Publications

“Forest of Andasibe National Park, Madagascar” 

by Gregoire Dubois, CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

This page provides information and links to select publications supported by FLARE and by FLARE research associates, including current and former students, post-docs, coordinators, and others.

2022

Agrawal et al. (2022) From environmental governance to governance for sustainability 

Agrawal et al. (2022) From environmental governance to governance for sustainability 

Agrawal, A., Brandhorst, S., Jain, M., Liao, C., Pradhan, N., Solomon, D. 2022. “From environmental governance to governance for sustainability.” One Earth 5(6): 615-621.

Abstract

Scholarship on environmental governance has provided invaluable contributions that usefully broadened the field of environmental policy from its narrow focus on central governments and state agencies. The inclusion of new agents and their interests, mechanisms of governance, and motivational foundations strengthened analyses of environmental challenges and outcomes. But the revolution of environmental governance remains incomplete. To address the complex, interrelated, non-linear socio-environmental sustainability challenges threatening societies and ecosystems, we call for a shift from environmental governance to governance for sustainability. Such a shift will fundamentally change how scholarship on socio-environmental challenges analyzes causes, processes, outcomes, and proposed solutions. It will attend closely to the interlinkages between social, economic, and environmental systems and their causes, processes, and patterns of outcomes. It will recast governance from analyses of rules and institutions to a field concerned with choices and actions aimed at transformational change toward sustainability.

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Amadu. (2022) Farmer Extension Facilitators as a Pathway for Climate Smart Agriculture: Evidence from Southern Malawi

Amadu. (2022) Farmer Extension Facilitators as a Pathway for Climate Smart Agriculture: Evidence from Southern Malawi

 Amadu, F.O. (2022) Farmer extension facilitators as a pathway for climate smart agriculture: evidence from southern Malawi.” Climate Policy 1-16.

Climate smart agriculture (CSA) is increasingly vital for enhancing agricultural adaptation to extreme weather shocks and sequestering carbon in the face of climate change. However, CSA adoption remains low in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) and other developing regions due to resource constraints and weak agricultural extension systems, among other factors. To reverse this trend and increase CSA adoption, the use of participatory extension services like farmer extension facilitators (FEFs) are increasingly viewed as a pathway to improving extension services in rural communities in SSA and elsewhere. Yet, rigorous analyses of the impacts of the FEF approach as a pathway for CSA adoption remain limited. Here we estimate the impacts of the FEF approach on CSA adoption in terms of resource intensity of CSA practices promoted by FEFs through a large CSA-related intervention in southern Malawi. We apply recursive bivariate probit regression to primary survey data from a sample of 808 households across five districts in the project area across southern Malawi in 2016, accounting for endogeneity and selection bias in farmer interaction with FEFs and the impact of the FEF approach on CSA adoption. Results show that interaction with FEFs had a positive and statistically-significant impact on CSA adoption; low, medium, and high resource intensity CSA categories increased by 42%, 87%, and 96%, respectively. The results suggest that the FEF approach can significantly enhance CSA adoption and thereby contribute to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals, including climate action in Malawi, similar contexts in SSA, and elsewhere.

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Bodin et al. (2022) A Standard Framework for Assessing the Costs and Benefits of Restoration: Introducing the Economics of System Restoration

Bodin et al. (2022) A Standard Framework for Assessing the Costs and Benefits of Restoration: Introducing the Economics of System Restoration

Bodin, B., Garavaglia, V., Pingault, N., Ding, H., Wilson, S., Meybeck, A., Gitz, V., d’Andrea, S., Besacier, C. 2022. “A standard framework for assessing the costs and benefits of restoration: Introducing The Economics of Ecosystem Restoration.” Restoration Ecology 30(3):e13515.

Abstract

While the policy momentum behind ecosystem restoration has never been stronger, restoration finance remains insufficient. A crucial information gap to unlock finance is the lack of robust and consistent data on the costs and benefits of restoration. This is due in part to the wide variety of contexts, interventions, and objectives of restoration projects, and to the absence of well-defined standards and protocols for cost and benefit data collection. To fill this gap, we developed a standard framework to assess the costs and benefits of restoration projects and specific restoration interventions. The associated template for data collection, which was tested for usability during a piloting phase, is the first output of The Economics of Ecosystem Restoration (TEER), a multi-partner initiative under the aegis of the UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration. It is the first attempt ever to improve the robustness and comparability of data on the economics of ecosystem restoration collected from the field at a global scale. Widespread adoption of this framework and associated template by a wide range of organizations implementing or financing restoration would allow for standardized data to be fed into a jointly owned database of restoration costs and benefits and serve as a basis for the further investigation of the economics of ecosystem restoration, including cost-benefits analysis. Better information on costs and benefits will help to inform accurate budgeting access to finance for restoration projects, and make them more likely to achieve their set goals and desired quantitative outcomes (e.g. area restored).

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Castle et al. (2022) Evidence for the Impacts of Agroforestry on Ecosystem Services, and Human Well-being in High Income Countries: A Systematic Map.

Castle et al. (2022) Evidence for the Impacts of Agroforestry on Ecosystem Services, and Human Well-being in High Income Countries: A Systematic Map

Castle, S.E., D.C. Miller, Merten, N., P.J. Ordonez, and K. Baylis. 2022. “Evidence for the Impacts of Agroforestry on Ecosystem Services, and Human Well-Being in High-Income Countries: A Systematic Map.” Environmental Evidence 11 (1): 1-27. 

Abstract

Agroforestry bridges the gap that often separates agriculture and forestry by building integrated systems to address both environmental and socio-economic objectives. Existing empirical research has suggested that agroforestry—the integration of trees with crops and/or livestock—can prevent environmental degradation, improve agricultural productivity, increase carbon sequestration, and support healthy soil and healthy ecosystems while providing stable incomes and other benefits to human welfare. However, the extent of the literature supporting or refuting these claims has not been well documented. This study addresses this research gap by collating and describing the evidence for the impacts of agroforestry on ecosystem services and human well-being in high-income countries and presents the characteristics and gaps in the literature.

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Devkot et al. (2022) Biodiversity Conservation Funding in Bhutan: Thematic, Temporal and Spatial Trends over Four Decades.

Devkot et al. (2022) Biodiversity Conservation funding in Bhutan: Thematic, temporal, and Spatial Trends over Four Decades

Devkot, D., Miller, D.C., Wang, S., Brooks, J. 2022. “Biodiversity conservation funding in Bhutan: Thematic, temporal, and spatial trends over four decades.” Conservation Science and Practice

Abstract

Access to sufficient financial resources is vital for effective biodiversity conservation. Although the importance of biodiversity conservation is widely recognized, lack of funding has been a significant impediment to achieving conservation goals. Yet, information on the allocation of conservation funding remains limited. This study addresses this gap by mapping conservation funding flows in Bhutan over the past four decades. We identified 249 projects totaling US$ 239.4 million allocated for biodiversity conservation in Bhutan from 1980 to 2019. Most of this funding derived from bilateral and multilateral aid agencies, with domestic trust funds and private foundations also contributing. Funding for projects with coupled conservation and development objectives and gender components was relatively high, particularly for funds allocated by multilateral and bilateral organizations. By contrast, domestic funding typically did not include development or gender components. Private foundations and domestic sources emphasized capacity development interventions. Despite relatively limited funding flows, the socio-political context in Bhutan, which favors environmentally friendly practices, may have been key to the country's widely recognized conservation success. Evidence on trends and patterns in conservation finance, as presented here for Bhutan, can advance conservation science and practice by shedding new light on historical and current conservation priorities and helping inform future allocation.

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 Guerrero et al. (2022) An Investment Strategy to Address Biodiversity loss from Agricultural Expansion

Guerrero et al. (2022) An Investment Strategy to Address Biodiversity loss from Agricultural Expansion

Guerrero, Pineda, C., Iacona, G.D., Mair, L., Hawkins, F., Siikamäki, J., Miller, D.C. 2022. “An investment strategy to address biodiversity loss from agricultural expansion.” Nature Sustainability 5(7): 610-618. 

Abstract

The landmark 2019 Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES) Global Assessment cited land-use change as the primary driver of biodiversity loss. The 2016 peace agreement in Colombia has led to increasing agricultural expansion into biodiversity-rich forests. We have focused on the case of Colombia to demonstrate an approach to maximize the biodiversity benefits from limited conservation funding while ensuring that landowners maintain economic returns equivalent to agriculture. We applied a quantitative model that relates conservation investment to national biodiversity outcomes. Then we identified six regions with high potential return on investment by spatially modelling the risk of forest conversion and the expected impact of conservation actions. Our results suggest that agricultural expansion, left unchecked, would increase national biodiversity loss by 38–52% by 2033, and that doubling investment is necessary to counteract this loss. Our approach can be broadly used to target investment to weigh development and biodiversity goals. We demonstrate the approach in Colombia with its accelerated social and environmental changes and show how the efficiency of conservation options can be improved by considering opportunity cost of conservation to communities whose livelihoods depend on agriculture. This approach can be applied to other contexts to examine development and policy priorities to estimate financial needs for achieving biodiversity goals.

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Gutierrez et al. (2022) Forest and Landscape Restoration Monitoring Frameworks: How Principled Are They?

Gutierrez et al. (2022) Forest and Landscape Restoration Monitoring Frameworks: How Principled Are They? Restoration Ecology

Gutierrez, V., Hallett, J.G., Ota, L., Sterling, E., Wilson, S.J., Bodin, B., Chazdon, R.L. 2022. “Forest and landscape restoration monitoring frameworks: how principled are they?” Restoration Ecology 30(4):13572

Abstract

Forest and landscape restoration (FLR) aims to simultaneously restore ecological functionality to deforested or degraded landscapes and ensure the provision of ecosystem services essential for human well-being. Interest in FLR has followed the ambitious commitments made to restore degraded forest by 2030 under the Bonn Challenge and the New York Declaration on Forests. To clarify and define FLR, the Global Partnership on Forest and Landscape Restoration articulated six principles that underlie this approach, but other sets of principles have also been developed. Our paper examines if and to what extent these principles and their interdependencies are captured in frameworks currently used to monitor FLR. We conducted a literature review to identify FLR monitoring frameworks that linked criteria to principles, but found only five appropriate publications. These frameworks were strictly hierarchical and thus unlikely to capture the interactions and interdependencies among different elements of FLR. Two of the five addressed all six principles. Second, we conducted a series of group exercises with experts to characterize the topology of FLR monitoring frameworks by linking criteria to principles and examining interconnections. We cataloged 18 criteria and 76 indicators, in a non-exhaustive exercise. Cognitive mapping of the interconnections between FLR principles and criteria showed that criteria are typically linked to more than one principle indicating the need to consider networked frameworks. However, no FLR monitoring frameworks currently exist for understanding and operationalizing all six principles, and integrating the interconnected processes underpinning FLR planning, monitoring, and assessment.

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Jagger et al. (2022) Forest-Poverty Dynamics: Assessing the Role of Forests and Trees in Poverty Trajectories

Jagger et al. (2022) Forest-Poverty Dynamics: Assessing the Role of Forests and Tress in Poverty Trajectories

Jagger, P., Cheek, J.Z., Miller, D.C., Ryan, C., Shyamsundar, P., Sills, E. 2022. “Forest-poverty dynamics: Assessing the role of forests and trees in poverty trajectories.” Forest Policy and Economics 140:102750.

Abstract

Understanding the contribution of forests to poverty alleviation and human well-being has never been more important. The effects of the COVID-19 pandemic are erasing gains in poverty reduction achieved over the past several decades. At the same time, climate change is increasing the frequency of extreme weather events and natural disasters, especially in poor rural communities. In this paper, we review approaches to measuring poverty and well-being finding that standard approaches to measuring poverty and poverty dynamics typically do not adequately consider environmental goods and services, leading to an incomplete understanding of poverty dynamics among policy makers and practitioners. We identify four archetypal poverty trajectories and discuss how subsistence and cash income, assets, and non-material benefits from forests and tree-based systems influence each of them. We draw on the broad literature on forests and livelihoods, acknowledging that the majority of the literature on the topic of forests and poverty relies on static, micro-level, and highly contextualized analyses. Our review suggests that forests and tree-based systems provide a pathway out of poverty only under very specific conditions, when high value goods are accessible and marketed, or when ecosystem services can be monetized for the benefit of people living in or near forests. However, the role that forests play in supporting and maintaining current consumption, diversifying incomes, and meeting basic needs may be extremely important, particularly for those experiencing transient poverty. We discuss negative externalities associated with living proximate to forests, including the special case of geographic poverty traps, which can occur in remote forested areas. To build a strong evidence base for policy makers we recommend that research on forest-poverty dynamics address longer time-frames (up to decades), larger and/or nested spatial scales, and are contextualized within the landscape, region, or national setting where it is conducted. Advancing our understanding of forest-poverty dynamics is critical, particularly in low and middle-income countries where large numbers of people live in or near forests or in landscapes with forest-agriculture mosaics. Policy makers should strive to understand the potential role for forest-based livelihood strategies among their suite of social protection and poverty reduction policies and programs, particularly for addressing transient poverty.

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Miller et al. (2022) Forests, Trees and the Eradication of Poverty

Miller et al. (2022) Forests, Trees and the Eradication of Poverty

Miller, D.C., Zavaleta Cheek, J., Mansourian, S., Wildburger, C. 2022. “Forests, Trees, and the Eradication of Poverty.” Forest Policy and Economics 140: 102753.

Abstract

Addressing poverty is an urgent global priority. Many of the world's poor and vulnerable people live in or near forests and rely on trees and other natural resources to support their livelihoods. Effectively tackling poverty and making progress toward the first of the United Nations 2030 Sustainable Development Goals to “end poverty in all its forms everywhere” must therefore consider forests and trees. But what do we know about the potential for forests and tree-based systems to contribute to poverty alleviation? This Special Issue responds to this question. It synthesises and presents available scientific evidence on the role of forests and tree-based systems in alleviating and, ultimately, eradicating poverty. The articles compiled here also develop new conceptual frameworks, identify research frontiers, and draw out specific recommendations for policy. The scope is global, although emphasis is placed on low- and middle-income countries where the majority of the world's poorest people live. This introductory article stakes out the conceptual, empirical and policy terrain relating to forests, trees and poverty and provides an overview of the contribution of the other seven articles in this collection. This Special Issue has direct implications for researchers, policymakers and other decision-makers related to the role of forests and tree-based systems in poverty alleviation. The included articles frame the relationships between forests, trees and poverty, identify research gaps and synthesize evidence to inform policy.

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Shyamsundar et al. (2022) Scaling Smallholder Tree Cover Restoration across the Tropics

Shyamsundar et al. (2022) Scaling Smallholder Tree Cover Restoration across the Tropics

Shyamsundar, P., Cohen, F., Boucher, T.M., Kroeger, T., Erbaugh, J.T., Waterfield, G., Clarke, C., Cook-Patton, S.C., Garcia, E., Juma, K., Kaur, S., Leisher, C., Miller, D.C., Oester, K., Saigal, S., Siikamaki, J., Sills, E.O., Thaung, T., Zhang, X.X. 2022 “Scaling smallholder tree cover restoration across the tropics.” Global Environmental Change 76: 102591. 

Abstract

Restoring tree cover in tropical countries has the potential to benefit millions of smallholders through improvements in income and environmental services. However, despite their dominant landholding shares in many countries, smallholders’ role in restoration has not been addressed in prior global or pan-tropical restoration studies. We fill this lacuna by using global spatial data on trees and people, national indicators of enabling conditions, and micro-level expert information. We find that by 2050, low-cost restoration is feasible within 280, 200, and 60 million hectares of tropical croplands, pasturelands, and degraded forestlands, respectively. Such restoration could affect 210 million people in croplands, 59 million people in pasturelands and 22 million people in degraded forestlands. This predominance of low-cost restoration opportunity in populated agricultural lands has not been revealed by prior analyses of tree cover restoration potential. In countries with low-cost tropical restoration potential, smallholdings comprise a significant proportion of agricultural lands in Asia (∼76 %) and Africa (∼60 %) but not the Americas (∼3%). Thus, while the Americas account for approximately half of 21st century tropical deforestation, smallholder-based reforestation may play a larger role in efforts to reverse recent forest loss in Asia and Africa than in the Americas. Furthermore, our analyses show that countries with low-cost restoration potential largely lack policy commitments or smallholder supportive institutional and market conditions. Discussions among practitioners and researchers suggest that four principles – partnering with farmers and prioritizing their preferences, reducing uncertainty, strengthening markets, and mobilizing innovative financing – can help scale smallholder-driven restoration in the face of these challenges.

