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Rodd Myers, PhD

political ecology | global production networks and value chains | environmental justice | land use governance | land tenure security | impact planning, monitoring and evaluation | sustainable agriculture | results-based management

Overview

I am an environmental social scientist. Using mixed-methods in both agricultural and forest-based land use systems as a practitioner and academic, I analyse interactions between society and the environment. I am an experienced project manager and accustomed to co-ordinating teams dispersed around the globe toward meeting results on time and on budget.

Education

  • PhD, University of East Anglia (UK), School of International Development

  • MSc Sustainable Agriculture and Rural Development, The University of London, The Imperial College of Science, Technology, and Medicine (UK). T.H. Huxley School of Environment, Earth Sciences and Engineering at Wye

  • BA Honours Development Studies, The University of Calgary (Canada)

 

Research

My research interests are in

  • local-global environmental justice issues around forest-based natural resources;

  • global social and environmental regimes;

  • forest-agriculture land-use change;

  • political ecologies of natural resource global production networks; and

  • land tenure security. 

Consulting

I use my extensive project design, management, monitoring and evaluation experience, including up to $29 million of consecutive programming and up to 65 staff as a natural resource management, sustainable agriculture and organisational consultant, including social and environmental impact as well as specialised market and global production network/value chain analysis from a social perspective.

Current works in progress

My recent publications focus on: 

  • forest governance,

  • land-use change, 

  • access threory, and

  • environmental justice.

 

Current publications in development are:

  • forest tenure reform

  • corruption in land-use governance

  • benefit-sharing in social forestry

  • legality and sustainability

Recent consultancies

Recent consultancies include an impact evaluation of the Millennium Challenge Corporation Indonesia’s Green Prosperity Fund and the USAID/India Millennium Alliance programme with Social Impact, as well as an evaluation of a climate change and oil palm production project for Norad, a $27 million low-emissions development programme with World Resources Institute and indigenous conservation initiatives in Papua. I worked with non-profit organisations in micro-finance, sustainable agriculture and rural co-operative development for 15 years in project development and design, monitoring, evaluation and learning, facilitation and technical advice to international partners.

Other Affiliations:


I have also completed reviews of papers in the following publications:

The Asia Pacific Journal of Anthropology (2018); Conservation & Society (2016); Climate Policy (2019); Development and Change (2017); Enterprise Development & Finance (2015); Environment, Development and Sustainability (2018); Forest and Society (2017, 2018); Forest Policy and Economics (2016, 2016, 2017, 2019, 2019, 2019); International Forestry Review (2017, 2018); Journal of Political Ecology (2019); Land Use Policy (2016, 2017, 2018, 2020); Routledge Environment and Sustainability (2018); Society & Natural Resources (2019)

worked in

23

countries

23

years of professional experience

24+

professional and peer-reviewed publications

managed consecutive contracts up to

$29m

Selected projects (16)

ICAI Review: International Climate Finance: UK aid for halting deforestation and preventing irreversible biodiversity loss. SDG 15: Life on Land

2020/10 - 2021/03

Agulhas Knowledge Management

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This literature review is part of the evidence used to inform the ICAI review and will be published as a stand-alone document. The review provides an overview of the most important published and grey literature, with commentary on current issues and debates, summaries of the available evidence of good practice or ‘what works’, and observations on the strength of the evidence base.

Adoption Study of "Improving the sustainability of cocoa production in eastern Indonesia through integrated pest, disease and soil management in an effective extension and policy environment"

2020/06 - 2021/03

Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research

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Adoption study of a project that addressed the decline in cocoa productivity on smallholdings and the effects of changes in the value chain and regulatory framework. The project focused on the livelihoods of smallholder cocoa growers in Sulawesi and West Papua. The project developed previous research partnerships with a focus on productivity, pest and disease management, soil fertility, the development of extension models, and the impact on smallholders of policy settings, market-related frameworks and large-scale cocoa development activities.

