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The impact of myths on environmental policy in America, and an exploration of pest management in Uganda: three female researchers from LUCSUS secure funding from Formas

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Three female researchers at LUCSUS have secured funding from Formas for two research projects, one on myths and environmental policy in America, and one on pest management and environmental justice in Uganda. The projects will start in 2018 and run for three years.

Researcher Maja Essebo will lead on the first project, entitled: ‘Alternative facts’: a long-term analysis of the impact of myth on American environmental policy’. The overall aim of the project is to conduct cumulative and long-term analysis of how and to what extent myth is used to legitimise and guide American environmental policy and practice, focusing specifically on climate change policies.

- It is now clear that fighting stories with facts does not work. With this project, I’m hoping to bring the importance of taken-for-granted stories, or myths, to the forefront, showing how they legitimise and steer action in the form of environmental policy. We need to be better at understanding these stories. And possibly at telling them, she says.

The title of the second project is, ‘Pest management and environmental justice in a changing climate – the case of Uganda,’ - lead by researcher Elina Andersson with support from researcher Ellinor Isgren. It will focus on crop pest problems in Ugandan smallholder farming and the health and environmental risks associated with current pesticide practices. 

- Our previous research in the country show that there has been a rapid increase in the use of pesticides in recent years, and thereby also in health and environmental risks related to pesticide use, which is currently very poorly regulated. At the same time, food losses due to pests is a serious barrier for ensuring food security and poverty reduction, and problems are expected to worsen with climate change, says project lead Elina Andersson.

- Our aim with our new project is not just to better understand current pesticide risks from a justice perspective, but also to engage with farmers and other agricultural actors to identify pathways to more sustainable pest management.

LUCSUS Director, Emily Boyd, says that she is really happy that these two projects have secured funding from Formas.

- Especially since they are both excellent examples of the transdisciplinary research we conduct here at LUCSUS – both in terms of approach and thematic angle. We are very much looking forward to supporting and following their research over the next couple of years, she says.