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Sterling et al. (2022) The State of Capacity Development Evaluation in Biodiveristy Conservation and Natural Resource Management 

Sterling et al. (2022) The State of Capacity Development Evaluation in Biodiversity Conservation and Natural Resource Management

Sterling, E.J., Sigouin, A., Betley, E., Cheek, J.Z., Solomon, J.N., Kimberley, L., Porzecanski, A.L., Bynum, N., Cadena, B., Cheng, S.H., Clements, K.R., Finchum, R., Heresy, M., Gomez, A., Groom, M., Loffeld, T.A.C., Miller, D.C., Rakotobe, D., Rao, M., Roberts, R. 2022. “The state of capacity development evaluation in biodiversity conservation and natural resource management.” ORYX

Abstract

Capacity development is critical to long-term conservation success, yet we lack a robust and rigorous understanding of how well its effects are being evaluated. A comprehensive summary of who is monitoring and evaluating capacity development interventions, what is being evaluated and how, would help in the development of evidence-based guidance to inform design and implementation decisions for future capacity development interventions and evaluations of their effectiveness. We built an evidence map by reviewing peer-reviewed and grey literature published since 2000, to identify case studies evaluating capacity development interventions in biodiversity conservation and natural resource management. We used inductive and deductive approaches to develop a coding strategy for studies that met our criteria, extracting data on the type of capacity development intervention, evaluation methods, data and analysis types, categories of outputs and outcomes assessed, and whether the study had a clear causal model and/or used a systems approach. We found that almost all studies assessed multiple outcome types: most frequent was change in knowledge, followed by behaviour, then attitude. Few studies evaluated conservation outcomes. Less than half included an explicit causal model linking interventions to expected outcomes. Half of the studies considered external factors that could influence the efficacy of the capacity development intervention, and few used an explicit systems approach. We used framework synthesis to situate our evidence map within the broader literature on capacity development evaluation. Our evidence map (including a visual heat map) highlights areas of low and high representation in investment in research on the evaluation of capacity development. 

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Sullivan et al. (2022) Impacts of Large Scale Land Acquisitions on Smallholder Agriculture and Livelihoods in Tanzania

Sullivan et al. (2022) Impacts of Large Scale Land Acquisitions on Smallholder Agriculture and Livelihoods in Tanzania

Sullivan, J.A., Brown, D.G., Moyo, F., Jain, M., Agrawal, A. 2022. “Impacts of large-scale land acquisitions on smallholder agriculture and livelihoods in Tanzania.” Environmental Research Letters 17(8): 084019

Abstract

Improving agricultural productivity is a foundational sustainability challenge in the 21st century. Large-scale land acquisitions (LSLAs) have important effects on both well-being and the environment in the Global South. Their impacts on agricultural productivity and subsequent effects on farm incomes, food-security and the distribution of these outcomes across households remain under-investigated. In particular, prior studies do not sufficiently attend to the mechanistic nature of changes in household agricultural practices that affect LSLA outcomes. To address these challenges, we use a novel household dataset and a quasi-experimental design to estimate household-level changes in agricultural productivity and other LSLA outcomes in Tanzania. We use causal mediation analysis to assess how four common mechanisms—contract farming, land loss, market access and technology adoption around LSLAs—influence agricultural productivity. We find that households near LSLAs exhibit 20.2% (95% CI: 3.1%–37.3%) higher agricultural productivity, primarily due to increased crop prices and farmer selection of high-value crops. Importantly, the direction and magnitude of effect sizes associated with the different mechanisms vary. The presence of contract farming explains 18.1% (95% CI: 0.56%, 47%) of the effect size in agricultural productivity, whereas land loss reduces agricultural productivity by 26.8% (95% CI: −71.3%, −4.0%). Market access and technology adoption explain little to no portion of the effect size on agricultural productivity. Despite higher agricultural productivity mediated by contract farming, we do not find increased household incomes or food security. Plausible explanations include limited market access, higher crop prices restricting food access and elite capture of contract farming concentrating income effects to a few households. Our results stand in contrast to assumptions that technological spillovers occur through LSLAs and are the principal drivers of LSLA-induced agricultural transformation. We find instead that access to contract farming and high-value crops lead to greater agricultural productivity, but also that benefits related to these mechanisms are unequally distributed. 

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2021

Afonso et al. (2021) Forest Plantations and Local Economic Development 

Afonso et al. (2021) Forest Plantations and Local Economic Development

Afonso, R. and Miller, D.C., 2021. “Forest plantations and local economic development: Evidence from Minas Gerais, Brazil.” Forest Policy and Economics 131

Abstract

Globally, Brazil is one of the most important producers of wood products from forest plantations. Climatic conditions suitable for high productivity coupled with strong market demand and other factors have led to a marked increase in the area devoted to forest plantations in the country. Wood production from these plantations has brought important macroeconomic benefits through export. However, knowledge of the socio-economic impacts of forest plantations at sub-national levels remains limited in Brazil as in other tropical country contexts. This study addresses this knowledge gap by analyzing the socioeconomic impacts of forest plantations across the municipalities of Minas Gerais, the state with the largest plantation area in Brazil since 1980. We use panel data regression methods to analyze the relationship between forest plantation area, poverty, and other variables over a 20-year period. The results show that an increase in forest plantation area is associated with a decrease in poverty over time. Our findings run counter to much of the current evidence on the socio-economic impacts of forest plantations and have important implications for research and policy on this topic not only in Brazil, but elsewhere in Latin America and beyond.

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Castle et al. (2021) The Impacts of Agroforestry Interventions on Agricultural Productivity, Ecosystem Services and Human Well-being in Low and Middle Income Countries

Castle et al. (2021) The impacts of agroforestry interventions on Agricultural Productivity, Ecosystem Services, and Human Well-Being in Low and Middle Income Countries

Castle, S.E., Miller, D.C., Ordonez, P.J., Baylis, K. and Hughes, K., 2021. “The impacts of agroforestry interventions on agricultural productivity, ecosystem services, and human well‐being in low‐and middle‐income countries: A systematic review.” Campbell Systematic Reviews 17(2): e1167.

Abstract

Agroforestry, the intentional integration of trees or other woody perennials with crops or livestock in production systems, is being widely promoted as a conservation and development tool to help meet the 2030 UN Sustainable Development Goals. Donors, governments, and nongovernmental organizations have invested significant time and resources into developing and promoting agroforestry policies and programs in low‐ and middle‐income countries (LMICs) worldwide. While a large body of literature on the impacts of agroforestry practices in LMICs is available, the social‐ecological impacts of agroforestry interventions is less well‐studied. This knowledge gap on the effectiveness of agroforestry interventions constrains possibilities for evidence‐based policy and investment decisions to advance sustainable development objectives.

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Chazdon et al. (2021) The Intervention Continuum in Restoration Ecology: Rethinking the Active-Passive Dichotomy 

Chazdon et al (2021) The Intervention Continuum in Restoration Ecology: Rethinking the Active-Passive Dichotomy

Chazdon, R.L., Falk, D.A., Banin, L.F., Wagner, M., Wilson, S.J., Grabowski, R.C., Suding, K.N. 2021. “The intervention continuum in restoration ecology: rethinking the active-passive dichotomy.” Restoration Ecology e13535

Abstract

The distinction often made between active and passive restoration approaches is a false dichotomy that persists in much research, policy, and financial structures today. We explore the contradictions imposed by this terminology and the merits of replacing this dichotomy with a continuum-based intervention framework. In practice, the main distinction between “passive” and “active” restoration lies primarily in the timing and extent of human interventions. We apply the intervention continuum framework to forest, grassland, stream, and peatland ecosystems, emphasizing that a range of restoration approaches within the scope of ecological or ecosystem restoration are typically employed in most projects, and all can contribute to the recovery of native ecosystems and prevention of further degradation. As restoration is fundamentally about the recovery of ecosystems, eliminating human sources of degradation is essential to enable ecosystem recovery processes, regardless of subsequent interventions that may be needed to assist recovery. Our review of restoration practices involving different levels of intervention highlights the benefits of recognizing a broader suite of restoration interventions in the financial and policy frameworks that currently underpin restoration activity. Effective restoration interventions emerge from an understanding of nature's intrinsic recovery potential and overcoming specific obstacles that limit this potential.

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Chazdon et al. (2021) Key Challenges for Governing Forest and Landscape Restoration across Different Contexts

Chazdon et al. (2021) Key Challenges for Governing Forest and Landscape Restoration across Different Contexts

Chazdon, R.L., Wilson, S.J., Brondizio, E., Guariguata, M.R>, Herbohn, J. 2021. “Key challenges for governing forest and landscape restoration across different contexts.” Land Use Policy 104: 104854

Abstract

Governance arrangements directly influence decision making processes and the degree to which different stakeholder groups are engaged in planning, implementing, and receiving benefits from Forest and Landscape Restoration (FLR). Narrow institutional and agency mandates must be better aligned to permit new ways of governing landscapes that are centered on the needs and capacities of local stakeholders. This special issue highlights challenges and opportunities for governing FLR at different scales and under different contexts across a range of tropical and subtropical forest biomes. In this introductory paper, we explore common threads from diverse studies comprising the special issue to highlight key challenges for effective governance of FLR across many different contexts. We discuss enabling factors and conditions that can help to overcome deficiencies in governance processes and outcomes and illustrate how these conditions are linked to the six principles of FLR. We conclude by emphasizing several gaps in understanding how governance arrangements influence the planning, implementation and monitoring of FLR.

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Ferraro et al. (2021) Synthesizing Evidence in Sustainability Sceince Through Harmonized Experiments: Community Monitoring in Common Pool Resources

Ferraro et al. (2021) Synthesizing Evidence in Sustainability Science through Harmonized Experiments: Community Monitoring in Common Pool Resources

Ferraro, P.J., and Agrawal, A. 2021. “Synthesizing evidence in sustainability science through harmonized experiments: Community monitoring in common pool resources.” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 118(29): e2106489118

Over 30 years ago, Elinor Ostrom published Governing the Commons, a demonstration by counterexample that the successful management of common pool resources requires neither individual private property rights nor central government control. Her contribution and subsequent research identify more than a dozen institutional features, or “design principles,” purported to make successful community-based, common pool resource management more likely. Examples of these features include clearly defined group and resource boundaries, graduated sanctions, conflict-resolution mechanisms, enabling policy environments, and accountable monitoring systems. But after decades of theoretical and empirical studies, little is known about whether external interventions can enhance these features where they are weak or absent, or whether enhancing these features individually—rather than collectively—causes resource conditions to improve. These questions have long been identified as important for advancing sustainability science and practice. In this Special Feature on “Sustaining the Commons,” the authors try to answer these questions by developing and testing mechanism-based theories of institutions in complex socio-ecological systems. 

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Hajjar et al. (2021) Levers for Alleviating Poverty In Forests

Hajjar et al. (2021) Levers for Alleviating Poverty in Forests

Hajjar, R., Newton, P., Ihalainen, L., Agrawal, A., Alix-Garcia, J., Castle, S.E. et al. 2021. “Levers for alleviating poverty in forests.” Forest Policy and Economics 132: 102589.

Abstract

An extensive set of policies, programmes, technologies and strategies have been implemented in the forest sector. Collectively, these ‘levers’ cover a diverse range of approaches, at a variety of scales and are governed by many different stakeholders. It is important for decision-makers to understand which levers might be most useful in achieving poverty alleviation. This paper seeks to answer the question: which forest management policies, programmes, technologies and strategies have been effective at alleviating poverty? We studied 21 different rights-based, regulatory, market and supply chain, and forest and tree management levers for which we could identify a plausible theory of change of how implementation of that lever might alleviate poverty. For every lever we: define and describe the lever; describe the logic or theory of change by which the lever might plausibly be expected to alleviate poverty; summarize the available evidence showing how the lever has alleviated poverty; and discuss the variables that explain heterogeneity in outcomes. Overall, we found limited evidence of these levers being associated with reducing poverty (i.e. moving people out of poverty). Some of the strongest evidence for poverty reduction came from ecotourism, community forest management, agroforestry and, to a lesser extent, payments for ecosystem services (PES). However, we found substantial, varied and context-dependent evidence of several levers being associated with mitigating poverty (i.e. by improving well-being). A multitude of cases showing positive outcomes for poverty mitigation came from community forest management, forest producer organisations, small and medium forest enterprises, PES, and tree crop contract production. A combination of more rigorous and long-term research designs, along with examinations of the cost-effectiveness of different levers, would go a long way to contributing to the design of effective interventions for poverty alleviation.

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Liao et al. (2021) Carbon Emissions from the Global Land Rush and Potential Mitigation 

Liao et al. (2021) Carbon Emissions from the Global Land Rush and Potential Mitigation

Liao, C., Nolte, K., Sullivan, J.A., Brown, D.G., Lay, J., Althoff, C., and Agrawal, A. 2021. “Carbon emissions from the global land rush and potential mitigation.” Nature Food 2(1): 15-18. 

Abstract

Global drivers and carbon emissions associated with large-scale land transactions have been poorly investigated. Here we examine major factors behind such transactions (income, agricultural productivity, availability of arable land and water scarcity) and estimate potential carbon emissions under different levels of deforestation. We find that clearing lands transacted between 2000 and 2016 (36.7 Mha) could have emitted ~2.26 GtC, but constraining land clearing to historical deforestation rates would reduce emissions related to large-scale land transactions to ~0.81 GtC.

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Liao et al. (2021) Clean Energy Transitions and Human Well-being Outcomes in Lower and Middle Income Countries: A Systematic Review

Liao et al. (2021) Clean Energy Transitions and Human Well-being outcomes in Lower abd Middle Income Countries: A Systematic Review

Liao, C., Erbaugh, J.T., Kelly, A.C., and Agrawal, A. 2021. “Clean energy transitions and human well-being outcomes in Lower and Middle Income Countries: A systematic review.” Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews 145: 111063

Abstract

Clean energy promises a wide range of individual and collective benefits. Though there is substantial research on the benefits of clean energy for specific populations, systematic assessments on household level outcomes resulting from clean energy adoption remain limited, especially for Lower and Middle Income Countries (L&MICs). Limited systematic knowledge about clean energy transitions hinders conceptual development and effective policies for improved access to, and more widespread adoption of, clean energy. In this research, we review 107 peer-reviewed articles to examine systematically household energy transitions in L&MICs. We consider factors that have a potential causal impact and identify associations between clean energy adoption and household well-being. We find substantial variation in energy transition pathways across L&MICs. Higher levels of household education, incomes, asset holdings, and the presence of credit and subsidy programs are associated with clean energy adoption, and such adoption likely facilitates a suite of socioeconomic benefits. Our review thus advances knowledge about the mechanisms for achieving Sustainable Development Goal 7 and promoting greater human well-being through clean energy adoption.

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Miller et al. (2021) Forests, Trees and Poverty Alleviation: Policy Implications of Current Knowledge

Miller et al. (2021) Forests, Trees and Poverty Alleviation: Policy Implications of Current Knowledge

Miller, D.C., Mansourian, S., Gabay, M., Hajjar, R., Jagger, P., Kamoto, J.F., Newton, P., Oldekop, J.A., Razafindratsima, O.H., Shyamsundar, P. and Sunderland, T., 2021. “Forests, trees and poverty alleviation: Policy implications of current knowledge.” Forest Policy and Economics 131: 102566.

