Showing articles associated with Constance L. McDermott

Dr Constance L. McDermott is an Associate Professor and Jackson Senior Research Fellow in Land Use and Environmental Change at Oriel College and the Environmental Change Institute.

She is currently leading a chapter on the Governance of UNFCCC’s Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation (REDD+) mechanism - part of an expert report that will be presented at COP 26.

A social scientist by training, she has over 30 years' experience conducting research and applied work on state, civil society and market-based approaches to the governance of forests and related supply chains, and the nexus of forests with climate, agriculture and land use change.

Her work, which spans the Americas, Europe, Asia and Africa, includes a strong focus on issues of social equity in environmental conservation initiatives. This includes research on the social, economic, governance and biodiversity dimensions of reducing emissions from deforestation and degradation.

Why is Oxford a good place to work in research related to environmental challenges?

It provides an incredibly dynamic environment full of creative people from around the world addressing a wide diversity of environmental issues from a multitude of disciplinary perspectives.

What is the biggest environmental challenge facing the planet right now?

The biggest environmental challenge is social. It lies in how we do, or don’t, work together collectively to define and shape our relationships with each other and the natural world.

Despite the challenges, are you optimistic about our future?  

The issue to me is not whether we are optimistic or pessimistic. Who knows what the future holds? What matters is how we live and interact in the here and now, and whether we are doing what we can to make the world a better place. We need to remain awake, alert and responsive to what is not going well, while also opening our eyes to all of the kindness, wisdom and generousness of spirit around us that gives us hope.

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