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Hewitson, Lee


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Research activity per year

Personal profile


I joined the Department of Geography and Environmental Science after completing my PhD at Leicester University.

Broadly speaking, I am interested in the political ecology of nature conservation and rural development, mainly in Africa. My research employs largely qualitative, ethnographic methods, in order to explore diverse nature-culture ontologies and critique contemporary (neoliberal) practices of biodiversity governance. With an empirical focus on African elephant conservation, my PhD thesis explored the (co)production and transformation of conservation space, knowledges and values in the context of Namibia’s community-based natural resource management (CBNRM) programme.

At present, I am working on a GCRF-funded interdisciplinary project investigating how displacement impacts upon environmental degradation and the development of sustainable livelihoods in Ugandan refugee settlements. Combining the use of satellite remote sensing with participatory methods, the project explores the diverse knowledges, values and needs of refugees and host communities, as well as their interactive effects on landscape change dynamics in and around refugee settlements.

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 15 - Life on Land
  • SDG 16 - Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions


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Collaborations and top research areas from the last five years

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