Abstract

Major advances have been made over the past two decades in our understanding of the contribution forests and trees outside forests make to human well-being across the globe. Yet this knowledge has not always been incorporated into broader poverty and development policy agendas. The result is a missed opportunity to effectively and sustainably reach national and international poverty alleviation goals. Here, we address the need for greater integration of forests and trees in development policy. We distill five key findings based on the current evidence base and discuss their implications for decision-makers. We find that (1) forests and trees are critical to global efforts to end poverty but (2) their benefits to human well-being are unevenly distributed. Although the evidence indicates that (3) forests and trees can help the rural poor as they face profound global changes, it also shows that (4) poorly aligned forest and land use policies and programmes may lead to excessive costs being borne by the poor. However, we do find that (5) policy and management measures exist that can enable forests and trees to effectively address poverty goals even as there is no ‘one size fits all’ solution. Key overarching policy implications of these findings include the need to integrate forests and trees more explicitly into land-use planning and poverty reduction programs, strengthen forest property rights, self-governance and technical skills of forest-reliant communities, and carefully tailor policy measures to the context in which they are implemented. 

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Miller et al. (2021) A Global Review of the Impact of Forest Property Rights Intervention on Poverty 

Miller et al (2021) A Global Review of the Impact of Forest Property Rights Intervention on Poverty

Miller, D.C., Rana, P., Nakamura, K. et al. 2021. “A global review of the impact of forest property rights intervention on poverty.” Global Environmental Change 66: 102218. 


Abstract

Secure property rights are widely understood as critical for socio-economic development and sustainable land management in forested areas. Policies and programs, ranging from devolution of specific resource rights to formal land titling, have therefore been implemented to strengthen forest tenure and property rights in countries around the world. Despite the prevalence and importance of these efforts, however, systematic understanding of their effects on poverty remains lacking. We address this gap by systematically reviewing evidence on the impact of forest property rights interventions on poverty worldwide. We drew from a systematic map of evidence on forest-poverty links (Cheng et al., 2019) and used a population-intervention-comparator-outcome (PICO) framework to identify relevant studies. Our final dataset included 61 articles published from 2002 to 2016 comprising 91 case studies across 24 countries. Of these, only 11 articles (22 cases) used quasi-experimental methods to control for confounders. We find that almost all studied interventions (n = 88; 97%) focused on rights to access a forest area or withdraw resources from it. Relatively few studied interventions supported the more extensive property rights of exclusion (32%) and alienation (10%). Overall, reported impacts on both income/consumption and capital/assets dimensions of poverty were generally positive or mixed. Results from more robust quasi-experimental assessments showed greater variation, with case studies as likely to report negative as positive impacts on both poverty dimensions. We find tentative support for the economic theory that more secure property rights yield positive welfare effects. However, the paucity of evidence from more robust impact assessments constrains our ability to draw generalizable conclusions about the poverty impacts of different kinds of forest property rights interventions.

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Nerfa et al. (2021) Practitioner Views on the Determinants of Tropical Forest Restoration Longevity

Nerfa et al. (2021) Practitioner Views on the Determinants of Tropical Forest Restorative Longevity

Nerfa, L., Wilson, S.J., Reid, J.L., Rhemtulla, J.M. 2021. “Practitioner views on the determinants of tropical forest restoration longevity.” Restoration Ecology 29(3): e13345.

Abstract

Ensuring the long-term persistence of tropical forest restoration projects is vital to maintaining carbon stocks, biodiversity, and other benefits of restored ecosystems. But our understanding of the factors that determine restoration longevity—the age that a restored ecosystem attains before being converted to another land use—is limited, and derived primarily from studies based on remote sensing or observations at a single site over time. In this article, we apply a new approach by surveying restoration practitioners from across the tropics on the factors that they perceive to influence restoration longevity. Through an online survey (including categorical and open-ended questions) we asked practitioners about the ecological and social characteristics of their restoration projects, and their views on what factors contribute to project longevity. We summarized the information on project characteristics, and conducted thematic analysis and coding of the longevity drivers discussed by respondents. A total of 29 respondents from 15 tropical countries completed our survey, with the majority of projects occurring on previously pastured lands in wet and lowland tropical forests. Practitioners discussed social factors more than twice as frequently as ecological factors. The most frequently cited social factor key to restoration longevity was engagement with multiple stakeholders, followed by long-term funding, the need for innovative project design, as well as effective and inspirational leadership. Overall, the voices of practitioners underscore the critical need to address local social context in order to achieve long-term forest recovery.

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Rana et al. (2021) Predicting the Long Term Social and Ecological Impacts of Tree Planting Programs: Evidence from Northern India

Rana et al. (2021) Predicting the Long-term Social and Ecological Impacts of Tree Planting Programs: Evidence from Northern India

Rana, P. and Miller, D.C. 2021. “Predicting the long-term social and ecological impacts of tree-planting programs: Evidence from northern India.” World Development 140: 105367.

Planting trees has long been a major forest improvement and management activity globally. Forest plantations take years, even decades to mature and establish. Yet most national and international projects to support plantations are of relatively short duration, which presents a major challenge to near-term accountability as well as assessment of longer-term social and ecological impacts. Here, we address this challenge by identifying and empirically validating a set of predictive proxy indicators (PPIs)—measures on key variables taken during program implementation that are predictive of longer-term impacts—for community-oriented tree-planting efforts in northern India. Using process-tracing and qualitative comparative analysis, we find that clusters of PPIs explained vegetation growth trajectories and other outcomes over more than a decade in 23 randomly selected public forest plantations in Kangra district, Himachal Pradesh. PPIs relating to property rights and local livelihood benefits, community-led monitoring and enforcement, and seedling survival rate, together, were associated with successful long-term forest plantation outcomes, including more tree cover and socio-economic benefits for local communities. The causal pathways identified in this study suggest that measuring and comparing indicator values in specific spatial and temporal contexts can help to assess the likelihood and directionality of the long-term social and ecological impacts of forest plantations. In addition to the empirical contribution it makes, this study also demonstrates a novel approach to understanding long-term impacts of public forest plantations relevant to country contexts around the world.

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Razafindratsima et al. (2021) Reviewing the Evidence on the Roles of Forests and Tree based Systems in Poverty Dynamics

Razafindratsima et al. (2021) Reviewing the Evidence on the Roles of Forests and Tree based Systems in Poverty Dynamics

Razafindratsima, O.H., Kamoto, J.F., Sills, E.O., Mutta, D.N., Song, C., Kabwe, G., Castle, S.E. et al. 2021. “Reviewing the evidence on the roles of forests and tree-based systems in poverty dynamics.” Forest Policy and Economics 131: 102576. 

Abstract

The alleviation of global poverty is a major objective of the 2030 UN Sustainable Development Goals (notably SDG1 “to end poverty in all its forms everywhere”). Many rural people experiencing poverty often rely on forests and tree-based systems, such as agroforestry, suggesting the existence of links between such systems and poverty outcomes. This paper reviews the evidence of such links across multiple dimensions of poverty and well-being, based on an expert panel convened by the International Union of Forest Research Organizations (IUFRO) and an extensive literature search. We consider whether, how, where, when, and for whom forests and trees in the wider landscape influence poverty dynamics. We organize the evidence according to four pathways through which forests and trees influence household poverty dynamics: 1) helping households move out of poverty; 2) maintaining well-being levels through subsistence, food security, health, and cultural and spiritual values; 3) preventing declines by mitigating risks and stabilizing consumption; 4) decreasing well-being by generating negative externalities that could trap or move households into poverty. We found that local context matters considerably, with the roles of forests and trees strongly varying across geographical, social, economic, and political settings. Another key finding is that evidence of forests and trees providing livelihood diversification and benefits that help households move out of poverty remains limited, based primarily on a small number of case studies. Evidence on the impact of gender gaps in relation to forest landscapes and poverty pathways is also lacking. However, our findings do suggest that ecosystem services provided by forests and trees play critical roles in maintaining well-being and food security and have the potential to contribute more to helping households move out of poverty and mitigating risks amplified by climate change. This review also highlights cautionary findings related to negative forest externalities that can maintain or move households into poverty. Together, these findings call for policy efforts to support the conservation and sustainable management of forest landscapes and agroforestry systems that are more targeted towards meeting the diverse needs of the rural poor. Our results also point to a need for greater effort to address gender disparities, which have been largely overlooked yet provide a critical opportunity to not only enhance gender equality but also advance sustainable poverty reduction goals.

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Shyamsundar et al. (2021) Global Forces of Change: Implications for Forest Poverty Dynamics

Shyamsundar et al. (2021) Global Forces of Change: Implications for Forest Poverty Dynamics

Shyamsundar, P., Sauls, L.A., Cheek, J.Z., Sullivan-Wiley, K., Erbaugh, J.T., and Krishnapriya, P.P. 2021. “Global forces of change: Implications for forest-poverty dynamics.” Forest Policy and Economics 133: 102607. 

Abstract

This article examines global trends likely to influence forests and tree-based systems and considers the poverty implications of these interactions. The trends, identified through a series of expert discussions and review of the literature, include: (i) climatic impacts mediated through changes in forests, (ii) growth in commodity markets, (iii) shifts in private and public forest sector financing, (iv) technological advances and rising interconnectivity, (v) global socio-political movements, and (vi) emerging infectious diseases. These trends bring opportunities and risks to the forest-reliant poor. A review of available evidence suggests that in a business-as-usual scenario, the cumulative risks posed by these global forces, in conjunction with limited rights, resources, and skills required to prosper from global changes, are likely to place poor and transient poor households under additional stress. The article concludes with an assessment of how interventions for enhancing forest management, combined with supportive policy and institutional conditions, can contribute to a different and more prosperous future for forests and people.

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Williams et al. (2021) Land Use Changes Associated with Large Scale Transactions in Ethiopia

Williams et al. (2021) Land Use Changes Associated with Large Scale Land Transactions in Ethiopia

Williams, T.G., Thrush, S.A., Sullivan, J.A., Liao, C., Chesterman, N., Agrawal, A., Guikema, S.D., and Brown, D.G. 2021. “Land-use changes associated with large-scale land transactions in Ethiopia.

Large-scale land transactions (LSLTs) can precipitate dramatic changes in land systems. Ethiopia has experienced one of the largest amounts of LSLTs in Africa, yet their effects on local land systems are poorly understood. In this study, we quantify the direct and indirect land use and land cover (LULC) changes associated with LSLTs at eight socio-environmentally diverse sites in central and western Ethiopia. To estimate these effects, we employ a novel, two-stage counterfactual analysis. We first use a region-growing procedure to identify a “control” site with comparable landscape-level characteristics to each LSLT. Then, we sample and reweight points within each control site to further improve covariate balance. This two-stage approach both controls for potential confounding factors at multiple spatial levels and reduces the costs of extensive LULC data classification. Our results show that the majority of the reported transacted area (62%) remained unconverted to large-scale agriculture. Most of the land that was developed into large-scale agriculture displaced smallholder agriculture (53%), followed by conversion of woodland/shrubland (35%) and forest (9%). Beyond their boundaries, LSLTs indirectly influenced rates of smallholder agricultural expansion and abandonment, pointing to site dependence in how LSLTs affect adjacent land systems. In particular, the low prevalence of forest within and around these LSLTs underscores a need to move beyond measures of deforestation as proxies for LSLT effects on land systems. Our two-stage approach shows promise as an efficient method for generating robust counterfactuals and thereby LULC change estimates in systems lacking wall-to-wall LULC data.

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2020

Amadu et al. (2020) Agroforestry as a Pathway to Agricultural Yield Impacts in Climate Smart Agriculture Investments: Evidence from Southern Malawi

Amadu et al. (2020) Socio-Environmental Patterns of Large-Scale Land Transactions

Amadu, F.O., D.C. Miller, and P.E. McNamara. 2020. “Agroforestry as a pathway to agricultural yield impacts in climate-smart agriculture investments: Evidence from southern Malawi.” Ecological Economics 167: 106443. DOI: 10.1016/j.ecolecon.2019.106443 

Abstract

Agroforestry is widely promoted for delivering not only the main food security objective of climate-smart agriculture (CSA) but also increasing resilience and mitigating climate change. Yet rigorous estimates of the impact of this pathway on agricultural yields in CSA interventions remain limited. Here we analyze maize yield effects of agroforestry within a large CSA project, funded by the US Agency for International Development and implemented from 2009 to 2014 in southern Malawi. Using original survey data from 808 households across five districts, we apply a double hurdle specification with a control function approach to account for the endogeneity of CSA program participation and the intensity of agroforestry fertilizer trees (as a proxy for agroforestry adoption) in the study area. We find a positive and statistically significant yield effect of CSA program participation and the intensity of agroforestry fertilizer trees: maize yields increased, on average, by 20% for participation, and 2% for the intensity of fertilizer trees – a modest but useful result with implications for increasing agricultural productivity among smallholder farmers in sub-Saharan Africa and elsewhere. More broadly, our results show that incorporating agroforestry into CSA interventions could enhance agricultural yields among smallholder farmers in the face of climate change — a crucial aspect of sustainable development goals on hunger and climate adaptation.

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Amadu et al. (2020) Understanding the Adoption of Climate Smart Agriculture: A Farm Level Typology with Empirical Evidence from Southern Malawi

Amadu et al. (2020) Understanding the Adoption of Climate Smart Agriculture: A Farm-Level Typology with Empirical Evidence from Southern Malawi

Amadu, F.O., P.E. McNamara, and D.C. Miller. 2020. “Understanding the Adoption of Climate-Smart Agriculture: A Farm-Level Typology with Empirical Evidence from Southern Malawi.” World Development 126: 104692.

Abstract

Climate-smart agriculture (CSA) is increasingly important for advancing rural development and environmental sustainability goals in developing countries. Over the past decade, the international community has committed billions of dollars to support various practices under the banner of CSA. Despite this effort, however, CSA adoption remains low in many contexts. Lack of conceptual clarity about the range of potential farm-level CSA practices across contexts impedes understanding of CSA adoption in developing countries. Here we review relevant literature to develop a typology of farm-level CSA practices to facilitate analyses of CSA adoption. The typology consists of six categories, organized from least to most resource intensive: (1) residue addition, (2) non-woody plant cultivation, (3) assisted regeneration, (4) woody plant cultivation, (5) physical infrastructure, and (6) mixed measures. We use the typology to generate and test hypotheses about CSA adoption using primary household survey data from a large aidfunded CSA intervention area in southern Malawi. We then use recursive bivariate probit regression (controlling for endogeneity and selection bias) to estimate the effect of program participation on adoption across CSA categories. We find positive and statistically significant effects of program participation on adoption of CSA practices generally with the strongest effects on resource-intensive CSA categories. Results demonstrate the potential for wider application of the typology to build knowledge of the effectiveness of CSA promotion efforts across different social and environmental contexts. Our findings also suggest the importance of external support for the adoption of more resource-intensive CSA practices among rural households and communities in Malawi and elsewhere in the developing world.

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Erbaugh et al. (2020) Global Forest Restoration and the Importance of Prioritizing Local Communities

Erbaugh et al. (2020) Global Forest Restoration and the Importance of Prioritizing Local Communities

Erbaugh, J.T., Pradhan, N., Adams, J., Oldekop, J.A., Agrawal, A., Brockington, D., Pritchard, R., and Chharte, A. 2020. “Global forest restoration and the importance of prioritizing local communities.” Nature Ecology & Evolution, 4 (11): 1472-1476.

Abstract

Forest restoration occupies centre stage in global conversations about carbon removal and biodiversity conservation, but recent research rarely acknowledges social dimensions or environmental justice implications related to its implementation. We find that 294.5 million people live on tropical forest restoration opportunity land in the Global South, including 12% of the total population in low-income countries. Forest landscape restoration that prioritizes local communities by affording them rights to manage and restore forests provides a promising option to align global agendas for climate mitigation, conservation, environmental justice and sustainable development.

