Human Geography

Dr. Yvonne Kunz

Areas of expertise

  • Human-environment interactions
  • Legal pluralism and access to land in rural Indonesia
  • International development cooperation
  • Regional foci: South East Asia and East Africa.

Current publications

Hein, J. & Kunz, Y. (forthcoming). Adapting in a carbon pool? Politicising climate change at Sumatra's oil palm frontier. In: Kleep, S. & L.C. Rodríguez (Ed.): Critical Approach to Climate Change Adaptation: Discourses, Policies and Practices. Routledge. (Accepted for publication)

Hein, J., Faust, H., Kunz, Y. (forthcoming).Sozialökologische Folgen von Ölpalmboom und Naturschutzpolitik in Indonesien: Die doppelte Exklusion lokaler Bevölkerungsgruppen in Jambi, Sumatra. Geographische Rundschau. (Accepted for publication)

Hein, J., Faust, H., Kunz, Y., Mardiana, R. (2017). "The transnationalization of competing state projects – carbon offsetting and development in Sumatra’s coastal peat swamps. Antipode. (Accepted for publication).

Keller, A. & Kunz, Y. (2017). Dafür sorgen, dass etwas wächst. Graswurzelrevolution 420 Sommer 2017.

Steinebach, S., & Kunz, Y. (2017). Separating sisters from brothers: Ethnic relations and identity politics in the context of indigenous land titling in Indonesia. Austrian Journal of South-East Asian Studies, 10(1), 47-64.

Kunz, Y., Steinbach, S., Dittrich, C., Hauser-Schäublin, B., Rosyani Ir., Soetarto, E. & Faust, H. (2017): 'The fridge in the forest': Historical trajectories of land tenure regulations fostering landscape transformation in Jambi Province, Sumatra, Indonesia. Forest Policy and Economics, 81, 1-9.

Kunz, Y., Hein, J., Mardiana, R., & Faust, H. (2016). Mimicry of the legal: Translating de jure land formalization processes into de facto local action in Jambi province, Sumatra. ASEAS - Austrian Journal of South-East Asian Studies, 9(1), 127-146.

Kunz, Y. (2016). Landscape transformation in Jambi province, Sumatra. An analysis of land tenure regulations under translational dynamics. Dissertation.

Schwarze, S., Euler, M., Gatto, M., Hein, J., Hettig, E., Holtkamp, A. M., Izhar, L., Kunz, Y., Lay, J., Merten, J., Moser, S., Mußhoff, O., Otten, F., Qaim, M., Soetarto, E., Steinebach, S., Trapp, K., Vorlaufer, M. und H. Faust (2015): Rubber vs. oil palm: an analysis of factors influencing smallholders' crop choice in Jambi, Indonesia. GOEDOC: Dokumenten- und Publikationsserver der Georg-August-Universität Göttingen= EFForTS Discussion Paper No. 11, 29 S.


  • Collaborative Research Centre 990 (CRC 990): Ecological and Socioeconomic Functions of Tropical Lowland Rainforest Transformation Systems (Sumatra, Indonesia)
    Subproject: Political and institutional impacts on cultural landscape transformation in Jambi province, Sumatra (PhD project).


  • April 2016:
  • Since April 2012: Research Associate at the Department of Human Geography at the Georg-August-University Göttingen, Germany
  • 2001 - 2009: Graduation in Geography (Magister) University Trier, Germany.
    Minor Subjects: Cultural Anthology, Pedagogy.

Working Experience

  • December 2010 – December 2011:
    Consultancy with UN-Habitat/Kenya (Urban Transport Section)
    o Information Sharing and Knowledge Dissemination for the GEF funded project “Sustainable Transport in East African Cities”
    o Member of the coordinating team on United Nations Advisory Committee of Local Authorities (UNACLA) work programme focusing on the annual theme "Sustainable Urban Transport"
    o Coordination and implementation of a training on "Sustainable Urban Mobility" at the International Urban Training Centre, North Korea (in cooperation with GIZ)

  • August 2010– December 2010: Consultancy with UN-Habitat/Kenya (Transport and Energy Policy Section)
    o Coordination of the establishment of the Global Energy Network for Urban Settlements (GENUS) with 3 regional (Latin America, Asia, Africa) and 3 thematic focuses (access to transport, slum electrification, energy from waste)
  • December 2009 –March 2010: Consultancy with UN-Habitat/Kenya (Urban Design and Planning Service Unit)
    o Report on "UN-HABITAT"s approach to Participatory Slum Upgrading "The case of Kagabiro/Muleba (Tanzania)"
  • November 2009: Consultancy with UN-Habitat/Kenya (GLTN Secretariat/Land Tenure and Property Administration Section)
    o Documentation of the Global Land Tool Network Partners' Meeting "Enriching Partnership and Increasing Land Reform"
  • June 2008 –October 2008: Consultancy with UN-Habitat/Kenya (Human Settlements Financing Division)
    o Background-Study on ?Insurance and Guarantee Mechanisms for Low-Income Housing Finance?
  • April 2007 – August 2007: Internship with UN-Habitat/Kenya (Human Settlements Financing Division)
  • September 2003 to May 2004: Voluntary Year of Ecological Engagement at "Hunsrückhaus am Erbeskopf",Deuselbach/Germany.