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from the field

This category contains 23 posts

Charcoal: The reality. How much can you learn from a book?

by Harriet Smith, University of Southampton PhD Student Since starting my PhD in January, I have spent the past 6 months reading endless books and journal articles on anything and everything related to Malawi and charcoal. I knew that reading would only take me so far in learning about a country, in the ways that people […]

Assessing the cultural values of land uses in Malawi: An ecosystem services approach

by Sophie Van Eetvelt, undergraduate student (Master of Environmental Science), Faculty of Engineering and the Environment. I’m just about to start the fourth and final year of a Master of Environmental Science in the Faculty of Engineering and the Environment. I’ve chosen the sustainable management pathway and enjoy the breadth of topics that my degree […]

Ecosystem services and food security: a new line of investigation

Ecosystem services offer material and non-material benefits. These services are in four broad categories including that of provisioning (such as food and water), regulating (such as in the control of climate), supporting (such as crop pollination) and culturally important support services. These benefits, possessing not only monetary but also major non-monetary values, are reflected in […]

Cockerels, Elephants and Baobab trees

by Amy Nicholass, University of Southampton Master Student My experience of Malawi is of two landscapes, the human settled areas and the wilder Liwonde National Park, protected from human encroachment. The contrasts are evident across all the sights and sounds. Cockerels seem to me to be abundant in southern Malawi.  The ‘cockadoodledo’ is frequently heard throughout […]

Participatory Rural Appraisals – the reality

by Oriole Wagstaff, University of Southampton Master Student After hours of training, and planning methods, there was still a level of uncertainty about how exactly the Participatory Rural Appraisals (PRA) would unfold within the Malawian villages. The drive through the first village, like much of Malawi, was not only amidst beautiful landscapes but filled with hard […]

Then and now, here and there

by Jessica Weyell, University of Southampton Master Student Seven years ago, I was fortunate enough to visit Malawi as a part of the charity, Malawi Education Link, set up by Caroline Hansford. Caroline was a teacher at my school (Hinchingbrooke Secondary School), who took a team of students to Malawi annually. The aim of our trip […]

ESPA Director visits ASSETS Malawi project

Professor Paul van Gardingen, Ecosystem Services for Poverty Alleviation (ESPA) Director spent the first week of June 2013 in Zomba visiting ESPA ASSETS research sites and meeting with communities. Paul’s visit coincided with the College’s 40th anniversary and alumni reunion. As part of the celebration, the Director gave an interview on MBC TV in which […]

Kids photographers

by Emma Green, University of Southampton Master Student   Today we visited the first village that we will be working in. I wasn’t quite sure what to expect of the village. I imagined the village to be quite small and compact but in reality this particular village stretched up to the top of the mountain and […]

Things I have noticed about Malawi

by Sophie Van Eetvelt, University of Southampton Master Student   I have now spent 5 days in Malawi, and already feel qualified to share some of the differences and quirks that I have noticed here. Myself and the other researchers I’m with are staying in the city of Zomba (which is more like a small […]

Southampton students off to Malawi

A group of seven students from the University of Southampton took off to Malawi last week. They will work alongside with the national and international ASSETS researchers but are independently funded Masters and PhD students. We understand that such an interaction is of great benefit to the students themselves, as well as the colleagues in Malawi and […]

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This website is produced by ASSETS (NE-J002267-1), funded with support from the Ecosystem Services for Poverty Alleviation Programme (ESPA). The ESPA programme is funded by the Department for International Development (DFID), the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) and the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC), as part of the UK’s Living with Environmental Change Programme (LWEC). The views expressed here are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent those of the funders, the ESPA Programme, the ESPA Directorate, or LWEC.

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