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Garcia et al. (2020) The Global Forest Transition as a Human Affair

Garcia et al. (2020) The Global Forest Transition as a Human Affair

Garcia, C.A., Savilaakso, S., Verburg, R.W., Gutierrez, V., Wilson, S.J., … Waeber, P.O.2020. “The global forest transition as a human affair.” One Earth 2(5):417-428.  

Abstract

Forests across the world stand at a crossroads where climate and land-use changes are shaping their future. Despite demonstrations of political will and global efforts, forest loss, fragmentation, and degradation continue unabated. No clear evidence exists to suggest that these initiatives are working. A key reason for this apparent ineffectiveness could lie in the failure to recognize the agency of all stakeholders involved. Landscapes do not happen. We shape them. Forest transitions are social and behavioral before they are ecological. Decision makers need to integrate better representations of people’s agency in their mental models. A possible pathway to overcome this barrier involves eliciting mental models behind policy decisions to allow better representation of human agency, changing perspectives to better understand divergent points of view, and refining strategies through explicit theories of change. Games can help decision makers in all of these tasks.

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Liao et al. (2020) Landscape Sustainability Science in the Drylands: Mobility, Rangelands and Livelihoods

Liao et al. (2020) Landscape Sustainability Science in the Drylands: Mobility, Rangelands and Livelihoods

Liao, C., Agrawal, A., Clark, P.E., Levin, S.A., and Rubenstein, D.I. 2020. “Landscape sustainability science in the drylands: mobility, rangelands, and livelihoods.” Landscape Ecology 35(11): 2433-2447. 

Abstract

Context

The global drylands cover 41% of the terrestrial surface and support millions of pastoralists and host diverse flora and fauna. Ongoing socioeconomic and environmental transformations in drylands make it imperative to understand how to achieve the twin goals of food security and ecosystem health.

Objectives

The review focuses on examining the patterns of rangeland vegetation dynamics and livelihood transformations associated with changes in pastoralist mobility.

Methods

We conducted a comprehensive review of literature on dryland sustainability based on the coupled systems framework and through the lens of mobility, which reflects not only human and livestock movements but also the unique lifestyles and cultural identities of people in drylands.

Results

We find that mobility, which is critical for pastoralists to survive and thrive in the drylands, is generally in decline and has significant implications on dryland sustainability. Reduced mobility exacerbates bush encroachment and land degradation, as sedentarized pastoralists use the rangelands more recursively. Associated with declining mobility is livelihood intensification and diversification, but such livelihood transitions may carry both socioeconomic and environmental risks.

Conclusions

We argue that to advance landscape sustainability science and reconcile concerns over environmental conservation and human well-being across the global drylands, we must better understand the underlying mechanisms of coupled systems transitions through the lens of mobility, and integrate the perspectives of multiple stakeholders with fundamentally different interests and priorities.

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Liao et al. (2020) Socio-Environmental Patterns of Large-Scale Land Transactions

Liao et al. (2020) Socio-Environmental Patterns of Large-Scale Land Transactions

Liao, C., Jung, S., Agrawal, A., Brown, D. 2020. Socio-Environmental Patterns of Large-Scale Land Transactions: Evidence from Ethiopia, Liberia, Cambodia, and Peru. Land Degradation and Development

Abstract

Recent large‐scale land transactions, often framed as “land grabbing,” are historically unprecedented. Millions of hectares of land have changed hands for agriculture‐driven development over the past decade, and their implementation generates substantial risk of land degradation. This paper aims to investigate land transaction patterns and evaluate their potential socio‐environmental impacts in Cambodia, Ethiopia, Liberia, and Peru. We undertake a novel spatially explicit approach to quantify land transactions, and conduct scenario‐based analyses to explore their implementation consequences on people, land, and carbon emission. Our results demonstrate that existing global datasets on land transactions substantially underestimate their incidence, but can either exaggerate or underreport transacted areas. While confirming that land transactions are more likely to occur in sparsely populated, poorer, and more forested areas, our scenario‐based analyses reveal that if fully implemented for agricultural development, land transactions in the four countries will affect more than one million people, yield over 2 Gt of carbon emissions, and disrupt vast swathes of forests. Our findings refute the “empty land” discourse in government policy, and highlight the consequences of land degradation that can occur at an unexpected scale in the “global land rush.” Future policy‐making needs to anticipate the risk of land degradation in terms of deforestation and carbon emission while pursuing agriculture‐driven development through land transactions.

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McGrath et al. (2020) Exploring Environmental Attitudes and Forest Program Uptake with Nonindustrial Private Forest Owners in Michigan

McGrath et al. (2020) Exploring Environmental Attitudes and Forest Program Uptake with Nonindustrial Private Forest Owners in Michigan

McGrath, F.L., Smalligan, M., Watkins, C., Agrawal, A. 2020. “Exploring Environmental Attitudes and Forest Program Uptake with Nonindustrial Private Forest Owners in Michigan.” Society & Natural Resources 34(4): 411-431 

Abstract

 Government programs in the United States offer benefits and opportunities to help private landowners manage their forests; however, participation is very low. Currently, little is known about the barriers landowners may face in accessing information about these programs. Using a landowner survey across four counties in Michigan, we investigate this by (1) exploring current participation in forest programs and (2) analyzing if landowners experience barriers to learning more about the programs available. We find that landowners who are older, perceive themselves as active managers, and are members of a land management organization are more likely to participate in forest programs. Our results also indicate that those wanting to learn more about the programs available have more dominant environmental viewpoints (e.g. humans have the right to modify and rule over nature). We argue that targeted approaches, for example, partnering with private landowner organizations, may increase landowner participation in government forest programs.

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Miller et al. (2020) Do Trees on Farms Improve Household Well-being: Evidence from National Panel Data in Uganda

Miller et al. (2020) Do Trees on Farms Improve Household Well-being: Evidence from National Panel Data Uganda

Miller, D.C., J.C. Muñoz-Mora, L.V. Rasmussen, A. Zezza. 2020. “Do Trees on Farms Improve Household Well-Being? Evidence from National Panel Data in Uganda.” Frontiers in Forests and Global Change 3: 101 

Abstract

Trees on farms provide livelihood benefits to households across Africa. To date, however, evidence on how such trees affect household wellbeing over time remains lacking. Evidence is especially sparse at the national level where it has particular value for policymaking. To address this knowledge gap, we use nationally-representative panel data from Uganda to examine how on-farm tree growing may affect two dimensions of household wellbeing: income and food security and nutrition. We analyzed household-level data from the 2005-06, 2010-11, and 2013-14 Ugandan National Panel Surveys, including measures on adoption and abandonment of trees on farms, demographic factors, and other socio-economic variables. We used a fixed-effect panel specification and probabilistic models to assess the relationship between the area devoted to trees on farms and household income and nutrition outcomes for 1395 households across Uganda. Our results suggest that having trees on farms, especially fruit trees, is associated with improvements in both total household consumption and nutritional outcomes (measured by weight and wasting status of children under five). These findings suggest the important role trees on farms can play in poverty reduction and sustainable development efforts in Uganda and other countries in Africa and beyond.

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Miller et al. (2020) The Impacts of Agroforestry on Agricultural and Human Wellbeing in Low ans Middle Income Countries

Miller et al. (2020) The Impacts of Agroforestry on Agricultural Productivity, Ecosystems services, and Human Wellbeing in Low and Middle Income Countries: An Evidence Gap Map

Miller, D.C., P.J. Ordoñez, S.E. Brown, S. Forrest, N.J. Nava, K. Hughes, and K. Baylis. 2020. “The impacts of agroforestry on agricultural productivity, ecosystem services, and human well-being in low-and middle-income countries: An evidence and gap map 

Abstract

Background: Agroforestry, the intentional integration of trees or other woody perennials with crops or livestock in production systems, is being widely promoted as a conservation and development tool to help meet the 2030 UN Sustainable Development Goals. Donors, governments, and nongovernmental organizations have invested significant time and resources into developing and promoting agroforestry policies and programs in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) worldwide. While a large body of literature on the impacts of agroforestry practices in LMICs is available, the social-ecological impacts of agroforestry interventions is less well-studied. This knowledge gap on the effectiveness of agroforestry interventions constrains possibilities for evidence-based policy and investment decisions to advance sustainable development objectives. Objectives: The primary objective of this Campbell systematic review was to synthesize the available evidence on the impacts of agroforestry interventions in LMICs on agricultural productivity, ecosystem services, and human well-being. The secondary objectives were to identify key pathways through which agroforestry interventions lead to various outcomes and how the interventions affect different sub-groups of the population.

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Miller et al. (2020) Forests as Pathways to Prosperity: Empirical Insights and Conceptual Advances

Miller et al. (2020) Forests as Pathways to Prosperity: Empirical Insights and Conceptual Advances

Miller, D.C., R. Hajjar. 2020. “Forests as Pathways to Prosperity: Empirical Insights and Conceptual Advances.” World Development 125: 104647 

Abstract

The role of forests in supporting current consumption and helping people cope with seasonal, climatic, and other stressors is increasingly well understood. But can forests help rural households climb out of poverty? And can forests provide a pathway to prosperity that includes more widely shared economic benefits and improvements in other aspects of human well-being? This introduction to the Special Issue on “Forests as Pathways to Prosperity” reviews the literature on forest livelihoods in developing countries to synthesize evidence relating to these questions. We find that available research primarily examines poverty mitigation aspects of forests rather than the potential role of forest conservation, management, and use in alleviating poverty or promoting broader prosperity. To increase understanding of forest-livelihood relationships we propose a framework based on the concept of prosperity, which draws particular attention to human well-being beyond economic and material dimensions. We argue that explicitly taking a more expansive view can enable better accounting for the diverse ways forests contribute to human welfare, expand the constituency for forests, and inform policies to more sustainably manage forests within wider landscapes. Together, our review and the other articles in this volume advance these objectives by providing new analytical frameworks, empirical insights, and theoretical understanding to build knowledge on linkages between forests, poverty, and broader prosperity.

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Mustalahti et al. (2020) Responsibilization in Natural Resource Governance

Mustalahti et al. (2020) Research Trends: Responsibilization in Natural Resource Governance

Mustalahti, I., Agrawal, A. 2020. “Research trends: Responsibilization in natural resource governance.” Forest Policy and Economics 121. 102308

Abstract

The diversity of governance instruments for natural resources provides a rich analytical field for scholars of public action and policy. Existing research contributions on natural resources governance suggest that governance interventions, coupled with the diversity of contexts in which they occur, are associated with many different social and ecological outcomes and careful analysis is critical to attribute outcomes to interventions. This special issue highlights a specific thematic and analytical focus – responsibilization – that we suggest as being common across the diversity of post-state governance arrangements. Responsibilization has attracted attention in other fields of governance – particularly education and health. Broadly, the process of responsibilization is associated with a transfer of responsibilities to administrative arrangements and agents subordinate within a decision-making hierarchy; in turn, decision units receiving new responsibilities adopt the goals of governance and carry associated responsibilities as their own. The nine articles included in this special issue show how responsibilization unfolds in different forms of decentered natural resource governance. We find that in diverse contexts, the process of responsibilization denotes the assignment of new responsibilities and the emergence and creation of responsible subjects but often without the powers and resources necessary to carry out these responsibilities. Responsible subjects, by becoming responsible for their own actions, behaviors, and well-being, also contribute to greater societal well-being, or what has summarily been called ‘well-doing’. Based on the empirical materials in the included studies, we build upon an analytical approach to governance that takes institutions, incentives, and information as its building blocks. Our analysis draws attention to and leads to a call for governance capacities and resources, as well as capabilities, for local decision makers and agents in proportion to their responsibilities. Inclusive governance of natural resources thus requires that legal governance mandates be matched to resources and powers for lower level decision-making agents to complement and support their mandates and capabilities.

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Newton et al. (2020) The Number and Spatial Distribution of Forest Proximate People Globally

Newton et al. (2020) The Number and Spatial Distribution of Forest Proximate People Globally

Newton, P., A. Kinzer, D.C. Miller, J.A. Oldekop, A. Agrawal. 2020. “The number and spatial distribution of forest-proximate people globally.” One Earth 3: 363-370.

Abstract

Forests around the world are critical for supporting the livelihoods of people who live near them. For example, many people rely on forests as a source of fuelwood for cooking. Others harvest and sell timber, fruits, or other forest products as a source of income. Organizations that support forest conservation and sustainable development projects around the world are interested in understanding how many people live within or near to forests, in order to prioritize and target funding and to measure the effects of their projects on people’s lives. We superimposed data on the spatial distribution of forests globally with data on human population density, to estimate that 1.6 billion rural people lived within 5 km of a forest in 2012. Two thirds of these people lived in tropical and low- or middle-income countries. Our research provides concrete, global estimates and maps of places where people and forests coexist. However, not everyone who lives near a forest necessarily depends on its resources.

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Oldekop et al. (2020) Forest Linked Livelihoods in a Globalized World 

Oldekop et al (2020) Forest Linked Livelihoods in a Globalized World


Oldekop, J.A., Rasmussen, L.V., Agrawal, A., Bebbington, A.J., Meyfroidt, P., Bengston, D.N., Blackman, A., Brooks, S., Davidson-Hunt, I., Davies, P., Dinsi, S.C…. Wilson, S.J. 2020. “Forest-linked livelihoods in a globalized world.” Nature Plants 6(12): 1400-1407.  

Abstract

Forests have re-taken centre stage in global conversations about sustainability, climate and biodiversity. Here, we use a horizon scanning approach to identify five large-scale trends that are likely to have substantial medium- and long-term effects on forests and forest livelihoods: forest megadisturbances; changing rural demographics; the rise of the middle-class in low- and middle-income countries; increased availability, access and use of digital technologies; and large-scale infrastructure development. These trends represent human and environmental processes that are exceptionally large in geographical extent and magnitude, and difficult to reverse. They are creating new agricultural and urban frontiers, changing existing rural landscapes and practices, opening spaces for novel conservation priorities and facilitating an unprecedented development of monitoring and evaluation platforms that can be used by local communities, civil society organizations, governments and international donors. Understanding these larger-scale dynamics is key to support not only the critical role of forests in meeting livelihood aspirations locally, but also a range of other sustainability challenges more globally. We argue that a better understanding of these trends and the identification of levers for change requires that the research community not only continue to build on case studies that have dominated research efforts so far, but place a greater emphasis on causality and causal mechanisms, and generate a deeper understanding of how local, national and international geographical scales interact.

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Ota et al. (2020) Achieving Quality Forest and Landscape Restoration in the Tropics

Ota et al. (2020) Achieving Quality Forest and Landscape Restoration in the Tropics

Ota, L., Chazdon, R.L., Herbohn, J., Gregorio, N., Mukul, S.A., Wilson, S.J. 2020. “Achieving quality forest and landscape restoration in the tropics.” Forests 11(8):820.  

Abstract

Forest and landscape restoration (FLR) is being carried out across the world to meet ambitious global goals. However, the scale of these efforts combined with the timeframe in which they are supposed to take place may compromise the quality of restoration, and thus limit the persistence of restoration on the landscape. This paper presents a synthesis of ten case studies identified as FLR to critically analyse implemented initiatives, their outcomes, and main challenges, with an eye to improving future efforts. The identified FLR projects are diverse in terms of their spatial coverage, objectives; types of interventions; and initial socioeconomic, institutional, and environmental conditions. The six principles of FLR—which have been widely adopted in theory by large global organisations—are inadequately addressed across the initiatives presented here. The identified FLR project or interventions, although expected to offer diverse benefits, face many challenges including the lack of long-term sustainability of project interventions, limited uptake by regional and national agencies, limited monitoring, reporting and learning, poor governance structures, and technical barriers, which are mainly owing to institutional weaknesses. On the basis of these cases, we propose that the best pathway to achieving FLR is via an incremental process in which a smaller number of more achievable objectives are set and implemented over time, rather than setting highly ambitious targets that implementers struggle to achieve. 