End-of-the Project Evaluations: UNDP Support to Jurisdictional REDD+ Strategies and Investment Plans in Central Kalimantan

2020/10 - 2020/11

Inobu

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Dala conducted an end-of-project evaluation for the UNDP and Green Climate Fund (GCF) supported project operating from 2018 to 2020. The objective of the project was to support the Jurisdictional REDD+ Strategies and Investment Plans in Central Kalimantan. This evaluation was conducted at the end of the project and focused on the entire implementation period. The overall purpose of the evaluation was to assess the processes and achievements made to draw lessons that will report to UNDP, the donor of the project, but not specifically to: (1) verify the project reports and achievements independently; (2) compile diverse good practices in the work field during the project; and (3) highlight the learning outcomes, especially those related to good practices, lesson learned related to gender equality and social inclusion, and jurisdictions of low emissions development.

End-of-the Project Evaluations: UNDP Support to Jurisdictional REDD+ Strategies and Investment Plans in West Papua

2020/10 - 2020/11

Inobu

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Dala conducted an end-of-project evaluation for the UNDP and Green Climate Fund (GCF) supported project operating from 2018 to 2020. The objective of the project was to support the Jurisdictional REDD+ Strategies and Investment Plans in West Papua. This evaluation was conducted at the end of the project and focused on the entire implementation period. The overall purpose of the evaluation was to assess the processes and achievements made to draw lessons that will report to UNDP, the donor of the project, but not specifically to: (1) verify the project reports and achievements independently; (2) compile diverse good practices in the work field during the project; and (3) highlight the learning outcomes, especially those related to good practices, lesson learned related to gender equality and social inclusion, and jurisdictions of low emissions development.

Review of Accelerating Low Emissions Development in Indonesia through Sustainable Land Use Management and Improved Forest Governance

2020/05 - 2020/08

World Resources Institute Indonesia

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Dala completed a mid-term review of the World Resources Institute implemented the $27 million Accelerating Low Emissions Development in Indonesia through Sustainable Land Use Management and Improved Forest Governance.

Global Comparative Study on Tenure Implementation Agency Survey

2020 - 2020

Center for International Forestry Research

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Leading research team to analyse data already collected by CIFOR and draft papers.

Consultation on USAID Desk Review on Tibet

2019 - 2020

Social Impact

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Led consultations with experts in order to collect data on key areas of development in Tibet. Lead development of report to USAID to inform programming.

Evaluation of Perkumpulan Silva Papua Lestari (SPL)

2019 - 2020

Rainforest Foundation Norway

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The evaluation assesses the impact and effectiveness of SPL’s work in reaching the project’s goals in its geographical area, RFN’s added value, and provide recommendations for the way forward.

MCC Indonesia Green Prosperity Participatory Land Use Planning (PLUP) Portfolio Evaluation

2019 - 2020

Social Impact

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Dala works with Social Impact Inc. with Myers as team leader and land governance and land tenure specialist, working together with Fisher as analyst for evaluation to explore interim achievement of outcomes, assess implementation in project sites, and assess the likelihood of achievement of long-term outcomes.

End-review of the Norad-supported project INS-16/0003 “Production and Protection Approach to Landscape Management (PALM)” by the Climate Policy Initiative (CPI) in Indonesia

2019 - 2019

The Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation (Norad)

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Conduct end-review on oil palm policy and livelihood project to assess the project across the five criteria for evaluation of development assistance OECD Development Assistance Committee (DAC): relevance, effectiveness, efficiency, impact and sustainability. The main focus is on effectiveness (especially assessing results at outcome level) and prospects of sustainability. The review summarises lessons learnt for use in future projects (for local partners, CPI and Norad). Working with Sekala.

Mid-term Performance Evaluation of USAID/India Millennium Alliance Program

2019 - 2019

Social Impact

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Team leader for high-quality USAID evaluation of granting programme for start-up inclusive innovations in India, including agriculture, clean energy, WASH, education, and health. The report makes 35 recommendations (17 high priority) for Millenium Alliance partners to address in the short, medium and long-term.

Access Revisited

2018 - 2019

Society & Natural Resources

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A special issue in the Journal of Society and and Natural Resources

ProdJus (Supranational Forest Governance in an Era of Globalising Wood Production and Justice Politics)

2016 - 2019

University of East Anglia, School of International Development

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Analysed supranational forest governance in and beyond Europe in relation to globalising production networks and justice politics. Elucidated the differentiation of governance forms and outcomes between Europe and the South, among Southern countries and between the transnational, national and local levels.

