Bhaskar Vira

Bhaskar Vira
University of Cambridge | Cam · Department of Geography

About

108
Publications
92,796
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7,373
Citations
Citations since 2016
44 Research Items
5296 Citations
20162017201820192020202120220200400600800
20162017201820192020202120220200400600800
20162017201820192020202120220200400600800
20162017201820192020202120220200400600800
Additional affiliations
January 1998 - present
University of Cambridge

Publications

Publications (108)
Article
Full-text available
Environment‐facing interventions impact the distribution, use of and access of natural resources and have important implications for all dimensions (material, relational, quality of life) of human well‐being (HWB). Yet conventional impact metrics routinely surpass the non‐material impacts which may be particularly salient in rural contexts where sm...
Article
Full-text available
Sustainability agendas increasingly recognize that attaining conservation and development outcomes demands greater integration across sectors. Integrated landscape initiatives (ILIs) are a leading approach to reconciling multiple objectives. However, a characterization of the diversity of approaches under the ILI umbrella and the comparative perfor...
Article
The concept of forest landscape restoration (FLR) is being widely adopted around the globe by governmental, non‐governmental agencies, and the private sector, all of whom see FLR as an approach that contributes to multiple global sustainability goals. Originally, FLR was designed with a clearly integrative dimension across sectors, stakeholders, sp...
Article
Full-text available
In light of continuing global biodiversity loss, one ambitious proposal has gained considerable traction amongst conservationists: the goal to protect half the Earth. Our analysis suggests that at least one billion people live in places that would be protected if the Half Earth proposal were implemented within all ecoregions. Taking into account th...
Article
Full-text available
Forests and trees are key to solving water availability problems in the face of climate change and to achieving the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. A recent global assessment of forest and water science posed the question: How do forests matter for water? Here we synthesize science from that assessment, which shows that forests and wa...
Chapter
Growth in human population and economic activity has dramatically transformed our planet since the Industrial Revolution. While driving significant improvements in human well-being, these forms of growth also deeply eroded the natural capital embodied in Earth’s lands, waters, and biodiversity. Rapid economic development has lifted hundreds of mill...
Article
Full-text available
Article impact statement: New collaborations with accounting research can improve conservation impact of ecosystem‐based information systems. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved
Article
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The relationships between the natural environment and poverty have been a central theme in the sustainability and development literatures. However, they have been less influential in mainstream international development and conservation policies, which often neglect or fail to adequately address these relationships. This paper examines how the Sust...
Chapter
Full-text available
The concept of forest landscape restoration (FLR) is being widely adopted around the globe by governmental and non-governmental agencies, and the private sector, all of whom see FLR as an approach that contributes to multiple global sustainability goals. Originally, FLR was designed with a clearly integrative dimension, across sectors, stakeholders...
Chapter
Full-text available
As outlined in Chapter 2, our analysis of forest-water relations addresses four important subsystems of a linked planetary social-ecological system: climate, forests, water and people. In this chapter, we consider how each of these subsystems is changing (trend) and what is causing the change (’determinant’). We discuss the critical determinants of...
Article
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As the concept of ecosystem services is applied more widely in conservation, its users will encounter the issue of poverty alleviation. Policy initiatives involving ecosystem services are often marked by their use of win-win narratives that conceal the trade-offs they must entail. Modelling this paper on an earlier essay about conservation and pove...
Article
As the concept of ecosystem services is applied more widely in conservation, its users will encounter the issue of poverty alleviation. Policy initiatives involving ecosystem services are often marked by their use of ‘win-win’ narratives which conceal the trade-offs they must entail. Modelling this paper on an earlier essay about conservation and p...
Chapter
While biodiversity conservation has had a long-standing relationship with markets, the recent past has seen a proliferation of novel market-based instruments in conservation such as payments for ecosystem services. Even though several conservation organisations have aligned themselves with this ‘neoliberal’ shift, relatively few studies have invest...
Article
Watersheds are under increasing pressure worldwide, as expanding human activities coupled with global climate change threaten the water security of people downstream. In response, some communities have initiated investments in watershed services (IWS), a general term for policy-finance mechanisms that mitigate diverse watershed threats and promote...
