PhD Position on "Local impacts of global conservation policy on social-ecological systems in Laos“


Wyss Academy for Nature at the University of Bern


Friday, May 12, 2023

Start Date

Saturday, July 1, 2023

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The PhD candidate contributes to the third-party funded (EU Biodiversa+ via SNSF) “Just Conservation: Bridging values for equitable biodiversity governance (BridgingVALUES)” with their research. The project focuses on the key EU-level stakeholders’ interests, and power relations, that shape conservation discourses, and how distal policy flows are locally manifested in EU and Global South priority landscapes. It investigates these on-the-ground impacts in terms of people’s well-being, biodiversity and ecosystem service (BES) values, and equity across different social groups. And lastly, it inquires what alternative desirable futures for stakeholders are in these local conservation hotspots. They will conduct a PhD within Work Package 3 on “Impact chains: Connecting flows with social-ecological outcomes” South-East Asia. The PhD research will focus on how global conservation policy affects BES and their values, as well as social equity outcomes through a case study in northern Laos. Changes in underlying BES values and equity perceptions will be assessed through structured surveys and semi-structured interviews as a proxy to analyze outcomes from telecoupled flows. Moreover, methods such as process tracing will be used to (re)construct impact pathways.

Concrete tasks:

  • Design a mixed-methods approach to assess BES and social equity outcomes.
  • Conduct indepth case study research collecting empirical data in northern Laos.
  • Data analysis, publication of research results in peer-reviewed scientific articles and presentation in conferences.
  • Participate in overall project activities and research synthesis.