Evaluation of Green Prosperity Facility

2017 - 2018

Social Impact

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Led natural resource management and sustainable agriculture portfolio on Millenium Challenge Account Indonesia Green Prosperity Facility evaluation. Took a lead role in analysis and drafting report.

Global Comparative Study on REDD+: Multilevel governance

2013 - 2015

Center for International Forestry Research

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Led Indonesia case study, co-ordinated research teams, produced reposts, policy briefs and academic papers both on Indonesia and global comparative work related to multi-level governance and land use change.

Sustainable agriculture co-operative development (Ghana)

2011 - 2011

Co-operative Development Foundation of Canada

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Spearheaded design mission for large bi-lateral food security project for climate change adaptation. Met with relevant stakeholders and conceptualised project, including results-based management, work breakdown structure, budgets, proposal drafting, monitoring, gender and environmental plans. 2013: $8 million, five year contract awarded to client.

 

Selected publications (25)

forthcoming

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Hoang Cam, Constance McDermott, Rodd Myers

Journal of Vietnamese Cultural Studies

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2020

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Journal Article

Hansen, C.P., Myers, R., and Chhotray, V.

Society & Natural Resources

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Introduction:
As political-economic forces at every scale and locus are transforming nature and society, struggles are mounting over access to natural resources. Wide-ranging and deepening inequality (e.g. Hickel 2017) suggests that questions of access are germane to critical social science today, possibly even more than in previous decades. Resource access struggles are part and parcel of unequal exchanges and outcomes, failure to recognize claims, lack of participation in decision making, and market processes. Access theory, not least Ribot and Peluso’s (2003) A Theory of Access, presents concepts of power, control, benefits and burdens for analyzing access, which continue to gain pertinence today. Access theory and analysis have continually proven to be a versatile way to understand some of the most elusive obstacles to effective natural resources governance such as elite control over resources, exploitative market relations, and policies that eschew rights.

This special issue was triggered by the 15 year anniversary of the publication of A Theory of Access and encompasses a literature review of A Theory of Access followed by eight articles with conceptual and empirical advances in access theory. It concludes with a postscript by Jesse Ribot and Nancy Peluso, reflecting on this special issue and A Theory of Access 15 years after its publication. In this introduction, we introduce access theory and the contributions of each article to new ways of theorizing and applying the concept of access.

2020

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Journal Article

Myers, Rodd; Rutt, Rebecca; McDermott, Constance; Maryudi, Ahmad; Acheampong, Emmanuel; Camargo, Marisa; Cầm, Hoàng

Journal of Political Ecology

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Timber legality trade restrictions and verification are a bundle of contemporary mechanisms triggered by global concerns about forest degradation and deforestation. The European Union Forest Law Enforcement, Governance and Trade initiative is a significant effort to not only screen out illegal timber and wood products from the EU, but also support trading partner countries to improve their legality definitions and verification processes. But by using bilateral agreements (Voluntary Partnership Agreements) as a key mechanism, the EU legitimises trade partner nation-states as the authority to decide what is legal. We engage in a theoretical debate about the complexities of the meaning of legality, and then analyse empirical data collected from interviews in Ghana, Indonesia, Vietnam and Europe with policy, civil society and industry actors to understand how different actors understand legality. We find hegemonic notions of Westphalian statehood at the core of ‘global’ notions of legality and often contrast with local understandings of legality. Non-state actors understand these hegemonic notions of legality as imposed upon them and part of a colonial legacy. Further, notions of legality that fail to conform with hegemonic understandings are readily framed by nation-states as immoral or criminal. We emphasise the importance of understanding these framings to elucidate the embedded assumptions about what comprises legality within assemblages of global actors.

2020

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Journal Article

Maryudi, A., Acheampong, E., Rutt, R., Myers, R., McDermott, C.

