Working groups

Working group - Options and Pathways to Action

The proposed work of the Options and Pathways to Action working group aims to ensure that ELD research results lead to clear applications in promoting the effective adoption of sustainable land management practices on the ground, through direct and continuous engagement with public and private stakeholders. In addition to consultations, the working group will work closely with researchers undertaking ELD-funded case studies in order to interact more closely with a range of stakeholders in case study countries. As part of the engagement process, a strategic mapping exercise of stakeholders will be carried out at the international level and in selected national and sub-national locations. Through continuous consultations, the policy group will help identify relevant options and pathways for promotion of sustainable land management based on economic assessment.  It will also help identify existing knowledge and operational gaps and work with the other working groups to address them while simultaneously ensuring policy relevance of initiative outputs.

WG Leader - Stacey Noel


Ms. Stacey Noel is currently the Centre Director for the Stockholm Environment Institute – Africa. Ms. Noel has a M.Sc. in Development Management, a B.A. in Government and Plan II Honours Programme, and is currently working towards her Ph.D. at the University of Twente. With over 20 years of professional experience in development management and international relations, Ms. Noel’s areas of expertise include water and livelihoods; water, poverty, and ecosystem services; water and climate change; and water’s role in economic growth. She is experienced in programme, project, and team supervision in multi-disciplinary and international teams, having worked in Africa, Asia, and Central America with NGO’s, international research institutes, and government-policy organisations. Ms. Noel’s broad international involvement in the nexus of environment and economics is invaluable in her role as the leader of the Options and Pathways to Action Working Group of the ELD Initiative. She is supported by Prof Lindsay Stringer and Anne Juepner of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).

Prof Lindsay Stringer

Lindsay C. Stringer is Professor in Environment and Development at the Sustainability Research Institute, School of Earth and Environment, University of Leeds, UK. Her research focuses on: the links between livelihoods and environment; stakeholder engagement; and environmental policy and governance. In 2013, Lindsay was awarded a Philip Leverhulme Prize for her work on environmental change and sustainable development in drylands. In 2015 she was presented with a Women of Achievement Award. Lindsay was co-Director and then Director of the Sustainability Research Institute from 2011-2014. Her research is interdisciplinary, drawing on environmental science, social science and economics methodologies. She also engages significantly with research users across scales from the local community level up to the international level. She is currently a Coordinating Lead Author for the Intergovernmental Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES) Regional Assessment for Africa, as well as Lead Author for the IPBES Land Degradation and Restoration Assessment. She also chairs the Independent Task Force of the CGIAR’s Research Programme on Dryland Systems, which is commissioned to develop a global research in development programme to achieve sustainable livelihoods for dryland populations that depend on agriculture.

Anne Juepner


Anne Juepner is currently the Coordinator of UNDP’s Drylands Development Centre located in Nairobi, Kenya. Ms Juepner holds a MSc. in Engineering/Material Sciences and is currently working on finalizing her Ph.D. at the Institute of Development Studies, University of Nairobi. With more than 20 years of international development and management experience, Ms. Juepner’s areas of expertise include sustainable livelihoods and drylands development; and poverty reduction and micro enterprise development. She has in-depth knowledge of programme and project management and related funding arrangements, and has worked throughout her professional career in multi-disciplinary and international teams in Africa, the US and Europe with national and local government counterparts, NGOs and UN Organizations. Ms. Juepner’s broad international experience and deep understanding of practical development issues at the country level contributes greatly to the aspiration of the ELD Initiative of applying research findings to contribute to the generation of concrete, hands-on development solutions developed in close partnership with a broad array of stakeholders.


Working group - Data and Methodology 

The proposed work of the Data and Methodology working group is to be responsible for surveying existing approaches, methods and data for mapping and valuing land management options. New methods will also be discussed, including integrated multiscale modelling, spatially explicit modelling, participatory model development, advanced, multi-scale user interfaces and games. The methods will be applied to evaluate the scenarios developed in the Working Group on Economic Valuation of Options (Scenarios) and suggest optimal scenarios.

WG Leader - Dr. Robert Costanza


Dr. Robert Costanza is currently a chair in Public Policy at the Crawford School of Public Policy at Australia National University. Dr. Costanza has a Ph.D. in Environmental Engineering Sciences (Systems Ecology with an Economics minor), and a M.A. and B.A. in Architecture. He has a strong academic background in environmental economics and sustainability with numerous published articles, chapters, and books, as well as being founder, past president, chief editor, editor, and board member for numerous journals. Dr. Costanza has over 3 decades of academic experience in: transdisciplinary integration; systems ecology; ecological economics; landscape ecology; ecological modeling; ecological design; energy analysis; environmental policy; social traps; incentive structures; and institutions. This trandisciplinary research integrating the study of humans and nature to address research, policy, and management issues at multiple temporal and spatial scales is an adept match to his role as leader of the Data and Methodology Working Group of the ELD Initiative. He is supported by Dr. Ida Kubiszweski.

Dr Ida Kubiszewski

Dr. Ida Kubiszewski is a Senior Lecturer at the Crawford School of Public Policy at The Australian National University. She is also a UN negotiator on climate change, following adaptation and loss & damage, for the country of the Dominican Republic at the 19th through 21st Conference of Parties (COP19 in Warsaw, Poland in 2013; COP20 in Lima, Peru in 2014; and COP21 in Paris, France in 2015). Dr. Kubiszewski is the founding managing editor and current co-editor-in-chief of a magazine/journal hybrid called SolutionsDr. Kubiszewski is a co-founder and former-Managing Editor the Encyclopedia of Earth, an electronic reference about the Earth, its natural environments, and their interaction with society. Dr. Kubiszewski is the author or co-author of dozens scientific papers and 5 books. She is a Fellow at the National Council for Science and the Environment, on the board of the Veblen institute (Institut Veblen), and sits on the steering committees or advisory boards of various organizations including the Ecosystem Service Partnership, and the Environmental Information Coalition. Dr Kubiszewski is also a full member of the Club of Rome.


Working group - Economic Valuation of Options (Scenarios)

The proposed work of the Economic Valuation of Options (Scenarios) working group will develop sustainable land management scenarios at the regional and the sub-regional scale, map out the physical losses in associated ecosystem services, apply benefit transfer as the economic valuation method and come out with benefit transfer function of loss for dominant scenarios in each region. This will be used to identify relevant sustainable land management options or alternative livelihood options for consideration. Finally, it will contrast the costs of action to the economic benefits from action for the identified scenarios. This will help in presenting economically relevant options for action to public and private decision makers. Data and evidence will be drawn from peer reviewed and grey scientific literature as well as existing case studies. 

WG Leader - Dr. Pushpam Kumar

Dr. Pushpam Kumar is currently Chief of the Ecosystem Services Economics Unit at the Division of Environment Policy Implementation with United Nations Environment Programme. In this capacity, he works on the mainstreaming of ecosystem services into macro-policies. Dr. Kumar has over two decades of experience as a leading professor, researcher, and expert in international scientific assessments for biodiversity, ecosystems, and climate change, as well as designing market-based response options for biodiversity management and ecosystem services. He was previously a coordinating lead author and coordinator of the Responses Working Group for the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment, lead author for the Fourth Assessment of the IPCC, and scientific coordinator for the conceptual framework of The Economics of Ecosystems and Biodiversity, from which the ELD Initiative has drawn its inspiration. Dr. Kumar’s research and background is highly compatible with his role as leader for the Economic Valuation of Options (Scenarios) Working Group of the ELD Initiative.

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