Mohammed Degnet is a PhD candidate at the Agricultural Economics and Rural Policy group, Wageningen University. Prior to this he received his MSc degree in International Development Studies (Specialization in Economics of Development) from Wageningen University, The Netherlands in 2015 and his BA degree in Economics from Hawassa (former Debub) University, Ethiopia in 2005. Currently, he is working under the supervision of Prof. Justus Wesseler http://www.wur.nl/en/Persons/dr.-JHH-Wesseler.htm (Agricultural Economics and Rural Policy group), Dr. Edwin van der Werf http://www.wur.nl/en/Persons/dr.-EH-Edwin-van-der-Werf.htm(Environmental Economics and Natural Resources group) and Dr. Verina Ingram http://www.wur.nl/en/Persons/Verina-Ingram.htm (Forest and Nature Conservation Policy group). His research focuses on evaluating the economic, social and environmental impacts of private investments in forests in East Africa (Mozambique and Tanzania). The research employs quantitative and qualitative (mixed methods) impact evaluation to measure changes in outcomes between a baseline and subsequent rounds of data collection. http://www.wur.nl/en/project/Evaluating-the-impacts-of-investments-in-agroforestry-operations-Africa-.htm
While private sector investments in forestry in developing countries have gained increasing importance in recent years, there is no consensus on their socio-economic and environmental impacts in these countries. On the one hand, some studies indicate that such investments have potential positive socio-economic and environmental impacts in the form of employment creation and improved incomes, provision of infrastructure and social services as well as reducing the pressure on natural forests. On the other hand, other studies also find that such investments can have adverse effects on local communities in form of reducing access to land and natural resources, conflicts related to land rights and degradation of water quality and quantity. Studies that looked in to the actual impacts of private forest investments using rigorous impact evaluation methods are largely rare. In this study, we systematically and rigorously evaluate the socio-economic and environmental impacts of private sector investments in forest plantations and allied industrial activities in Mozambique and Tanzania. The specific objectives of the PhD project include: 1) To investigate the socio-economic impacts of the plantations and industrial activities of private forest investment. 2) To investigate the factors that explain differences in the perception of households about the impacts of plantations.