Alexandros Gasparatos and Eric Dompreh attended the event celebrating the 10 years of the Belmont Forum (Taipei, 21-22 October). They participated in two panels sharing their experiences from the their involvement in the Belmont Forum project FICESSA. Alex participated in the panel discussing how to build capacity to inform policy, guide decision-making, and encourage best practices. Eric contributed to the panel on how to train the cohort of the future in transdisciplinary research. For more information on the event refer here.
Denise visited Santa Cruz de la Sierra in Bolivia to collect data about solid waste practices among residents and informal waste pickers. In particular she conducted approximately 300 household surveys to understand the causes and impacts of different solid waste practices such as waste dumping, burning and separation. These surveys were undertaken in randomly selected areas that represented different socioeconomic strata. Additionally, she conducted around 100 surveys with informal waste pickers to understand the characteristics and socio-economic impacts of informal waste-picking activities. These interviews were undertaken in waste collection points (e.g. markets, waste containers, streets), storage points (e.g. association warehouses, municipal separation plant) and selling points (e.g. facilities of small and medium intermediaries).
Eric visited the oil palm production areas located in the Mpohor district of the Western region of Ghana. He interviewed oil palm and food crop farmers to understand the impact of certification on farmer livelihoods and food security. He focused on three groups of farmers located in six local communities. These included 100 certified oil palm farmers belonging to the smallholder scheme of Benso Oil Palm Plantation (BOPP), certified through the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO). He also interviewed 100 non-certified oil palm farmers and 100 food crop farmers operating in the same area.
Vinamra visited three Forest Management Units (FMUs) in Sarawak, Malaysia, namely the Mujong-Melinau FMU (44,300 ha), Kapit FMU (149,765 ha) and the Raplex FMU (63,993 ha). He undertook interviews and focus group discussions in many longhouses to understand the effects of different logging practices on the environment and the livelihoods of local indigenous Iban communities. Furthermore, he attended the Social Impact Assessment Training for FMUs organized by Sarawak Forestry (Kapit FMU, 18-21 September) and the MTCC 20th Anniversary Conference (Kuala Lumpur, 24 September) during which he met with key stakeholders from the Ministry of Primary Industries, the Global Forestry Service, and the Malaysian Timber Certification Council.
Alice and Ei were awarded their PhD and MSc respectively. Both defended successfully their theses in July 2019. Cogratulations!!
Alice undertook an extensive household survey in Lilongwe, Malawi seeking to identify dietary patterns and their change over the past 10 years. With the help of a local 6-person team she surveyed approximately 700 households in different parts of the city to obtain a representative understanding of these phenomena. This survey was part of a long-term project funded by the Japanese Society for the Promotion of Science (JSPS) collecting similar datasets from other African cities.
Denise visited Santa Cruz de la Sierra in Bolivia to obtain a deeper understanding of the operational activities of the different Solid Waste Management stages in the city. She accompanied supervisors of the local waste collection company to observe their operational procedures and waste picking activities. She visited waste pickers storages and used action cameras to record the activities of informal waste pickers in order to explore related social impacts. Additionally, she conducted a workshop with representatives of the municipality, private cleansing company and NGOs to validate a system dynamic model of the Solid Waste Management system in Santa Cruz,
Robert visited the provinces of the Western Cape and the Gauteng in South Africa to interview experts and conduct surveys with local farmers about the current role of Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) in the country’s food system. He conducted 86 surveys with smallholder farmers located in 6 urban and peri-urban areas in the townships of Cape Town and Johannesburg to understand the barriers and challenges of ICT adoption, as well as the desirable characteristics of ICT tools. He complemented this knowledge with interviews with experts from NGOs, ICT companies and the food industry to understand more broadly these issues in South Africa.
Rodo visited the three islands Nargana, Soledad Miria, and Carti Sugdub in the Guna Yala region of Paname. He conducted household surveys to capture the perspective of the local Guanas communities, in order to identify what are their main development concerns. Questionnaires captured socioeconomic activities, perceived value from ecosystem services, traditional values, and ranked through a Discreet Choice Experiment (DCE) the key development challenges. He conducted approximately 240 questionnaires across the three islands to conduct a conjoint analysis that will help identify the key development challenges in Guna Yala.
Vinamra visited multiple logging sites in in Sarawak, Malaysia, to understand the impact of logging on local communities. Initially he visited Iban communities in Anap Muput Forest Management Unit to understand the effects of past and current commercial logging practices in the area. In particular he carried out 21 household interviews in 7 villages located in the Muput cluster. Subsequently he visited the Kapit Forest Management Unit (149,756 ha), whose southern part is located inside Heart of Borneo (HoB) project area, and met each of the village chiefs of the sixteen settlements at Mujong-Melinau FMU (44,300 ha). He conducted multiple expert interviews with officials from the Forest Department, Sarawak Forestry Corporation and different logging companies, and also attended the Forest Management Certification and Forest Management Unit Readiness Assessment Workshop organised by Sarawak Forestry Corporation in Sibu.