Research fellow: Dr. Bas Verschuuren

We are pleased to inform you that Dr. Bas Verschuuren will be joining us as a research fellow.

Dr. Bas Verschuuren

Bas obtained his PhD from the Department of Sociology of Development and Change (WUR, 2017). His thesis ‘Creating Common Ground’, focussed on synergies and disjunctures between practices and ontologies of Indigenous people and conservation actors in Australia, Ghana and Guatemala. His MSc. in Environmental Systems Analysis (WUR, 2005) looked at regional management and cultural valuation of wetland ecosystems services in Northern Australia. Culture and conservation have been his focus ever since is BSc. (LIC, 2000) when he did participatory research on the role of cultural uses and values of the pastoral communities in the buffer zone of Hustai Nuru National Park in Mongolia.

Bas his academic work is ethnographic, applied, participatory and co-constructed with local communities, Indigenous peoples, conservation experts and people from NGOs and government. Its emphasis is on the management and governance of natural and cultural heritage in the context of various designations, landscapes and waterscapes.

Previous research project encompassed a global inquiry into the role of sacred natural sites in conserving nature and culture while highlighting biodiversity conservation. A study on the same topic but with a Regional focus on Asia, moved beyond biodiversity conservation and yielded more insight in the governance of the cultural and natural dimensions of sacred space.

Bas has also completed an applied research project on the development of indicators for community well-being in biocultural landscapes in Ghana, Bolivia and Sri Lanka. The project converged around the well-being of the humans and landscapes through biocultural indicators and discussion on scaling in local and international governance.

A current research project brings together philosophical and applied academic research with professional experiences on the role of the cultural and spiritual significance of nature in the governance and management or protected and conserved areas. It has resulted in his fourth edited volume and an international volume of Best Practice Guidelines for the International Union for Conservation of Nature is currently under development.

Complementary to his teaching and research, Bas consults for international conservation organisations such as IUCN and UNESCO. He serves as a co-chair to the IUCN WCPA Specialist group on Cultural and Spiritual Values of Protected Areas and is the co-founder of the Sacred Natural Sites Initiative

Bas has published over 40 journal articles and book chapters and is currently working on his fifth edited volume bringing together 40+ authors on the role of indigeneity in contested sacralised landscapes.



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