Melissa Roxana Quispe Zuniga

Research themes
  • Governance
  • Water Resources
  • Land use and food security
  • Institutions
  • Sustainable use of natural resources
  • Environmental Impact Analysis
  • Land, water, food and energy
  • Governance, conflicts and natural resources
Research countries
  • Peru

Master of Sciences in Biology-Specialization Human Ecology

BSc. Biology

Funding institutions


Dr. Hermann Eiselen Doctoral Programm of the Foundation fiat panis

Thesis title

Mining and small-scale farming in the Andes: Socio-environmental roots of land use conflicts

Thesis abstract

Mining activities in the Peruvian Andes overlap small-scale community farming lands. Through the exploration and following exploitation of the different metals, mining companies are changing the local landscape in environmental, economic, social and political terms. Consequently, our research proposes to ask how small-scale farming is affected by mining in the highlands of the Peruvian Andes. The main purpose of this study is to evaluate the environmental, social and institutional roots of land use conflicts to model conflicting situations between the small-scale farming (campesino) community and mining companies in the Highlands of Peru. In our study, we have considered Junin region due to its high agricultural production and mining investment. The environmental aspects to consider will include water and soil to measure biophysical parameters and heavy metal concentrations, and vegetation changes as results of the impact of these heavy metals. For the socio-economic aspect, we will interview campesinos, focusing on agriculture production and the mining impact on their crops and livelihoods. Also, we will reach out to other stakeholders such as representatives of mining companies, agricultural and water institutions, church and civil society for better understanding of the mining-agriculture situation. Then, social analysis will aim to understand how the situation is between campesinos and mining companies. The biophysical output will be integrated with the social aspect through GIS-based Multicriteria Decision Analysis in order to find out the best mining-farming scenario to reduce socio-environmental conflicts and enhance food security in the study area.

Cooperation partners

Universidad Nacional del Centro del Peru (Huancayo, Peru)

Supervisors of
doctoral work

Prof. Dr. Klaus Greve (1st)

Prof. Dr. Christian Borgemeister (2nd)

Advisor at ZEF

Dr. Daniel Callo-Concha


Quispe-Zuniga M.R., Santos F., Callo-Concha D., Greve K..  2019.  Impact of Heavy Metals on Community Farming Activities in the Central Peruvian Andes.  Minerals, 10 (9) : 647- .


Melissa R. Quispe-Zuniga, Carlos M. Ortiz-Quispe, Rommel Plasencia.  2018.  Minería y factores socio-ambientales que debilitan a las comunidades campesinas en los Andes centrales del Perú.  Gestión y Ambiente, 2357-5905 : 47-61 . (Open Access)  Further Information
Quispe-Zuniga, M.R..  2018.  Mining and campesino community: Land-use conflict in central Peruvian Andes.  In: Nguyen Thi Hoai Nga (eds.): International conference economic management in mineral activities—EMMA 4. Hanoi University of Mining and Geology.  38-55. 


Huge J., K. Vande Velde, F. Benitez-Capistros, J.H. Japay, B. Satyanarayana, M.N. Ishak, M. Quispe-Zuniga, B.H. Mohd Lokman, I. Sulong, N. Koedam and F. Dahdouh-Guebas.  2016.  Mapping discourses using Q methodology in Matang Mangrove Forest, Malaysia.  Journal of Environmental Management, 10 . (Open Access) 


Arnaud Goessens, Behara Satyanarayana, Tom Van der Stocken, Melissa Quispe Zuniga, Husain Mohd-Lokman, Ibrahim Sulong, and Farid Dahdouh-Guebas.  2014.  Is Matang Mangrove Forest in Malaysia Sustainably Rejuvenating after More than a Century of Conservation and Harvesting Management?.  PLOS ONE, 8(9) : 14 . (Open Access)  Further Information

Additionals, Curriculum Vitae
and Downloads

Melissa Roxana Quispe Zuniga

Junior Researcher

Private website:


ZEF C: Department of Ecology and Natural Resources Management

mel.leben.22(at); melissaquispe(at)