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Forest Trees
This research project is made possible by a Marie Skłodowska -Curie Research Fellowship awarded to Dr Isabel Sebastian through EU Horizon 2020 funding. The project is hosted and supervised by Cardiff University's School of Geography and Planning. 


Regenerative land practices play a crucial role in addressing the catastrophic impacts of climate change and biodiversity loss already disrupting the health and wellbeing of global societies and the biosphere we all depend on. Such practices have the potential to provide place-based approaches that foster the resilience and wellbeing of local communities while providing carbon sequestration, habitat for biodiversity, and the continuation of cultural/spiritual practices essential for the survival and regeneration of the land and its people.


The project aims to draw insights from three case studies of regenerative land practices in Australia, Bhutan and Wales. The project focuses on systemic and narrative barriers and enablers and aims to develop pathways that improve the conditions for practicing these regeneartive land practices. The outcome of the project will include recommendations for policy and decision-making about land-use, land-management and land governance systems.


Pathways towards a 'restorative' Anthropocene: a comparative study of three marginalised or contested land practices, their narratives and regenerative potential across local-global dimensions.

The project abbreviation in short is REGenPLACE.


The project runs from October 2021 to January 2025.


Research approach: The study adopts a qualitative transdisciplinary methodology, using cross-cultural techniques for two-way (1) or right-way (2) knowledge creation by considering all types of knowledge equally to improve the conditions for practicing regenerative land practices.  The study will draw on document reviews, semi-structured interviews, ethnographic observation and a workshop in each case study location with relevant stakeholders. A key feature of the methodology is its focus on 'place' as the source of knowledge.


Research question and design: The overarching research question is to investigate how we can elevate and respect worldviews, knowledge systems, narratives and discourses of regenerative land practice and  to co-create knowledge that informs and transforms current land stakeholders, governance, policy, practice and research agendas. The study takes a trans-disciplinary research strategy including iterative, co-designed and collaborative methods of data creation and analysis. Formulation of findings will emerge in collaboration with stakeholders.  In an effort to respect and embrace  the ‘decolonising research’ agenda (3, 4) the researcher will seek collaboration, reciprocity and inter-relational accountability. Hence, there will be a greater importance on the relational research process for the knowledge holders of the regenerative land practices, rather than the immediate research outcomes (5).


Sampling:  The study uses a snowball sampling approach, meaning local stakeholders identify relevant stakeholders to include in the interviews and/or the workshop. Each case study will involve the development of a stakeholder and context map which is continually evolving as the stakeholder engagement continues throughout 2023.

Interviews, workshops and ethnographic observation: A minimum of 10 up to 20+ participants will be invited to participate in semi-structured interviews and at least one workshop with up to 20 participants in each case study site. The workshop purpose is a two-way knowledge sharing process to co-create potential pathways for overcoming the barriers and amplifying the enablers for regenerative land practices. Ethnographic observation of the land practices is also planned on invitation by the relevant stakeholder groups.


Analysis: All research data generated from the study will be analysed through a hybrid discourse/narrative analysis, and through verification and discussion with stakeholders in each case study site.  Some of the analysis tools include transdisciplinary methodology (6, 7) and Systems Change Analysis (8) decolonising analysis (9).

Data Sovereignty: All research participants retain the Intellectual Property to the information shared with the researchers during interviews, workshops and observations of practices. All research participants, partners and advisors will have the opportunity to be co-authors of any publications from the study if they wish.



As a transdisciplinary project involving stakeholders, practitioners and decision-makers in the three case study places, the project aims to create outcomes which may include:



  • Increased awareness of the diverse perspectives on the three regenerative land practices and their contribution to restoring land, habitat, biodiversity, cultural and/or spiritual practices in their place-based contexts.

  • Better sense-making and decision-making tools for stakeholders at various levels when considering implementation of the regenerative practices



  • Contextualisation of the land practices, their meaning, parameters and narratives

  • Exploration of regenerative practices potential to deal with Anthropocentric change

  • Recognition and respect for all types of knowledge such as Indigenous and traditional knowledge among the stakeholders

  • Investigation of how regenerative practices relate to sustainability and Indigenous knowledge

  • Move the state of the art forward on the topic of regenerative land practices

  • Offers stakeholders independent scientific research into the topic

  • Transdisciplinary methodologies and the comparative analysis will create new knowledge that is greater than the sum of its parts or participants

  • New pathways to assist in the reformulation of how knowledge from culturally, geographically, and worldview-diverse regenerative land practices can inform local and global policy, practice and research agendas

  • Publication of case study reports, research findings, presentations, events, public engagement, and open access academic publications in collaboration with research participants and stakeholders

  • A longer-term impact from this study aims to enable a 'restorative' Anthropocene.



Research participants, stakeholders and researchers involved in this study have the opportunity for mutual learning and exchange. These windows of transformation can shape new kinds of conversations and help move beyond marginalisation or contestation of regenerative land practices.



REFERENCES 1. Ens, E. (2012). Conducting two-way ecological research. People on Country: Vital Landscapes, Indigenous Futures, 45-64 2. McKemey, M. B., Reid, N., Ens, E., Hunter, J., & Ridges, M. (2021). Developing cross-cultural knowledge ('right way' science) to support Indigenous cultural fire management, Doctoral thesis, University of New England 3. Smith, L.T. (2012). Decolonising Methodologies. Second Edition. Zed Books. London. 4. De Santolo, J. (2018). Shielding Indigenous Worlds from Extraction and the Transformative Potential of Decolonizing Collaborative Research. In Transdisciplinary Theory, Practice and Education (pp. 203-219). Springer, Cham 5. Ioris, A. A., Benites, T., & Goettert, J. D. (2019). Challenges and contribution of Indigenous geography: Learning with and for the Kaiowa-Guarani of South America. Geoforum, 102, 137-141 6. Nicolescu, B. (2010) Methodology of Transdisciplinarity - Levels of Reality, Logic of the Included Middle and Complexity, Transdisciplinary Journal of Engineering & Science Vol: 1, No:1, (December, 2010), pp.19-38 7. Cole, A. (2017), Towards and Indigenous Transdisciplinarity, in Transdisciplinary & Interdisciplinary Education and Research, Hans Dieleman, Basarab Nicolescu, Atila Ertas (Eds), ATLAS Publishing, USA 8. Meadows, D. (2022) Iceberg Model, Academy for Systems Change accessed 22/9/2022 at  9. Thambinathan, V. and Kinsella, E.A. (2021) Decolonizing Methodologies in Qualitative Research: Creating Spaces for Transformative Praxis . International Journal of Qualitative Methods, Volume 20: 1–9

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