|From||Grant Bigg <Grant.Bigg@sheffield.ac.uk>|
|Date||Fri, 25 Mar 2011 09:36:31 +0000|
ESRC funded studentship in Climate Compatible Development Partnerships at the University of Sheffield Competing demands for carbon sequestration and water resources: modelling and valuing of ecosystem services in the context of climate change Supervisors: Dr Chasca Twyman, University of Sheffield (email@example.com), Professor John Wainwright, University of Sheffield (firstname.lastname@example.org), and Dr Steve Cinderby, University of York (email@example.com). Please note that this Studentship is based in the Department of Geography, University of Sheffield. Deadline for applications 20th April Globalization of carbon offsetting relating to the needs of developed countries provides a major potential for the economies of the Global South, especially across Sub-Saharan Africa. However, this potential produces a set of tensions, not least in competing land uses for maintaining sustainable communities in contrast to the provision of broader ecosystem services (ES). These tensions are likely to be further exacerbated by climate change, which in many areas of Sub-Saharan Africa will increase variability and uncertainty of rainfall inputs. This variability is leading to increased pressure on already sparse water resources with the risks and trade-off´s between carbon, water and poverty alleviation goals of community-based natural resource management and carbon finance projects as yet being poorly understood. This project will carry out a comparative study of carbon-finance initiatives and community-based natural resource management in both the Tanzania and Zimbabwe study regions in order to complement the work carried out in the other two projects in the network. The timeliness of this research is demonstrated by the interdisciplinary approach taken to investigate community-based carbon-trading initiatives and water footprints, and our collaboration with a Niall Marriott Associates (who are experts in pro-poor sustainable business), CGIAR in Zimbabwe (former research partner and an international sustainable development partnership) and the Tanzania Forest Conservation Group (a new collaboration) to develop "bottom-up", sustainable business insights developed from identification of local needs and supported by state-of-the-art developments in the application of agent-based modelling approaches. Objectives The aim of this project is to evaluate the competing demands for carbon sequestration and water resources and the valuing of ES in the context of climate change. The project will address the following research questions: 1.What is the relationship between carbon sequestration and water resources and how can areas of competition and tension (e.g. in water supply and quality for agriculture and drinking) and synergy (e.g. in flood and erosion mitigation) be identified? 2.How do communities understand the relationship between carbon and water? 3.How are competing ES valued at community, regional, national and international levels? 4.What potential is there to engage community-based organizations in carbon-finance initiatives that are realistic and sustainable? 5.Which ES, communities and livelihood strategies will benefit from these initiatives and which will not? 6.What is the potential to link with business to create realistic and sustainable initiatives? This research is interdisciplinary and adopts approaches and techniques from both the social and natural sciences. These include: discourse analysis of regional, national and international policy documentation; semi-structured interviews with key policy and practitioners at the regional and local level; and, participatory appraisal within case-study communities to contribute to hydrological assessments of study catchments and their likely water resource management futures. Participatory GIS and participatory, agent-based model-building approaches will develop tools that have the potential to be used by community-based organisation and policy makers to create realistic and sustainable carbon-finance initiatives that account for associated impacts on both livelihood systems and water resources. Resources and Facilities Available The student will be provided with dedicated desk space and computing equipment within the Department of Geography (Sheffield). They will have access to the necessary software for GIS and model building exercises from both Sheffield and York. Two fieldwork seasons will be required. The first will involve substantial data collection requiring setting up of interviews, participant observation and group work in two locations. It is realistic to assume that this work can be carried out in five months. A shorter period (2 months) of fieldwork is required for model evaluation and community feedback. The student will have in country support from collaborators in both Zimbabwe and Tanzania and will work closely with the other two network students and the field partners supporting their work to ensure real synergies to add extra insights from the use of these new agent-based modelling approaches. Nature of Aware and Person Specification As a +3 award applicants must be able to start study on October 2011 and have completed an ESRC-recognised Masters Degree or appropriate research training programme. UK students will be eligible for a full award and other European Union applicants will be eligible for an award paying academic fees only, except in cases where residency in the UK has been established for more than 3 years prior to the start of the programme of study. Application Procedure Formal applications should be made online. For more information on the application procedure follow instructions at: http://www.shef.ac.uk/postgraduate/research/apply. Applications should be submitted online by April 20th, 2011. Please include with your application: (i) a full CV and (ii) a brief covering letter specifically explaining why you are interested in the project. Shortlisted candidates will be invited for interviews scheduled for May 5th 2011. Contact For more information on the project, please contact Dr Chasca Twyman (firstname.lastname@example.org) or any of the supervisors involved in the project.
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