Understanding Environments: Nature, Knowledge Production, and Development Practice in Northern Kenya

Name of applicant

Mads Petry Yding


Postdoctoral Fellow


University of Oxford


DKK 1,366,498



Type of grant

Reintegration Fellowships


This project is a historical investigation of the way nature has affected government policies, development ideologies and practices, and the perceptions of ordinary people in Northern Kenya. That is, how do natural phenomena, such as drought, floods, natural resource scarcity, a changing climate, and biodiversity decline, affect the way people think about society and its trajectories?


In a time where climate crisis and biodiversity decline are at the top of development agendas and high politics across the globe, we need to be much more aware of how nature has shaped the ideologies and actions of governments and development organizations. Nowhere is this more prevalent than in Northern Kenya, where nature and the environment have shaped policy and development for decades.


I will do this by triangulating natural events and phenomena, such as droughts, floods, or flora and fauna changes, with state and NGO archives, and interviews with residents in Northern Kenya and former development workers. I will focus on past initiatives and ideas of; drought, wildlife conservation, climate change, eco-management, biodiversity management, and natural resource management.

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