Article
Watersheds are under increasing pressure worldwide, as expanding human activities coupled with global climate change threaten the water security of people downstream. In response, some communities have initiated investments in watershed services (IWS), a general term for policy-finance mechanisms that mitigate diverse watershed threats and promote...
Article
Full-text available
The relationship between sustainable development's prime goal, human wellbeing, and the natural environment has been narrowly conceived. This paper focuses on the possibility and the implications of treating the natural environment as a ‘constituent’, or internal element, of the concepts of wellbeing and poverty, as opposed to a ‘determinant’, or i...
Article
Full-text available
The relationship between sustainable development’s prime goal, human wellbeing, and the natural environment has been narrowly conceived. This paper focuses on the possibility and the implications of treating the natural environment as a ‘constituent’, or internal element, of the concepts of wellbeing and poverty, as opposed to a ‘determinant’, or i...
Technical Report
Full-text available
SUMMARY FORESTS, TREES AND FSN: SCOPE AND CONCEPTUAL FRAMEWORK 1. There are numerous definitions of forests reflecting both the diversity of forest ecosystems in the world and the diversity of human perceptions and uses of forests. The term “forest” is used to describe a broad range of ecosystems from scattered trees in dry landscapes to dense, clo...
Article
This paper demonstrates that a new crisis has emerged in the Himalayas in recent years, as five decades of well-intentioned policy responses failed to tackle escalating environment and development challenges. It then suggests some practical pathways for achieving what we term transformative resilience in the region. Our analysis draws on a critical...
Article
Full-text available
Delivering access to sufficient food, energy and water resources to ensure human wellbeing is a major concern for governments worldwide. However, it is crucial to account for the ‘nexus’ of interactions between these natural resources and the consequent implications for human wellbeing. The private sector has a critical role in driving positive cha...
Article
This paper demonstrates that a new crisis has emerged in the Himalayas in recent years, as five decades of well-intentioned policy responses failed to tackle escalating environment and development challenges. It then suggests some practical pathways for achieving what we term transformative resilience in the region. Our analysis draws on a critical...
Technical Report
Full-text available
This report introduces such a context diagnostic tool for conservation and Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services Assessment and Valuation (BESAV) practitioners. The tool includes five approaches based on well-established social science theories. Each approach gives a contrasting perspective and raises a set of thought-provoking questions on social, o...
Article
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This paper explores the work-lives of middle class Muslim professionals in India's new service economy. While these workers have successfully negotiated labour market entry into the ‘core’ growth sectors of India's globalising economy, they are simultaneously subject to different forms of social, cultural and political marginalisation. Strikingly,...
Article
The mitigation hierarchy is a decision-making framework designed to address impacts on biodiversity and ecosystem services through first seeking to avoid impacts wherever possible, then minimizing or restoring impacts, and finally by offsetting any unavoidable impacts. Avoiding impacts is seen by many as the most certain and effective way of managi...
Article
The mitigation hierarchy is a decision-making framework designed to address impacts on biodiversity and ecosystem services through first seeking to avoid impacts wherever possible, then minimizing or restoring impacts, and finally by offsetting any unavoidable impacts. Avoiding impacts is seen by many as the most certain and effective way of managi...
Article
Full-text available
Background Biodiversity management requires effective decision making at various stages. However decision making in the real world is complex, driven by multiple factors and involves a range of stakeholders. Understanding the factors that influence decision making is crucial to addressing the conflicts that arise in conservation. Decisions can be m...
Article
Full-text available
© 2016 The Author(s)Delivering access to sufficient food, energy and water resources to ensure human wellbeing is a major concern for governments worldwide. However, it is crucial to account for the ‘nexus’ of interactions between these natural resources and the consequent implications for human wellbeing. The private sector has a critical role in...
Article
Full-text available
Conservation initiatives are designed to address threats to forests and biodiversity, often through partnerships with natural-resource users who are incentivized to change their land-use and livelihood practices to avoid further biodiversity loss. In particular, direct incentives programmes that provide monetary benefits are commended for being eff...
