Denis Ryusschaert profile

Denis Ruysschaert

Spoken languages
English, French, Spanish
Areas of expertise
  • Agriculture, land and rural development
  • Conservation, biodiversity
  • Climate, climate change, natural disasters
  • Environment, environmental policies, law, and economics
  • Governance, local and international
  • Multilateral diplomacy and international negotiation
  • Natural resources, extractive economies, commodities
  • Sustainable development
Geographical Region of Expertise
  • Southeast Asia
  • Sub-Saharan Africa
  • Latin America
  • Europe, Western and Northern Europe

PhD, University of Toulouse Jean Jaurès
Denis Ruysschaert is working as the faculty lead on environment and sustainability at the Graduate Institute. Denis holds two complementary academic background: sociologist (Master and PhD in sociology) and scientist (Master in agronomy). Denis has worked on four continents from a wide range of perspectives : local communities/indigenous peoples, development NGOs, transnational corporations, the United Nations environment programme and academics. His researches focus on the gap between global commitment and field implementation on some dire environmental issues such  as biodiversity loss, climate change and social equity.
His researches are published in journals pertaining to sociology and environmental economics. He is the author of “UNEP and civil society: Natural Allies” (UNEP, 2004).
Applied Research Projects on Environment and Sustainability
Peer-reviewed Articles

  • Ruysschaert D., Salles D. Construire la nature comme un patrimoine mondial. La fabrique scientifique de l'orang-outan à Sumatra, Indonésie. Nature, Sciences et Sociétés. 2022, 30, 2 : 32 – 143 
  • Ruysschaert D. Hufty M. Building an effective coalition to improve forest policy. Lessons from coastal Tripa peat swamp rainforest, Sumatra, Indonesia. Land Use Policy. 2020, 99, 103359: 1-9.
  • Ruysschaert D., Carter C., Cheyns E. Creating transnational territories through global standards: the contested case of the "sustainable" palm oil. Geoforum 2019, 104, 1-12
  • Gallemore C., Guisinger A., Kruuse M., Ruysschaert D., Jespersen K. Escaping the "Teenage" Years: The Politics of Rigor and the Evolution of Private Environmental Standards. Ecological Economics 2018, 152: 76-87
  • Ruysschaert D. The impact of global palm oil certification on transnational governance, human livelihoods and biodiversity conservation. IUCN - Policy Matters, 21, September 2016
  • Ruysschaert D., Salles D. The role and effectiveness of conservation NGOs in the global voluntary standards: the case of the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm-Oil. Conservation and Society. 2016, 14(2): 73-85.
  • Ruysschaert D., Salles D. Towards global voluntary standards: Questioning the effectiveness in attaining conservation goals. The case of the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO). Ecological Economics. 2014, 107: 438-446
  • Tata H., van Noordwijk M., Ruysschaert D., et al. Will funding to Reduce Emissions from Deforestation and (forest) Degradation (REDD+) stop conversion of peat swamps to oil palm? Mitig. Adapt. Strat. for Glob. Chan. 2014, 19: 693-713.
  • Ruysschaert D. Relations homme - nature en milieux d'altitude. Institut Francais de la Recherche en Afrique (IFRA). Cahiers d'Afrique de l'Est. 2007, vol.34.

Book or report as lead author

  • Natural Allies. UNEP and Civil Society. United Nations Environment Programme, Nairobi. 2004.
  • Gold in Switzerland: Certification Schemes as the New Gold Rush. SWISSAID Geneva and Graduate Institute, Genève, 2015.
  • The role of conservation organizations in the construction and implementation of the international conservation agenda for emblematic species: the case of Sumatran orangutan PhD in sociology. University Jean Jaurès, Toulouse, 2013.
  • Palm-oil production on fallow land: technical, economic, biodiversity, climate, legal and policy implications. For the Biodiversity and Agricultural Commodities Program from the International Finance Corporate. Paneco, YEL and World Agroforestry Centre, Medan. November 2011.
  • Situacion socio-economica en Ixcan en el 2000: balance, historia and perspectivas. Ixcan, Guatémala, Commission européenne. 2000.
  • El microcredito en Ixcan: el punto de vista del benificario. 2000. Guatemala, European Commision. 2000.
  • La collecte sélective des déchets ménagers du SICTOM du Hurepoix, région parisienne. Pour Suez/ADEME. 1995

Chapter of books as first author

  • Sumatran orangutans and implementing CITES for sustainable development: law enforcement, local governance, and the role of technologies. In: Biodiversity, Sustainable Development and the Law. CISDL, Cambridge University Press. Cambridge. (forthcoming in 2022)
  • The role and effectiveness of conservation NGOs in the global voluntary standards: the case of the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm-Oil. In: Anthropology of Conservation NGOs: rethinking the boundaries. 2017
  • Impact of the global voluntary standards, as a section of the chapter on Global environmental governance, coordinated by IPBE (International Panel Biodiversity Ecosystem Services). 2018.
  • From Process to Impact of a Voluntary Standard: The Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil. In:  State of the Apes 2015. Cambridge University Press, Arcus Foundation, Cambridge. p134-163