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Profile: Professor David Humphreys

Professor David Humphreys

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Professor David Humphreys's OpenLearn Profile

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Profile: Professor David Humphreys

Professor David Humphreys

About me


David has a long-standing interest in environmental policy and environmental politics, with a particular interest in international forest policy. He has have tracked the evolution of all international forest policy initiatives over the last 25 years, both within and outside the United Nations.

David has written two books on this subject, Forest Politics: The Evolution of International Cooperation (1996) and Logjam: Deforestation and the Crisis of Global Governance (2006), the latter of which won the International Studies Association’s Sprout Award for the best book of the year on international environmental problems. In 2015 he was awarded an Honorary Fellowship with the Institute of Chartered Foresters.

He is also interested in researching international climate change policy, including the controversial proposal for ‘geoengineering’, namely global level interventions in the atmosphere to control the Earth’s temperature to counter the effects of human-induced climate change. Most recently he has been researching the idea of rights of nature in South America, its legal codification in Ecuador and Bolivia and the international emergence of this idea in 2009.

David has take a keen interest in all areas of sustainability policy which, in addition to forests, includes fisheries. Interestingly, similar policy initiatives have been created to deal with both sustainable forest management and sustainable fisheries management, namely the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) and the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) respectively. He is interested in exploring the similarities and differences between these two processes.


David has taught on a range of The Open University modules on the environment at both undergraduate and Masters levels. He is currently co-chairing the production of The Open University’s new Level 3 module Environmental policy in an international context (EPIC). In 2017 he received a UK national Teaching Fellowship.

Policy relevant work

David is keen to work on policy relevant initiatives that may make a difference ‘on the ground’ and have been a co-author of several policy reports produced by International Union of Forest Research Organisations (IUFRO) expert panels and working groups. He was a member of the Scientific Advisory Board of the European Forest Institute for five years. 



Professor David Humphreys's research

Benjamin Cashore et al. (2019) Designing stakeholder learning dialogues for effective global governance, In Policy and Society 1(38)

Professor David Humphreys (2018) Forest politics, neoliberalism and the limits of international environmental policy, Routledge

Professor David Humphreys et al. (2017-09-01) Towards durable multistakeholder-generated solutions: The pilot application of a problem-oriented policy learning protocol to legality verification and community rights in Peru, In International Forestry Review 3(19)

Professor David Humphreys (2017-07) Rights of Pachamama: The emergence of an earth jurisprudence in the Americas, In Journal of International Relations and Development 3(20)

Шонил А. (Shonil A.) Бхагават (Bhagwat), Professor David Humphreys and Nikoleta Jones (2017-06) Forest governance in the Anthropocene: Challenges for theory and practice, In Forest Policy and Economics(79)

Benjamin Cashore et al. (2016-12-03) Global governance approaches to addressing illegal logging: Uptake and lessons learned 35, International Union of Forest Research Organisations

Wil de Jong and Professor David Humphreys (2016-09-15) A failed Social Licence to Operate for the neoliberal modernization of Amazonian resource use: the underlying causes of the Bagua tragedy of Peru, In Forestry: An International Journal of Forest Research 5(89)

Professor David Humphreys (2016-07-29) Forest crimes and the international trade in illegally-logged timber, Edward Elgar

Professor David Humphreys (2016) Integers, integrants and normative vectors: The limitations of environmental policy integration under neoloberalism, In Environment and Planning C: Government and Policy(34)

Kathleen McGinley et al. (2016) Scoping knowledge of the problems at hand, International Union of Forest Research Organisations (IUFRO)

Browse Professor David Humphreys's latest research on Open Research Online