Society & Natural Resources

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The European Union introduced Forest Law Enforcement, Governance and Trade (FLEGT) Action Plan, with Voluntary Partnership Agreements (VPA) and the EU Timber Regulation (EUTR) as the key components. The VPA and EUTR have been conceived as complementary tools to establish a “level playing field.” This paper analyses how a level playing field has been conceptualized, approached, and experienced in practice. It focuses on the adoption and implementation of EUTR and VPA in Europe, Indonesia, and Ghana. Our research highlights inequities in the practice of “leveling” and outcomes from a presumed level field. Stakeholder engagement excluded some factions of the private sector, notably SME operators, favoring select NGOs in general. New systems also favor larger operators who possess more capacity to deal with legality requirements. This leads small operators to perceive of a so-called level playing field as one in which they are disadvantaged, indicating multiple injustices against already vulnerable groups.

2019

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Journal Article

Myers, Rodd; Hansen, Christian Pilegaard

Society & Natural Resources

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A Theory of Access (Ribot and Peluso 2003) was published 15 years ago. With almost 1600 publications citing it, the paper is instrumental in expanding scholarly thinking beyond property by exploring notions of power. We reviewed all available literature that cited A Theory of Access to understand its influence on academic literature. We first analyse literature in relation to other frameworks with similar concerns: (1) entitlements framework, (2) sustainable livelihoods approach, (3) powers of exclusion; and subsequently move to a review of how it has been engaged in broader theoretical and conceptual debates in the social sciences: (4) gender, (5) materiality, (6) property and authority, and (7) power. The analysis shows most of the literature interacts with A Theory of Access superficially. Substantial attempts to address A Theory of Access were varied and often used it to develop other social theory rather than to modify A Theory of Access.

2019

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Book Chapter

Sijapati Basnett, B., Myers, R. and Elias, M.

Katila, P., Colfer, C.J.P., de Jong, W., Galloway, G., Pacheco, P. and Winkel, G. (eds.) Sustainable Development Goals: Their Impacts on Forests and People. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.

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SDG 10 calls for reducing inequalities within and among countries. This chapter evaluates the potential effects of addressing SDG 10 from an environmental justice perspective, which comprises three interrelated dimensions: representative, recognition and distributive justice. We find considerable synergies and complementarities between the SDG 10 targets and goals of environmental justice. However, the disjuncture between SDG 10 and environmental goals within the SDGs may undermine efforts to promote environmental justice. Trade is not included in SDG 10; this is an important gap as markets for forest products can drive forest resource extraction, exacerbating inequalities among actors within global production networks. If SDG 10 addresses structural inequalities, it is also likely to support distributive, representational and recognition justice for forest-dependent populations. However, the myopic translation of its aspirational targets into easily measurable indicators may dampen the potential effects of addressing SDG10 in advancing environmental justice. Addressing ‘migration’ related targets and indicators is likely to elevate the importance of these issues in forestry policy and research, while also prompting a re-thinking of some of the underlying assumptions informing existing research in forestry.

2018

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Journal Article

Myers, R., A.M. Larson, A. Ravikumar, L. Kowler, A. Yang and T. Trench

Global Environmental Change

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Reduction of Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD+) was originally conceived to address the global problem of climate change by reducing deforestation and forest degradation at national and subnational levels in developing countries. Since its inception, REDD+ proponents have increasingly had to adapt global ideas to local demands, as the rollout process was met with on-the-ground realities, including suspicion and protest. As is typical in aid or ‘development’ projects conceived in the global North, most of the solutions advanced to improve REDD+ tend to focus on addressing issues of justice (or ‘fairness’) in distributive terms, rather than addressing more inherently political objections to REDD+ such as those based on rights or social justice. Using data collected from over 700 interviews in five countries with both REDD+ and non-REDD+ cases, we argue that the failure to incorporate political notions of justice into conservation projects such as REDD+ results in ‘messiness’ within governance systems, which is a symptom of injustice and illegitimacy. We find that, first, conservation, payment for ecosystem services, and REDD+ project proponents viewed problems through a technical rather than political lens, leading to solutions that focused on procedures, such as ‘benefit distribution.’ Second, focusing on the technical aspects of interventions came at the expense of political solutions such as the representation of local people’s concerns and recognition of their rights. Third, the lack of attention to representation and recognition justices resulted in illegitimacy. This led to messiness in the governance systems, which was often addressed in technical terms, thereby perpetuating the problem. If messiness is not appreciated and addressed from appropriate notions of justice, projects such as REDD+ are destined to fail.