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Robson et al. (2020) Youth and the Future of Community Forest

Robson et al. (2020) Youth and the Future of Community Forest

Robson, J.P., Wilson, S.J., Sanchez, C.M., and Bhatt, A. 2020. “Youth and the future of community forestry.” Land 9(11):406 

Abstract

Forests managed by Indigenous and other local communities generate important benefits for livelihood, and contribute to regional and global biodiversity and carbon sequestration goals. Yet, challenges to community forestry remain. Rural out-migration, for one, can make it hard for communities to maintain broad and diverse memberships invested in local forest commons. This includes young people, who can contribute critical energy, ideas, and skills and are well positioned to take up community forest governance and work, but often aspire to alternative livelihoods and lifestyles. Through an initiative called the Future of Forest Work and Communities, we sought to connect researchers and practitioners with young people living in forest regions, and explore whether community forestry is, or could be, a viable option for them in a globalising world. We achieved this through two phases of qualitative research: youth visioning workshops and questionnaires conducted in 14 forest communities and regions across 9 countries, and a more in-depth case study of two forest communities in Oaxaca, Mexico, using participant observation and semi-structured interviews. We found important synergies across sites. Youth held strong connections with their communities and local forests, but work and/or study aspirations meant many would likely leave their home communities (at least for a time). Community forestry was not seen as an obvious livelihood pathway by a majority of youth, although interest in forest work was evident through participation in several workshop activities. As community leadership and support organisations consider community forestry as an engine of local development, the research highlights the importance of engaging local youth to understand their interests and ideas, and thus identify practical and meaningful ways to empower them as community and territorial actors. 

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Sahide et al. (2020) The Boom of Social Forestry Policy and the Bust of Social Forests in Indonesia: Developing and applying an access-exclusion Framework to Assess Policy Outcomes

Sahide et al. (2020) The Boom of Social Forestry Policy and the Bust of Social Forests in Indonesia

Sahide, M.A.K., Fisher, M.R., Erbaugh, J.T., Intarini, D., Dharmiasih, W., Makmur, M., Faturachmat, F., Verheijen, B., and Maryudi, A. 2020. “The boom of social forestry policy and the bust of social forests in Indonesia: Developing and applying an access-exclusion framework to assess policy outcomes.” Forest policy and economics 120: 102290.

Abstract

Governments around the world are promoting social forests as part of their stated commitments for sustainability and social justice. Since 2014, social forest policy in Indonesia has undergone rapid expansion, increasing by a factor of five, from 653,311 ha to around 3,369,583 ha in 2019. This paper examines the processes through which social forest policy is implemented to consider who benefits (access) and who loses (exclusion) within different policy stages. We identify these stages to include initial formulation, formal handover, and policy implementation, and map them onto an access-exclusion framework to analyze how power is contested and who benefits. Applying the framework to three case studies from Sulawesi demonstrates that at the initial stage, processes that generate social forestry are defined by access and exclusion related to the collection and control of information. Through processes that define the formal handover stage, key actors contest rules and establish the contours of legitimacy governing social forestry. Finally, during implementation, access and exclusion occur through the management and use of resources. By analyzing access and exclusion dynamics across temporal dimensions that structure social forestry policy, we at once demystify what social forestry entails while providing a clearer picture about the boom of its expansion in Indonesia since 2014, showing how a highly anticipated policy filled with populist ideals goes bust from below.

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2019

Hajjar et al. (2019) The Consequences of Large-Scale Land Transactions

Hajjar et al. (2019) The Consquences of Large Scale Transactions

Hajjar, R., Ayana, A., Rutt, R., Hinde, O., Liao, C., Keene, S., Bandiaky-Badji, S., Agrawal, A. 2019. Capital, Labor, and Gender: The Consequences of Large-Scale Land Transactions on Household Labor Allocation. Journal of Peasant Studies

ABSTRACT

Contemporary large-scale land transactions (LSLTs), also called land grabs, are historically unprecedented in their scale and pace. They have provoked robust scholarly debates, yet studies of their gender-differentiated impacts remain more rare, particularly when it comes to how changes in control over land and resources affect women’s labor, and thereby their livelihoods and well-being. Our comparative study of four LSLTs in western Ethiopia finds that the transactions led to substantial land use change, including relocation and decrease in size of smallholder parcels, loss of communally-held grazing lands, and loss of forests. These changes had far-reaching impacts on household labor allocation, the gendered division of labor, and household wellbeing. But their effects on women are both more adverse and more severe, expressed in terms of increased wage labor to make up for lost land and livestock, more time spent gathering firewood and water from increasingly distant locations, and an increased intensity of household responsibilities where male members underwent wage labor migration. These burdens led to negative psychological, corporal, and material effects on women living in and near transacted areas compared to their situation prior to transactions. This article both responds to the deficit in studies on the impacts of LSLTs on gendered livelihoods, labor relations, and wellbeing outcomes, and lays the groundwork for future research.

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Agrawal et al. (2019) Are Global Land Grabs Ticking Socio-Economic Bombs or Just Inefficient Investments 

Agrawal et al. (2019) Are Global Land Grabs Ticking Socio-Economic Bombs or just Inefficient Investments 

Agrawal, A., Brown, D.G., and Sullivan, J.A. 2019. “Are global land grabs ticking socio-economic bombs or just inefficient investments?.” One Earth 1(2): 159-162.

ABSTRACT

Across the lower- and middle-income world, investors are acquiring rights to large swathes of land for agricultural development, threatening both existing livelihoods and the environment. The full weight of future impacts remains uncertain. But research on sustainable agriculture offers avenues to mitigate, diffuse, and avoid negative environmental and social consequences.

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Cheng et al. (2019) A Systematic Map of Evidence on the Contribution of Forests to Poverty Alleviation

Cheng et al. (2019) A Systematic Map of Evidence on the Contribution of Forests to Poverty Alleviation

Cheng, S.H., K. MacLeod S. Ahlroth, S. Onder, E. Perge, P. Shyamsundar, P. Rana, R. Garside, P. Kristjanson, M.C. McKinnon, and D.C. Miller. 2019. “A Systematic Map of Evidence on the Contribution of Forests to Poverty Alleviation.” Environmental Evidence 8: 3.

ABSTRACT

Background

Forests provide an essential resource to the livelihoods of an estimated 20% of the global population. The contribution of forest ecosystems and forest-based resources to poverty reduction is increasingly emphasized in international policy discourse and conservation and development investments. However, evidence measuring the effect of forest-based activities on poverty outcomes remains scattered and unclear. Lack of systematic understanding of forest-poverty relationships, in turn, inhibits research, policymaking, and efficient financial resource allocation.

Methods

To identify relevant studies for inclusion in this systematic map we searched six bibliographic databases, 15 organizational websites, eight systematic evidence syntheses (reviews and maps), and solicited information from key informants. Search results were screened for relevance against predefined inclusion criteria at title, abstract, and full text levels, according to a published protocol. Included articles were coded using a predefined framework. Trends in the evidence, knowledge gaps and relatively well-researched sub-topics are reported in a narrative synthesis. Occurrence and extent of existing evidence about links between interventions and outcomes are presented in a visual heatmap. Data are available through the open access Evidence for Nature and People Data Portal (http://www.natureandpeopleevidence.org).

Results

A total of 242 articles were included in the systematic map database. Included articles measured effects of 14 forest-based intervention types on 11 poverty dimensions. The majority of the evidence base (72%) examined links between productivity-enhancement strategies (e.g. forest management, agroforestry, and habitat management) and monetary income and/or social capital outcomes. Other areas with high occurrence of articles include linkages between interventions involving governance, individual rights/empowerment or linked enterprises/livelihood alternatives with impacts on monetary income from direct sale of goods. A key knowledge gap was on the impacts of investment-based interventions (i.e. enhancing produced, human, and social capitals). Another was the impacts of forest-based interventions on financial capital (savings, debt), non-monetary benefits, and health.

Conclusions

The evidence base on forest-based productive activities and poverty alleviation is growing but displays a number of biases in the distribution of articles on key linkages. Priorities for future systematic reviews and evaluations include in-depth examinations into the impacts of rights-based activities (e.g. governance, empowerment) on poverty dimensions; and productivity-enhancing activities on social capital. More comprehensive and robust evidence is needed to better understand the synergies and trade-offs among the different objectives of forest conservation and management and variation in outcomes for different social groups in different social-ecological contexts.

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Erbaugh et al. (2019) Toward Sustainable Agriculture in the Tropics

Erbaugh et al. (2019) Toward Sustainable Agriculture in the Tropics

Erbaugh, J.T., Bierbaum, R., Castilleja, G., da Fonseca G.A., and Hansen, S.C.B. 2019. “Toward sustainable agriculture in the tropics.” World Development 121: 158-162.

Abstract

Wide-scale transformation promoting sustainable agricultural production in the tropics will be crucial to global sustainability and development. Although contemporary agricultural production has increased alongside international demand, it has resulted in extensive changes in land cover, often at the expense of tropical forests and other native habitats. Conservation and development professionals from civil society, private foundations, multilateral and specialized international agencies, along with academic organizations and, increasingly, the private sector, have cited the urgent need to transform tropical agricultural production to meet current and future food needs without compromising environmental, economic, and sociocultural outcomes for present and future generations. This introduction identifies the processes by which sustainable agricultural production is being implemented and scaled-up in the tropics. We propose a typology that, in broad terms, conceptualizes the implementation of sustainable agriculture. This typology depicts how contributions to this special issue advance the understanding of sustainable agriculture in the tropics. Together, these articles demonstrate that implementing the sustainable production of agriculture often occurs through hybrid governance, with actors from the public sector, private sector, and civil society working together to define and implement interventions. Evaluation of sustainable agriculture production in the tropics often relies upon transdisciplinary teams that bring data, analysis, and firsthand knowledge together. Future research would do well to focus on sustainability outcomes as a combination of environmental and human well-being indicators; the composition and outcomes of different intervention mixes; and how implementation cycles influence subsequent definition, governance, and evaluation of sustainable agriculture in the tropics.

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Erbaugh et al. (2019) Responsibilization and Social Forestry in Indonesia

Erbaugh (2019) Responsibilization and Social Forestry in Indonesia 

Erbaugh, J.T. 2019. “Responsibilization and social forestry in Indonesia.” Forest Policy and Economics 109: 10201

Abstract

The current expansion of social forestry in Indonesia represents an unprecedented transfer of forest management responsibilities to user-groups across the archipelago. The Indonesian state aims to formalize co-management across 12.7 Mha of forest area to enhance community well-being and environmental as well as economic outcomes for the Indonesian public. Contemporary social forestry in Indonesia thus represents a form of natural resource responsibilization. Analyzing Indonesian social forestry as a process of responsibilization provides insight into how social forestry is performed, whether the alignment between community well-being and societal benefits is valid, and existing tensions that occur through the responsibilization of communities for forest management. Using responsibilization theory to examine social forestry policy, this research first identifies the activities that create social forestry in Indonesia and responsibilize new actors for forest management. The transfer of specific control rights to user-groups occurs through a constellation of administrative actors, bureaucratic activities, and virtual platforms. These activities reify user-groups and seek to unite community well-being objectives with environmental and economic benefits to the larger Indonesian public. However, the responsibilization of user-groups for forest management results in three important tensions. First, well-being and well-doing objectives are not always aligned and result in important trade-offs concerning community empowerment. Second, social forestry initiatives are seemingly optional, but they lack free-entry and formal channels for challenging state decisions. Third, at present there is an asymmetry between resources dedicated to approving social forestry permits versus capacity building, monitoring, and evaluating management outcomes. These three tensions provide insights for social forestry in one of the world's most significant tropical forest countries, and they point to promising future work in advancing scholarship on natural resource management and responsibilization.

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Erbaugh et al. (2019) Paradigm Shift and Business as usual through Policy Layering: Forest Related Policy Change In Indonesia

Erbaugh et al. (2019) Evidence on the Impacts of Forestry Concessions on Wealth in Liberia

Erbaugh, J.T. and Nurrochmat, D.R. 2019. “Paradigm shift and business as usual through policy layering: Forest-related policy change in Indonesia. Land use policy, 86: 136-146.

Abstract

Despite pledges by Indonesian authorities to reduce emissions from deforestation and forest degradation, Indonesian forest cover loss consistently increased over the first 18 years of Indonesian democracy. To determine if forest-related policy demonstrates a paradigm shift toward forest protection, we identify and code a set of 218 national forest-related policy documents passed between 1999 and 2016. We determine whether a paradigmatic change in forest-related policy occurred and the mechanism by which change has or has not taken place through the interpretation of policy citation networks and statistical analysis of temporal relationships between forest-related policy content and change over time. We find that there was a significant increase in the amount of Indonesian forest-related policy from 1999 to 2016 and that it was largely comprised of content that promotes forest protection and redefines the structure and funding for forest-related organizations. These content changes primarily occurred through the process of policy layering, when new policy does not amend or repeal old policy and regulation. We discuss current trends in the regulation of forest territory and flow in Indonesia and find further evidence of policy layering. Thus, although Indonesian forest-related policy demonstrates a paradigm shift, the layering process through which new policy was created allows for interpretable flexibility, which enables continued forest cover loss.

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McGrath et al. (2019) Green without envy: How Social Capital Alleviates Tensions from a Payments For Ecosystem Services (PES) Program in Indonesia

McGrath et al. (2019) Green without envy: How Social Capital Alleviates Tensions From a Payments for Ecosystem Services (PES) Program in Indonesia

McGrath, F., Erbaugh, J.T., Leimona, B., Amaruzaman, S., Rahadian, N., and Carrasco, L.R. 2019. “Green without envy: how social capital alleviates tensions from a Payments for Ecosystem Services (PES) program in Indonesia.” Ecology and Society 23(4).

Abstract

Social capital increases participation and the success of conservation projects. However, research often overlooks social capital between program participants and nonparticipants. We examine social capital between participants and nonparticipants in villages across the Cidanau Watershed in West Java, Indonesia. Villages in this region have longstanding participation in a Payments for Ecosystem Services (PES) scheme, and previous studies note they contain high levels of social capital. We find that working together, helping each other when someone is in need, and trusting your neighbors are part of the tradition and the history of these communities. Furthermore, we find that high levels of social capital persist between village members who do and do not participate in the PES scheme, despite perceived tensions and jealousy and elite capture in the PES scheme. The high levels of social capital mitigate the social impacts of the PES program. Specifically, participants report giving cash to jealous neighbors and/or providing nonparticipants with information about the PES scheme and encouraging their involvement. The informal actions that participants take to alleviate tension and jealousy mitigate the negative social impacts and perceptions of the PES. Thus, this research extends the literature on PES programs to consider participants and nonparticipants and it demonstrates how high levels of social capital can contribute to project stability by alleviating negative consequences and perceptions through informal mechanisms.

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Oldekop et al. (2019) Reductions in Deforestation and Poverty from Decentralized Forest Management in Nepal

Oldekop et al. (2019) Reductions in Deforestation and Poverty from Decentralized Forest Management in Nepal

Oldekop, J.A., Sims, K.R., Karna, B.K., Whittingham, M. J., and Agrawal, A. 2019. “Reductions in deforestation and poverty from decentralized forest management in Nepal.” Nature Sustainability 2(5): 421-428.

Abstract

Since the 1980’s, decentralized forest management has been promoted as a way to enhance sustainable forest use and reduce rural poverty. Rural communities manage increasing amounts of the world’s forests, yet rigorous evidence using large-N data on whether community-based forest management (CFM) can jointly reduce both deforestation and poverty remains scarce. We estimate the impacts of CFM using a large longitudinal dataset that integrates national census-based poverty measures with high-resolution forest cover change data, and near-complete information on Nepal’s >18,000 community forests. We compare changes in forest cover and poverty from 2000–2012 for subdistricts with or without CFM arrangements, but that are otherwise similar in terms of socioeconomic and biophysical baseline measures. Our results indicate that CFM has, on average, contributed to significant net reductions in both poverty and deforestation across Nepal, and that CFM increases the likelihood of win–win outcomes. We also find that the estimated reduced deforestation impacts of community forests are lower where baseline poverty levels are high, and greater where community forests are larger and have existed longer. These results indicate that greater benefits may result from longer-term investments and larger areas committed to CFM, but that community forests established in poorer areas may require additional support to minimize tradeoffs between socioeconomic and environmental outcomes.

