Mathew Bukhi Mabele

Mathew Bukhi Mabele

PhD student

Human Geography

Research interests

Broadly speaking, I am interested in understanding political-economic processes and practices behind environmental policy and governance in rural East Africa. Specifically, in researching: the political ecology of conservation and development, politics of environmental knowledge across scales, sustainability within the Miombo woodlands, liberation ecologies and socioecological justices. I frame my research through the lens of engaged political ecology, with the purpose for relevance and engagement.

Currently, as a doctoral student, I'm exploring politics and power dynamics surrounding contested meanings and representations of deforestation - as an environmental concept - at the policy level in Tanzania. I'm interested in understanding underlying reasons for powerful people within the country's forest policy landscape, to have representations that put blame on rural forest-dependent people over deforestation, and spaces for transforming the policy landscape towards embracing pluralistic representations.

As a self-identified political ecologist, I'm also studying consequences of such representations on everyday conservation practices on the ground. Using a sustainable charcoal production project - an anti-deforestation intervention - I'm exploring how charcoal as an ecological and economic resource is producing resource politics and relations, which are changing access to resources in rural east central Tanzania. Broadly, my doctoral research aims at exploring mechanisms for policy developments and formulations, which will work for forests and forest-dependent people in rural Tanzania.

Academic services

Since 2014, I have done review assignments for these journals: Forest Policy and Economics, International Forestry Review, Conservation and Society, Environment and Planning A and World Development