The world’s forests are ecological marvels that act as sanctuaries for some of the most exotic plants and creatures on Earth, regulate global climate by sopping up vast amounts of carbon dioxide, and support the livelihoods of whole societies.
Tropical forests, however, are under increasing pressure from deforestation and degradation at a time when people depend on them more than ever. That’s why global leaders recently committed to restoring 150 million hectares of degraded lands by 2020.
From January 26 to 28, the Yale chapter of the International Society of Tropical Foresters will host practitioners and researchers from government, academia, and environmental and development institutions to discuss ways to implement large-scale initiatives that would restore forests and human livelihoods. The three-day conference will take place in Kroon Hall at the Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies (F&ES) in New Haven, Connecticut.
“The design and implementation of successful landscape-scale restoration initiatives in the tropics are essential to preserving biodiversity, fostering sustainable development and achieving domestic and international climate-change mitigation goals,” said Rachel Kramer, a conference organizer and master’s student at the Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies.
The conference, which begins at 5:30 p.m. on Thursday, Jan. 26, will feature two keynote addresses. Jan McAlpine, director of the United Nations Forum on Forests, will discuss “International Policy and Practice: Envisioning Landscape-Scale Restoration in the Tropics.”And on Friday, Jan. 27, Robin Chazdon, a professor in the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at the University of Connecticut, will discuss “Making Tropical Forest Succession Successful.”
Also on January 27, Laura Snook, program director of Bioversity International, Italy, who holds a doctorate from F&ES, will discuss “Subsistence Agriculture Can Foster Forest Restoration in the Tropics: Commercially Valuable Multispecies Stands Result from Slash and Burn in Quintana Roo, Mexico” as part of a panel discussion on Forest Regeneration in Human-Modified Landscapes. Ina Vandebroek, an ethnobotanist and research scientist with the New York Botanical Garden, will talk about “Ethnobotanical Field Methods for Community-based Research” as part of a workshop on Indigenous Knowledge and Participatory Research.
On Saturday, Jan. 28, Pipa Elias, who owns Elias Consulting and is a former policy analyst with the Union of Concerned Scientists, will discuss “Opportunities and Challenges of Policies for Tropical Forest Restoration.” Cora Van Oosten, a network facilitator at the Global Partnership on Forest Landscape Restoration at Wageningen University in The Netherlands, will discuss “Restoring Landscapes, Governing Space.”
Both talks are part of a panel discussion on Scaling Up: Applying Lessons Learned, which will be moderated by Tim Rollinson, chair of the Global Partnership on Forest Landscape Restoration and the director general of the Forestry Commission of Great Britain.
The conference is supported by the Environmental Leadership & Training Initiative; F&ES Student Affairs Committee; Graduate and Professional Student Senate; Lewis Cullman Joint Doctoral Program Fund; Tropical Resources Institute at Yale; Yale Council on South East Asia Studies; and Yale Council on Latin American and Iberian Studies.For more information, contact Rachel Kramer (email@example.com) or visit environment.yale.edu/sigs/istf.