2018

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Journal Article

Rutt, R., Myers, R., McDermott C., and Ramcilovic-Suominenc, S.

Environmental Science & Policy

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There has been recent debate around the role of ‘fads’ in global conservation measures, and the lessons they hold for achieving desired conservation and development outcomes. Fads are characterized by initially widespread enthusiasm and major mobilization of resources followed by abandonment in favor of the next fad. Debate centers less on whether such fads exist, but rather on whether they represent opportunities for incremental policy learning, or are symptomatic of the more systemic failure of a market-based conservation agenda and the reinforcement of existing power inequalities. The European Union (EU)’s Forest Law Enforcement, Governance, and Trade (FLEGT) Action Plan aims to prevent the trade of illegal timber among the EU and its trading partners especially in the ‘Global South’. Fifteen years since launching the Action Plan, we ask whether the processes and outcomes of FLEGT, and specifically the Voluntary Partnership Agreements (VPAs), resonate with the dynamics observed in other processes dubbed ‘fads’ within conservation and development arenas, and if so, what we can learn from this. Drawing from interviews, grey literature, and scholarship, we examine FLEGT VPAs as following three key stages of a fad: (1) there is initial enthusiasm by a wide range of actors for FLEGT as something ‘new’ or ground-breaking, (2) discrepancies and disagreements emerge about its end goals, i.e. whether it’s core purpose is to distinguish legal from illegal wood in the EU marketplace, or to achieve deeper governance reforms; while the means for achieving those goals borrow heavily from previous market-based initiatives (3) actors and champions become fatigued, yet at the same time frame elements of their own involvement as a ‘success’. Identifying these fad-like characteristics calls into question the ‘newness’ of FLEGT, by uncovering its many similarities to other market-based measures such as certification that exacerbate inequalities. Hence, branding FLEGT a success without challenging its role in the unequal concentration of power and resources, is likely to further entrench these inequalities in subsequent conservation fads, while a focus on incremental learning misses the larger failures and injustices of market-based approaches and can reinforce their re-emergence.

2018

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Journal Article

Ravikumar, A., Larson, A.M., Myers, R. and Trench

Environment and Planning C: Politics and Space

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Policy makers, academics, and conservationists often posit that poor coordination between different land use sectors, and between levels of governance, as an underlying challenge for reducing deforestation and forest degradation. This paper analyzes this argument using data from interviews with over 500 respondents from government, nongovernmental organizations, private companies, local and indigenous communities, activists, and individuals involved in 35 diverse land use initiatives in three countries: Peru, Indonesia, and Mexico. We find that while there is strong evidence of widespread coordination failures between sectors and levels, more fundamental political issues preclude effective coordination. We argue that political coalitions act to oppose environmental objectives and to impede their opponents from participating in land use governance. Moreover, we find that where coordination between actors does occur, it does not necessarily produce environmentally sustainable and socially just land use outcomes. Where we do find successful initiatives to reduce deforestation and benefit local people, effective coordination between well-informed actors is often present, but it does not occur spontaneously, and is instead driven by political organizing over time by activists, local people, nongovernmental organizations, and international donors. We suggest that the global environmental community must recognize explicitly these political dimensions of land use governance in order to successfully collaborate with local people to reduce deforestation.

2018

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Journal Article

Maryudi, A. and Myers, R.

Geoforum

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Over the past few decades, transnational and supranational market-based forest governance systems have been developed to address the complex problems associated with deforestation, by improving the legality and sustainability of timber traded in global markets. This is catalysed by the increasing global production and consumption of timber products and increasing sensitivity of interest groups to how timber products are produced. A broad range of actors is involved in global production networks. This paper discusses how hierarchies and networks of power across the timber production network are encountered and negotiated. More specifically, it investigates the power constellations of wood furniture actors in Indonesia, nested within global production networks: who holds the power, how power is gained and maintained, and who wins and loses over time. Using the case of the timber legality assurance system in the context of the European Union Forest Law Enforcement Governance and Trade (FLEGT) initiative, we demonstrate that legality verification in Indonesia is both entrenching pre-existing inequitable power relations while producing new modes of elite capture. Legality verification requires new knowledge and additional costs that are sometimes beyond the capacity of certain (particularly smaller) furniture manufacturers operators. This has driven a new practice of renting out FLEGT licenses by larger producers/manufacturers to smaller ones in the country. Although the practice implies potential risks (e.g. fines), large companies in Indonesia manage risk by drawing from pre-existing patronage relations. They also appear to find the risk worthwhile, as it produces financial gain but moreover, a new form of control over the market. Meanwhile, small operators and artisanal producers that still aspire to global markets face disproportionate challenges to engage in legality and are becoming more vulnerable as a result of new legality measures.

