UCL Department of Geography


Cassandra Dummett

I am a Development Specialist with professional experience leading and managing international development programmes and humanitarian response in the Republic of Congo, Democratic Republic of Congo, India and Bangladesh.

More about Cassandra

Academic Biography

  • BA Hons English Literature, Oxford University
  • MA Social Anthropology, Distinction, University of Manchester
  • MSc Conservation, Distinction, University College London

As Research Fellow I will develop a plan for the protection of the Congo Basin peatlands. These are the world’s largest peatlands, storing 30 billion tonnes of carbon. I am a Development Specialist with professional experience in international development, having managed programmes in health, livelihoods, humanitarian response and emergency preparedness in the Republic of Congo, Democratic Republic of Congo, India and Bangladesh. I join UCL from Global Witness and Forest Trends. I completed an MSc in Conservation in 2022, with a dissertation on people’s use of the peat swamp forest in Equateur province, Democratic Republic of Congo.

    Research Interests

    My research is into current uses of the peatlands by people living in and near the peat swamp forest, including for food, traditional medicine, spiritual beliefs, construction and income generating activities such as logging.

    My aim is to develop a plan to protect the Congo Basin peatlands.  I will do this by mapping stakeholders relevant to the central Congo peatlands in the Republic of the Congo and the benefits they derive from the peatlands beyond financial income.  I will identify the future expectations and aspirations of the stakeholders, with a particular focus on the local communities, including indigenous people. Thirdly, I will identify policies and other instruments that may potentially meet at least some of the future expectations, any enabling factors, likely synergies/trade-offs among policies and instruments, and identify critical gaps. I will pull these together and craft a plan to optimally meet the desires of the very different stakeholders, with a focus on local communities, including Indigenous Peoples.

    I am part of the Protecting the Congo Peatlands project, funded by the Grantham Foundation.