Article
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In this paper, we examine the on-the-ground realities of upstream-downstream negotiations and transactions over ecosystem services. We explore the engagement, negotiation, implementation, and postimplementation phases of a “reciprocal water access” (RWA) agreement between village communities and municipal water users at Palampur, Himachal Pradesh,...
Article
Full-text available
While biodiversity conservation has had a longstanding relationship with markets, the recent past has seen a proliferation of novel market-based instruments in conservation such as payments for ecosystem services. Whilst a number of conservation organisations have aligned themselves with this ‘neoliberal’ shift, relatively few studies interrogate t...
Article
Full-text available
The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) herald a new phase for international development. This article presents the results of a consultative exercise to collaboratively identify 100 research questions of critical importance for the post-2015 international development agenda. The final shortlist is grouped into nine thematic areas and was selected...
Article
Full-text available
The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) herald a new phase for international development. This article presents the results of a consultative exercise to collaboratively identify 100 research questions of critical importance for the post-2015 international development agenda. The final shortlist is grouped into nine thematic areas and was selected...
Article
Salt Lake City's preservation of the Wasatch watershed as its water source is an important historical example of the economic and instrumental rationale for investing in ecosystem services in general and protecting watersheds in particular. This story predates the dominant example of New York City's preservation of the Catskills that is prevalent i...
Chapter
Full-text available
As population estimates for 2050 reach over 9 billion, issues of food security and nutrition have been dominating academic and policy debates. A total of 805 million people are undernourished worldwide and malnutrition affects nearly every country on the planet. Despite impressive productivity increases, there is growing evidence that conventional...
Chapter
Full-text available
As population estimates for 2050 reach over 9 billion, issues of food security and nutrition have been dominating academic and policy debates. A total of 805 million people are undernourished worldwide and malnutrition affects nearly every country on the planet. Despite impressive productivity increases, there is growing evidence that conventional...
Chapter
Full-text available
As population estimates for 2050 reach over 9 billion, issues of food security and nutrition have been dominating academic and policy debates. A total of 805 million people are undernourished worldwide and malnutrition affects nearly every country on the planet. Despite impressive productivity increases, there is growing evidence that conventional...
Article
This article explores how thinking about ecological limits, thresholds and boundaries has evolved in the last few decades, and explores the analytical and political possibilities that emerge if development studies scholars engage with these ideas. It makes the case for an engaged political economy approach, which focuses on understanding how finite...
Research
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With a new development framework under way and an increasingly urgent need to address political, socioeconomic and environmental issues on a global scale, this is a critical moment for the international development agenda. Almost 15 years after the Millennium Declaration, a new phase for international development is about to begin and, with it, com...
Article
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The central challenge of the 21st century is to develop economic, social, and governance systems capable of ending poverty and achieving sustainable levels of population and consumption while securing the life-support systems underpinning current and future human well-being. Essential to meeting this challenge is the incorporation of natural capita...
Article
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This is the accepted manuscript of a paper that will be published in PNAS. It is currently under an infinite embargo.
Article
Full-text available
The central challenge of the 21st century is to develop economic, social, and governance systems capable of ending poverty and achieving sustainable levels of population and consumption while securing the life-support systems underpinning current and future human well-being. Essential to meeting this challenge is the incorporation of natural capita...
Chapter
Full-text available
This chapter presents potential landscape-scale responses that attempt to reconcile the oft-competing demands for agriculture, forestry and other land uses. While there is no single configuration of land-uses in any landscape that can optimise the different outcomes that may be prevalent within a particular landscape, there are options for unders...
Article
In this introduction to the themed issue, Geographies of Corporate Practice in Development: Contested Capitalism and Encounters, we reflect on how development is shaped by a range of actors in relation to corporate practices and market-based interventions. The research collectively fills a gap in scholarly work critically interrogating the meaning,...
Article
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Ecosystem services can provide a wide range of benefits for human well-being, including provisioning, regulating and cultural services and benefitting both private and public interests in different sectors of society. Biophysical, economic and social factors all make it unlikely that multiple needs will be met simultaneously without deliberate effo...
