On this page is information about our institutional and research partners.
Brazilian Partners

Sergio Sauer is Associate Professor in the Graduate Program in Environment and Rural Development (PPG-Mader) and in the Center for Sustainable Development (CDS/UnB) at the University of Brasília (UnB), Brazil. He is coordinator of the Observatório de Conflitos Socioambientais do Matopiba (Brazilian Cerrado biome) and has recently published in environmental, agrarian and land issues (land grabbing, green grabbing, agrarian extractivism).

Francis Barbosa Rocha is doing a PhD at the University of Brasília (UnB) in connection to the TreesForDev project. Francis has a master's degree in forestry engineering and his PhD is in Sustainable Development. His PhD explores food production in Brazil using an ecological perspective. Specifically, he will be looking at the ecological restoration experiences of the Landless Rural Workers Movement (MST) in the Cerrado and Atlantic Forest biomes.

Institutional Partners 
  • University of Brasilia is partner in the implementation of the research project, especially in relation to the field research conducted in Brazil and in developing the theoretical discussion. 
  • The Matopiba Social and Environmental Conflicts Observatory is a network/platform initiative to monitor, study, and report predatory advances on the agricultural frontier. Learn more about the Observatory here. 
Ethiopian Partners

Fedhii Chernet Amente is a doctoral candidate at the Plant Biology and Biodiversity Management Department at Addis Ababa University. Her research focuses on the contribution of trees planted under the green legacy initiatives to climate change mitigation in Ethiopia. Fehdii has a BSc in Applied Biology and an MSc in Plant biology and Biodiversity Management and she has worked as a Disaster Risk Reduction Capacity Building Assistant at the United Nations Disaster Risk Reduction Office on a project of the Forest Fire Early Warning system. She has also worked at CIMA Research foundation as Local Consultant.

Malagasy Partners

Prof. Bruno Ramamonjisoa at the University of Antananarivo is the Director of the PhD School on Natural Resources Management and Development and coordinator of the Applied Research Laboratory at the School of Agronomy. Bruno is one of our key collaborators in Madagascar and contribute to the project with his expertise on sustainable management of natural resources in Madagascar, through co-writing and workshops as well as supervising the work of associated doctoral students from Madagascar.

Matthieu Pierre is a PHD candidate at the Doctoral University in Madagascar, focusing in conservation of Protected area for economical, social, environmental benefits of Madagascar. He has a bachelor degree in Private Law and a Master degree in Law and Management of Environment specialized in mechanisms of conservation of Protected Area in Madagascar. He joined doctoral students from University of Helsinki in a research project examining artisanal gold mining in a protected area and building a model on the use of natural resources. As part of the TreesForDev project Matthieu hopes to contribute in environmental protection and valorization of Madagascar.

Zo Randriamaro works for the Research and Support Center for Development Alternatives-Indian Ocean (RSCDA-IO) / Centre de Recherches et d’Appui pour les Alternatives de Développement-Océan Indien (CRAAD-OI). The RSCDA-IO / CRAAD-OI will collaborate with this project through intellectual exchange on the topic of ecological restoration, contributing particularly with their expertise on climate justice and human rights in the context of Madagascar, as well as participation to the project activities including workshops and seminars as well as co-writing academic papers.


Máriam Abbas has a PhD in Development Studies from the School of Agriculture (ISA) of the University of Lisbon. Her PhD research focused on farming systems and food security in Mozambique in a context of climate change. Máriam is a researcher at Observatório do Meio Rural (OMR –, and she is currently the Coordinator of the Research Line on “Environment and Rural Areas” at OMR. Her main areas of interest include food security and sovereignty, farming systems, biodiversity, climate change, rural development, and agrarian and climate policies.

Mélica H. Chandamela is an assistant researcher at Observatório do Meio Rural (OMR), Mozambique. She has a bachelor’s degree in environmental engineering at Universidade Politécnica, Mozambique. She has developed research projects on socio-economic impact on agriculture and forestry in different parts of Mozambique. So far, the main topics studied include the causes of deforestation in Zambézia province and the impacts of coal mining on subsistence agriculture (based on the perceptions of local farmers), in Moatize district, Tete province. She hopes to continue developing studies on the challenges and opportunities for the country’s rural development. Reports on the forementioned topics were published at the OMR website (

Nehemias Lasse is a master’s degree candidate in Disaster Risk Management and Climate Change Adaptation; and Graduated in Agricultural Engineering, both levels from Eduardo Mondlane University. Currently, work as Assistant Researcher at Observatório do Meio Rural, focusing on aspects related to climate changes (mitigation and adaptation), agricultural sustainability, livelihoods vulnerability analysis, and disaster risk management.