Professor Digby Race

Professor of Land Management

Head of Land Management & Development



Career summary

Prof Digby Race (BAppSc Melb; MAppSc Charles Sturt; GDEnvMgt La Trobe; PhD ANU) holds the position of Professor of Land Management at the University of the South Pacific, and is also the Head of the Land Management and Development discipline based at the main campus of Laucala, Fiji (appointed early-2022). He was previously an Associate Professor in the Tropical Forests and People Research Centre at the University of the Sunshine Coast, Queensland (2016-21), where he led an international multi-disciplinary research team exploring the socio-economic and policy dimensions of community forestry in Indonesia. Some of Prof Race’s other recent positions included being a Senior Research Fellow at the Australian National University and a Principal Research Leader in the CRC for Remote Economic Participation. Prof Race also has continuing Adjunct academic appointments at the Australian National University and the University of the Sunshine Coast. He has supervised more than 10 PhD and many more MPhil/MSc scholars at several universities, and designed and delivered a range of undergraduate, postgraduate and professional courses with a mix of online (virtual) and face-to-face teaching.

Prof Race is an experienced research leader, having been awarded, led and managed a wide range of research projects with a combined value of over FJ$10 million, including more than FJ$3 million of projects with ACIAR (an important partner of USP).  He has published widely on the socio-economic and environmental aspects of rural land management, smallholder and community livelihoods, rural development and industries, with over 150 research reports, refereed articles, policy briefs and several books.


Prof Race is the coordinator for the undergraduate course of Property Management (LM214), which is currently delivered Face-to-Face (Laucala) and Blended (elsewhere) modes in semester 2.  He also coordinates the Land Management and Development postgraduate courses for the Special Research Project (LM600), Master’s (LM700), Doctoral Research Project (LM750) and Doctor of Philosophy (PhD, LM800).  Please refer to the USP Handbook and Calendar 2022 for further details about these courses.

Postgraduate scholars

Prof Race is currently the Principal Supervisor for the following postgraduate research students:

  • Ms Chethna Ben (PhD candidate) ‘The Pacific Urban Agenda: Livelihood and Tenure Security perspectives in the Informal Urban Sector of Fiji’.
  • Mr Mohsin Khan (PhD candidate) ‘Affordable housing in Suva-Nausori Corridor: Finding a pathway to social equity’.
  • Mr Bimal Prasad (Master’s candidate) ‘Fiji’s Housing Market: A study of Affordability in Urban Viti Levu’.
  • Mr Pauliasi Vakaloloma (Master’s candidate) ‘Exploring the Inclusiveness of Urban Land Administration Systems: A Case Study of the Greater Suva Area’.


Recent articles published in refereed journals include:

Race, D., Gentle, P. & Mathew, S (2023)  Living on the margins: Climate change impacts and adaptation by remote communities living in the Pacific Islands, the Himalaya and desert Australia. Climate Risk Management, 40: (article #100503).

Carias, D., Page, T., Smith, H., Race, D., Keenan, R.J., Palmer, G. & Baynes, J. (2022) Beyond the ‘Field of Dreams’ model in smallholder forestry: Building viable timber value chains for smallholder tree growers in developing countries. Land Use Policy, 120 (article #106227).

Race, D., Suka, A.P., Oktalina, S.N., Bisjoe, A.R., Muin, N. & Arinati, N. (2022) Modern Smallholders: Creating diversified livelihoods and landscapes in Indonesia. Small-scale Forestry, 21 (1): 203-227.

Wibowo, L.R., Hayati, N., Bisjoe, A.R., Kurniasari, D.R., Wahyudiyati, K.T. & Race, D. (2022) Untangling the regulatory environment: Why do wood processing businesses in Indonesia fail to be competitive in the global market? Small-scale Forestry (July)

KC, B., Race, D., Fisher, R. & Jackson, W. (2021) Changing rural livelihoods and forest use transition in the Middle Hills of Nepal. Small-scale Forestry, 20 (3): 479-501.

Stewart, H., Race, D., Rohadi, D. & Schmidt, D.M. (2021) Growth and profitability of smallholder sengon and teak plantations in the Pati district, Indonesia. Forest Policy & Economics, 130 (article #102539).

