L.C. Stringer

University of Leeds, Leeds, England, United Kingdom

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Publications (55)143.79 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: This paper outlines five principles for effective practice of knowledge exchange, which when applied, have the potential to significantly enhance the impact of environmental management research, policy and practice. The paper is based on an empirical analysis of interviews with 32 researchers and stakeholders across 13 environmental management research projects, each of which included elements of knowledge co-creation and sharing in their design. The projects focused on a range of upland and catchment management issues across the UK, and included Research Council, Government and NGO funded projects. Preliminary findings were discussed with knowledge exchange professionals and academic experts to ensure the emerging principles were as broadly applicable as possible across multiple disciplines. The principles suggest that: knowledge exchange needs to be designed into research; the needs of likely research users and other stakeholders should be systematically represented in the research where possible; and long-term relationships must be built on trust and two-way dialogue between researchers and stakeholders in order to ensure effective co-generation of new knowledge. We found that the delivery of tangible benefits early on in the research process helps to ensure continued motivation and engagement of likely research users. Knowledge exchange is a flexible process that must be monitored, reflected on and continuously refined, and where possible, steps should be taken to ensure a legacy of ongoing knowledge exchange beyond initial research funding. The principles have been used to inform the design of knowledge exchange and stakeholder engagement guidelines for two international research programmes. They are able to assist researchers, decision-makers and other stakeholders working in contrasting environmental management settings to work together to co-produce new knowledge, and more effectively share and apply existing knowledge to manage environmental change.
    Journal of Environmental Management 12/2014; 146:337–345. · 3.06 Impact Factor
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    Elizabeth Harrison, Lindsay Stringer, Andrew Dougill
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    ABSTRACT: Community-based natural resource management (CBNRM) in Zimbabwe has a long and varied history within a complex and dynamic governance system. Significant amounts of research have critiqued the successes and failures of Zimbabwe’s CBNRM programme – the Communal Areas Management Programme for Indigenous Resource Use (CAMPFIRE) – across its three decades of implementation. Past research has mainly a focused on specific CAMPFIRE projects and their wider governance structures, in which the district level has been considered as the 'local' level. Studies have ignored the complex and important sub- system of natural resource management governance between the district level and the local communities. Thus, there is a lack of understanding of the intricate structures and processes involved in the sub-district system, and a shortfall in research that attempts to understand micro-level realities of managing and governing natural resources. This paper analyses natural resource management using survey, interview and focus group data from four study villages across Binga and Chiredzi Districts in Zimbabwe, all of which have been part of a CAMPFIRE project. Through qualitative assessment of the sub-district natural resource management governance system, the paper unravels past and present, and formal and informal, governance structures and processes. Governance gaps are identified, alongside the implications these have for the involvement of communities and local actors in natural resource management. Findings stress the need to identify routes to bridge current local level governance gaps and prevent new gaps from forming, such that local knowledge and community empowerment are afforded a more central role in the planning and implementation of CAMPFIRE and other CBNRM initiatives.
    07/2014;
  • Natalie Suckall, Lindsay C Stringer, Emma L Tompkins
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    ABSTRACT: The concept of climate compatible development (CCD) is increasingly employed by donors and policy makers seeking 'triple-wins' for development, adaptation and mitigation. While CCD rhetoric is becoming more widespread, analyses drawing on empirical cases that present triple-wins are sorely lacking. We address this knowledge gap. Drawing on examples in rural sub-Saharan Africa, we provide the first glimpse into how projects that demonstrate triple-win potential are framed and presented within the scientific literature. We identify that development projects are still commonly evaluated in terms of adaptation or mitigation benefits. Few are framed according to their benefits across all three dimensions. Consequently, where triple-wins are occurring, they are likely to be under-reported. This has important implications, which underestimates the co-benefits that projects can deliver. A more robust academic evidence base for the delivery of triple-wins is necessary to encourage continued donor investment in activities offering the potential to deliver CCD.
