Category Archives: News

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.



Seminar: Co-creating Research

Co-creating Research Seminar

Tuesday, 10 April 2018, 14:00 – 17:00

Wageningen, Gaia C0093

Co-creation has become a buzzword in many social science disciplines and business as well as in tourism studies. Given the prominence of co-creation, surprisingly little discussion has evolved about its implications for research practices and knowledge production as well as what challenges there are for fulfilling the promise of co-creation in research. Continue reading

Seminar: Exploring Urbanization: Events, Resources, Risks, and Movements

Seminar: Monday 18 and Tuesday 19 June 2018

Masterclass urbanization: 20 June (09.30—12.30)

Venue: Wageningen University, Wageningen (campus; Orion Building)

Organized by Centre for Space, Place and Society (CSPS)

Organising team (SDC and GEO): Robert Coates, Martijn Duineveld, Dik Roth, Pieter de Vries, Jeroen Warner. Continue reading

Seminar: “Renewable energy: North and South case studies on local politics and resistance”

“Renewable energy: North and South case studies on local politics and resistance”

Informal seminar by CSPS Political Agency at the Grassroots
March 7 2018, 15:00 – 17:00
Leeuwenborch V72, Wageningen


15:00 Pia Otte (Ruralis, Trondheim Norway): Energy impacts: Dilemmas and paradoxes of the Fosen wind energy project

15:30 Maite Hernando Arrese (Wageningen): Drawing lessons from the boom of the mini-hydros in southern Chile

16:00 Break

16:15 Michiel Köhne and Elisabet Rasch (Wageningen): Energy practices and imaginations of renewable energy futures

16:45 Discussion


Pia Otte – Energy impacts: Dilemmas and paradoxes of the Fosen wind energy project

Wind energy developments have experienced mixed levels of social acceptance. A wide range of literature investigates people’s perceptions of wind farms that in turn determine the social acceptance of these technologies. However, many studies seem to reduce the nature of these conflicts to mainly matters of social perceptions and NIMBY’ism. An increasing field of research within energy and social science has shown that energy impacts of wind energy projects go beyond their material impacts but embed deep social, cultural and political consequences. This presentation investigates discourses of energy impacts in case of Europe’s largest wind energy located in Central Norway, on the Fosen peninsula and reflects on their complex temporalities and scales. We apply a mix of qualitative methods including document, media analysis and semi-structured interviews with various interest groups. The study shows that the implications of the four discourses are complex and are tied to many uncertain socio-economic and political conditions that go far beyond the energy project itself.

Maite Hernando Arrese – Drawing lessons from the boom of the mini-hydros in southern Chile

In 2016, a Mini Hydro was built in Tránguil amid claims against the energy company RP Global for having appropriated a Mapuche private land and built part of the project over an indigenous cemetery. When the indigenous Community Newen de Tránguil (CNT) began to mobilize and demanding a reappraisal of the project, their members began to receive threats from their neighbours and relatives. In this context, the wife of the spokesperson of the CNT Macarena Valdés was murdered and hanged after her death, although her crime was initially catalogued as a suicide. Chile, like many other countries, has embarked on an energy transition that has involved moving from large hydropower dams to mini-hydros. Consequently, the governments have pushed forward the development of the ‘Plan 100 Mini Hydros for Chile’. Nonetheless, the chosen places to carry out the plan are inhabited by Mapuche communities, the largest indigenous population of the country, which have expressed their opposition to the build of any kind of hydropower infrastructure within their territory for affecting their livelihoods and well-being

Michiel Köhne and Elisabet Rasch – Energy practices and imaginations of renewable energy futures

This paper examines how imaginations and ideas of renewable energy futures are rooted in past and present local energy practices. It does so by way of a case study of the Noordoostpolder (The Netherlands), where a nuclear power plant was resisted in the 1980s, shale gas developments were contested between 2013 and 2017, one of the biggest wind parks of the country was opened in 2016, and large-scale farmers and horticulturalists have been involved in the production of renewable energy since the 1990s. These ‘energy practices’ shape, give form to and at the same time reflect the ways in which a just, future energy production is imagined, both  in terms of the production of energy, as in terms of the political organisation of it.