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

Photo of Ana Pueyo More details

Photo of Dolf te Lintelo More details

Photo of Dominic Glover More details

Photo of Gordon McGranahan, Cities research fellow More details

IDS staff or research student More details

Photo of Ian Scoones, Research Fellow More details

Photo of Imogen Bellwood-Howard More details

Photo of Jeremy Allouche, IDS research fellow More details

Photo of John Thompson, a Research Fellow in the IDS Rural Futures research cluster More details

Photo of Linda Waldman, KNOTS Research Fellow More details

Photo of Lyla Mehta More details

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IDS staff or research student More details

Photo of Melissa Leach, IDS Director More details

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photo of Shilpi Srivastava More details

‘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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Front cover of Bulletin 38.5, Understanding Participation Through Science and Technology

Understanding Participation Through Science and Technology

IDS Bulletin 38.5 (2007)

Science and technology need society. But does society need science and technology? This is one of the questions posed in this issue of the IDS Bulletin, which brings together insights from Science and Technology Studies (STS) and Development Studies (DS). More details

IDS publications on international development research

When Social Movements Bypass the Poor: Asbestos Pollution, International Litigation and Griqua Cultural Identity

Journal of Southern African Studies 33.4 (2007)

This article examines citizen mobilisation and activism in relation to asbestos disease and litigation. More details

IDS Working Paper

'I've Got the Dust as Well': Asbestos Disease, Litigation and Laggers

IDS Working Paper 287 (2007)

Asbestos diseases are closely associated with cancer and death. They are therefore widely recognised for their insidious, fearsome and tainted nature. Through an examination of stress associated with disease, the paper explores the medical and legal framings of asbestos disease in the UK and complements them with an investigation of laggers? More details

IDS publications on international development research

Empowering Designs: Steps Towards More Progressive Social Appraisal of Sustainability

STEPS Working Paper 3 (2007)

The challenges of designing new frameworks for social appraisal aimed at sustainability and social justice are reviewed by this paper. Here, 'social appraisal' refers to the ways society gathers knowledges to inform policy decisions and discourse and a number of key features of potentially more empowering 'pathways' approaches are identified. More details

IDS publications on international development research

The Governance of Central Asian Waters: National Interests Versus Regional Cooperation

Disarmament Forum 4 (2007)

Central Asia is defined by its relationship to a precious natural resource: water. In fact, water is such an essential element of the region's identity that once Central Asia was known in classical Greek texts as Transoxiana, which literally means the land on the other side of the Oxus River. More details

IDS publications on international development research

Water and Liberalisation: European Water Scenarios

Water and Liberalisation: European Water Scenarios presents a better understanding of the specific demands of the WSS sector. Covering the operators' strategies, the regulatory dynamics as well as their interactions on the evolution of the sector, it addresses the likelihood, the nature, and the forms the WSS sector may take in Europe in the foreseeable future. Adopting a neutral political stance, the book analyses the implications of alternative scenarios in economic, ecological, social, legal, and institutional terms. More details

cover of Understanding Policy Processes review

Understanding Policy Processes: A Review of IDS Research on the Environment

For over a decade, researchers in the IDS Environment Group have been engaging with a growing body of work on policy processes which encompasses among other things: the relationship between science, expertise and policy, political interests, public participation and network theory. More details

Front cover of Bulletin 37.3, Asia 2015: Sustaining Growth and Ending Poverty

Asia 2015: Sustaining Growth and Ending Poverty

IDS Bulletin 37.3 (2006)

This IDS Bulletin brings together ten articles that examine threats to sustained growth and suggest ways in which potential challenges might best be mitigated through conscious policy choice and public action under the leadership of Asian governments. More details