    AMBIO A Journal of the Human Environment 04/2014; · 2.30 Impact Factor
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    Jami Dixon, Lindsay C Stringer, Andrew J Challinor
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    ABSTRACT: Studies of climate impacts on agriculture and adaptation often provide current or future assessments, ignoring the historical contexts farming systems are situated within. We investigate how historical trends have influenced farming system adaptive capacity in Uganda using data from household surveys, semi-structured interviews, focus-group discussions and observations. By comparing two farming systems, we note three major findings: (1) similar trends in farming system evolution have had differential impacts on the diversity of farming systems; (2) trends have contributed to the erosion of informal social and cultural institutions and an increasing dependence on formal institutions; and (3) trade-offs between components of adaptive capacity are made at the farm-scale, thus influencing farming system adaptive capacity. To identify the actual impacts of future climate change and variability, it is important to recognize the dynamic nature of adaptation. In practice, areas identified for further adaptation support include: shift away from one-size-fits-all approach the identification and integration of appropriate modern farming method; a greater focus on building inclusive formal and informal institutions; and a more nuanced understanding regarding the roles and decision-making processes of influential, but external, actors. More research is needed to understand farm-scale trade-offs and the resulting impacts across spatial and temporal scales.
    Resources. 02/2014; 3(1):182-214.
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    Luuk Fleskens, Lindsay C Stringer
    Land Degradation and Development 02/2014; 25(1):1. · 1.99 Impact Factor
  • Natalie Suckall, Emma Tompkins, Lindsay Stringer
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    ABSTRACT: In this paper, we examine how communities in Zanzibar cope with and adapt to multiple-stressors including climate change, and how these responses affect long-term adaptation, mitigation and development (AMD) goals. In particular, we identify the multiple-stressors that affect natural-resource dependent communities in Zanzibar. We then explore how community responses affect long-term development and mitigation goals before we examine the barriers to maximising AMD synergies in community responses. We use the DPSIR (Drivers – Pressures – States – Impacts – Response) as a tool to organise the complex information relating to both the marine and terrestrial SES in Zanzibar. Using data from household surveys and community-level focus groups, we find that responses to stressors resemble coping strategies as they provide short-term relief but in the long-term may negatively affect development goals. Furthermore, responses generate a trade-off between adaptation, mitigation and development. For example, when farmers respond to low productivity by spending longer on the farm, there is a development trade-off as time burdens are increased, and a mitigation trade-off as secondary forest cannot be established. We identify that AMD compatible responses are constrained by resource, regulatory, learning and governance barriers. We conclude that without local climate policy intervention, ‘mal-adaptations’, which threaten both mitigation and development goals, could occur across a range of temporal and spatial scales.
    Applied Geography 01/2014; 46:111–121. · 3.08 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The emphasis on participatory environmental management within international development has started to overcome critiques of traditional exclusionary environmental policy, aligning with shifts towards decentralisation and community empowerment. However, questions are raised regarding the extent to which participation in project design and implementation is meaningful and really engages communities in the process. Calls have been made for further local-level (project and community-scale) research to identify practices that can increase the likelihood of meaningful community engagement within externally initiated projects. This paper presents data from three community-based natural resource management (CBNRM) project case studies from southern Africa, which promote Joint Forest Management (JFM), tree planting for carbon and conservation agriculture. Data collection was carried out through semi-structured interviews with key stakeholders, community-level meetings, focus groups and interviews. We find that an important first step for a meaningful community engagement process is to define ‘community’ in an open and participatory manner. Two-way communication at all stages of the community engagement process is shown to be critical, and charismatic leadership based on mutual respect and clarity of roles and responsibilities is vital to improve the likelihood of participants developing understanding of project aims and philosophy. This can lead to successful project outcomes through community ownership of the project goals and empowerment in project implementation. Specific engagement methods are found to be less important than the contextual and environmental factors associated with each project, but consideration should be given to identifying appropriate methods to ensure community representation. Our findings extend current thinking on the evaluation of participation by making explicit links between the community engagement process and project outcomes, and by identifying further criteria that can be considered in process and outcome-based evaluations. We highlight good practices for future CBNRM projects which can be used by project designers and initiators to further the likelihood of successful project outcomes.
