Current Contact Information:
University of Lausanne, Institute of Geography and Sustainability, Faculty of Geosciences and the Environment
Gretchen is a social scientist and botanist and has worked in the Americas, Europe and Africa for 20 years, 13 of which were spent in Central Africa. She is committed to bridging gaps between the biological and social-historical sciences, and gaps amongst research, practice and policy. She formerly worked for IUCN on developing their institutional approach to nature-based solutions and in mainstreaming governance within the organisation. She co-led the Responsive Forest Governance Initiative, focusing on enabling and strengthening representation of communities within local-government environmental decision-making in Africa.
She became a professor of conservation and development practice at the University of Lausanne in 2018, with a mandate to continue to engage with conservation practice. She serves as focal point for the convention between IUCN and the University of Lausanne, signed in 2019.
- 2018-present Professor of conservation and development practice, University of Lausanne
- 2013-2018 Global Forest and Climate Change Program, International Union for the Conservation of Nature, Switzerland
- 2011-2013 Forest Program Coordinator for IUCN’s West and Central Africa program, Cameroon
- 2012 ESRC Postdoctoral Fellowship, University of Sussex. "The political ecology of fire in Central Africa: informing regional policy and conservation". Awarded but unable to accept.
- 2010 PhD in Anthropology, University College London (2010)
- 2000-2010 Missouri Botanical Garden, Central Africa Program, Botanist and Coordinator, St. Louis, USA & Libreville, Gabon
Honorary Associations and Memberships
- 2020-present Honorary Member, ICCA Consortium
- 2019-present IUCN Integrated Tiger Habitat Program Advisory Board
- 2018-present Forum Forestier Lémanique
- 2018-present IUCN Commission of Environmental, Economic and Social Policy
- 2018-present IUCN World Commission on Protected Areas
- 2018-present IUCN Sustainable Livelihoods Inter-commission Task Force
- 2010-present Visiting Scholar, Department of Anthropology, UCL
- 2010-2013 Chercheuse Associée, Institut de Pharmacopée et Médecines Traditionnelles, Gabon
- 2010-present Research Associate, Missouri Botanical Garden, USA
- 2009-present Central African Red List Authority (plants), IUCN Species Survival Commission
Current Research and Application
- Landscape conservation
- Natural resource governance in conservation practice
- Historical ecology of Central African tropical landscapes
Select Recent Publications
- Walters, G., M. Baruah, Mawa Karambiri, Osei-Wusu, P., Coumba Dem Samb, and E. Barrow. 2019. ‘The Power of Choice: How Institutional Selection Influences Restoration Success in Africa’. Land Use Policy, 2019
- Walters, G., James A. Fraser, Nicolas Picard, Olivier Hymas, and James Fairhead. 2019. ‘Deciphering Anthropocene African Tropical Forest Dynamics: How Social and Historical Sciences Can Elucidate Forest Cover Change and Inform Forest Management’. Anthropocene, 2019, sec. 27.
- Mansourian, S. E. Gonzales, G. Walters. 2019. Identifying governance problems and negotiating solutions for forest landscape restoration in Canada, Ghana and New Caledonia. Parks 25(1): 83-96.
- Blomley, Tom and Gretchen Walters (Eds). 2019. Blomley, Tom and Gretchen Walters (Eds). 2019. A landscape for everyone: Integrating rights-based and landscape governance approaches. Gland Switzerland: International Union for Conservation of Nature. Gland Switzerland: International Union for Conservation of Nature.
- Akwah Neba, George, Walters, Gretchen, Jung, Ha-Young. 2018. Supply and demand of participation in Not by participation alone: responsive representation in forestry and climate change mitigation programmes edited by Emmanuel O. Nuesiri (ed) Hampshire, UK: Palgrave Macmillan Publishers.
- Walters, G. and M. Ece. 2017. Getting ready for REDD+: donor-country dynamics in Central Africa. Conservation & Society 15(4):451-464
- Baruah, M., S. Bobtoya, P. Mbile, G. Walters. 2016. Governance of restoration and institutions: Working with Ghana’s Community Resource Management Areas. World Development Perspectives 3: 38-41.
- Walters, G., E. Ngagnia Ndjabounda, D Ikabanga, J-P Biteau, O. Hymas, L.J.T. White, K.J. Jeffery, O. Lachenaud, T. Stévart. 2016. Peri-urban conservation in the Mondah forest of Libreville (Gabon): Red List endemic plant species assessments and avoiding degazettement. Oryx (50) 3: 419-430.
- Walters, G. Changing fire governance in Gabon’s Plateaux Bateke savanna landscape. 2015. Conservation and Society 13(3): 275-286.
- Walters, G, J. Schleicher, O. Hymas and L. Coad. 2015. Evolving hunting practices in Gabon: lessons for community-based conservation interventions. Ecology and Society 20 (4).
- Walters, G., L. Makouka, S. Touladjan. 2014. Integrating cultural and conservation contexts of hunting: the case of the Plateau Bateke savannas of Gabon. Africa Study Monographs 35(2): 99-128.
- Walters, G. 2012. Customary fire regimes and vegetation structure in Gabon’s Bateke Plateaux. Human Ecology 40(6): 943-955.