Environment

Whether linked to water or land, forests or food, urbanisation or disease, rapid environmental change is posing major challenges for development policy.

With social systems also changing rapidly, the core development challenges of alleviating poverty and inequity are increasingly complex. IDS research seeks to expose these new challenges and explore ways of meeting them. Our approach enables a distinctive contribution to sustainability debates, as well as to broader discussions of changing relationships between science, society and participation.

Our major areas of work include: climate change, energy, water and sanitation, agriculture and food, health and disease, sustainable livelihoods, the Rio+20 process and beyond, and the completion of a decade's work on environmental policy processes.

Photo of IDS researcher Amber Huff More details

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‘Seeing’ Conflicts at the Margins: Understanding Community Experiences Through Social Research and Digital Narrative in Kenya and Madagascar

In a context of unprecedented investment in natural resource developments, this project bridges the social sciences, the humanities and community-based participatory research to ask how different ‘communities’ of actors ‘see’ and experience resource conflicts in Kenya and Madagascar. We use social science alongside a variety of participatory multimedia methods to open up conflict research to more diverse framings and voices, which can offer new insights on the drivers of resource conflict and pathways to peace. More details

Climate Change, Uncertainty and Transformation

This project sees uncertainty as a key barrier to efforts to support social transformation to respond to the challenges posed by climate change. More details

DFID Innovation Prizes for Environment and Development

Running innovation prizes that will improve poor people's resilience to climate change. More details

Dynamic Drivers of Disease in Africa Consortium

A STEPS-led consortium of researchers aiming to advance understanding of the connections between disease and environment in Africa, focusing on animal-to-human disease transmission.. More details

Ebola: Lessons for development

IDS researchers argue that there is an urgent need to look beyond the immediate, on-the-ground concerns of disease control and containment to consider the bigger and broader questions about international development. More details

Environment and PRSPs

This research project was initiated and conceptualised in the framework of the Poverty Environment Partnership (PEP), an informal network of around 30-donor and non-governmental organisations that works on strengthening the nexus between poverty reduction and environmental protection in development cooperation. More details

Global Food and Farming Futures – Lead Expert Group

The Foresight Project on Global Food and Farming Futures addresses the question: ‘How can a future global population of 9 billion people all be fed healthily and sustainably?' More details

GM Crops and Indigenous Management Skill

This project examines the effects of GM seeds on the ‘indigenous management skill’ (IMS) that is crucial to the productivity and sustainability of small-scale crop cultivation. More details

Market-Based Mangrove Afforestation and Reforestation in Kenya and India

This study aims to understand and compare processes and relationships associated with the ‘marketization of nature’ – how nature-based commodities and markets for trading them are brought into being – in the context of mangrove afforestation, reforestation and restoration projects in Kenya and India. More details

Pro-Poor Electricity Provision

This programme will develop and promote evidence-based policy and programme guidance on low carbon energy investments to benefit poor people, especially women and girls. More details

Social, Technological and Environmental Pathways to Sustainability (STEPS) Centre

The STEPS Centre is an interdisciplinary global research and policy engagement hub, funded by the Economic and Social Research Council. It aims to develop a new approach to understanding, action and communication on sustainability and development. More details

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IDS publications on international development research

Letting off Steam: The Stockholm Message from World Water Week to the COP-15

Reviews in Environmental Science and Biotechnology 8.4 (2009)
IDS Research Summary

Hybrid Activism: Paths of globalisation in the Brazilian Environmental Movement

IDS Research Summary of IDS Working Paper 332 (2009)

Globalisation has opened up new spaces and opportunities for activists to work in local and global contexts. This enables a hybrid type of activism where activists continuously interweave global and local experience. Through accessing two Brazilian environmental organisations this paper demonstrates how hybrid activism works. More details

This is the latest paper by Robert Chambers

Going to Scale with Community-Led Total Sanitation: Reflections on Experience, Issues and Ways Forward

IDS Practice Paper 1 (2009)

Community-Led Total Sanitation (CLTS) is a revolutionary approach in which communities are facilitated to conduct their own appraisal and analysis of open defecation (OD) and take their own action to become ODF (open defecation-free). More details

IDS publications on international development research

Climate Change and Ethiopia

IOP Conference Series: Earth and Environmental Science 6.32 (2009)
IDS Working Paper

Hybrid Activism: Paths of Globalisation in the Brazilian Environmental Movement

IDS Working Paper 332 (2009)

Focusing on two case studies of environmental activism in Brazil, this paper argues against theories that consider local and global activism as two separate realms. More details

Front cover of Bulletin 39.4, Poverty in a Changing Climate

Poverty in a Changing Climate

IDS Bulletin 39.4 (2008)

Climate change gets attention across the world. IPCC findings call for radical limits to atmospheric greenhouse gas concentrations responsible for human-induced climate change. More details

IDS publications on international development research

Biotechnology and Biodiversity Debates and Policies in Africa

International Journal of Biotechnology 10.2/3 (2008)

This paper characterises debates, considers policy and discusses the rationale for proactive GM technology policy (as in South Africa) and precautionary ones (such as in Ethiopia). More details

Cover of Displaced by Development book

Displaced by Development. Confronting Marginalisation and Gender Injustice

Mehta's book applies gender analysis to development induced displacement and resettlement in the Indian context. It highlights the need to focus specifically on how processes of displacement and resettlement affect social groups differently with regard to axes such as gender, class, caste and tribe More details