    Journal of Environmental Management 01/2014; 137:137–145. · 3.06 Impact Factor
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  • L. C. Stringer, A. Harris
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    ABSTRACT: Central and Eastern Europe is experiencing significant land degradation, at the same time as social, economic and political transformation, and within the broader context of global climate change. This paper uses satellite data, primary field data and secondary information on Romania's social, political and economic dynamics, in a mixed-method case study analysis of the drivers of, and responses to, environmental change and land degradation over the period 1984–2007. The analytical time frame encompasses the Socialist era, as well as transition to European Union membership, allowing identification of the ways in which the dominant political economic and social systems interact with biophysical factors and play out in the landscape. Although the Socialist era is often portrayed as environmentally destructive, results indicate that management during this time developed a relatively stable landscape, albeit at an economic and social cost. In the lead up to the collapse of Socialist governance, the landscape altered more, resulting in worsening land degradation and land cover change. Responses to land degradation have taken two main routes: land abandonment and tree planting. Although aspects of these responses are now more democratic and participatory, at the same time, they share some common ground with Socialist era approaches. Building on the positive aspects of Socialist management strategies yields important lessons in addressing land degradation challenges more broadly. Copyright © 2013 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
    Land Degradation and Development 12/2013; · 1.99 Impact Factor
  • L Fleskens, D Nainggolan, L C Stringer
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    ABSTRACT: Scenario analysis constitutes a valuable deployment method for scientific models to inform environmental decision-making, particularly for evaluating land degradation mitigation options, which are rarely based on formal analysis. In this paper we demonstrate such an assessment using the PESERA-DESMICE modeling framework with various scenarios for 13 global land degradation hotspots. Starting with an initial assessment representing land degradation and productivity under current conditions, options to combat instances of land degradation are explored by determining: (1) Which technologies are most biophysically appropriate and most financially viable in which locations; we term these the "technology scenarios"; (2) how policy instruments such as subsidies influence upfront investment requirements and financial viability and how they lead to reduced levels of land degradation; we term these the "policy scenarios"; and (3) how technology adoption affects development issues such as food production and livelihoods; we term these the "global scenarios". Technology scenarios help choose the best technology for a given area in biophysical and financial terms, thereby outlining where policy support may be needed to promote adoption; policy scenarios assess whether a policy alternative leads to a greater extent of technology adoption; while global scenarios demonstrate how implementing technologies may serve wider sustainable development goals. Scenarios are applied to assess spatial variation within study sites as well as to compare across different sites. Our results show significant scope to combat land degradation and raise agricultural productivity at moderate cost. We conclude that scenario assessment can provide informative input to multi-level land management decision-making processes.
    Environmental Management 11/2013; · 1.65 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Experts working on behalf of international development organisations need better tools to assist land managers in developing countries maintain their livelihoods, as climate change puts pressure on the ecosystem services that they depend upon. However, current understanding of livelihood vulnerability to climate change is based on a fractured and disparate set of theories and methods. This review therefore combines theoretical insights from sustainable live-lihoods analysis with other analytical frameworks (including the ecosystem services framework, diffusion theory, social learning, adaptive management and transitions management) to assess the vulnerability of rural livelihoods to climate change. This integrated analytical framework helps diagnose vulnerability to climate change, whilst iden-tifying and comparing adaptation options that could reduce vulnerability, following four broad steps: i) determine likely level of exposure to climate change, and how climate change might interact with existing stresses and other future drivers of change; ii) determine the sensitivity of stocks of capital assets and flows of ecosystem services to climate change; iii) identify factors influencing decisions to develop and/or adopt different adaptation strategies, based on innovation or the use/substitution of existing assets; and iv) identify and evaluate potential trade-offs be-tween adaptation options. The paper concludes by identifying interdisciplinary research needs for assessing the vul-nerability of livelihoods to climate change.
