets of wellbeing.


Poverty alleviation impact is built-into the project design through active engagement and knowledge exchange with key policymakers and practitioners, through the production of an empirically informed end-of-project policy brief, through the advancement of conceptual insights into relationships between agricultural intensification, ecosystem services and human wellbeing, and through the dissemination of findings at workshops and conferences and through online science-policy platforms.