2018

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Policy Brief

Larson, A.M.; Libert Amico, A.; Martius, C.; Ravikumar, A.; Tovar, J.G.; Kowler, L.F.; Myers, R.; Rodriguez-Ward, D.; Sanders, A.; Trench, T.; Yang, A.L.; Deschamps, P.R.

CIFOR InfoBrief

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REDD+ is an inherently multilevel process that requires attention across diverse levels and sectors of governance to bring about change on the ground. REDD+ strategies often focus on direct drivers of deforestation (and local actors). Effectively addressing the underlying causes likely requires challenging more powerful actors and development trajectories. Despite tensions over roles and responsibilities, subnational governments are engaging in important land-use debates and local decision making as new opportunities and innovations in multilevel governance emerge. Top-down solutions need to meet bottom-up realities with greater accountability, for example, by recognizing indigenous peoples and local communities as substantive rights-holders. Coordination across levels and sectors cannot always be achieved through negotiation: REDD+ and similar initiatives must go beyond technical criteria, engage with politics and support social movements to strengthen transformative coalitions.

2017

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Journal Article

Martin, A., Myers, R., and Dawson, N.

Human Ecology

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Despite considerable field-based innovation and academic scrutiny, the nexus between conservation approaches, local support for parks and park effectiveness remains quite puzzling. Common approaches to understanding notions of environmental justice are to understand distributional and procedural issues, representation in decision making, and recognition of authorities and claims. We took a different approach and analysed environmental justice claims through institutional, ideational and psychological lenses. We sought to understand how the national park could have such broad support from local communities despite their acknowledgement that it severely curtailed their livelihoods. We conducted 100 household interviews in three villages that border Nam Et-Phou Louey National Protected Area. Our study found that villagers 1) hold on to broken promises by the State for agricultural activities and alternative revenues without fully changing forest use behaviours; 2) were influenced heavily by the ‘educational’ programmes by the State; 3) accepted the authority of the State and lack of participation in decision-making based on historical experiences and values; 4) justified their burdens by over-emphasising the positive aspects of the park. Our findings present a complementary framework to explain environmental justice claims, allowing for a nuanced analysis of how people respond to justices and injustices, and specifically how injustices can be identified through proven social science concepts

2017

Journal Article

Myers, R., Intarini, D., Sirait, M. and Maryudi, A.

Land Use Policy

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The hopes of customary communities in Indonesia have recently been bolstered by Constitutional Court assurances that they have the right to control customary forest. There are, however, several obstacles to making successful claims, and there are also many situations in which forest users and customary land claimants do not stand to benefit from the recent rulings. This policy review analyses the court decisions, politics around their implementation, and considerations of types of land claimants who are excluded from the current process. We highlight groups of forest and ex forestland users that are excluded from benefiting from the Constitutional Court decisions and are adversely affected by land use change and re-designation of land. These groups include those with claims over land in conservation areas, allocated to concessionaires for resource extraction, on land already issued to them through forest management rights, and those whose land has already been removed from the State forest land.

2016

Working Paper

Myers, R., Sanders, APJ., Larson, A.M., Prasti H., D., and Ravikumar, A.

CIFOR Occasional Paper

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Who makes land use decisions, how are decisions made, and who influences whom, how and why? This working paper is part of a series based on research studying multilevel decision-making institutions and processes. The series is aimed at providing insight into why efforts to keep forests standing, such as initiatives like Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD+), are still so far from altering development trajectories. It underlines the importance of understanding the politics of multilevel governance in forest, land and climate policy and practice, and identifies potential ways forward. Also published in bahasa Indonesia as Menganalisis Tata Kelola Multilevel di Indonesia

2015

Journal Article

Myers, R. and Muhajir, M.