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Rana et al. (2019) Explaining Long Term Outcome Trajectories in Social Ecological Systems

Rana et al. (2019) Explaining Long Term Outcome Trajectories in Social Ecological Systems

Rana, P. and D.C. Miller. 2019. “Explaining Long-term Outcome Trajectories in Social–ecological Systems.” PLOS ONE 14(4): e0215230

Abstract

Improved knowledge of long-term social and environmental trends and their drivers in coupled human and natural systems is needed to guide nature and society along a more sustainable trajectory. Here we combine common property theory and experimental impact evaluation methods to develop an approach for analyzing long-term outcome trajectories in social–ecological systems (SESs). We constructed robust counterfactual scenarios for observed vegetation outcome trajectories in the Indian Himalaya using synthetic control matching. This approach enabled us to quantify the contribution of a set of biophysical and socioeconomic factors in shaping observed outcomes. Results show the relative importance of baseline vegetation condition, governance, and demographic change in predicting long-term ecological outcomes. More generally, the findings suggest the broad potential utility of our approach to analyze long-term outcome trajectories, target new policy interventions, and assess the impacts of policies on sustainability goals in SESs across the globe.

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Rana et al. (2019) Machine Learning to Analayze the Social Ecological Impacts of Natural Resource Policy: Insights from Community Forest Management in the Indian Himalaya

Rana et al. (2019) Machine Learning to Analyze the Social ecological Impacts of Natural Resource Policy: Insights from Community Forest Management in the Indian Himalaya

Rana, P. and D.C. Miller. 2019. “Machine Learning to Analyze the Social-Ecological Impacts of Natural Resource Policy: Insights from Community Forest Management in the Indian Himalaya.” Environmental Research Letters 14: 2

Abstract

Machine learning promises to advance analysis of the social and ecological impacts of forest and other natural resource policies around the world. However, realizing this promise requires addressing a number of challenges characteristic of the forest sector. Forests are complex social-ecological systems (SESs) with myriad interactions and feedbacks potentially linked to policy impacts. This complexity makes it hard for machine learning methods to distinguish between significant causal relationships and random fluctuations due to noise. In this context, SES frameworks together with quasi-experimental impact evaluation approaches can facilitate the use of machine learning by providing guidance on the choice of variables while reducing bias in estimated effects. Here we combine an SES framework, optimal matching, and Causal Tree-based algorithms to examine causal impacts of two community forest management policies (forest cooperatives and joint state-community partnerships) on vegetation growth in the Indian Himalaya. We find that neither policy had a major impact on average, but there was important heterogeneity in effects conditional on local contextual conditions. For joint forest management, a set of biophysical and climate factors shaped differential policy impacts across the study region. By contrast, cooperative forest management performed much better in locations where existing grazing-based livelihoods were safeguarded. Stronger local institutions and secure tenure under cooperative management explain the difference in outcomes between the two policies. Despite their potential, machine learning approaches do have limitations, including absence of valid precision estimates for heterogeneity estimates and issues of estimate stability. Therefore, they should be viewed as a complement to impact evaluation approaches that, among other potential uses, can uncover key drivers of heterogeneity and generate new questions and hypotheses to improve knowledge and policy relating to forest and other natural resource governance challenges.

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Wilson et al. (2019) The 'Ecosystem service scarcity path' to Forest Recovery: A Local Forest Transition in the Ecuadorian Andes

Wilson et al. (2019) The 'Ecosystem service scarcity to forest recovery: A Local Forest Transition in the Ecuadorian Andes

Wilson, S.J., Coomes, O.T., Dallaire, C.O. 2019. “The ‘ecosystem service scarcity path’ to forest recovery: A local forest transition in the Ecuadorian Andes.” Regional Environmental Change 19(8): 2437-2451

Abstract

Many tropical mountain ecosystems (TME) are severely disturbed, requiring ecological restoration to recover biodiversity and ecosystem functions. However, the extent of restoration efforts across TMEs is not known due to the lack of syntheses on ecological restoration research. Here, based on a systematic review, we identify geographical and thematic research gaps, compare restoration interventions, and consolidate enabling factors and barriers of restoration success. We find that restoration research outside Latin-America, in non-forested ecosystems, and on socio-ecological questions is scarce. For most restoration interventions success is mixed and generally limited by dispersal and microhabitat conditions. Finally, we propose five directions for future research on tropical mountain restoration in the UN decade of restoration, ranging from scaling up restoration across mountain ranges, investigating restoration in mountain grasslands, to incorporating socio-economic and technological dimensions.

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Jung et al. (2019) Evidence on the Impacts of Forestry Concessions on Wealth in Liberia

Jung et al. (2019) Evidence on the Impacts of Forestry Concessions on Wealth in Liberia

Jung, S., Liao, C., Agrawal, A., Brown, D. 2019. Evidence on the Impacts of Forestry Concessions on Wealth in Liberia. Journal of the Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, 6(5): 961-1000

Abstract

The effects of resource-led development on local people’s well-being are disputed. Using four rounds of Demographic and Health Survey data in Liberia, we find that households living closer to active forest concessions achieved a higher asset-based wealth score compared to those living farther away. These wealth-improving effects did not stem, however, from the direct employment effects of concessions. Rather, evidence suggests that indirect general equilibrium effects related to demand for goods and services and increased employment in all-year and nonsubsistence jobs are the main channels. Our study underlines potential wealth-improving effects of resource-led development in poor countries, thereby contributing to the literature on well-being impacts of resource-led development on local people.

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2018

Brown, S.E. et al. (2018) Evidence for the impacts of agroforestry on agricultural productivity, ecosystem services, and human well-being in high-income countries: a systematic map protocol

Brown, S.E., Miller, D.C., Ordonez, P.J. et al. Evidence for the impacts of agroforestry on agricultural productivity, ecosystem services, and human well-being in high-income countries: a systematic map protocol.

Environ Evid 7, 24 (2018).

 

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Erbaugh, J.T., and Oldekop, J.A. (2018) Forest landscape restoration for livelihoods and well-being.

Erbaugh, J.T., and Oldekop, J.A. 2018. “Forest landscape restoration for livelihoods and well-being.” Current Opinion in Environmental Sustainability 32: 76-83.

 Abstract: The scope and current investment for forest landscape restoration (FLR) is great, as are the demands put upon it for improving livelihoods and well-being. International leaders have pledged 350 Mha for FLR as part of international sustainability agendas. FLR is implemented primarily through incentives and institutions, with an emphasis on the role of active planting and land tenure reforms. Despite recent attention and a growing literature that assesses the contributions of FLR and related projects to livelihood and well-being, there is a dearth of evidence linking FLR to social, economic, or political outcomes. We present a simple framework to understand environmental and social effects of FLR interventions and we review the evidence linking FLR to livelihood and well-being outcomes. We suggest that to enhance benefits to local populations from FLR, it is necessary to better integrate socioeconomic and political data into FLR planning and implementation, to increase the role of informational implementation, and to develop monitoring and evaluation protocols to assess direct and indirect environmental and social impacts from FLR projects.

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Harbi, J. et al. (2018) Making a bridge between livelihoods and forest conservation: Lessons from non timber forest products’ utilization in South Sumatera, Indonesia.

Harbi, J., Erbaugh, J.T., Sidiq, M., Haasler, B., and Nurrochmat, D.R. 2018. “Making a bridge between livelihoods and forest conservation: Lessons from non timber forest products’ utilization in SOuth Sumatera, Indonesia.” Forest policy and economics 94: 1-10.

Abstract: Promoting forest conservation as well as the well-being of forest proximate people requires an appropriate balance of regulation, enforcement, and incentives. When regulation and enforcement are minimal, economic incentives for low-intensity and non-deleterious forest use can provide conservation and livelihood benefits. One management option for promoting low intensity and non-deleterious forest use includes the harvest and production of non-timber forest products (NTFPs). This research identifies and examines strategies to promote sustainable livelihoods in a conservation landscape. We assess Pangkalan Bulian Village, Musi Banyuasin District, South Sumatra Province using the Community Livelihood Appraisal and Product Scanning (CLAPS) method to describe potential commodities and conduct value chain and market analyses on downstream sectors. Data collection included in-depth interviews, focus group discussions, and household surveys disseminated through snowball sampling. We find that rattan is a priority NTFP due to the presence of abundant raw materials, trained human resources, and potential markets. Actors involved along the value chain are collectors, local brokers, large collectors, small processors, large processors, retailers and end consumers. Profit margins earned along each link of the value chain are around 25%. Thus, we encourage rattan harvest and production as a low-intensity and non-deleterious forest use that can simultaneously benefit local livelihoods and forest conservation in a landscape where protected area rules and regulations are difficult to enforce.

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Hajjar and Oldekop (2018) Research frontiers in community forest management

Hajjar and Oldekop (2018) Research frontiers in community forest management


Community forest management (CFM) has been promoted worldwide as a means to conserve forests, recognize community rights, and improve local livelihoods. Here, we synthesize findings across recent CFM studies and identify two thematic and one methodological trend at the forefront of CFM scholarship. The first thematic trend is an examination of community forest enterprises as hybrid business models. The second is the increase of studies examining how REDD+ can contribute to the goals of CFM, and vice versa. The key methodological trend is the use of secondary data sets to determine outcomes of CFM policies at regional and national scales. These three trends add new perspectives to the debate on the effectiveness of CFM as a forest policy and institutional intervention.

 

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Jung, Liao, Agrawal, Brown (2018) Evidence on Wealth-Improving Effects of Forest Concessions in Liberia

Jung, Liao, Agrawal, Brown (2018) Evidence on Wealth-Improving Effects of Forest Concessions in Liberia

The effects of resource-led development on local people’s wellbeing are disputed.
Using four rounds of Demographic and Health Survey data in Liberia, we find that households
living closer to active forest concessions achieved a higher asset-based wealth score compared to
those living farther away. These wealth-improving effects did not stem, however, from the direct
employment effects of concessions. Rather, evidence suggests that indirect general equilibrium
effects related to demand for goods and services and increased employment in all-year and nonsubsistence
jobs are the main channels. Our study underlines potential wealth-improving effects
of resource-led development in poor countries, thereby contributing to the literature on wellbeing
impacts of resource-led development on local people.

 

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Miller, D.C. and Katia S. Nakamura (2018) Protected Areas and the Sustainable Governance of Forest Resources

Miller, D.C. and Katia S. Nakamura. 2018. “Protected Areas and the Sustainable Governance of Forest Resources.” Current Opinion in Environmental Sustainability 32: 96-103.

Abstract: Forest protected areas (FPAs) remain a core strategy in efforts to advance global sustainability goals. Information on the effectiveness of this strategy in delivering environmental and socio-economic benefits is accumulating rapidly. Here, we review recent literature to assess current knowledge on FPA impacts, focusing on studies examining the governance dimensions of FPAs. We find that quantitative impact evaluations increasingly assess FPA networks and seek to link FPA governance to conservation and human well-being outcomes. A largely separate, qualitative literature provides detailed analysis of forest PA governance, but rarely connects it to these outcomes. Our review highlights the need for greater integration of insights and approaches from these two literatures to develop theory and evidence on sustainable governance of forest PAs over the long-term.

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Oldekop, J.A. et al. (2018) An upside to globalization, international outmigration drives reforestation in Nepal

Oldekop, J.A., Sims, K.R., Whittingham, M.J., and Agrawal, A. 2018. “An upside to globalization, international outmigration drives reforestation in Nepal.” Global Environmental Change 52:66-74.

Abstract: Halting and reversing global forest loss is a key priority for sustainable development pathways. Multiple countries in the Global South have recently transitioned from net forest loss to net forest gain. Understanding and explaining reforestation patterns is necessary to better understand land cover dynamics and create more effective sustainability policies. We show that international migration – a key feature of globalization in the 21st century – spurs a transition to greater forest cover in Nepal. Although some aspects of globalization - agricultural commodity production and trade in particular - have been identified as contributing to deforestation, the effects of international migration are less well understood. Using data from Nepal’s national census (1.36 Million households) and from high-resolution forest cover change, we find that international outmigration is associated with substantial increases in local forest cover, even after controlling for multiple confounding factors. We find that areas with international outmigration levels above the median in 2001 were 44% more likely to experience net reforestation between 2000–2012. This effect of outmigration is mediated by changes in population density and in household agricultural activity. Effects of outmigration are higher in more agriculturally suitable areas, suggesting that migration-driven forest transitions are influenced by agricultural production systems. We provide new empirical evidence of forest transition driven by international migration and a generalizable analytical approach to the study of forest transitions using secondary global and national datasets. Our results suggest that actions to reach global sustainability, biodiversity targets, and reduced emissions can be better designed and targeted by taking into account the effects of international migration on natural resources and ecosystems.

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Sanchez Badini, Hajjar, Kozak (2018) Critical success factors for small and medium forest enterprises: A review

Sanchez Badini, Hajjar, Kozak (2018) Critical success factors for small and medium forest enterprises: A review

Small and medium forest enterprises (SMFEs) are small firms in developing countries aimed at generating income from a diverse set of forest-related activities. They result in multiple dimensions of economic, social, and cultural prosperity in forest-dependent economies, and as such they constitute an important strategy for fostering prosperity. However, SMFEs facea number of barriers and challenges, including inhospitable or incompatible regulatory environments, difficulties achieving economies of scale, and insufficient access to technical and financial capacity to overcome these issues. Through a comprehensive literature review of scholarly research published on the subject of SMFE failures and successes, our study addressed the following question: what political, economic, and socio-cultural conditions are needed for SMFEs to thrive? In answering this question, we identified and characterized twelve (12) emergent critical success factors (CSFs) of enabling business environments: macroeconomic setting, regulatory frameworks, forest law enforcement, tenure and ownership rights, management and land use planning rights, marketsnatural capital, financial capitalforest management capacities, business management capacities, organizational capacities, and clustering. The integrative enabling environment framework proposed in our study can be used as a tool by practitioners seeking to promote SMFEs through programs of support or policy reforms. By considering the various CSFs that act as the foundation for successful SMFE development, the efficacy of forest-dependent livelihoodinterventions aiming to achieve prosperity around the world can be meaningfully enhanced.

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2017

Broegaard et al. (2017) Wild food collection and nutrition under commercial agriculture expansion in agriculture-forest landscapes

Broegaard et al. (2017) Wild food collection and nutrition under commercial agriculture expansion in agriculture-forest landscapes

Citation: Broegaard, Rikke Brandt, Laura Vang Rasmussen, Neil Dawson, Ole Mertz, Thoumthone Vongvisouk, and Kenneth Grogan. “Wild food collection and nutrition under commercial agriculture expansion in agriculture-forest landscapes.” Forest Policy and Economics (2017): n. pag. Web.

Abstract

Wild food constitutes a substantial part of household food consumption around the world, but rapid land use changes influence the availability of wild foods, which has implications for smallholders’ food and nutrient intake. With increasing commercial agriculture and biodiversity conservation efforts in forested tropical regions, many shifting cultivation systems are being intensified and their extent restricted. Studies examining the consequences of such pressures commonly overlook the diminishing role of wild food. Using a combination of collection diaries, participant observation, remote sensing, and interviews, we examined the role of agriculture-forest landscapes in the provision of wild food in rapidly transforming shifting cultivation communities in northern Laos. We found that wild food contributed less to human diets in areas where pressure on land from commercial agriculture and conservation efforts was more intense. Our results demonstrate that increasing pressure on land creates changes in the shifting cultivation landscape and people’s use thereof with negative effects on the quality of nutrition, including protein deficiency, especially in communities adjacent to core conservation areas. Our study shows the importance of adopting a more nutrition-sensitive approach to the linkages between commercial agriculture and biodiversity conservation (and the policies that promote them), wild food provisioning, and food security.

