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Our Research Partnership and core group

This research partnership is financed by the Swiss National Science Foundation

This  partnership links research institutions passionate about environmental defenders and environmental justice. Co-designed using the KFPE principles pooling capacities and research priorities we aim  to generate a deeper understanding of dynamics of violence and protection of environmental defenders in the mining sector.

The Team

The international research initiative is led by core group of researchers coordinating activities with national partners, defender networks and national teams.


Jörg Balsiger

Principle Investigator

Jörg Balsiger is Associate Professor at the Department of Geography and Environment (Geneva School of Social Sciences) and the Institute for Environmental Sciences. He currently serves as Director of the Hub for Environmental Governance and Territorial Development.

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Peter Bille Larsen

Senior Researcher and VIA coordinator

Peter Bille Larsen is a senior lecturer and researcher in the Department of Sociology and Environmental Governance and Territorial Development Institute of the University of Geneva. his work addresses the intersection between environmental governance and social equity concerns.


Raquel Yrigoyen

Lead Researcher Peru

Raquel Yrigoyen Fajardo is Peruvian lawyer and Vice President of the International Institute on Law and Society in Lima. She leads research activities in Peru.


Augusto Gatmaytan

Lead Phillipines

Dr Augusto “Gus” Gatmaytan, Associate Professor at the Department of Anthropology, Ateneo de Davao University leads Philippines activities.

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Willice Abuya

Kenya lead

Willice O. Abuya is a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Sociology and Psychology, Moi University, Kenya. He obtained his PhD (in Sociology) at the University of Fort Hare, South Africa. His area of specialisation is in Environmental Sociology, with focus on Sociology of Mining and Corporate Social Responsibility.

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