James Mayers

Director, Natural Resources

James Mayers's picture
Telephone: +44 (0)20 3463 7399
Languages: English, some Spanish and some French

James Mayers likes to get involved with issues of sustainable forestry, rural livelihoods and the governance of natural resources. He heads the Natural Resources research group at IIED and – with the group’s teams focused on land rights in investment, China in development, biodiversity, water infrastructure development, agroecology and forests – he has managed a range of multi-country initiatives.

These include: such as: Policy that Works for Forests and People; Developing Markets for Watershed Services and Livelihoods; Forest Governance Learning Group; Water Ecosystem Services under Climate Change; Land Access in Sub-Saharan Africa; China-Africa Forest Governance Project; and Community Forestry in the Congo Basin.

He has also been co-leader of The Forests Dialogue – an international programme that aims to encourage collaborative action on high-priority issues facing the world's forests.


Sustainable forestry, rural livelihoods and governance of natural resources. Particular experience in Zimbabwe, Malawi, South Africa, Mozambique, Tanzania, Kenya, Uganda, Ghana, Liberia, Cameroon, Brazil, Costa Rica, China, Pakistan, India, Papua New Guinea and the UK.

Before IIED

  • Country officer, WWF International in Liberia and Tanzania


  • MA natural sciences, Cambridge
  • MA development studies, East Anglia

Current work

Research and policy influence for improved governance and justice in forestry and natural resource use. Action on China-Africa forest issues, the politics of tree-planting campaigns, and support for forest and farm producer organisations. 

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