Van Thi Hai Van

Research Associate



Wyss Academy for Nature at University of Bern
Institute of Geography and Sustainability, University of Lausanne
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Interests and expertise

I am pursuing the hybrid academic-practitioner path, with a Ph.D. in environmental science and over 10 years of experiences working for a Hanoi-based conservation organization ( Thus I am passionate about working with diverse actors on the policy-science-society interface to seek new transformative and sustainable solutions for both people and nature in Vietnam (my home country), mainland Southeast Asia and other Global South countries. I will contribute to the High Agricultural Reforestation Potential (HARP) Toolkit Project which will facilitate knowledge exchange between scientists, practitioners and industry regarding successful and sustainable agroforest-based reforestation in tropical agricultural landscapes, like Vietnam, as an NbS for climate mitigation and adaptation challenges.


I was trained at different education institutes from the South to North, a BSc in Environmental Policy and Management (Hanoi National University), a MSc in Forest and Nature Conservation Policy (Wageningen University and Research Center, the Netherlands) and then a Ph.D in Environmental Science (University of Lausanne, Switzerland). I am thus using an interdisciplinary environmental social approach, mixing Political Ecology and Critical Institutionalism to debunk myths about what happens ‘beneath the surface’ of the contemporary environmental dynamics and changes. I also track actor’s power and agency within the different governance settings of efforts to ‘fix’ the current environmental changes, especially from ‘below’ peasant politics, the state – villagers relationship and the newly engagement of the private sector and financial institutions. My research interests thus include impacts of layer-upon-layer environmental policies, environmental and development nexus, ecosystem services, land-based climate change mitigation and conservation in developing countries (jurisdictional REDD+, nature-based solutions, carbon insetting, BioTrade and mainstreaming biodiversity conservation into different economic sectors), community and ethnic minority/indigenous knowledge and people.
I currently work as joint postdoctoral researcher for Wyss Academy for Nature at University of Bern and Institute of Geography and Sustainability, University of Lausanne (Switzerland), where we work to transfer research knowledge into action toward transformative change for just sustainable future.

Associated projects

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