Urban dwellers are transforming rural land use and ownership in East Africa
In this talk, Dr. Kimambo will share her ongoing work in Eastern Africa that links rural land use change to urban actors. The work uses remote sensing analysis to track the emergence of tree crops (e.g., pine, eucalyptus, and avocado). Remote sensing analysis is paired with spatially explicit fieldwork from Uganda and Tanzania to argue that the rural tree crop boom is linked to new, urban-based land users. Direct involvement of urban-based citizens in rural land use signals a profound regional shift in rural land ownership and land markets. Dr. Kimambo will discuss the implications of this shift for environmental policy like tree-based landscape restoration, local ‘land grabs’, as well as geographic study of cross-scale phenomena.
Dr. Niwaeli Kimambo is an Assistant Professor of Geography and the C.V. Starr Fellow in International Studies at Middlebury College. She is an interdisciplinary researcher interested in teleconnections and rapid land use change. She has paid particular attention to rural East Africa’s tree crop boom of the past decade, spurred by involvement of distant urban dwellers. She earned her PhD and M.Sc. in Geography from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and a B.A in Geology and Environmental History from Brown University.