|Researchers at RIHN|
|Samuel ASSEMBE-MVONDO||Senior Researcher|
|BOON Kia Meng||Researcher|
Throughout the tropics, forest-agriculture frontiers dominated by diverse swidden mosaics are being converted to homogenous landscapes of commodity agriculture. Despite being labeled as “development”, smallholders in these landscapes often benefit less than local elites and external investors in frontier transformations, reflecting underlying politics, institutional and power structures around forests and land-use tenures.
FairFrontiers applies inter- and transdisciplinary approaches to ask: whose interests drive transformations of forest-agriculture frontiers, who benefi ts and who is made precarious? What are possible policy options that can deliver ecologically sustainable and socially equitable outcomes?
To address these research questions, the project is organized into 5 modules. The first will carry out critical discursive analyses of the different framings of development in forest-agriculture frontiers; the second and third modules will examine how bundles of ecosystem services and well-being are changing in frontiers; the fourth module will apply transdisciplinary approaches with co-production of knowledge on, and inclusion of diverse and local narratives of sustainable futures; and the fifth module will carry out integrative and comparative analyses across modules, scales and countries (see Project Structure). The analytical framework is built on theories of power and everyday politics, social and environmental justice and ecosystem services. Together, these approaches support the advancement of theory and methods for assessing equity, ecosystem services and wellbeing, and identification of the enabling and hindering conditions for more equitable and sustainable development pathways for the millions of people who still depend on these diverse landscapes for their wellbeing.