Annual Meeting 2017

Annual Meeting 2017

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Previous meetings (Paris 2015, Edinburgh 2016) emerged as a unique space for presentations and discussions around forests and livelihoods, and for generating new relationships among those in our field, especially for younger researchers.

The 2017 meeting was organized in partnership with Stockholm University, Stockholm Environment Institute (SEI), the Swedish International Agricultural Network Initiative (SIANI), Forest, Climate and Livelihoods Research Network (FOCALI), and the Rights and Resources Initiative (RRI). It continued to advance discussion and collaboration around the relationships surrounding forests and livelihoods, with special attention to three core themes, although it also built on themes from previous meetings.

The meeting was part of a convergence of actors and experts on land rights in Stockholm during the first week of October, 2017 (click to expand)

On October 3rd, the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida) held a “Development Talk” (public seminar) on the topic of Land rights in relation to gender, climate change and conflict. It consisted of a public seminar involving speakers from the Rights and Resources Initiative, FAO, Sida, Ford Foundation, among others, as well as a hands-on workshop focused on land rights in practice, based loosely around The Tenure Facility’s pilot projects. For more information please see Sida’s page for Development Talks.

On October 4th and 5th, the third biannual conference in the International Conference Series on Community Land and Resource Rights took place on the outskirts of Stockholm. The theme for the 2017 conference was Reducing Inequality in a Turbulent World: Scaling up strategies to secure indigenous, community and women’s land rights. More information is available here.


Meeting summary available HERE

Participant list and presenter abstracts available HERE 

Papers available HERE  (password protected)

Final meeting program available HERE



Submit your papers HERE (no later than September 25)

Submit your presentations HERE (by September 26)

Oral presentations 10 minutes

Lightning talks 6 minutes

Poster Guidelines HERE

MEETING PROGRAM (See full program document at the top of this page)


All venues for the conference and suggested accommodation locations are listed and mapped HERE.


(Click each theme to expand)

Ethics of Forest-Livelihoods Policies

This theme examines the ethics of policies that influence forest-related livelihoods. The key terms in this description – policies, forests, and livelihoods – can be interpreted broadly (for a discussion of forests-related livelihoods, see Newton et al. 2016). By policies, we reference those actions of governments that affect forest-related livelihoods, and also consequential decisions and initiatives by major donors and international organizations that affect how people derive different kinds of livelihoods from forests. Abstracts should focus in particular on the livelihoods and wellbeing of poor peoples that depend on forests, principally those in lower income countries. Abstract submissions should have an empirical core, be global (or continental) in scope, and highlight the ethical aspects of forest-livelihoods related policy making, the policies themselves, and the outcomes of such policies.

Small and Medium Forest Enterprises and forest based livelihoods

This theme focuses on the actual and potential contributions of small and medium forest enterprises to livelihoods and wellbeing (terms also interpreted broadly). In particular, abstract submissions should examine the more recent (2010-2017) research and publications on the subject. Contributions should highlight existing evidence at different scales that shows whether and how SMFEs contribute effectively to rural livelihoods and wellbeing of poorer and marginalized groups in particular, action steps that can improve such contributions, and the role of different stakeholders in the realization of these action steps.

Forest, Livelihoods, and the SDGs

This theme focuses on the relationship between the Sustainable Development Goals and forest-related livelihoods (terms also interpreted broadly). Abstract submissions should review the two-way relationships between the SDGs and forest livelihoods by examining how actions to sustain and improve rural, forest-related livelihoods may contribute to the SDGs (even when such actions are not directly related to the SDGs), and also in cases where governments and development initiatives, in an effort to achieve the SDGs, undermine the livelihoods of forest-proximate peoples. Ideally, contributions will provide a sense of the available evidence on the subject, and suggest key SDG indicators that can be used to monitor changes in forest-related livelihoods.

