Add your courses




These pages may contain links and references to third-party web-sites. The UNCCD secretariat provides these links only as a convenient service. The inclusion of a link or reference does not imply the endorsement of the linked site by the UNCCD secretariat.

Cordula Ott, Social Anthropologist

Name: Cordula Stephanie Ott Date of birth: 17 November 1958 Profession: MA Social Anthropologist (1991) Nationality: Liechtenstein Unmarried, two children (1997/2000) Present position: - Senior research scientist and consultant (Centre for Development and Environment CDE) - Research assistant (CDE/AIG, Institute of Geography, Prof. Urs Wiesmann) - Member CDE Cluster ‘Governance of Land and Natural Resources’ - PhD student Phil. Nat., University of Bern (CDE 2009-) Key Qualifications: - Global and social change, social and economic coping strategies and adaptation - Interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary research, sustainability science - Sustainable governance of land and natural resources and sustainable development - Earth system governance and synergies in multilateral environmental conventions / PRPs, MDGs, SDGs - Equity: Environment and gender, ethnicity and social inclusion - Multi-stakeholder approaches and participation - Social and economic diversity, bio-cultural diversity, and ecosystem approaches - Mountain ecosystems and livelihoods - Impact monitoring and evaluation - Cross-scale and space coherence for sustainable development Field experience: Nepal, Ethiopia, Tajikistan/Pamir Mountains, Swaziland, Mozambique, Kenya   PROFESSIONAL EXPERIENCE AND RESEARCH CDE 1992 - Senior research scientist, CDE, University of Bern, Switzerland 2005 - 2013 Programme staff NCCR North-South / Transversal Package Mandate 2009 - Research assistant for Prof. Urs Wiesmann (CDE/AIG and NCCR North-South) 2009 - PhD student Phil. Nat., University of Bern 2011 - Member CDE Cluster ‘Governance of Land and Natural Resources’ 2012- Background: 1979-1982 Studies: History of Art, Sociology and Philosophy at the University of Berne, Switzerland 1980-1991 Studies: Social Anthropology, Geography and Prehistory at the University of Berne, Switzerland 1983-1992 Archaeological Service of the Canton of Berne: Part-time employee 1992/1999 Nepal: Consultancy for the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation: Nepal: ‘Salleri Electricity Utilization Project’ (Solu-Khumbu, Nepal): Development of an Impact Monitoring System of Ecological and Socio-economic Changes. 1992/93 Institute of Ethnology, Berne (now: Social Anthropology): Design of a research project of the, on local knowledge, perception, strategic competence and organizational power among shifting cultivators in Madagascar. 1992-1994 Institute of Ethnology, Berne (now: Social Anthropology): Design of a research project of the, on ecology, human-environment-relationships and people’s organizational power in socio-economic and ecological transformation processes (Nepal). Major activities at CDE 1992 - Focus: Integration of socio-anthropological and socio-economic perspectives into CDE’s concepts, instruments and research activities 1994-99 Focus: Concepts and tools Natural resource management: Developing CDE's ‘Concept on Natural Resource Management’ / strategy for CDE's tools and approaches on sustainable use of natural resources; / CDE’s Guidelines for Impact Monitoring (SDC Mandates) 1994 – Concept and implementation of a CDE's training course on 'Autodidactic Learning for Sustainability' (Mali, Madagascar, India, Bolivia, Pakistan, Kenya, Thailand, etc.) (SDC Mandate) 1995/1996 Ethiopia: Research study and missions for the design of the Socio-economic Research Concept for the Soil Conservation Research Program (SCRP/CDE) 1996 Expertise: Social Accounting of OS3 (Import and Information Services for Products from Developing Countries), a fair trade organisation 1996-2000 Development of a databank ‘Approaches of development institutions on environmental issues’ (SDC ) 1998/99 Nepal: ‘Salleri Electricity Utilization Project’ (Solu-Khumbu,): Organisation and back-stopping of the follow-up on the Impact Monitoring of SELUP/SCECO (SDC Mandate) 1998 – 1999 Focus Gender and Environment: Concepts and advice