Esteve Corbera

Esteve Corbera

Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona

Social & Behavioural Sciences

Esteve Corbera (PhD Development Studies, 2006, U. of East Anglia) is ICREA Research Professor at the Institut de Ciència i Tecnologia Ambientals (ICTA), Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona. His research focuses on human-nature relationships and the impact of social, policy and environmental change on resource governance. Specifically, he has conducted research on how international policies for biodiversity conservation and climate change mitigation have affected land-use systems, institutions and livelihoods of rural peoples in the global South. He has written over 90 peer-reviewed articles, several books and book chapters, and served as guest editor in 11 special issues. He is an associate editor of the journal Geoforum and participated in the 2014 Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. He was among the world’s most cited multidisciplinary scientists in 2019 and 2020 (Clarivate analytics).

Research interests

I am a political ecologist building knowledge on the environmental and wellbeing outcomes of climate change and biodiversity conservation policies and producing scientific findings that inform global policies for sustainable land use. I employ multiple quantitative and qualitative methods to investigate 1) the social-ecological and behavioral effects of policies aimed at conserving biodiversity and mitigating climate change, such as payments for ecosystem services, the UN Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation (REDD) framework, and biodiversity offsets; 2) the implications of global change for the vulnerability and resilience of farming communities, and their capacity to adapt; and 3) the politics of knowledge production in conservation and environmental science and policy. My research in these fields draws on data from multiple levels, from multi-actor views gathered ethnographically to secondary information collected for quantitative assessments.

Selected research activities

Selected publications prior to joining ICREA ICREA in November 2020.

Alfonso-Bécares D & Corbera E 2020, ‘Have Payments for Ecosystem Services delivered for the rural poor? A decade of implementation in the ‘global South’, in: Nikolakis, W. & Innes, J.L. (Eds) The Wicked Problem of Forest Policy: New Directions in Research and Practice. Cambridge University Press.

Corbera E, Costedoat S, van Hecken G & Ezzine de Blas D 2020, ‘Troubled encounters:  Payments for ecosystem services in Chiapas, Mexico‘, Development and Change, 51(1): 167-195.

Corbera E, Martin A, Springate-Baginski O & Villaseñor A 2020, ‘Sowing the seeds of sustainable rural livelihoods? An assessment of Participatory Forest Management through REDD+ in Tanzania‘, Land Use Policy, 97: 102962.

Corbera E, Anguelovski I, Honey-Roses J & Ruiz-Mallen I 2020, ‘Academia in the Time of COVID-19: Towards an Ethics of Care‘, Planning Theory and Practice, 21, 2, 191-199.

Howe C, Corbera E, Brockington D, Vira B & Adams WM 2020, ‘Distinct positions underpin ecosystem services for poverty alleviation‘, Oryx, 54(3): 375-382.

Recent grants

Pagos por Servicios Ambientales: Efectividad a largo plazo y Motivaciones para la conservación de los Ecosistemas forestales 2020-2023, Spanish Ministry of Science and Innovation, #PID2019-109758GB-I00. €82,280.

Socio-Environmental Vulnerability in rural Spain 2020-2021, La Caixa Foundation, #SR0419. €100,000.

Other merits

Principal Investigator / Scientific Director of ICTA-UAB’s Maria de Maeztu Unit of Excellence.

Associate Editor, Geoforum (since 2016).

World’s Most Highly Cited Researcher, 2020 (also in 2019): Web of Science/Clarivate Analytics. The list includes the top 1% of the most highly cited researchers across 21 fields of sciences and social sciences over the previous ten years.