Our Specialists.

Director, Environment and Natural Resources Practice Michael Brown

Michael Brown has more than 30 years of international development experience in natural resource management, community-based planning and decision-making, conservation, environmental compliance, NGO capacity building, agriculture, conflict management, food security, livelihoods, and pastoral production systems. Mr. Brown has worked in Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean, the South Pacific, and South Asia. He is currently the director of the Environment and Natural Resources Practice and program manager for the REPLACE IDIQ. Prior to joining Chemonics, he was president of Satya Development International LLC. Mr. Brown holds an M.A. in cultural anthropology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and a B.A. from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst in literature and third world studies.

by Michael Brown


From Threat to Solution: Rethinking the Role of Communities in Nature Conservation

This post originally appeared on Mongabay. Photo courtesy of Samantha Cheng. The imperative for nature conservation has never been greater. A widely publicized intergovernmental report predicts extinction for more than a million species over the next few decades unless we drastically change human consumption and economic growth. This loss of species will threaten the global…

Land and Property Rights Meet the SDGs: Reflections from the 2019 World Bank Land and Poverty Conference

It appears the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are wobbling along fitfully, and the general consensus among attendees at this year’s annual World Bank Land and Poverty Conference seemed to be that we’re not on track to meet our goals related to land and property rights. This year’s conference offered a smorgasbord of lessons learned, applied…

6 Myths About Youth and Land

A few basic facts: there were 1.2 billion youth aged 15 to 24 years globally in 2015, accounting for one out of every six people worldwide. By 2030, the target date for achievement of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), the number of youth is projected to grow by 7 percent, to nearly 1.3 billion. Given…

Is “Secure Enough” Good Enough for Land Tenure? A Case Study from Rwanda

What is “secure enough” tenure? The concept of “secure enough” tenure has been discussed in the context of humanitarian and post-disaster programming and increasingly through donor initiatives. In our new paper, we adopt the following definition of secure enough tenure, established by USAID: “[T]he benchmark of tenure security [is] when rights to land and natural…

A Paradigm Shift is Necessary for REDD+ to Be Sustainable

In 2013 I wrote a book called Redeeming REDD: Policies, Incentives, and Social Feasibility for Avoided Deforestation, published by Earthscan. In the book I argue that reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation (REDD, and the latest variant known as REDD+), needs a suite of enabling conditions, independent of market viability as well as measurement,…

Know Your SDGs: Can We Learn to Live Sustainably?

“With less than 5 percent of world population, the U.S. uses one-third of the world’s paper, a quarter of the world’s oil, 23 percent of the coal, 27 percent of the aluminum, and 19 percent of the copper… [and] a child born in the United States will create thirteen times as much ecological damage over…

Dispatch from Sydney: The World Parks Congress

“Whose gonna stand up to the big machine?” Stand up to fossil fuels. End fracking now! Who’s gonna stand up and save the earth?” This was the final refrain of the youth delegation at the World Parks Congress. It was sung in front of several thousand odd people, to by and large a strong ovation.…