Meet the Environment Institute’s Inaugural Future Making Fellow

The Environment Institute recently welcomed its first Future Making Fellow, Dr Thu Thuy Pham. Find out more about her research and what she hopes to achieve from her time at the University of Adelaide.

Tell us a bit about your background and where your passion for climate change research came from?

I am a political/social scientist and have carried out research to support more than 20 developing countries to develop and implement effective, efficient and equitable climate change policies. Before joining University of Adelaide, I have worked for Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR), World Agroforestry Center (ICRAF), and Vietnamese Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development. I also worked as a policy consultant for Forest Trends, Asian Development Bank, University of Queensland, Oxfam UK, Oxfam HongKong, Amazon, World Bank and Unilever.

My passion for climate change research came from my earlier work on supporting many indigenous people and local communities in Southeast Asia to adapt to climate change as well as my long term partnership engagement with policy makers in developing countries to support their climate change policy formulation.

Can you briefly explain your Future Making Fellowship research?

My fellowship aims to provide information, tools, and analysis for global and national policy makers and practitioners to ensure effective, efficient, and equitable outcomes of climate change and forest-friendly policies, including securing rights and livelihoods for indigenous peoples and local communities. My research is expected to bridge the gap between universal policy prescriptions and diverse national circumstances, by performing a global synthesis of empirical impact studies and analyzing country context-specific insights on which policies work best under which circumstances (what works where and why). This project, based at the Environment Institute, will involve collaborators from all other relevant facilities and schools.

What has been your greatest scientific achievement?

 In 2016, I was awarded by Vietnamese Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development for my research contributions towards Vietnam’s forestry sector development 2021- 2030 with vision to 2050, and the successful implementation of the National Policy on Payment for Forest Environmental Services. The Ivory Coast government also used my research to formulate its National Emission Reduction Agreement Benefit sharing plan. I am a member of Global Scientific Steering Committee of Global Landscape Forum, Global Land Program, and the Steering Committee of Global Forest, People, Climate Initiative’s Carbon Market Strategy.

In April this year I was also awarded the Australian Alumni Climate Action Award.

Dr Thu Thuy Pham received the Australian Alumni Climate Action Award in April 2023.

What is the most interesting thing you’re working on now?

I am currently supporting Vietnamese government to develop its high integrity carbon market through research and capacity building. I am also working with World Bank Enable Fund to improve its global strategy for social inclusion and benefit sharing mechanism for its largest forest result based payment scheme – Forest Carbon Partnership Facility- which is being carried out in 47 countries.

What made you apply for the Future Making Fellowship?

University of Adelaide/Environment Institute has a great multidisciplinary research team. I strongly believe that the fellowship will help me to improve my current knowledge and skillsets. I also hope that the fellowship will also help me to broaden and deepen global network of climate change researchers across the world to exchange knowledge and explore strategic funding together.

What are you excited for during your Future Making Fellowship?

I am excited to have an opportunity to learn from ongoing research and other colleagues at University of Adelaide who are working in the same field. I am also excited to have an opportunity to facilitate networking and partnerships between University of Adelaide with global professional networks in more than 20 countries as well as global research partners and donors.


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