Lisbet Christoffersen, Ph.D.


Resident Lecturer in Political Ecology


Ph.D. in Political Ecology
University of Copenhagen (Denmark)

M.Sc. in Agricultural Development
University of Copenhagen (Denmark)

Forest and Landscape Engineer
The Danish Forestry College (Denmark)


SFS 3840 Political Ecology of Developing Landscapes
(The School for Field Studies)

SFS 4910 Directed Research
(The School for Field Studies)

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Faculty Profile

New to SFS, I am excited about the opportunity to learn about the Peruvian Amazon along with staff and students in the 2019 spring semester. Located in the intersection between culture, power, history and nature, the course ‘political ecology’ will provide the opportunity for us to empirically explore the complex relations between people and their environment, while addressing some of the core, theoretical orientations within the broad field of political ecology.

While new to Peru, and coming from Denmark, I have been concerned with Amazonian issues for four decades. In the 1980s, I visited the Shuar of the Ecuadorian Amazon, who were struggling to keep oil-companies off their land. This early indignation about inequalities, combined with the insistence of the local people to resist, initiated my fascination of the peoples in the Amazon basin and inspired later research. In 1996, as a Forest and Landscape Engineer trainee, I studied the swidden-fallow agricultural system of the Ecuadorian lowland Quichua people, staying for a year with my family in a remote settlement. I came to admire their complex forest management systems, truly alternative to the scientific forestry taught in Europe , and their way of organizing subsistence. I also came to comprehend the amount of knowledge and skills that derive from practice and spending time in the immediate environment. Four years later I revisited the place for three months. Thirteen years should pass before I visited the actual Amazon again. In between, in 2003, I had been in Bolivia as a consultant to the Danish International Development Aid to gather ‘best practices’ on how to include indigenous peoples in sector program support.

In 2013 I came to Bolivia again as a master-student, this time to the Amazonian region, where lowland indigenous peoples found themselves in opposition to the government they initially supported. I was interested in the political organization of the collective territories, their governance of land and resources and the tensions it spurred with the surrounding society. The opportunity arose to apply for an industrial PhD-grant along with a Danish NGO, Forests of the World. My academic focus changed again; increasingly, I have been concerned with the need to find new ways to handle the problems that modern development has brought us, problems for which there are no modern solutions. Coproduction of development, decoloniality, historical landscape-changes and institutional layers are among my current interests.

Academics & Research

Areas of Expertise

  • Indigenous peoples’ access to decision-making, land, and natural resources
  • Participation, deliberative democracy, and FPIC
  • Decoloniality and alternatives to development
  • UN Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD)

Professional Affiliations

  • Danish Forest Council, Member (2016-present)


2018 (single author article, accepted): Contextualising Consent. Spaces for Repression, Resistance and Accommodation in Bolivia’s TIPNIS Consultation. Latin American and Caribbean Ethnic Studies.
2018 (PhD thesis): Amazonian Alternatives. Imagining and negotiating development in lowland Bolivia. University of Copenhagen.
2018 (single author article, published): Amazonian Erasures: Landscape and Myth-making in Lowland Bolivia. Rural Landscapes: Society, Environment, History 5(1): 3, 1-19.
2014 (Master's thesis): Operationalising Free, Prior and Informed Consent as a deliberative process. University of Copenhagen.