KC, B. & Race, D. (2020) Women’s approach to farming in the context of feminization of agriculture: A case study from the middle hills of Nepal. World Development Perspectives, 20: article #100260.

KC, B. & Race, D. (2020) Outmigration and land-use change: A case study from the middle hills of Nepal. Land, 9 (2): 1-19.

Muktasam, A., Reid, R., Race, D., Wakka, A.K., Oktalina, S.N., Agusman, Herawati, T. & Bisjoe, A.R.H. (2019) Enhancing the knowledge and skills of smallholders to adopt market-oriented tree management practices: lessons from Master TreeGrower training courses in Indonesia. Australian Forestry, 82: 4-13.

Race, D., Suka, A.P., Irawanti, S., Surati, Oktalina, S.N., Bisjoe, A.R.H., Muin, N., Purwanti, R. & Sumirat, B. (2019) Smallholder Forestry: the role of commercial forestry in rural livelihoods in Indonesia. International Forestry Review, 21 (2): 225-237.

Susilawati, D., Kanowski, P., Setyowati, A.B., Resosudarmo, I.A.P. & Race, D. (2019) Compliance of smallholder timber value chains in East Java with Indonesia’s timber legality verification system. Forest Policy and Economics, 102: 41-50.

Gentle, P., Thwaites, R., Race, D., Alexander, K. & Maraseni, T. (2018) Household and community responses to impacts of climate change in the rural hills of Nepal. Climatic Change, 147 (1-2): 267-282.

Permadi, D.B., Mendham, D., Ma, C., Burton, M., Race, D., Hardiyanto, E.  & Pandit, R. (2018) Socio-economic factors affecting the rate of adoption of acacia plantations by smallholders in Indonesia. Land Use Policy, 76: 215-223.

Permadi, D.B., Burton, M., Pandit, R., Race, D. & Walker, I. (2018) Local community’s preferences for accepting a forestry partnership contract to grow pulpwood in Indonesia: A choice experiment study. Forest Policy & Economics, 91: 73-83.

Irawanti, S., Race, D., Stewart, H., Parlinah, N. & Suka, A.P. (2017) Understanding the timber value chain in community-based forestry in Indonesia: Analysis of sengon in central Java. Journal of Sustainable Forestry, 36 (8): 847-862.

Permadi, D.B., Burton, M., Pandit, R., Walker, I. & Race, D. (2017) Which smallholders are willing to adopt Acacia mangium under long-term contractual arrangements? A choice experiment study using latent class model. Land Use Policy, 65: 211-223.

Race, D., Dockery, M., Havas, L., Mathew, S., Matthews, C. & Spandonide, B. (2017) Re-imagining the future for desert Australia: Designing an integrated pathway for enhancing liveability. International Journal of Sustainable Development, 20 (1-2): 146–165.

Foran, T., Fleming, D., Spandonide, B., Williams, R. & Race, D. (2016) Understanding energy practices and regimes: a participatory approach from central Australia. Energy Policy, 91: 315-324.

Mathew, S., Lee, L.S. & Race, D. (2016) Conceptualising climate change adaption for native bush food production in arid Australia. Learning Communities: International Journal of Learning in Social Contexts (Special Issue: Synthesis and Integration), 19: 98-114.

Ojha, H., Ford, R., Keenan, R., Race, D., Vega, D.C., Baral, H. & Sapkota, P. (2016) Delocalizing Communities: Changing forms of community engagement in natural resources governance. World Development, 87: 274-290.

Race, D., Mathew, S., Campbell, M. & Hampton, K. (2016) Are Australian Aboriginal communities adapting to a warmer climate? A study of communities living in semi-arid Australia. Journal of Sustainable Development, 9 (3): 208-223.

Race, D., Mathew, S., Campbell, M. & Hampton, K. (2016) Understanding climate adaptation investments for communities in remote Australia: Experiences from desert communities. Climatic Change, 139 (3): 461-475.

Havas, L., Ballweg, J., Penna, C. & Race, D. (2015) Energising Households: A financial analysis of incentivised energy efficiency measures in remote Australia. Energy Efficiency, 8 (5): 951-962.

