Land Governance

Denney in EthiopiaOur Land Governance Project has been conducted by Research Associate Michael Denney since 2012. In the summer of 2012 and 2013, Michael traveled to Ethiopia to work with the Horn of Africa Regional Environment Centre and Network on projects involving land use planning and livelihood development in and around the Gambella National Park. The national park is home to Africa’s second-largest animal migration, but is threatened by demographic changes, climate change, and agricultural investors who transform the landscape that supports wildlife. Michael has worked with HoA-REC&N to develop, promote, and implement concrete livelihood development projects for Gambella that will ensure that HoA-REC&N can properly protect the park without damaging the livelihoods of those who depend on its resources. These projects include an agricultural value-added supply chain based on the production of shea butter.

Michael researches the interaction of economic development, international investment, food security, and climate change in Gambella. Under the guidance of Adugna Lemi, Professor of Economics, and with support from HoA-REC&N, he used this research in his capstone project for his Masters degree in International Relations at UMass Boston, and will continue this research as he pursues a doctorate in Global Governance and Human Security, also at UMass Boston.

For questions and inquiries, please contact the Project Manager Michael Denney at