“Now in its 24th year, this conference has provided continuity to the discipline while being a hub for research and practice around tropical forests,” said conference co-chair Ethan Miller
’18 M.F. This year’s entirely student-run conference was titled “Attending to Socio-ecological Complexity in Tropical Forest Landscapes.”
During the conference, keynote speaker Nigel Sizer
, chief operating officer of the Rainforest Alliance, spoke of a “crisis of accountability” and failure of governments and companies to uphold sustainability commitments. Still, he remained hopeful of the potential for new accountability frameworks
and efforts initiated by companies themselves.
Practitioners, including Zoraida Calle
, a founding member of Colombia’s Center for Research on Sustainable Agriculture Production Systems, Mirjam Kuzee
, forest landscape restoration coordinator of the International Union for the Conservation of Nature, and Eva Garen
, director of the F&ES-based Environmental Leadership and Training Initiative, spoke of key challenges around corruption, properly evaluating ecosystem services, and tensions between short-term funding with longer term projects.
In addition to keynote and panelist discussion sessions, the conference included opportunities for skill sharing and an innovation prize competition.