Havas, L., Ballweg, J., Penna, C. & Race, D. (2015) Power to Change: Analysis of household participation in a renewable energy and energy efficiency program in Central Australia. Energy Policy, 87: 325-333.

Poudel, M., Thwaites, R., Race, D. & Dahal, G.R. (2015) Social equity and livelihood implications of REDD+ in rural communities: a case study from Nepal. International Journal of the Commons, 9 (1): 177-208.

Race, D. & Sumirat, B. (2015) Exploring the implications of social inequalities in community forestry: Emerging lessons from two forests in Indonesia. International Journal of Sustainable Development, 18 (3): 211-228.

Cairney, S. & Race, D. (2014) Speaking in two worlds: an integrated conceptual framework to enhance understanding across cultures (Special issue: Red dirt research in remote Australia). Journal of Australian Indigenous Issues, 17 (4): 152-157.

Race, D., Campbell, M., Hampton, K., Foster, D., Fejo, C. & Robertson, D. (2014) Observations of climate change by remote communities: Lessons from the bush in central Australia (Special issue: Red dirt research in remote Australia). Journal of Australian Indigenous Issues, 17 (4): 23-39.

Selected books and book chapters include:

Race, D. (ed) (forthcoming) Raising Trees and Livelihoods: Experiences of integrating trees into smallholder farming systems. Comprised of 16 chapters co-authored by 25+ authors. To be published by ACIAR (estimated publication mid-2023): 300 pp.

Zander, K.K., Maru, Y.T., Race, D., Mathew, S. & Rainbird, J. (2021) Perceptions about climate change impacts and adaptation – case studies from Indigenous communities in Northern and Central Australia. Chapter 19 in R. Wallace, S. Harwood, R. Gerritsen, B. Prideaux, T. Brewer, L. Rosenman and A. Dale (eds) Leading from the North: Rethinking Northern Australia Development. ANU Press, pp: 419-434.

Devkota, B., Thwaites, R. & Race, D. (2018) Community forestry, rural livelihoods and poverty reduction in Nepal. Chapter 4 in R. Thwaites, R. Fisher & M. Poudel (eds) Community Forestry in Nepal: Adapting to a changing world. Earthscan / Routledge (Taylor & Francis Group), pp: 59-81.

Devkota, B., Thwaites, R. & Race, D. (2018) Community forestry and community development in Nepal. Chapter 5 in R. Thwaites, R. Fisher & M. Poudel (eds) Community Forestry in Nepal: Adapting to a changing world. Earthscan / Routledge (Taylor & Francis Group), pp: 82-107.

Race, D. & Wettenhall, G. (eds) (2016) Adding value to the farmers’ trees: Experiences of community-based commercial forestry in Indonesia. ACIAR and Empress Publishing: Melb, VIC. pp: 136.

Curtis, A. & Race, D. (2012). Management of riparian zones by rural landholders. Chapter 6 in E. Lefroy, Curtis, A., Jakeman, A. & McKee, J. (eds) Landscape Logic: Integrated science for landscape management. CSIRO Publishing, pp: 69-81.

Race, D., Curtis, A., Duncan, D., Kyle, G., Merritt, W. & Park, G. (2012). Exploring landscape history using integrated participatory research: experiences from Victoria. Chapter 11 in E. Lefroy, Curtis, A., Jakeman, A. & McKee, J. (eds) Landscape Logic: Integrated science for landscape management. CSIRO Publishing, pp: 145-156.

Popular articles include:

Can money grow on trees?’ published in Research Features, July 2021. 

Research interests

Prof Race has broad research interests related to improving our understanding of land management (rural and urban) that achieves development (improved livelihoods and wellbeing) and environment goals, smallholder and customary / Indigenous land management, people-centred land-based enterprises (e.g. community forestry), property management, and ‘green’ business opportunities that achieve development and environment.

Prof Race enjoys collaborating with a wide range of government, industry, international and community-based organisations to enhance our understanding of how best to optimise land management and development in the South Pacific and beyond.

Research Profile

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