Organisation of the group – University of Copenhagen

Organisation of the group

The research group Environment and Society in Developing Countries explores a broad portfolio of disciplinary entrance points, combined in various ways in our concrete research activities. These three build on analyses of:

  • The dynamics of coupled human-environment systems, including natural resource management and sustainability science. More specifically, we deal with changes in ‘land systems', land use and land cover; agricultural systems and their sustainability; environmental problems, such as land degradation; local livelihood strategies in rural areas; climate change impacts, mitigation and adaptation, including bio-fuel production and deforestation (REDD).

  • Global value chains and livelihoods, which are combined in new ways to examine the relationship between globalization and rural-urban linkages (i.e. flows of commodities, people, money and information). Of particular interest is the relationship between world market dynamics, agricultural transformation processes, agro-industrial activities and rural livelihood changes, including rural-urban migration. Research themes include the impact of new markets (domestic and foreign), quality concepts and food standards, contract farming, diversification of rural livelihoods, mobility and migration practices.

  • Earth Observation of terrestrial ecosystems with a main focus on remote sensing of vegetation and in hydrology. Specific activities include application of remote sensing techniques of the land surface, in particular evapotranspiration; large-scale distributed hydrological modeling; soil-vegetation-atmosphere-transfer, drought assessment and vegetation modeling (primary production); modeling of spatial processes and validation of satellite data and algorithms consolidating the Dahra test site in the semi-arid West Africa. Based on the receiving and processing system for data from the geostationary Meteosat Second Generation (MSG), application of geostationary data is sought achieved in the above applications areas.

The empirical research activities are concentrated in Africa (both East, West and South), South-East Asia and the Pacific, or deal with issues at the global scale. All scales from the household to continental, are considered. Great importance is attached to the mutual influence of processes at different scales, and a variety of data sources from interviews to Earth Observation is employed.

The research group continuously emphasizes to capitalize the interdisciplinary potential which lies in developing research approaches that cut across the key research areas described above.