Conservation & Society

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Five villages that border Bukit Baka Bukit Raya National Park in Melawi, West Kalimantan, are rekindling their protest over the park boundaries and the appropriation of their lands by the park. The park was established as a nature reserve in 1981 without participation of customary users. Customary user contestations are muted by a democratic void in which they are without recognition in the governance structures of the park. Therefore, communities have sought Indigenous peoples' rights NGOs to represent them and advance their customary claims over land. These NGOs prove more salient to the needs of the villages because they focus less on distributive justice through benefit sharing and more on recognition justice through the advancement of land claims. Whilst villagers decry the lack of any benefit from the park, it is they themselves who refuse to accept such benefits from park authorities. This paper explores the struggles for recognition over customary land in the national park and finds that peoples' resistance to the State, including offers of distributive benefits, is rooted in the notion that their consent constitutes acceptance of State authority over customary land.

2015

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Policy Brief

Myers, R., Ravikumar, A. and Larson, A.M.

CIFOR InfoBrief

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In the absence of robust national or subnational policies for benefit sharing, land-use change initiatives in Indonesia have developed their own approaches to distributing benefits. At the local level, support and capacity building are needed to strengthen intermediary institutions in order to improve governance and increase legitimacy when deciding how to share benefits. Nonmonetary benefits such as land tenure, capacity building, infrastructure and access to natural resources have been especially important. However, in some cases there are nonmonetary burdens associated with intended benefits. The legitimacy of benefit-sharing arrangements is determined more by the actors involved than the type of land-use change associated with them. Conservation initiatives, REDD+ projects and oil palm initiatives all exhibited both high and low levels of legitimacy in their benefit-sharing arrangements. The legitimacy of benefit-sharing arrangements can be compromised by the lack of broad consultation with local actors including customary authorities, lack of community control over access to land snd limited livelihoods options for communities.

2015

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Journal Article

Myers, R

Social Science Computer Review

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This software review examines Circos, data visualization software deigned for genome sequencing but explained here for use with international trade data. The review includes how to process data to put it into Circos and how to interpret the visualization for trade analysis

2015

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Journal Article

Ravikumar, A, Larson, AM, Duchelle, AE, Myers, R., and Gonzales Tovar, J.

International Journal for the Study of the Commons

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Although REDD+ was conceived as a national approach to reducing emissions from deforestation and degradation, many of the early advances have been at the subnational level. It is critical to link these subnational efforts to emerging national REDD+ frameworks, including with respect to finance and benefit distribution, setting reference levels, measurement, reporting and verification (MRV), land policy and safeguards. We use evidence from interviews with proponents from 23 subnational REDD+ initiatives in six countries to characterize the multilevel governance challenges for REDD+. We analyse the differences in perceived challenges between subnational jurisdictional programs and project-based initiatives, and then analyse proponents’ perceptions of the relationship between government policies at multiple levels and these REDD+ initiatives. We find important multilevel governance challenges related to vertical coordination and information sharing and horizontal and inter-sectoral tensions, as well as concerns over accountability, equity and justice. Though the shift to a nested, jurisdictional or national REDD+ is sometimes approached as a technical design issue, this must be accompanied by an understanding of the interests and power relations among actors at different levels. We outline challenges and suggest priority areas for future research and policy, as countries move towards a national REDD+ system.

2015

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Other

Ravikumar, A., Myers, R., Kowler, L., and Gonzalez Tovar, J.

CIFOR

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2015

Journal Article

Myers, R

Forest Policy and Economics

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Rattan is a vine that grows in tropical forests and is used primarily in the furniture industry. It is a billion-dollar industry involving hundreds of countries but the raw material is overwhelmingly collected from forests. Indonesia is the world's largest supplier of rattan. This article uses a value chain approach to elucidate the market, environmental, and social implications of an Indonesian policy that bans the export of un- and semi-processed rattan, which started on 1 January, 2012. The justification for policy was to reduce competition so that domestic furniture producers would fare better in export markets. A year after the policy took effect, actors benefit differently depending on where they are in the value chain and the nature of their activities. Only the largest and highest-end furniture factories on Java have experienced increased in sales. Forest-adjacent rattan-supplying actors in Kalimantan, Sulawesi and Sumatera are adversely affected. Those engaged in rattan smuggling from Indonesia are receiving the most immediate benefits. Together, these findings show that in the short term, the policy serves elite interests, whose political prowess enabled the policy to pass. In the long term, the industry is at risk of suffocation and the forests are jeopardised.

