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<    PhD project – ESR 14    >

Catherine Fayet

Managing trade-offs in agricultural landscape transitions: protecting cultural heritage versus rewilding


MSc Environment and Resource Management (Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, the Netherlands)

MSc Applied and Affective Psychology (University of Geneva, Switzerland)

BSc Applied and Affective Psychology (University of Geneva, Switzerland)

Host Institute: IUCN Brussels, Belgium

Supervisors: Chantal Van Ham (IUCN), Prof. Peter Verburg (VU Amsterdam)

Country of Origin: Switzerland

Languages: English, French, Spanish

catheirne 2

About Me

I explore opportunities in abandoned farmlands in Europe to develop trajectories that help to respond to current environmental, social and climate challenges. Agricultural abandonment is not always an end-state: while it can bring opportunities for nature and biodiversity restoration with passive management, there are also sustainable options to revive these abandoned areas (e.g., with re-farming, agro-forestry, economic diversification…).

For the first part of my research, I built an inventory of the different trajectories that can be develop in abandoned agricultural lands and identified their driving forces (paper in review). Now, I look at the influence of policies in driving these different trajectories, and what would be needed to increase land management practices and actions of landowners towards the improvement of the conservation of species and habitats, and achievement of climate change objectives.

A few words about me: I grew up in the countryside. As an outdoor enthusiast, I practice horse riding, running, hiking, and I like taking pictures of landscapes and early morning skies!



Fayet, C., 2021. The Future of Abandoned Agricultural Lands: An Inventory of Alternative Trajectories in Europe (Poster Presentation). Seventeenth International Conference on Environmental, Cultural, Economic & Social Sustainability PDF.