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Revival of indigenous agroforestry systems (chakras) for crisis resilience in the Ecuadorian Amazon: opportunities and challenges of gender, ethnicity and forest livelihoods

Centre for Agroecology, Water and Resilience

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Dr N Moeller No more applications being accepted Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)

About the Project

Coventry University (CU) is inviting applications from suitably-qualified graduates for a fully-funded PhD studentship

This project sets out to investigate an innovative multi-stakeholder initiative in the Ecuadorian Amazon.

As one of the poorest and most biodiverse regions on Earth, the region is struggling to find solutions to the central dilemma of rural development: economic vs. ecological sustainability. In response, government officials, aid agencies, indigenous federations and the private sector have recently come together to revive, revalorise and reinvent the traditional indigenous agroforestry system – the ‘chakra’ – as a sustainable and economically viable production unit governed by women.

In a region ravaged by largely unfettered resource extraction (oil, timber, gold) and intensive agriculture, increasingly threatened by extreme weather, highly vulnerable to pandemics and historically marginalised due to its difficult terrain, the ‘chakra model’ responds directly to multiple crises and holds promises of prosperity and a resilient, just and culturally appropriate food system.

Using a mixed methods approach and building learning alliances with stakeholders, this project explores these promises, and inquires into opportunities and challenges of developing agroforestry value chains in the complex Upper Napo region. It evaluates the potential of scaling-out the chakra model for community resilience and food sovereignty, to create impact in other Amazonian and tropical forest countries.
Training and Development
The successful candidate will receive comprehensive research training including technical, personal and professional skills.

All researchers at Coventry University (from PhD to Professor) are part of the Doctoral College and Centre for Research Capability and Development, which provides support with high-quality training and career development activities.
Entry criteria for applicants to PhD
• A minimum of a 2:1 first degree in a relevant discipline/subject area with a minimum 60% mark in the project element or equivalent with a minimum 60% overall module average. PLUS the potential to engage in innovative research and to complete the PhD within a 3.5 years
• A minimum of English language proficiency (IELTS overall minimum score of 7.0 with a minimum of 6.5 in each component)
UK/EU/International graduates with the required entry requirements
Full-time – between three and three and a half years fixed term

For further details see:
How to apply
To find out more about the project please contact Nina Isabella Moeller [Email Address Removed]

To apply on line please visit:

All applications require full supporting documentation, and a covering letter – plus one of the following:

For pre-determined (named) projects an up to 2000-word supporting statement is required showing how the applicant’s expertise and interests are relevant to the project.

Funding Notes

This is a fully-funded studentship including full tuition fees (UK/EU/International) plus stipend (based upon the applicable UKRI rate at the point of the award) and additional allowances.
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