Environmental and social effects of private protected areas


Contact Dr George Holmes to discuss this project further informally.

Project description

There is a growing literature which has explored the effectiveness of different kinds of national parks, nature reserves and other protected areas in conserving biodiversity and ecosystem functions, as well as their social and economic impacts on local communities. Much of this has focused on government and community-owned protected areas and has almost entirely ignored protected areas owned by private actors such as individuals, families, businesses and NGOs. Private protected areas make a significant contribution to protected area systems and are more extensive than state protected areas in some places. They are becoming more significant, particularly as they rise in size and number and as states are withdrawing from direct involvement in conservation. As a result, there is a need to understand the performance of these areas, not just in terms of conserving endangered biodiversity but also in promoting the wellbeing of local populations. It is particularly important to understand how and why this performance may differ from other types of protected area. Key questions include: how and why are private protected areas emerging, and how do they respond to different incentives? How are they financed, and how does this affect their ability to undertake conservation or improve human wellbeing? How are they integrated into state protected area systems?

Entry requirements

Applications are invited from candidates with or expecting a minimum of a UK upper second class honours degree (2:1), and/or a Master's degree in Environmental Conservation / Environmental Science / Sustainability / Environment & Development / Geography or related subject. Candidate will ideally have some field experience in a relevant area.

If you would like to be considered for research in this area, you will need to provide a short research proposal. This should be no longer than 6 pages, plus referencing. You will need to present the proposal in sections including 1) an introduction, 2) short literature review and novelty of the proposed research 3) research problem and questions 4) study area/site, materials and methods, and 5) references. Referencing should be done in the style of a journal related to this research area.

If English is not your first language, you must provide evidence that you meet the University’s minimum English Language requirements.

How to apply

Formal applications for research degree study should be made online through the university's website. Please state clearly in the research information section that the PhD you wish to be considered for is the ‘Environmental and social effects of private protected areas' as well as Dr George Holmes as your proposed supervisor.

We welcome scholarship applications from all suitably-qualified candidates, but UK black and minority ethnic (BME) researchers are currently under-represented in our Postgraduate Research community, and we would therefore particularly encourage applications from UK BME candidates. All scholarships will be awarded on the basis of merit.

If you require any further information please contact the Graduate School Office e: apply-phd@see.leeds.ac.uk, t: +44 (0)113 343 1634.