2015

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Myers, R

University of East Anglia

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Forests and forest users are increasingly engaged in global scale markets that connect different stages of commodity production and retail. This thesis adopts a Global Production Network framing in order to investigate the case of rattan cane and furniture. I examine the ways in which actors benefit from rattan (a non-timber forest product) and elucidate power dynamics that explain how some actors are better positioned to benefit from rattan than others. My conceptual framework combines the literature on access with global production networks. I explore access starting in the forests of Sulawesi, Indonesia, moving to processing in larger centres in Sulawesi and Java, and ending in retail shops in the UK. This approach enables an analysis of rich mixed-method empirical data.

My main findings centre around Indonesia’s rattan export ban, which benefited only elites and served to support the overall decline of global rattan furniture markets. Further, I elucidate the influence that access at one phase of production has on another and highlight understandings of access within the context of the greater production system. While most actors engage in activities and trading relations that serve access to markets, non-actors enable these actions, but for different benefits, such as strengthened authority. Lastly, I link aspects of materiality to access, demonstrating how the biogeophysical features of rattan shape actors’ ability to benefit from natural resource products and how markets shape material features of rattan.
These findings are significant to the greater bodies of knowledge around the power dynamics of production networks and show the specific mechanisms by which elites capture benefits of rattan. They demonstrate the importance of appreciating the complexity of production networks, which in this case was ill-considered by policy-makers and even industry elites themselves.

2014

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Policy Brief

Myers, R. and Ardiansyah, F.

CIFOR InfoBrief

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In different provinces or districts, the same laws can be applied in very different ways. • Participation of customary land users and local communities remains ad hoc and requires that implementing regulations are strengthened, as the existing safeguarding laws are not sufficiently specific. • Further developments of safeguarding laws and regulations (specifically the distribution of benefits from carbon financing) need to be well defined and better aligned with decentralization processes. • Subnational actors are unclear on their role in a national REDD+ strategy and how they will be involved in decision making. • REDD+ is challenged by a misalignment between land use decision-making powers and REDD+ management powers allocated to different bodies and levels.

2014

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Book Chapter

Myers, R

SAGE Research Methods Cases

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This case offers insight into access analysis within a global natural resource value chain. Specifically, the focus is on rattan originating in Indonesia, transformed into furniture and exported to the United Kingdom. This reflective and instructive case demonstrates the challenges and opportunities in researching multi-scalar access in a global value chain. Several lessons learned are shared and practical suggestions given for the kinds of tools that can be used when conducting access analysis at multiple scales. Ultimately, this case shows that access analysis is a rich empirical method for understanding access and exclusion with a value chain and that an appreciation of complexity is required to conduct a thorough analysis. Access analysis can be insightful for investigating the differential distribution of benefits and exclusion at ...

2012

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Myers, R

Antipode

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Powers of Exclusion combines the insights of scholars from three different fields: Derek Hall (political economy), Philip Hirsch (human geography) and Tania Murray Li (anthropology). Each of the authors brought extensive experience in Southeast Asia to the project. Their collaboration has produced an excellent book that serves as an enquiry into current land issues in the region. Through detailed examples and illustrations, they examine the poignant and timely issues of access to and exclusion from land...

 

Selected public project documents (9)

Evaluation Report For Evaluation Services In Support of the Indonesia Green Prosperity Grant Facility

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Mid-Term Performance Evaluation Report USAID/India Millennium Alliance Program

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ProdJus Brochure

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ProdJus Instrument 11 - Key Informant Interview

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ProdJus Instrument 21 - Village Level Data Collection

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ProdJus Instrument 22 - Corporations

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ProdJus Instrument 23 - NGO & Policy Makers

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ProdJus Research Protocols

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Silva Papua Lestari Evaluation Final Report

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