    Ecological Economics 10/2013; 94:66-77. · 2.86 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Examples of sustainable land management (SLM) exist throughout the world. In many cases, SLM has largely evolved through local traditional practices and incremental experimentation rather than being adopted on the basis of scientific evidence. This means that SLM technologies are often only adopted across small areas. The DESIRE (DESertIfication mitigation and REmediation of degraded land) project combined local traditional knowledge on SLM with empirical evaluation of SLM technologies. The purpose of this was to evaluate and select options for dissemination in 16 sites across 12 countries. It involved (i) an initial workshop to evaluate stakeholder priorities (reported elsewhere), (ii) field trials/empirical modeling, and then, (iii) further stakeholder evaluation workshops. This paper focuses on workshops in which stakeholders evaluated the performance of SLM technologies based on the scientific monitoring and modeling results from 15 study sites. It analyses workshop outcomes to evaluate how scientific results affected stakeholders' perceptions of local SLM technologies. It also assessed the potential of this participatory approach in facilitating wider acceptance and implementation of SLM. In several sites, stakeholder preferences for SLM technologies changed as a consequence of empirical measurements and modeling assessments of each technology. Two workshop examples are presented in depth to: (a) explore the scientific results that triggered stakeholders to change their views; and (b) discuss stakeholders' suggestions on how the adoption of SLM technologies could be up-scaled. The overall multi-stakeholder participatory approach taken is then evaluated. It is concluded that to facilitate broad-scale adoption of SLM technologies, de-contextualized, scientific generalisations must be given local context; scientific findings must be viewed alongside traditional beliefs and both scrutinized with equal rigor; and the knowledge of all kinds of experts must be recognised and considered in decision-making about SLM, whether it has been formally codified or not. The approach presented in this paper provided this opportunity and received positive feedback from stakeholders.
    Environmental Management 07/2013; · 1.65 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: A methodological framework is proposed for participatory scenario development on the basis of evidence from the literature, and is tested and refined through the development of scenarios for the future of UK uplands. The paper uses a review of previous work to justify a framework based around the following steps: i) define context and establish whether there is a basis for stakeholder engagement in scenario development; ii) systematically identify and represent relevant stakeholders in the process; iii) define clear objectives for scenario development with stakeholders including spatial and temporal boundaries; iv) select relevant participatory methods for scenario development, during initial scenario construction, evaluation and to support decision-making based on scenarios; and v) integrate local and scientific knowledge throughout the process. The application of this framework in case study research suggests that participatory scenario development has the potential to: i) make scenarios more relevant to stakeholder needs and priorities; ii) extend the range of scenarios developed; iii) develop more detailed and precise scenarios through the integration of local and scientific knowledge; and iv) move beyond scenario development to facilitate adaptation to future change. It is argued that participatory scenario development can empower stakeholders and lead to more consistent and robust scenarios that can help people prepare more effectively for future change.
    Journal of Environmental Management 06/2013; 128C:345-362. · 3.06 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Upland areas provide UK society with many important functions, goods and services, but have experienced a number of disturbing trends and face an uncertain future. This paper outlines historic, current and future drivers of environmental, economic, socio-cultural and policy change in UK uplands, and assesses how these have affected or are likely to affect ways in which land is used and the provision of ecosystem services. Information is synthesised into scenarios summarising a range of possible futures anticipated for UK uplands to 2060 and beyond. Finally, innovations in science, technology, governance and policy are evaluated that could enable uplands to continue providing key ecosystem services under a range of scenarios. The paper concludes that many upland areas will need to be prepared for significant reductions in grazing and prescribed burning. Conversely, other areas could experience agricultural intensification, for example significant increases in grazing or an expansion of arable or bioenergy crops into upland valleys, due to anticipated increases in global demand for food and energy. These scenarios will take place in the context of climate change. Many may take place together and may interact with each other, with complex and unpredictable implications for the upland environment, economy and society. In this context, a number of advances are needed in science, technology and policy to maintain viable upland communities and the future provision of ecosystem services. These may include funding for ecological and hydrological restoration via carbon offsetting or other means. It may also involve advances in ecosystem service modelling, mapping and valuation, which through stakeholder participation could facilitate more integrated rural planning. New forms of environmental governance need to be explored that can empower those interested in developing upland economies to maintain thriving upland communities, while managing the ecosystem services they provide as efficiently as possible.