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Byg et al. (2017) Trees, soils, and warthogs – Distribution of services and disservices from reforestation areas in southern Ethiopia

Byg et al. (2017) Trees, soils, and warthogs – Distribution of services and disservices from reforestation areas in southern Ethiopia

Citation: Byg, A., Novo, P., Dinato, M., Moges, A., Tefera, T., Balana, B., Woldeamanuel, T., Black, H. “Trees, Soils, and Warthogs – Distribution of Services and Disservices from Reforestation Areas in Southern Ethiopia.“ Forest Policy and Economics (2017): n. pag. ScienceDirect. Web.

Abstract

Conservation projects have often been criticized for creating global benefits while causing negative impacts on local livelihoods. Ecosystem services approaches have been seen as one way to change this by focusing explicitly on maintaining ecosystems for human well-being of stakeholders at various scales. However, ecosystem services approaches have often ignored trade-offs between groups of people and issues of power and do not automatically lead to better outcomes in terms of human well-being. Here we report on a study on the impacts of reforestation projects with an explicit focus on human well-being in three communities in southern Ethiopia. We investigated the distribution of services and disservices from reforestation using qualitative methods. Results showed that the services and disservices from reforestation were distributed unequally across space and wealth groups resulting in widespread dissatisfaction with existing reforestation projects despite the explicit focus on human benefits. To improve outcomes of reforestation it is necessary to acknowledge and manage disservices adaptively, include issues of power and make trade-offs transparent.

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Erbaugh, J.T., Agrawal, A. (2017) Clarifying the landscape approach: A Letter to the Editor on “Integrated landscape approaches to managing social and environmental issues in the tropics"

Erbaugh, J.T., Agrawal, A. 2017. “Clarifying the landscape approach: A Letter to the Editor on “Integrated landscape approaches to managing social and environmental issues in the tropics.” Global Change Biology 23(11): 4453-4454. DOI: 10.1111/gcb.13788

Abstract:

Objectives, assumptions, and methods for landscape restoration and the landscape approach. World leaders have pledged 350 Mha for restoration using a landscape approach. The landscape approach is thus poised to become one of the most influential methods for multi-functional land management. Reed et al (2016) meaningfully advance scholarship on the landscape approach, but they incorrectly define the approach as it exists within their text. This Letter to the Editor clarifies the landscape approach as an ethic for land management, demonstrates how it relates to landscape restoration, and motivates continued theoretical development and empirical assessment of the landscape approach.

Hajjar and Kozak (2017) The evolution of forest producer associations and their current role in REDD+: Case studies from Quintana Roo, Mexico

Hajjar and Kozak (2017) The evolution of forest producer associations and their current role in REDD+: Case studies from Quintana Roo, Mexico

Citation: Hajjar, Reem, and Robert A. Kozak. “The evolution of forest producer associations and their current role in REDD+: Case studies from Quintana Roo, Mexico.” Land Use Policy 60 (2017): 373-83. Science Direct. Web.

Abstract

Forest associations (secondary-level institutions that support and represent groups of forest producer communities) play an important and understudied role in promoting community forestry in a multi-level forest governance context in many countries. This role continually evolves to meet new demands from their constituents, with associations diversifying into activities that bring new governance issues, interests, organizational logics and capacity needs. As community forestry in many countries is being integrated into REDD+ national strategies, questions arise regarding new roles for these associations. Through a case study of two forest associations in Quintana Roo, Mexico, this study traces the history and evolution of these associations as they react and adapt to a changing forest sector, uses forest stakeholders’ opinions to assess the associations’ current status and perceived importance of their involvement in the forest sector, and examines how current opinions and historical legacy have shaped their role in REDD+ in Mexico. Results show that association members and outsiders (mostly government stakeholders) hold divergent views of the utility of these organizations. Outsiders’ negative perceptions, as well as the niche that the associations are currently in, is largely determining their limited participation in REDD+ consultation and implementation to date. This is a missed opportunity to engage important allies who still hold high legitimacy in the eyes of the communities that will be the ultimate implementers of REDD+.

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Ingram et al. (2017) Challenges to governing sustainable forest food: Irvingia spp. from southern Cameroon

Ingram et al. (2017) Challenges to governing sustainable forest food: Irvingia spp. from southern Cameroon

Citation: Ingram, Verina, Marcus Ewane, Louis Njie Ndumbe, and Abdon Awono. “Challenges to governing sustainable forest food: Irvingia spp. from southern Cameroon.” Forest Policy and Economics (2017): n. pag. ScienceDirect. Web.

Abstract

Across the Congo Basin, bush mango (Irvingia spp.) nuts have been harvested from forest landscapes for consumption, sold as a foodstuff and for medicine for centuries. Data on this trade however are sparse. A value chain approach was used to gather information on stakeholders in the chain from the harvesters in three major production areas in Cameroon to traders in Cameroon, Nigeria, and Equatorial Guinea, the socio-economic values, environmental sustainability and governance. Around 5190 people work in the complex chain in Cameroon with an estimated 4109 tons harvested on average annually in the period 2007 to 2010. Bush mango incomes contribute on average to 31% of harvester’s annual incomes and dependence increases for those further from the forest. Customary rules govern access to resources. Although regulations exist, most trade is illegal, with corruption and collective action governing access to markets. The majority of nuts harvested are sustainably collected. Although 51% of the harvest is sourced from the forest, trees are also managed on cultivated land. Forest degradation and deforestation threaten the species. Policy measures such as linking stakeholders, promoting cultivation, pragmatic regulation, and supporting processer groups may make trade in this forest food more sustainable.

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Jung et al. (2017) Brazil’s National Environmental Registry of Rural Properties: Implications for Livelihoods

Jung et al. (2017) Brazil’s National Environmental Registry of Rural Properties: Implications for Livelihoods

Citation: Suhyun Jung, Laura Rasmussen, Cristy Watkins, Pete Newton, and Arun Agrawal. 2017. Brazil’s National Environmental Registry of Rural Properties: Implications for Livelihoods. Ecological Economics, 136: 53-61.

Abstract

In Brazil, the Cadastro Ambiental Rural (CAR) is currently being implemented. This policy aims to geo-reference all properties and promote monitoring of, and compliance with, natural vegetation conservation requirements. Scholarly efforts and policy attention have so far concentrated on possible environmental impacts hereof, while the attention devoted to how the CAR might affect farmers’ livelihoods has been limited. In this paper, we evaluate potential livelihood impacts of the CAR and programs that facilitate CAR registration. We do so by developing a conceptual framework and using evidence from semi-structured interviews with key stakeholders including farmers, governments, and funding agencies. We find that while the CAR and programs facilitating CAR do not have explicit livelihood impact goals, they nonetheless affect livelihoods, both positively and negatively, depending on the initial amount of natural vegetation on farmers’ properties, farmers’ access to credit and infrastructure, and changing market conditions. We argue that environmental interventions and policies need to consider potential livelihood impacts, especially if the policy intervention area has high poverty rates.

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L’roe and Naughton-Treves (2017) Forest edges in western Uganda: From refuge for the poor to zone of investment

L’roe and Naughton-Treves (2017) Forest edges in western Uganda: From refuge for the poor to zone of investment

Citation: L’roe, Jessica, and Lisa Naughton-Treves. “Forest edges in western Uganda: From refuge for the poor to zone of investment.” Forest Policy and Economics (2017): n. pag. ScienceDirect. Web.

Abstract

Western Uganda is home to growing populations of smallholder agriculturalists, expanding commodity plantations, and protected forests. In this setting, we document a shift in who uses forest edge land and how it is used. In developing countries, protected forest edges are traditionally sites where marginalized people can subsist, but increasing land competition has the potential to change this scenario. We used longitudinal field data spanning two decades to characterize the evolution of landownership and land use neighboring Kibale National Park. The number of households has more than doubled since 1993. Land values are rising, and people buying land near the park in recent years are significantly wealthier and have more off-farm income than those who acquired land there in earlier periods. The reverse is true of renters. More people are growing inedible perennial cash crops like eucalyptus, tea, and coffee, especially those with larger amounts of land and capital. Some long-term residents are prospering, while others are squeezed onto ever smaller pieces of land and opting for precarious rental arrangements as land competition increases. We discuss the implications of this transitioning park neighborhood, both for conservation and local livelihoods.

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Miller et al. (2017) Prevalence, economic contribution, and determinants of trees on farms across Sub-Saharan Africa

Miller et al. (2017) Prevalence, economic contribution, and determinants of trees on farms across Sub-Saharan Africa

Citation: Miller, Daniel C., Juan Carlos Munoz-Mora, and Luc Christiaensen. “Prevalence, economic contribution, and determinants of trees on farms across Sub-Saharan Africa.” Forest Policy and Economics (2017): n. pag. Web.

Abstract

Trees on farms are often overlooked in agricultural and natural resource research and policy in Sub-Saharan Africa. This article addresses this gap using data from the Living Standards Measurement Study-Integrated Surveys on Agriculture in five countries: Ethiopia, Malawi, Nigeria, Tanzania, and Uganda. Trees on farms are widespread. On average, almost a third of rural smallholders grow trees. They account for an average of 17% of total annual gross income for tree-growing households and 6% for all rural households. Gender, land and labor endowments, and especially forest proximity and national context are key determinants of on-farm tree adoption and management. These new, national-scale insights on the prevalence, economic contribution and determinants of trees on farms in Africa lay the basis for exploring the interaction of agriculture, on-farm tree cultivation, and forestry to gain a more complete picture of the dynamics of rural livelihoods across the continent and beyond.

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Miller, Rana, and Wahlén (2017) A Crystal Ball for Forests?: Analyzing the Social-Ecological Impacts of Forest Conservation and Management over the Long Term

Miller, Rana, and Wahlén (2017) A Crystal Ball for Forests?: Analyzing the Social-Ecological Impacts of Forest Conservation and Management over the Long Term

Citation: Miller, Daniel C., et al. “A Crystal Ball for Forests?: Analyzing the Social-Ecological Impacts of Forest Conservation and Management over the Long Term.” Environment and Society, vol. 8, no. 1, 1 Sept. 2017, pp. 40–62.

Abstract:

Citizens, governments, and donors are increasingly demanding better evidence on the effectiveness of development policies and programs. Efforts to ensure such accountability in the forest sector confront the challenge that the results may take years, even decades, to materialize, while forest-related interventions usually last only a short period. This article reviews the broad interdisciplinary literature assessing forest conservation and management impacts on biodiversity conservation, climate change mitigation, and poverty alleviation in developing countries. It emphasizes the importance of indicators and identifies disconnects between a rapidly growing body of research based on quasi-experimental designs and studies taking a more critical, ethnographic approach. The article also highlights a relative lack of attention on longer-term impacts in both of these areas of scholarship. We conclude by exploring research frontiers in the assessment of the impacts of forest-related interventions with long incubation periods, notably the development of predictive proxy indicators (PPIs).

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Rasmussen et al. (2017) Bridging the practitioner-researcher divide: Indicators to track environmental, economic, and sociocultural sustainability of agricultural commodity production

Rasmussen et al. (2017) Bridging the practitioner-researcher divide: Indicators to track environmental, economic, and sociocultural sustainability of agricultural commodity production

Citation: Rasmussen, Laura Vang, Rosina Bierbaum, Johan A. Oldekop, and Arun Agrawal. “Bridging the practitioner-researcher divide: Indicators to track environmental, economic, and sociocultural sustainability of agricultural commodity production.” Global Environmental Change 42 (2017): 33-46. Science Direct. Web.

Abstract

Agricultural systems, with their links to human wellbeing, have been at the heart of sustainability debates for decades. But there is only limited agreement among scientists and stakeholders about the indicators needed to measure the sustainability of agricultural commodity production. We analyze the metrics and indicators of sustainability used in contemporary research on commodity agriculture to demonstrate that new sustainability indicators continue to be developed rapidly by researchers interested in the three principal pillars of sustainability (environmental, economic, and sociocultural). Data from interviews with main agencies and organizations investing in sustainable commodity agriculture reveals that the most commonly used indicators in the academic literature do not overlap with the central aspects of agricultural commodity production that practitioners seek to monitor. Increased dialogue between researchers and practitioners is necessary for better design and use of metrics and indicators that are cost-effective and can be used to compare sustainability outcomes across countries and commodities. We argue that finding common ground among researchers and practitioners requires coordinating ongoing data collection efforts, a greater focus on linking data collection to relevant indicators for sustainable agricultural production, and more attention to the analysis of combined datasets, rather than on the collection of new data on new indicators. By outlining twelve key aspects of agricultural commodity production that the interviewed practitioners from major agencies and organizations deem important to track, our analysis provides a strong framework that can help bridge research-practitioner divisions related to agricultural commodity production and the use of indicators to monitor and assess its sustainability. Our findings are relevant to the search for a parsimonious set of sustainability indicators at a critical time within the context of a new emerging global sustainability agenda.

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Rasmussen et al. (2017) Forest contributions to livelihoods in changing agriculture-forest landscapes

Rasmussen et al. (2017) Forest contributions to livelihoods in changing agriculture-forest landscapes

Citation: Rasmussen, Laura Vang, Crsity Watkins, and Arun Agrawal. “Forest Contributions to Livelihoods in Changing Agriculture-forest Landscapes.” Forest Policy and Economics (2017): n. pag. ScienceDirect. Web.

Abstract

Forests support the livelihoods of a vast number of people through subsistence use of products, such as food, fodder, and medicinal plants; cash income obtained from sale of products; and more indirect ecological benefits such as the contributions of forests and trees to agricultural productivity. It is widely acknowledged that these contributions can be paramount to local livelihoods, yet country- and region-wide data on their linkages remains sparse and limited attention has been devoted to understanding synergies and trade-offs between, for example, subsistence and cash exchange-based contributions. And because many forest landscapes are now transitioning towards patchworks of land uses owing to agricultural expansion, conservation interventions, urbanization, and other drivers, the ways in which forests support livelihoods are in flux leaving questions about potential shifts in their importance relatively unexplored. This editorial as well as the papers collected in this special issue on Forests, food, and livelihoods, discuss the ways in which forests contribute to livelihoods, including interactions between them, and how they change as landscapes transition. By doing so, we point to the need to move beyond single-year data collection to comparable temporal points and panel data as well as the importance of accounting for a) subsistence use values, b) commercial use values, and c) ecological forest contributions in poverty alleviation policies.

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Rasmussen et al. (2017) Understanding smallholders’ intended deforestation behavior in the Brazilian Cerrado following environmental registry

Rasmussen et al. (2017) Understanding smallholders’ intended deforestation behavior in the Brazilian Cerrado following environmental registry

Citation: Laura Vang Rasmussen et al 2016 Environ. Res. Lett. 12 094001

Abstract:

Brazil’s Rural Environmental Registry (CAR) is a potentially promising avenue to slow deforestation on private properties as it facilitates the monitoring of land use. Yet limited empirical evidence exists on how the CAR affects smallholders’ behavior and recent scholarly efforts have in fact indicated that it may be doing less to protect forests than previously assumed. Based on 1177 smallholder surveys conducted in the Cerrado, we assess 1) whether the CAR might incentivize smallholders to pursue deforestation and 2) which factors are associated with smallholders’ intended deforestation behavior. We find that upon CAR registration, factors significantly associated with smallholders’ intention to deforest are: the existing percentage of native vegetation on the property, the use of agricultural loans, property owner’s age, and livestock production experience. To curb deforestation that may follow expressed intentions of smallholders, the CAR, and environmental registration programs alike, should account for existing land use by, for example, improving the system already in place for trading areas of native vegetation as this system is not widely adopted by those smallholders with more native vegetation than the legal cut-off. Also, such programs should assess the role of whether conditions related to land cover maintenance may protect against deforestation if credit access is supported especially to younger smallholders and/or livestock producers with a high percentage of native vegetation in their properties.’

