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PhD student position in Sustainability and leakage in beef & soy supply chains in South America

Us Department of Agriculture

PhD student position in Sustainability and leakage in beef & soy supply chains in South America

The PhD candidate will use participatory approaches to help further the understanding of the role that supply chain sustainability initiatives can play in reducing forest clearing for agricultural production in the tropics. The PhD will be based at Chalmers University of Technology, but is part of a bigger research project led by Stockholm Environment Institute (SEI), focusing on sustainability initiatives and risks for leakage in soy and beef supply chains in South America. Several Focali members are involved in this project. Deadline to apply 31 December.

The research associated to this PhD position focuses on understanding the role that agricultural commodity supply chain sustainability initiatives, such as certification schemes, moratoria, voluntary corporate commitments and government regulations, play in reducing the clearance forests and other ecosystems in the tropics.

The aim of the PhD project is to contribute to the understanding of the effectiveness of interventions aimed at improving the sustainability of supply chains for beef and soybeans in South America, with a particular focus on the risk of leakage effects (i.e., that efforts to improve sustainability of production and trade in in specific places may result in increased environmental impacts and illegal activities elsewhere, whether through displacement of specific landowners and land-uses or through market effects). 

The PhD student will use participatory approaches to engage with different supply chain actors to understand both the factors that can result in leakage effects, as well as opportunities for minimizing the risk of unintended negative consequences of interventions to improve land-use sustainability.

This research will be both supported by, and contribute to, the development of a new web based platform and associated research program, Transparency for Sustainable Economies – Trase. Trase presents a radically new approach to support decision makers and other actors in the implementation and monitoring of existing initiatives and commitments to decrease deforestation and increase sustainability of global supply chains of agricultural commodities. The work of Trase is led by the Stockholm Environment Institute and the Global Canopy Programme and is supported by Chalmers University and a growing number of other research institutions, governments and private and civil society actors.

You can find the full description of the position and instructions for applications on the webpage of Chalmers University of Technology.

For more information about the larger project or the PhD position contact Focali member Martin Persson, Associate Professor at Chalmers: martin.persson@chalmers.se

Application deadline: 31 December, 2016

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