Seminar Cancelled — November 9, 2023: IRES Student Seminar with Lindah Ddamba and Tatiana Chamorro-Vargas

1. Energy Transitions in Sub-Saharan Africa: A Review of the Factors Inhibiting Accelerated Progress

2. Revealing the pathways to scale up agricultural transformation: Factors influencing adoption of Silvo pastoral systems in Colombia

Time: 12:30pm to 1:20pm

Location: Beaty Museum Allan Yap Theatre (Basement, 2212 Main Mall) Please check in at the Admissions Desk first before going to the Theatre.

No food or drinks allowed in the Theatre. 

Zoom is not available for this seminar.

Talk summary:

The existential threat posed by climate change has propagated a global movement towards the transition from the use of fossils to the development of renewable sources of resources. The Paris Accord and subsequent climate treaties recognize the need to reduce the unabated use of coal and increase investments in renewables. Notably, while nearly 200 countries acceded to the global climate pacts, some countries (particularly in the global South), have rejected the aggressive phaseout of coal, citing the need for a just and gradual transition that mitigates the financial and economic risks of eliminating fossils. The UNFCCC (2021) reported in its NDC Synthesis Report that several national action plans fall short of the required action to mitigate climate change which may push performance to a maximum threshold of only 3.5 degrees Celsius global warming by 2100 above the desired target of limiting global warming below 2 degrees Celsius (if possible 1.5 degrees) of the pre-industrial temperatures. The evidence documents the existence of enabling policies and vast green resources in the Sub-Saharan region. However, the region continues to lag behind on its climate goals. A number of political promises have been made including a target to attain 100% transition to green energy by 2030 – which is deemed to be ‘overly ambitious’ by the international community. In this thesis, I explore energy transitions in Sub-Saharan Africa with a focus on Kenya, Uganda and South-Africa – examining trends, challenges and future prospects.

Lindah Ddamba, IRES MA Student


Lindah holds a bachelor’s degree in law from Makerere University, Uganda (2010) and a Master of Laws Degree (2014) from the University of Toronto- Canada, where she majored in energy regulation and resource governance. Shortly thereafter, she worked as a Senior Legal Officer of the Uganda Electricity Regulatory Authority for four years. Her role involved the evaluation of electricity projects for development and she worked on a number of electricity policies and laws. Her research focus at IRES is on the promotion of renewables, where she seeks to evaluate the obstacles to accelerated energy transitions in developing economies with a focus on Sub-Saharan Africa

Talk summary:

Colombia is a global biodiversity hotspot of important ecological significance. However, deforestation is rampant in the country, and its primary cause is extensive cattle ranching which is inefficient, susceptible to climatic events, contributes to poverty, and causes unsustainable levels of environmental degradation such as water pollution. An agroecological alternative to ECR is Silvopastoral systems (SPS) which combine trees and shrubs in forage grasses to enhance cattle production. Thus, the goal of my research is to determine how SPS practices can be scaled out

Tatiana Chamorro-Vargas, IRES MSc Student


Tatiana Chamorro (she/her) is an MSc student in the Working to Restore Connectivity and Sustainability  (WoRCS) Lab at IRES and is supervised by Dr. Claire Kremen. Her research focuses on the scaling up of sustainable cattle ranching practices in Colombia, as she is highly interested in biodiversity conservation and ecology. She is a recipient of the Philip A. Jones Fellowship 2022-2023. She is also the trip coordinator for the RES Student Society.