The Future of Forest Work and Communities

This theme examines the future of work in relation to forests, forest-based livelihoods, and local communities in a rapidly urbanizing world. To this end, we seek submissions that examine 1) the drivers and patterns of both rural- to- urban and urban-to-rural migration and the impacts of these trends on forest communities and conservation; 2) case studies/examples of thriving forest communities that successfully engage members of all ages in forest-related work; 3) the role of land rights and resource control in sustaining forest communities economically, culturally, and ecologically; and 4) what makes for ‘meaningful work’ in forest communities in the context of rapid globalization, especially for youth. What role, if any, can government, private sector, and civil society play in promoting such outcomes?

Forests in Flux

Forests are undergoing change around the world, with the majority being secondary in their successional stages. How are these forests changing, and how does this affect people who live in/near them? We invite submissions that relate, but are not limited to the following sub-themes: 1) The ecological properties of different types of forests (plantations, agroforestry systems, primary, managed, naturally regenerating) and the ecosystem services and livelihood benefits that they provide. 2) Patterns in forest cover change (and other properties of forests) at multiple temporal and spatial scales, and the implications of these changes for people.3) How policy and market-based initiatives drive changes in forest cover (or other forest properties) and use (e.g. climate change policies including REDD+, FLEGT, the Bonn Challenge on forest landscape restoration, large-scale corporate interests, zero net deforestation commitments). 4) Climate and climate policies as drivers of forest and forest-based livelihood change. 5) Studies that generally integrate research on changing forest ecology or forest properties with people’s lives and livelihoods.

Developing Approaches and Indicators to Assess Social and Ecological Outcomes

This theme has a methodological focus. Contributions addressing the challenges related to 1) establishing causal relationships between various types of forest interventions and ecological/livelihood/governance outcomes 2) using experimental approaches and counterfactual analyses; 3) merging datasets with different resolutions; 4) selecting indicators (including proxy and predictive indicators) to assess impacts; 5) balancing context-specific design parameters with generalizable results; and 6) combining qualitative and quantitative methods. Other relevant methodological tools are also welcome.

Linking Practice and Research

Efforts to better connect research with people and organizations involved in forest management and livelihood development decision making are receiving increased interest and attention. This theme seeks contributions that highlight research needs from the view of practitioners. Abstracts may describe or identify on-the-ground challenges (for example, of implementing and/or measuring progress of climate mitigation and adaptation interventions, or legality verification mechanisms), knowledge and data gaps, and useable, robust monitoring and evaluation strategies. Contributions that propose research-practitioner collaborations are also welcome.

Pathways to Prosperity

We invite conceptual, framing, modeling, and empirical work (including case studies and cross-case comparative studies) that highlight the role of forests in lifting people out of poverty and spurring broader economic growth (e.g. scaling up of small and medium forest enterprises, community-private sector partnerships, large-scale industrial development of based on forest products, new markets (e.g. for carbon credits) and earnings based on non-wood forest products and the like). Studies at local or regional levels where forest reliance has improved people’s lives and livelihoods while conserving the natural resource base, as well as theoretical contributions, are especially valuable. Studies that analyze the historic and/or contemporary contribution of forests to national economies are also of interest. Abstracts that focus on solutions, successes, and lessons learned, are welcome.

Implementing Forest & Livelihood Policies

This theme examines the role of governments in implementing forest, agriculture, and livelihood policies. Contributions will highlight the ways in which forest governance structures, systems, and players exacerbate policy failure, in some cases, and assist in developing innovative solutions to forest and livelihood challenges, in others. We are thus seeking papers that 1) apply theories of policy implementation or public management to understanding forest policy implementation; 2) develop new approaches or theories to understanding the role of government officials in forest policy implementation (or agriculture policy implementation in or near forests); and 3) report on successful strategies used by practitioners to effect positive change in the management of forests. We welcome papers that focus on the implementation of important recent policy initiatives, such as REDD+, FLEG(T/VPA), zero net deforestation, and the Bonn challenge, as well as examining older and broader policy initiatives. We especially encourage submissions by people with practical experience in the field – such as government officials, activists, and NGO leaders.

