Opinion pieces and features from our team, ESPA researchers and others working on science and practice relevant to ESPA…

Commonwealth scholar will draw on ESPA experience to hone public policy skills

23 August, 2017
By Stephen Sankeni


Stephen Sironka Sankeni was a research assistant for the ESPA-funded Poverty and ecosystem service impacts of Tanzania's Wildlife Management Areas (PIMA) project. Now he’s been awarded a Commonwealth Scholarship to pursue a Masters degree in Public Policy and Management at York University, which will enable him to hone his skills further. Stephen caught up with ESPA’s Mairi Dupar to tell his story so far:

How did you come to be involved in ESPA research and study of the natural environment?

I was born in 1985 in Matale village, Longido District, Tanzania. I was brought up in a typical Maasai pastoralist family and started school in Torosei primary school in Kenya in 1991 where my parents migrated, to allow their livestock to forage. Like my classmates, during the holidays I herded the family livestock and helped in the fields. Following my high school education in Kenya and Tanzania, in 2007, I joined Tumaini University in Iringa, Tanzania to study toward a Bachelors degree in Community Development. At the moment, I am based in Longido town and work as a research...

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New Postdoctoral Fellow will link ESPA research with global policy

07 August, 2017
By Mairi Dupar, ESPA Directorate

This week, Mahesh Poudyal, an environmental social scientist and interdisciplinary researcher, joins the ESPA team as a Postdoctoral Research Fellow. His task: to support ESPA’s Director Kate Schreckenberg and Science Advisor, Georgina Mace, to synthesise the findings of our eight-year research programme and help produce the flagship ESPA book, planned for 2018. Mahesh will also spend a good part of his time exploring and highlighting the implications of ESPA research for governments’ delivery of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). It’s a natural next step for a researcher who has spent this last three years leading the socioeconomic component of an ESPA study in Madagascar. A native of Nepal, Mahesh came to the United Kingdom as a teenager to study environmental economics at the University of York. After an interlude at Simon Fraser University in Canada for his Masters degree, Mahesh returned to York, where he was awarded a PhD in Environment and Politics in 2010. His doctoral work at York was “where my African adventure began”, he says. His research looked at land and tree tenure in northern Ghana – his paper on...

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