Article
Creating win-wins from trade-offs? Ecosystem services for human well-being: A meta-analysis of ecosystem service trade-offs and synergies in the real world
Article
Full-text available
Ecosystem-based approaches for adaptation (EbA) integrate the use of biodiversity and ecosystem services into an overall strategy for helping people adapt to climate change. To date, however, insight into these approaches has often been based on anecdotal case studies of local peoples' use of ecosystems. A systematic map of EbA-relevant peer-review...
Article
The recent history of biodiversity conservation practice has been characterised by the increasing use of market-based instruments. In seeking to understand this development, an emerging body of critical social science research tends to characterise conservationists as being ideologically in favour of markets in conservation. An alternative possibil...
Article
Sites that are important for biodiversity conservation can also provide significant benefits (i.e. ecosystem services) to people. Decision-makers need to know how change to a site, whether development or restoration, would affect the delivery of services and the distribution of any benefits among stakeholders. However, there are relatively few empi...
Article
Full-text available
In this commentary we critically discuss the suitability of payments for ecosystem services and the most important challenges they face. While such instruments can play a role in improving environmental governance, we argue that over-reliance on payments as win-win solutions might lead to ineffective outcomes, similar to earlier experience with int...
Article
Full-text available
Background Ecosystem-based approaches for adaptation (EbA) integrate the use of biodiversity and ecosystem services into an overall strategy for helping people adapt to climate change. To date, insight into these approaches has often been based on reports from isolated anecdotal case studies. Although these are informative, and provide evidence tha...
Article
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This article presents findings from a labour mobility survey of 250 former call centre agents in India's National Capital Region (September 2008) exploring individuals’ employment before, during and immediately after leaving India's high-profile call centre ‘industry’. These data are combined with forty-two in-depth interviews conducted in India's...
Article
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The last two decades have seen a profound shift in how labour is spatially conceptualized and understood within economic geography, based on a recognition of workers’ abilities to fashion the geography of capitalism to suit their own needs. However, the bulk of work in labour geography fails to examine worker agency beyond a narrow focus on the tra...
Article
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Exploring the prospects of the ecosystem services approach for natural resource management and poverty alleviation in India, this paper points out that it is vital to have an understanding of the political economy of negotiations over natural resource use. An appreciation of the synergies and trade-offs between ecosystem services is equally i...
Article
Full-text available
Exploring the prospects of the ecosystem services approach for natural resource management and poverty alleviation in India, this paper points out that it is vital to have an understanding of the political economy of negotiations over natural resource use. An appreciation of the synergies and trade-offs between ecosystem services is equally importa...
Chapter
Full-text available
The relationships between biodiversity, carbon, forests and people are complex and inter-dependent. Reducing the rates of global deforestation and forest degradation will yield substantial gains for climate change mitigation and biodiversity conservation. Under appropriate conditions, it could also achieve significant social and economic gains. The...
Article
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In an increasingly globalized world, the long-standing intellectual division of labour between ‘economic’ geographers and ‘development’ scholars is becoming less tenable. This paper explores some of the practical implications and synergistic outcomes of developing a hybrid economic/development geography ‘trading zone’. Drawing on experiences from o...
Article
This introduction discusses the articles in this Special Issue, which are all focused on exploring the everyday interactions between marginalised individuals and groups and the state in contemporary India. In particular the articles highlight the experiences of a diverse set of marginalised groups – Muslim artisans and weavers, Dalits, Tibetan exil...
Article
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The idea of the state has shown remarkable resilience over the last couple of decades, despite assaults on it from neoliberal doctrines and the forces of globalization. During this period, the abiding presence and role of the state has been particularly evident in the contemporary political life of the Asia Pacific region. This article pays special...
Article
We completely agree with Wu and Petriello that a connection exists between the biodiversity crisis and threats to indigenous communities. Indeed, there are remarkable parallels between the geographic pattern of threats to biodiversity and threats to indigenous languages ([ 1 ][1]). Although this