It’s hard to forget the day I arrived in Thailand. On every corner smells emanated from street vendors cooking a variety of dishes from enticing Thai noodles to spicy cockroaches. The whir of tuk-tuks and motorcycles came from unexpected directions, as drivers sped down sidewalks to avoid traffic jams. Bangkok pushed my senses to new levels, and while it was hard to ignore its attractions, our group of five graduate students from F&ES was on a mission. Our destination: the 16th meeting of the Conference of the Parties (CoP) to the Convention on the International Trade of Endangered Species (CITES).
The first day of CITES CoP16 was a celebration, not only for the opening of the meeting, but also to observe the 40th anniversary of CITES. CITES was drafted…
Partnerships for collaborative solutions between investors and rights-holders can mobilize unused natural resources, improve forest protection, and promote sustainable development. The Forests Dialogue (TFD) presented the initiative Investing in Locally Controlled Forestry (ILCF) at the UN Forum on Forests 10th Session in Istanbul. TFD showed ILCF is different from common investments in natural resources in that it promotes a paradigm shift from ‘capital seeks natural resources and needs labor’ to ‘rights-holders manage natural resources and seek capital and partners.’
Why is ILCF relevant?
A growing trend toward local control and rights for rural communities and indigenous groups unleashes increasing support from investment funds and philanthropic foundations for community-driven initiatives. Besides enhancing the…
Report back from the Yale/IUFRO Side Event
“No one single entity – public or private, domestic or international – can address the challenges facing forests,” said Professor Ben Cashore at the UNFF10 side event Private Sector & Forest Finance on April 11 which was co-organized by Yale University and the International Union of Forest Research Organizations. Synergistic and collaborative efforts are needed to embrace the complexity of forest management and to scale up technical and financial support.
An effective future framework for the governance of our world’s forests is not possible without substantial involvement from the private sector. Similar statements can increasingly be heard at conferences concerning climate change, sustainable development, and forests. Funding schemes like the Green Climate Fund or Reducing Emissions from Deforestation…
Findings from a Promising Initiative for Investors, Rights-holders, Governments, and Donors
Forests for People – this slogan has circled through the United Nations particularly since the International Year of Forests 2011. Human wellbeing and healthy forests are directly linked through the various ecosystem services that we humans rely on. Forests are home to 300 million people around the world and 1.6 billion people’s livelihoods depend on forests. Yet, these people are often poorly involved in decisions that affect their very basis for survival.
The Forests Dialogue (TFD) provides a platform to discuss the most pressing issues concerning forests and people in a multi-stakeholder setting. As such, TFD has launched an initiative to find out how to best enable local people to control their valuable resources. Investing in Locally…
Opportunities and Challenges for Forest Finance
Forests contribute approximately one percent to the world’s GDP, a value of nearly $468 billion USD (FAO 2011). This figure only includes round wood production, wood processing and pulp and paper, and does not account for the immeasurable benefits that forests contribute to local livelihoods as well as indirect social benefits, such as cultural and indigenous values. The lack of internationally agreed socio-economic indicators creates a data gap and countries still cannot easily measure the “real” value of forests.
Significant data gaps make the valuation of non-wood forest products especially complicated, and as Jan McAlpine, Director of the UNFF Secretariat, stated, it is estimated that the value of forests is around three to five times higher than what the presented data indicate…
Cross-sectorial linkages and data gaps identified as opportunities for progress
Forests are complex. So it comes as no surprise that a major point of deliberation at the 10th UN Forum on Forests will be how to reconcile the tensions between landscape and community approaches, economic growth and social justice goals, and tradeoffs of lifestyle and equity inherent in sustainable development.
So, how will heads of state make their positions known? And, will official declarations bring much needed thought innovation and financial commitment to combat global deforestation? The first day of the conference, April 8th, set an ambitious, at times heart-felt, but non-specific, intangible tone.
Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan opened the conference with a note on personal responsibility in promoting sustainability. P.M. Erdoğan emphasized that we…
Hello again, back with another FESer to highlight. But we’re going to do things a little different this time. I often get questions about what one can or should do for their summer internship. My answer is always, “Anything, anywhere, as long as you think it’s super interesting.” That’s a little hard to conceptualize, though, so I thought I’d highlight some students and what they did over the summer vacation. I recently caught up with Charissa, who is a second year MEM student, and talked to her about what she did last summer. The short answer (spoiler alert!) is that she did some consulting work for Nike out in Oregon.
In a few days, a conference that will influence international forest policy and management for the coming years will begin. The United Nations Forum on Forests 10th Session (UNFF10) will take place from April 8th – 19th in Istanbul, Turkey. With the theme “Forests and economic development” the conference will explore how the manifold benefits from forests can be realized and contribute to a green economy that improves food security, preserves biodiversity, and increases social equity.
Sub-themes of the conference will be:
- Forest products and services,
- National forest programs and other sectorial policies and strategies,
- Reducing risks and impacts of disasters,
- Benefits of forests and trees to urban communities.
What is Yale Doing at UNFF10?
The Yale School…
There are a whole slew of activities and groups you should consider in participating, one of which is the Yale Environment Review (YER) – a student-run review that provides weekly updates on environmental research findings.
YER aims to bridge the gap between environmentally-related academic research and its application to policy and management. In order to increase access to specialized information, YER publishes readable and concise summaries of recent original, peer-reviewed literature so that it can be useful to those engaged in the field of environmental and natural resource management.
This is a great opportunity to get involved in one of the many student-run groups within the FES community while honing skills as an environmental writer with published works for a wider audience. There is also course credit…
Hello again, prospective and admitted students! This here is my last installment of Advice for Admitted Students. This time, I’ll talk about the Technical Skills Modules (or MODS, for short). When I got my admission letter and was told I’d have to participate in a three-week training course, I was really nervous—convinced that Yale was going to kick my ass before classes even started. That wasn’t really the case—and MODS quickly became the most awesome thing I had done in a long time.