Denyse Snelder

Snelder, Denyse
+31 20 59 89080
student- & onderwijszaken ( international office )
Senior Advisor Natural Resources Management

Key qualifications/ field of expertise

  • (Co-)Management of Natural Resources 
  • Soil and water conservation for food security 
  • Agroforestry and food security 
  • Protected areas / biodiversity conservatio 
  • Biofuels 
  • Trainings and courses (in above fields; and in research design, methods and proposal writing; curriculum review and development)

Summary of work experience

Dr Denyse Snelder obtained her PhD in physical geography at the University of Toronto, Canada based on research directed at vegetative control of soil erosion in the semi-arid Baringo District, Kenya. Between 1994 and 2012, she worked as associate professor at the Institute of Environmental Science at Leiden University. During those years she was coordinator of the Cagayan Valley Programme on Environment and Development, Philippines, conducting research within the field of smallholder tree-growing systems and biodiversity conservation and management. Since 2009, she fills a position at the Centre for International Cooperation of the VU Amsterdam working as senior advisor on research and/or capacity building projects related to, for example, natural resource management and eco-tourism  in Ethiopia (STRONGBOW funded by NUFFIC); water harvesting technologies in Sub Saharan Africa (WHaTeR funded by EU-FP7); A Sustainable Approach to Livelihood Improvement in Kenya (ASALI funded through a legacy by VU Amsterdam); biodiversity and forest fragmentation in the Philippines (funded by Aspasia-NWO, Leiden University). Her main interests are in co-management of natural resources, food security and land use transition, agroforestry, biofuels, soil and water conservation, and forest and grassland management in tropical regions.
Dr Snelder has conducted extensive research on sustainable land management, particularly in the Philippines, and, over the past years, extended her research and capacity building activities through projects in Sub Sahara Africa. Dr Snelder finally contributes to various courses and trainings in the field of environment and sustainable land and water management, research design, methods and proposal writing, and curriculum review and development.




Snelder D. 2014. What type of land has been targeted for jatropha cultivation in the Philippines? In: Vel, J.A.C and D. Simandjuntak (eds) 2014. JARAK, the short history of Jatropha projects in Indonesia. Leiden: IIAS. E-publication available from Also See: biofuel-crop-green-policy-parasite

Snelder D., Bwalya M, Sally H and M Malesu 2012. Investing in water for agriculture in the drylands of Sub-Saharan Africa: considerations for a conducive policy environment. In: Critchley W and Gowing J (Eds.) Water Harvesting in Sub-Saharan Africa. London: Earthscan, pp. 169 - 188.

Gumbo D, Snelder D, Wuta M, and I. Nyagumbo 2012. Zimbabwe: keeping runoff on the land. In: Critchley W and Gowing J (Eds.) Water Harvesting in Sub-Saharan Africa. London: Earthscan, pp. 148 - 168.

Snelder D.J. 2010. “Fighting floods” or “living with floods”? Streamlining multiple strategies of flood risk management in transborder river basins. In: De Iong W., Snelder D and Ishikawa N. (Eds.) Transborder governance of forests, rivers and seas, Earthscan publication.

Mangabat C B, Snelder D J and De Groot W T 2009. Tree Adoption in the North-East Philippines Uplands: Analysis of a GO-NGO Partnership. Small-scale Forestry 8(4), Available online:

Snelder, D.J. & Persoon, G.A. (2008): Forest Patches in Northeast Luzon (the Philippines): Their Status, Role and Perspectives for Conservation in Integrated Land-Use Systems. In: D.R. Batish, R.K. Kohli, S. Jose, H.P. Singh (eds.), Ecological Basis of Agroforestry, CRC Press, pp. 319-342.

Snelder DJ , Masipiqueña M D and Snoo de G R (2008): Risk Assessment of Pesticide Usage by Smallholder Farmers in the Cagayan Valley (Philippines). Crop protection 27 (3-5): 747-762 (doi:10.1016/j.cropro.2007.10.011; available online at

Snelder, D.J. and R.D. Lasco (eds.) 2008: Smallholder tree growing for Rural development and Environmental Services: Lessons from Asia. Advances of Agroforestry Series, Springer , The Netherlands.