    Land Use Policy 04/2013; · 3.13 Impact Factor
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    Journal of Environmental Management 04/2013; · 3.06 Impact Factor
  • David Glew, Lindsay C Stringer, Simon McQueen-Mason
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    ABSTRACT: The waste hierarchy of 'reduce, reuse, recycle, recover' can be followed to improve the sustainability of a product, yet it is not applied in any meaningful way in the biomaterials industry which focuses more on sustainable sourcing of inputs. This paper presents the results of industry interviews and a focus group with experts to understand how waste recovery of biomaterials could become more widespread. Interview findings were used to develop three scenarios: (1) do nothing; (2) develop legislation; and (3) develop certification standards. These scenarios formed the basis for discussions at an expert focus group. Experts considered that action was required, rejecting the first scenario. No preference was apparent for scenarios (2) and (3). Experts agreed that there should be collaboration on collection logistics, promotion of demand through choice editing, product 'purity' could be championed though certification and there should be significant investment and research into recovery technologies. These considerations were incorporated into the development of a model for policy makers and industry to help increase biomaterial waste recovery.
    Waste Management 04/2013; · 3.16 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Understanding farmers’ perceptions of how rainfall fluctuates and changes is crucial in anticipating the impacts of changing climate patterns, as only when a problem is perceived will appropriate steps be taken to adapt to it. This article seeks to: (1) identify southern African farmers’ perceptions of rainfall, rainfall variations, and changes; (2) examine the nature of meteorological evidence for the perceived rainfall variability and change; (3) document farmers’ responses to rainfall variability; and (4) discuss why discrepancies may occur between farmers’ perceptions and meteorological observations of rainfall. Semi-structured interviews were used to identify farmers’ perceptions of rainfall changes in Botswana and Malawi. Resulting perceptions were examined in conjunction with meteorological data to assess perceived and actual rainfall with regards to: what was changing (onset, duration or cessation), and how it was changing (amount, frequency, intensity or inter-annual variability). Most farmers perceived that the rains used to start earlier and end later. Meteorological data provided no evidence to support farmer perceptions of rainfall starting as early as September (south Malawi) or October (Botswana); however, a high inter-annual variability in the timing of the onset was observed alongside an increasing number of dry days and declining amounts of rainfall at the onset and cessation of precipitation. While some rainfall patterns are associated with El Niño-Southern Oscillation (ENSO) fluctuations and larger-scale changes, one explanation for the differences between farmer perceptions and meteorological evidence is that rainfall changes can be easily confused with changes in farming system sensitivity. Our findings suggest that scientists, policymakers, and developers of climate adaptation projects need to be more in tune with farmers' and extension workers’ understandings of how weather is changing in order to improve adaptation policy formulation and implementation.
    Climate and Development 02/2013; 5:123-138. · 1.21 Impact Factor
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    ECOLOGY AND SOCIETY 01/2013; · 3.31 Impact Factor
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    Ian Duvenage, Lindsay C. Stringer, Craig Langston, Keitha Dunstan
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    ABSTRACT: Considerable effort has been put into developing sustainability assessment frameworks for biofuel production in developing countries. Nevertheless, their successful implementation remains problematic in sub-Saharan Africa. To address this challenge in this paper, through a thorough examination of academic and grey literature, repeatedly occurring sustainability aspects/issues were drawn from internationally recognised biofuel assessment frameworks. Theoretical framings that corresponded with the interlinking socio-environmental-economic qualities and issues for achieving sustainability through ethical implementation conformity (political ecology, development economics, social capital and institutional economics) were then used to inform development of a conceptual framework that could guide biofuel project implementation in sub-Saharan Africa to address complex sustainability issues. The supporting theories pursue sustainable development through, amongst others, an emphasis on the more equitable dispersal of costs and benefits through transparent networking in rural settings and the integration of contrasting viewpoints of diverse stakeholders in emerging economies.
    African J. of Economic and Sustainable Development. 01/2013; 2(1):72 - 98.