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 100 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 Ecology and Society and participated in the 2014 Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. He was among the world’s most cited multidisciplinary (cross-field) scientists over the period in 2019-2022 (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 publications

- Meyfroidt P et al. 2022, 'Ten facts about land systems for sustainability', Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the USA, vol. 119 (7), e2109217118.  

- Busck-Lumholt L, Corbera E & Mertz O 2022, 'How are institutions included in Integrated Conservation and Development Projects? Developing and testing a diagnostic approach on the World Bank’s Forest and Community project in Salta, Argentina', World Development, 157: 105956.

- Izquierdo-Tort S, Corbera E, Martin A, Carabias Lillo J & Dupras J, 2022, 'Contradictory distributive principles and land tenure govern benefit-sharing of payments for ecosystem services (PES) in Chiapas, Mexico', Environmental Research Letters, 17: 055009.

- Stuit A, Brockington D & Corbera E 2022, 'Smart, Commodified and Encoded: Blockchain Technology for Environmental Sustainability and Nature Conservation', Conservation and Society, 20, 1, 12 - 23.

- Busck-Lumholt L, Coenen J, Persson JG, Pedersen AF, Mertz O & Corbera E 2022, 'Telecoupling as a framework to support a more nuanced understanding of causality in Land System Science', Journal of Land Use Science, vol. 17, no. 1, pp. 386-406.

- Almanza-Alcalde H, Satyal P, Corbera E, Soto Sánchez AP & Pskowski M 2022, 'Participatory injustice in Mexico’s Readiness process to Reduce Emissions from Deforestation and forest Degradation (REDD+)', Human Ecology, vol. 50, no. 1, pp. 79–90.

Selected research activities

In 2022, I continued to steer ICTA-UAB’s Maria de Maeztu Unit of Excellence Programme and received a project grant [Leading sustainability transitions in rural Spain, TED2021-130822B-I00, €194120]; a group grant [Laboratory for the Analysis of Socio-Ecological systems in a Global world, SGR2021-00187, €60000], and supported 3 personnel grants: FPI, FI, BdP. I graduated 2 PhDs. I appeared again in the World’s Most Highly Cited Researcher list (cross-field), Web of Science/Clarivate Analytics, and delivered a talk at the “XIII Congreso de la Asociación Española de Demografia Histórica”.