Natural Resources and Rural Livelihoods

Understanding the complex relationships between people and the natural world is vital to making decisions about how best to manage our natural resources, and how to make this management fair and equitable between countries and across society. In recent decades there has been an increasing focus on bringing environment and development together in ‘win-win’ scenarios. Particularly as many of the poorest and most vulnerable groups within society are dependent upon natural resources for their livelihoods, the relationships between environment and society are critical to making decisions for socially and environmentally just development.

Researchers within this theme focus on a range of issues, including climate change (particularly policies to address and human capacity to adapt to environmental change), environmental governance and natural resource management and their implications for developmental states. Working across the environment-development nexus, our research is interdisciplinary and draws on insights from around the world, but with a consistent focus on the social, cultural and political contexts that surround people’s relationships with the natural world and how it is managed. You can read some of our blogs or listen to a podcast here.


Theme lead:

Prof Frances Cleaver

Political Ecology Reading Group: for meeting subjects please see the schedule below.



Wednesday 30th May, 12:30 – 14:00 in Room D3C of Geography.

Title: Blockchain and the Global South, with guest Dr Kate Symons (University of Edinburgh)


Wednesday 13th June, 15:15 – 17:00 in Room D3C of Geography.

Title: Protected Areas and Poverty in the Brazilian Amazon, with guest Bowy den Braber (University of Sheffield)


Wednesday 27th June, 15:15 – 17:00 in Glass Meeting room in ICOSS.

Title: Social Representations of the Environment, with guest Dr Marina Requena (University of Sheffield)