Sophia Carodenuto

Sophia Carodenuto
Assistant Professor, Limited Term
Climate policy and practice; forest governance; Africa studies; global value chains

PhD (Freiburg University, Germany)

Office: DTB B324

With a background in environmental governance and international development, Sophia Carodenuto conducts praxis-oriented research in the Global South. Her primary research interest is forest governance and the role of external influences (finance, transnational business, international policy) on domestic forest policy. She combines research with her work as a consultant, where she advises developing country governments, business, multi- and bilateral donor agencies, and international conservation organizations in their efforts to support sustainable forest management. Her work is global, with a geographic focus on Africa and Pacific Island States.


My research looks at how international forest policy is designed and implemented on the ground in tropical forest countries.

My latest research focuses on the sustainability of global value chains, especially those products and commodities that impact forests in producer countries. Numerous corporations with global business activities have made commitments to have zero-deforestation supply chains, and my research focuses on how these commitments are implemented in practice. Specifically, I have worked with cocoa-producing countries in West Africa that aim to improve the living conditions of cocoa farmers while reducing the negative environmental impacts of cocoa.

My work on zero deforestation supply chains is closely linked to my research on the climate finance mechanism Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and forest Degradation (REDD+), which aims to incentivize developing countries to avoid deforestation and promote the restoration of degraded forest areas.

Previous research includes work on illegal logging in tropical forests, and how the European Union’s approach to address illegal logging through timber trade agreements is perceived by the private forestry sector. The mechanism here is termed FLEGT, which stands for Forest Law Enforcement, Governance, and Trade, and I have also looked closely at how this policy mechanism interacts with REDD+.



I enjoy sharing my passion for environmental sustainability, forest governance, and international development with the diversity of students at UVic. By sharing my international experience working as a consultant in numerous developing country contexts, I introduce students to a range of professional opportunities, including those outside of academia. The learning activities that students are exposed to in my classrooms aim to create and foster the skills needed in a wide range of careers, helping students to be well-prepared for their various professions. Through my courses, I hope to motivate students to pursue their dreams after graduation and inspire those students who are interested in working on environmental issues, whether at the global and local level. I have taught the following courses:

GEOG 314: Global Environmental Change and Human Response

GEOG 388: Regional Studies: Governance of Natural Resources in Africa (designed course)

GEOG 450: Environment and Sustainability in Practice, Capstone Seminar