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Personal profile


Dr James Bennett holds a BSc in Biological Sciences and an MSc in Ecology from the University of Warwick. He undertook his doctoral studies at Coventry University, researching small scale cattle production systems in communal areas of Eastern Cape Province, South Africa. Since completing his PhD, he has lectured in Environmental Science at Coventry University and continues to undertake research in the Eastern Cape on the management of communally held rangelands and arable land allocations as common property systems. Specifically, this has focused on the sustainability of current grazing practices on former commercial farmland that has been transferred to communal ownership and the role of traditional authorities in the governance of communal rangelands. More recently his research has extended to Ethiopia, exploring the changing management practices of pastoralists on the Liben Plain, the underlying drivers of this change and its impacts on rangeland quality and biodiversity. He has over 20 publications to date and is Editor-in-Chief of African Journal of Range and Forage Science.

Research Interests

Tropical agriculture (particularly livestock production); Issues associated with human development and the loss of biodiversity; The relationship between farmland management and conservation of biodiversity within the UK; Rangeland ecology and subsistence production systems premised on extensive livestock ownership on communally-held grazing lands

Vision Statement

My research is motivated by my interest in the interaction between people and the natural world. In particular I am interested in understanding how people manage communally-held natural resources, the governance frameworks that have evolved to undertake this and how effective these are in sustaining these resources. I hope this will provide an empirical basis against which to examine some of the recognised models of collective resource governance as well as a better understanding of the policy interventions required to achieve this.

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


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