REDD+ (Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation) is often discussed in terms of finance. That is, who is going to provide the financing, where is it going and how will it be spent? At today’s 20th annual Yale Chapter of the International Society of Tropical Foresters (ISTF) conference, Eva Garen of the Environmental Leadership and Training Institute moderated a panel of talented practitioners working on “REDD+-like” projects in Latin America.

Kate Horner of the Environmental Investigation Agency reminded the audience that in 2007 when the Bali Climate Change Conference moved REDD forward to REDD+, it was primarily viewed as a policy approach to forest conservation in contrast to the current focus on finance. Horner discussed Indigenous REDD, an initiative of the Peruvian indigenous organization…

The Yale team meets with Ileb Olkeriil, of the Koror State Government, to discuss conservation in Palau, law enforcement, and the Koror Rangers.  From left to right:  Rob Fetter, Mariah Gill, Maria Rojas, Ileb Olkeriil, Connie Vogelmann, and Tulik Beck, wife of Ambassador Stuart Beck and the team’s host in Palau.  Photo Credit:  Mariah Gill.

Over winter break, four members of FES’s International Organizations and Conferences class — Rob Fetter, Mariah Gill, Maria Rojas, and I — had the opportunity to visit Palau. We spent 10 days in country and met with many high-level officials and community members to discuss both Palau’s ocean policy and international ocean conservation. The trip was an overwhelming success. We spoke with 18 leaders, including Palau’s President and four members of the country’s 13-member Senate, and learned much about conservation in Palau, gaining valuable insight into how ocean conservation works at different levels of government. Palau may be a small country, but it is trying to do big things for the ocean.

I was repeatedly astounded by the conservation ethic of the people we met: Palau’s culture and economy both depend…

The Yale Chapter of the International Society of Tropical Foresters (ISTF) will host its 20th annual conference at the Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies (F&ES) from Jan. 30 to Feb. 1 2014.

The conference, called “Forests as Capital: Financial Mechanisms for Tropical Forest Conservation,” will explore conservation models that employ both the capital approach (top-down) and local approach (bottom up) to attract financing and generate sustainable revenues from forest resources.

The three-day event, held at Kroon Hall, will bring together representatives from international organizations, governments, financial institutions, and nonprofit groups with the common mission of building markets for conserving tropical forests.

“The visiting experts in the field of finance for tropical conservation will address crucial questions, including what tools are available, where have they been…

The road named after my family - where my grandparents first farm was in Monmouth, Oregon.


Happy New Year everyone! Congrats to everyone who finished their applications and may be attending grad school in 2014! Many of you have asked me during our prospective student online chats and through emails why I decided to come to F&ES, how the experience was, and what it was like to do a Joint Degree.

As you may have read, I’m originally from Salem, Oregon [west coast!]. My grandparents owned a tree farm in Monmouth, Oregon and my brother and I grew up playing in the woods and in the ponds. I did my undergraduate work at the University of Oregon and graduated in 2007 with a degree in Speech, Language, and Hearing and a minor in Environmental Studies. I had originally intended to…

Yale Report Scores 178 Countries on High-Priority Environmental Issues

A research team from Yale and Columbia universities will release the 2014 Environmental Performance Index (EPI) — a global assessment of environmental performance — at the annual meeting of the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland on Saturday, Jan. 25.

At that time, the full report and redesigned website will be available at http://epi.yale.edu.

The EPI is a ranking of countries’ performance on high-priority environmental issues in two broad policy areas: protection of human health from environmental harm and protection of ecosystems. The 2014 EPI, the tenth iteration of the project, introduces some exciting innovations, especially as they help inform the ongoing discussions surrounding the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs):

• The 2014 EPI scores and ranks 178 countries. Countries new to the EPI come…

Extra! Extra! Read All About It!

Hey again! I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday season. I was able to spend time with family in California and with friends in Colorado and New Hampshire. It was a great break, but I’m excited to be getting back into the swing of things here at FES. Spring semester is ramping up with exciting new classes and opportunities.

As the semester starts, you might be wondering how to get involved, stay involved, or even just stay informed. I’d like to draw your attention to several of the different publications at FES. For a comprehensive list, you can check out this website. I had the opportunity to chat with several different people working on four very interesting ventures. I’ll be highlighting four of FES’s publications and projects…

Look to Small Islands for Inspiration in Protecting Oceans and in the Fight for a Safe Climate

In late October 2013, I attended the Third International Marine Protected Areas Congress in Marseille, France.  Check out my earlier blog post about an innovative way that island leaders exchanged knowledge during the conference.

At the Third International Marine Protected Areas Congress (IMPAC3), I had the opportunity to observe an inspiring island leader in action.  His Excellency Ambassador Ronald Jumeau from Seychelles spoke boldly at the conference about the central role of islands in marine protection.

I first met Ambassador Jumeau in New Haven before IMPAC3, when he visited our Yale F&ES International Organizations and Conferences class. He explained that he came to New York in 2007 as permanent representative of Seychelles to the UN.  As head of the Seychelles delegation at UN climate…