Agricultural Commodities

Contributions should address how the expansion or intensification of agricultural commodity production relates to forest cover and distribution on the landscape. Empirical or theoretical work that examines the effect of ‘zero deforestation’ policies and how commodity agriculture affects deforestation and reforestation rates and livelihood outcomes are welcome, particularly those that employ a landscape approach to assess linkages between forests and their surrounding agricultural landscapes, and the varied trade and subsistence activities that shape them.
* Two special sessions on the systematic assessment of land transaction outcomes will be developed; contributions that consider socio-economic and environmental impacts or trade-offs between diverging goals are welcome.


Empirical or theoretical contributions that assess the linkages between climate and forests will be appropriate for this panel, and important for shaping discussions at the UNFCCC COP21 meeting. Potential areas of interest are climate and climate policies as drivers of forest change, and the importance of forests as part of emerging policy frames for carbon development, climate-smart agriculture, monitoring and prevention of deadly infectious disease, climate adaptation, or other broad approaches to human security within and beyond forests. 


The meeting features three FLARE workshops and two participant-facilitated workshops. Click HERE for a complete description of each workshop.



Registration is now closed. Refunds: There is a $50 refund fee through September 17. Refunds cannot be issued after September 18.

Type Cost (USD) Registration Period
Early Bird
July 11 12:00am ET – July 20 11:59pm ET
July 11 12:00am ET – September 8 11:59pm ET
July 21 12:00am ET – September 8 11:59pm ET
Welcome Reception at Stockholm City Hall
Free (but ticket *required*)
July 11 12:00am ET – September 8 11:59pm ET
Optional Dinner Cruise
July 11 12:00am ET – September 8 11:59pm ET
Optional Workshops
July 11 12:00am ET – September 8 11:59pm ET


Scientific Committee

Christopher Barrett (Cornell University)
Tony Bebbington (Clark University)
Rosina Bierbaum (University of Michigan)
Guillermo Castilleja (Moore Foundation)
Robin Chazdon (University of Connecticut)
Stanley Dinsi (Network For Environment and Sustainable Development-Cameroon)
Michael Dove (Yale University)
Paul Ferraro (Johns Hopkins University)
Susanna Hecht (University of California, Los Angeles)
David Kaimowitz (Ford Foundation)
Alain Karsenty (CIRAD)
Eric Lambin (Stanford University)
Melissa Leach (University of Sussex)
Jan McAlpine (International Consultant)
Peter Messerli (University of Bern)
Arthur Mugisha (AIMM Green, Uganda)
Tuyeni Mwampamba (UNAM CIEco)
Harini Nagendra (Azim Premji University)
Robert Nasi (CIFOR)
Jesse Ribot (UIUC)
Britaldo Soares-Filho (Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais)
Sven Wunder (CIFOR)

Coordination Committee

Arun Agrawal, University of Michigan
Krister Andersson, University of Colorado at Boulder
Bas Arts, Wageningen University
J.T Erbaugh, University of Michigan
Anil Bhargava, University of Michigan
Dan Brockington, University of Sheffield
Reem Hajjar, Oregon State University
Madeleine Fogde, Stockholm Environment Institute
Malin Gustafsson, University of Gothenburg
Jordi Honey-Roses, University of British Columbia
Suhyun Jung, University of Michigan
Tim Kelly, University of Edinburgh
Chuan Liao, University of Michigan
Pete Newton, University of Colorado at Boulder
Johan Oldekop, University of Sheffield
Laura Rasmussen, University of Copenhagen
Peter Schlyter, Stockholm University
Clarisse Kehler Siebert, Stockholm Environment Institute and Swedish International Agricultural Network Initiative (SIANI)
Ingrid Stjernquist, Stockholm University
Jonathan Sullivan, University of Michigan
Jesse Ribot, University of Illinois- Urbana Champaign
Rebecca Rutt, University of East Anglia
Cristy Watkins, University of Michigan
Sarah Wilson, University of Michigan
Jennifer Zavaleta, University of Michigan