for the integration of gender & environment in development projects, programmes and policy/ Project lead of a working group ‘Gender in Sustainable Land Management’ (SDC Mandate) 2001 Tajikistan: Scientific lead for field study group of CDE ‘Pamir Strategy Project’ on Sustainable Mountain Development, Khorough, July to October 2001 2002 – 2004 Focus: Multi-level/multi stakeholder approaches and development cooperation (SDC mandate) Focus: Biodiversity and Gender (SDC mandate) 2003 Coordinating Author: ‘Sustainable Development Appraisal - A tool for trans-disciplinary knowledge generation and management, supportive to learning processes, interaction and negotiation processes for local to regional development’. CDE Working Paper. 2004 - Focus: Multilateral Environmental Agreements (MEAs), Rio Conventions, Millennium Ecosystem Assessment MA / Focus: Transboundary management of natural resources (SDC mandates) 2004 Preparation and contribution for SDC’s ‘Fourth Report by Switzerland on measures taken to assist affected country parties to implement the UNCCD’. (SDC mandate) 2004/2005 Concept and Project Proposal for ESAPP: Development of a conceptual framework on Integrated Transboundary River Basin Management Planning (Umbeluzi river basin, Mozambique and Swaziland) 2004/2005 Concept, preparation and conclusions: FORUM SLM Sustainable Land Management (CDE/SDC): The Rio Conventions: Strengthening synergies and linkages between the policy and the operation level. 2004 CDE conceptual input in SDC/Division with SE Europe and CIS Toolkit ‘Integrating Environmental Issues in SDC Development Programmes and Projects’ (SDC mandate) 2004 Conceptual Framework on Integrated Transboundary River Basin Management Planning (Umbeluzi river basin, Mozambique and Swaziland; Concept and Project Proposal for ESAPP/CDE. 2005 Mozambique/Swaziland: Field Mission for ESAPP/CDE: Developing a Framework for Stakeholder Consultation in the Umbeluzi River Basin. (SDC Mandate) 2005 Concept, preparation and conclusions: FORUM SLM Sustainable Land Management (CDE/SDC): Transboundary Management of Natural Resources in Transition Countries 2005 - Focus: Climate Change, Vulnerability, Coping Strategies; International Cooperation and Research (SDC Mandates) 2006 -2008 Co-Authorship: IAASTD – International Assessment of Agricultural Science and Technology for Development; Global Report Chapter 1: Context, Conceptual Framework and Sustainability Indicators. Worldbank Report. 2007/08 NCCR North-South Synthesis Project – Transversal Package Core Group: Development of a Framework for the Synthesis of the NCCR North-South Research Programme 2009 - Contributions to the NCCR North-South Synthesis Project / Research assistant for Prof. Urs Wiesmann (CDE/NCCR North-South) 2010 UNCCD United Nations Convention on Desertification: Swiss National Reporting to the Conference of Parties 2008/2009. 2012 UNCCD United Nations Convention on Desertification: Swiss National Reporting to the Conference of Parties 2010/2011. 2012 SDC Agriculture and Food Security Network – Land Governance Focus Area. Land Governance – A Positioning of Terms. 2012 Kenya: Field Study: ‘Capitalising on experiences’ of the Eastern and Southern Arica Partnership Programme ESAPP 2013 Capitalising on ESAPP Eastern and Southern Africa Partnership programme: Concept and Draft: ‘Knowledge and Integration for Sustainable Development’

Version HistoryVersion History

Over 20 years of work experience in local to global approaches for SD; since 2000 active in the Switzerland UNCCD Reporting.


Biodiversity; Climate change; Food security; Land degradation and restoration; Land management; Poverty reduction/Development; Stakeholder involvement/Negotiations

Available for:

Consultancy to support reporting process; Consultancy to Parties

Contact details:

​Centre for Deveopment and Environment
University of Bern
Hallerstrasse 10
CH-3012 Bern
Tel   +41 (0)31 631 88 22 / 57 79
Fax   +41 (0)31 631 85 44





​Something wrong?

Is this you? Do you need your information changed, updated or if you want this removed? Please let us know by filling out the form here. (please refer to the "item ID" mentioned above)

Quick access

  • Prais
  • UNCCD Capacity Building Marketplace