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Reed et al. (2017) Trees for life: The ecosystem service contribution of trees to food production and livelihoods in the tropics

Reed et al. (2017) Trees for life: The ecosystem service contribution of trees to food production and livelihoods in the tropics

Citation: Reed, James, Josh Van Vianen, Samson Foli, Jessica Clendenning, Kevin Yang, Margaret Macdonald, Gillian Petrokosfsky, Christine Padoch, and Terry Sunderland. “Trees for life: The ecosystem service contribution of trees to food production and livelihoods in the tropics.” Forest Policy and Economics (2017): n. pag. Web.

Abstract

Despite expanding interest in ecosystem service research over the past three decades, in-depth understanding of the contribution of forests and trees to food production and livelihoods remains limited. This review synthesizes the current evidence base examining the contribution of forest and trees to agricultural production and livelihoods in the tropics, where production often occurs within complex land use mosaics that are increasingly subjected to concomitant climatic and anthropogenic pressures. Using systematic review methodology we found 74 studies investigating the effect of forest or tree-based ecosystem service provision on a range of outcomes such as crop yield, biomass, soil fertility, and income. Our findings suggest that when incorporating forests and trees within an appropriate and contextualized natural resource management strategy, there is potential to maintain, and in some cases, enhance yields comparable to solely monoculture systems. Furthermore, this review has illustrated the potential of achieving net livelihood gains through integrating trees on farms, providing rural farmers with additional income sources, and greater resilience strategies to adapt to market or climatic shocks. However, we also identify significant gaps in the current knowledge that demonstrate a need for larger-scale, longer term research to better understand the contribution of forest and trees within the broader landscape and their associated impacts on livelihoods and food production systems.

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Sunderland et al. (2017) A methodological approach for assessing cross-site landscape change: Understanding socio-ecological systems

Sunderland et al. (2017) A methodological approach for assessing cross-site landscape change: Understanding socio-ecological systems

Citation: Sunderland, Terry, Rabdo Abdoulaye, Ronju Ahammad, Stella Asaha, Frederic Baudron, Elizabeth Deakin, Jean-Yves Duriaux, Ian Eddy, Samson Foli, Davison Gumbo, Kaysara Khatun, Mumba Kondwani, Mrigesh Kshatriya, Laurio Leonald, Dominic Rowland, Natasha Stacey, Stephanie Tomscha, Kevin Yang, Sarah Gergel, and Josh Van Vianen. “A Methodological Approach for Assessing Cross-site Landscape Change: Understanding Socio-ecological Systems.” Forest Policy and Economics (2017): n. pag. ScienceDirect. Web.

Abstract

The expansion of agriculture has resulted in large-scale habitat loss, the fragmentation of forests, significant losses in biological diversity and negative impacts on many ecosystem services. In this paper, we highlight the Agrarian Change Project, a multi-disciplinary research initiative, that applies detailed socio-ecological methodologies in multi-functional landscapes, and assess the subsequent implications for conservation, livelihoods and food security. Specifically, the research focuses on land use impacts in locations which exhibit various combinations of agricultural modification/change across a forest transition gradient in six tropical landscapes, in Zambia, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Ethiopia, Indonesia and Bangladesh. These methods include integrated assessments of the perceptions of ecosystem service provision, tree cover loss and gain, relative poverty, diets and agricultural patterns of change. Although numerous surveys on rural livelihoods are undertaken each year, often at great cost, many are hampered by weaknesses in methods and thus may not reflect rural realities. We attempt to highlight how integrating broader socio-ecological methods can be used to fill in those gaps and ensure such realities are indeed captured. Early findings suggest that the transition from a forested landscape to a more agrarian dominated system does not necessarily result in better livelihood outcomes and there may be unintended consequences of forest and tree cover removal. These include the loss of access to grazing land, loss of dietary diversity and the loss of ecosystem services/forest products.

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Wahlen (2017) Opportunities for making the invisible visible: Towards an improved understanding of the economic contributions of NTFPs

Wahlen (2017) Opportunities for making the invisible visible: Towards an improved understanding of the economic contributions of NTFPs

Citation: Wahlen, Catherine Benson. “Opportunities for Making the Invisible Visible: Towards an Improved Understanding of the Economic Contributions of NTFPs.” Forest Policy and Economics (2017): n. pag. ScienceDirect. Web.

Abstract

Forests around the world remain under-valued because governments, policymakers, and other key actors do not consider the global or national contributions of non-timber forest products (NTFPs) when estimating the value of forests. Where available, existing estimates suggest the non-cash benefits of forests are substantial, in many cases three to ten times higher than those for which systematic national and global data are collected. Part of this under-valuation stems from a general focus by governments on forest resources that are commercially valued as well as from government failure to include estimates of NTFP contributions in their national accounts. Beyond these reasons, however, lay methodological challenges in measurement techniques and comparability across studies, countries, and regions, both of which result in limited data on NTFPs. This article reviews NTFP studies at the global and national levels to provide estimates of the non-cash contributions of NTFPs and to shed light on challenges related to the absence of systematic, reliable data on the economic contributions of forests. The article then considers the implications for forest governance, management, and policy, arguing that the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) offer an opportunity to increase attention on the non-cash contributions of forests and turn this invisible contribution into a visible one.

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Wilson et al. (2017) Forest ecosystem-service transitions: the ecological dimensions of the forest transition

Wilson et al. (2017) Forest ecosystem-service transitions: the ecological dimensions of the forest transition

Wilson, S. J., J. Schelhas, R. Grau, A. S. Nanni, and S. Sloan. 2017. Forest ecosystem-service transitions: the ecological dimensions of the forest transition. Ecology and Society 22(4):38.
https://doi.org/10.5751/ES-09615-220438

Abstract

New forests are expanding around the world. In many regions, regrowth rates are surpassing deforestation rates, resulting in “forest transitions,” or net gains in forest cover. Typically measured only in terms of aggregate“’forest cover” change, these new forests are ecologically distinct from each other and from those originally cleared. We ask, what are the ecological attributes, goods, and services we might expect from different pathways of forest recovery? To address this question, we proposed a typology of forest transitions that reflects both their social drivers and ecological outcomes: tree plantation, spontaneous regeneration, and agroforestry transitions. Using case studies, we illustrate how the ecological outcomes of each transition type differ and change over time. We mapped the global distribution of forest-transition types to identify global epicenters of each, and found that spontaneous transitions are most common globally, especially in Latin America; agroforestry transitions predominate in Europe and Central America; and plantation transitions occur in parts of Europe and Asia. We proposed a conceptual framework to understand and compare the ecological services arising from different types of forest transitions over time: forest ecosystem-service transition curves. This framework illustrates that carbon sequestration tends to be comparatively lower in agroforestry transitions, and biodiversity recovery is lower in industrial plantations. Spontaneously regenerating forests tend to have relatively high biodiversity and biomass but provide fewer provisioning and economically valuable services. This framework captures the dynamism that we observe in forest transitions, thus illustrating that different social drivers produce different types of ecosystem-service transitions, and that as secondary forests grow, these services will change over time at rates that differ among transition types. Ultimately, this framework can guide future research, describe actual and potential changes in ecosystem services associated with different types of transitions, and promote management plans that incorporate forest cover changes with the services and benefits they provide.

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2016

Bakkegaard et al. (2016) Measuring forest and wild product contributions to household welfare: Testing a scalable household survey instrument in Indonesia

Bakkegaard et al. (2016) Measuring forest and wild product contributions to household welfare: Testing a scalable household survey instrument in Indonesia

Citation: Bakkegaard, Riyong Kim, Nicholas J. Hogarth, Indah Waty Bong, Aske S. Bosselmann, and Sven Wunder. “Measuring forest and wild product contributions to household welfare: Testing a scalable household survey instrument in Indonesia.” Forest Policy and Economics (2016): n. pag. Web.

Abstract

Systematic comparisons of human dependence on forests and environmental resources have been challenging, as a result of heterogeneous methodologies. Specialized Forestry Modules have been developed, with the goal of filling current information gaps concerning the economic importance of forest and wild products in household welfare and rural livelihoods. Results from a pilot assessment of the Forestry Modules in West Kalimantan, Indonesia, are presented, showing that the Forestry Modules perform well in extracting the expected information: mean per capita forest and wild product income shifts according to the geographical “forest gradient”. Significantly, in the forest-rich upstream village, mean forest and wild product income and mean forest-related wage and business incomes exceeds current mean agricultural income statistics for West Kalimantan and mean non-agricultural rural household incomes in the lowest bracket. Consumption of forest products and importance as a coping strategy was higher in the most upstream village, where sale of forest products in times of shock was more marked in the most downstream village (where forest coping strategies were also least important). The Forestry Modules’ detailed and systematic approach can help ensure that contributions of forest and wild products are not underestimated in national figures.

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Brandt et al. (2016) Deforestation and timber production in Congo after implementation of sustainable forest management policies

Brandt et al. (2016) Deforestation and timber production in Congo after implementation of sustainable forest management policies

Citation: Brandt, Jodi, Christoph Nolte, Arun Agrawal. 2016. Deforestation and timber production in Congo after implementation of sustainable forest management policies. Land Use Policy 52: 15-22.

Abstract

Over 400 million hectares of tropical forests are managed for timber production, comprising more than half of the remaining global permanent tropical forest estate. A growing proportion of tropical production forests are managed under Sustainable Forest Management (SFM) principles. The objective of SFM is to achieve multiple benefits, including forest protection, biodiversity conservation and income enhancement. However, the outcomes resulting from the implementation of SFM in tropical forest ecosystems have seldom been examined rigorously. In this paper, we present a methodological approach to assess broad-scale impacts of SFM policy in tropical forest ecosystems. As a case study, we investigated deforestation and timber production in logging concessions in the Republic of Congo after the implementation of its SFM-based forestry law in 2000. Compliance with the forestry law was incomplete, allowing a unique opportunity to compare deforestation and legal timber production outcomes in concessions that implemented SFM-based policy compared to those that did not. Quasi-experimental matching analysis indicated that deforestation in matched parcels in compliant concessions was up to 2-times higher than matched parcels in non-compliant concessions, equivalent to 67 km2 of forest loss for the period 2005–2010. Annual deforestation data demonstrated that deforestation was stable or increased in all six concessions following the respective date of compliance in each concession. Legal timber production increased (by 5%, from 0.18 to 0.19 CBM/ha/yr) and became more stable, in compliant compared to non-compliant concessions. Our results suggest that the presence of SFM in a concession does not immediately lead to less deforestation. Rather, SFM policy may be associated with higher deforestation, because SFM is also associated with higher legal timber production, foreign capital, and international timber demand. Our findings measure short-term associations between SFM and deforestation in the Congo, and underscore the need for empirical evaluation of long-term impacts of SFM in tropical forest ecosystems worldwide.

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Chazdon et al. (2016) When is a forest a forest? Forest concepts and definitions in the era of forest and landscape restoration

Chazdon et al. (2016) When is a forest a forest? Forest concepts and definitions in the era of forest and landscape restoration

Citation: Chazdon, Robin L., Pedro H.S. Brancalion, Lars Laestadius, Aoife Bennett-Curry, Kathleen Buckingham, Chetan Kumar, Julian Moll-Rocek, Ima Celia Guimeraes Vieira, and Sarah Jane Wilson. 2016. When is a forest A forest? Forest concepts And definitions in the era of forest And landscape restoration.  Ambio doi: 10.1007/s13280-016-0772-y

Abstract

We present a historical overview of forest concepts and definitions, linking these changes with distinct perspectives and management objectives. Policies dealing with a broad range of forest issues are often based on definitions created for the purpose of assessing global forest stocks, which do not distinguish between natural and planted forests or reforests, and which have not proved useful in assessing national and global rates of forest regrowth and restoration. Implementing and monitoring forest and landscape restoration requires additional approaches to defining and assessing forests that reveal the qualities and trajectories of forest patches in a spatially and temporally dynamic landscape matrix. New technologies and participatory assessment of forest states and trajectories offer the potential to operationalize such definitions. Purpose-built and contextualized definitions are needed to support policies that successfully protect, sustain, and regrow forests at national and global scales. We provide a framework to illustrate how different management objectives drive the relative importance of different aspects of forest state, dynamics, and landscape context.

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Dave et al. (2016) Forest ecosystem services derived by smallholder farmers in northwestern Madagascar: Storm hazard mitigation and participation in forest management

Dave et al. (2016) Forest ecosystem services derived by smallholder farmers in northwestern Madagascar: Storm hazard mitigation and participation in forest management

Citation: Dave, Radhika, Emma L. Tompkins, and Kate Schreckenberg. “Forest ecosystem services derived by smallholder farmers in northwestern Madagascar: Storm hazard mitigation and participation in forest management.” Forest Policy and Economics (2016): n. pag. Web.

Abstract

Tropical dry deciduous forests provide numerous ecosystem services yet their contribution to agricultural production remains underexplored. We address this research gap by quantifying the broader suite of ecosystem services that support small holder farmers and identifying farmers’ knowledge of storm hazard reduction benefits provided by forest fragments in Madagascar. We survey 240 households and interview eight key informants to identify household and community responses in two communities with contrasting forest cover trajectories. Using multivariate statistics, results show a heavy dependence on forests for food and raw materials and a majority of the respondents holding a positive view of hazard mitigation services provided by forest fragments. Education levels, earning an income from forest based tourism and honey production are the only predictors of participation in forest management. Positive view of the hazard reduction benefits derived from forests could be due to external influences or personal observations, and together with barriers to participation in forest management need to be further investigated to better link forest management to reduced hazards risks. These findings are significant for forest management policy, as local knowledge and rationale for decisions are instrumental in the success of decentralized forest management and maintenance of vital forest benefits to farmers.

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Egelyng et al. (2016) Origin products from African forests: A Kenyan pathway to prosperity and green inclusive growth?

Egelyng et al. (2016) Origin products from African forests: A Kenyan pathway to prosperity and green inclusive growth?

Citation: Egelyng, Henrik, Aske S. Bosselmann, Mary Warui, Fredah Maina, John Mburu, and Amos Gyau. “Origin Products from African Forests: A Kenyan Pathway to Prosperity and Green Inclusive Growth?” Forest Policy and Economics (2016): n. pag. ScienceDirect. Web.

Abstract

Many tropical countries have potential for adding market value to unique forest origin products similarly to how EU gain billions of Euro’s annually from registering agricultural origin products, with Protected Denomination of Origin or Protected Geographical Indication. Following analysis of the renaissance for the global Geographical Indication (GI) regime, this article provides case-studies from Kenya – on Mwingi Honey, Kakamega Silk and institutional conditions under which producers may incorporate territory specific cultural, environmental, and social qualities of their unique products. We investigate prospects for Kenyan producers to create and capture additional monetary value for their forest related origin products, allowing smallholders to build livelihood, while stewarding natural environments. The origin products are investigated for their potential for protection with a GI, within five different dimensions of and links with the social and natural world. Our study shows that Mwingi Honey and Kakamega Silk have potential for registration under a GI regime based mainly on close links between local environment, flora and product quality, and product specificity. The institutional environment presents major challenges for the development of GI products and markets, exemplified by the Kenyan GI bill which is not yet enacted after almost a decade in the making.

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Erbaugh (2016) Book Review: The challenges behind Indonesia’s agricultural matrix

Erbaugh (2016) Book Review: The challenges behind Indonesia’s agricultural matrix

Citation: Erbaugh, James. “Book Review: The Challenges behind Indonesia’s Agricultural Matrix.” Jakarta Post, 26 July 2016. Web.

Book review on the National University of Singapore Press’ two new titles: The Oil Palm Complex: Smallholders, Agribusiness and the State in Indonesia and Malaysia and Catastrophe and Regeneration in Indonesia’s Peatlands: Ecology, Economy, and Society offers an in-depth case study of peatland ecosystems, regeneration, and biomass production.

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Erbaugh et al. (2016) Regulation, formalization, and smallholder timber production in northern Central Java

Erbaugh et al. (2016) Regulation, formalization, and smallholder timber production in northern Central Java

Citation: Erbaugh, J., Nurrochmat, D., and Purnomo, H. (2016). Regulation, formalization, and smallholder timber production in northern Central Java. Agroforestry Systems. DOI: 10.1007/s10457-016-0037-6

Abstract

Forest Law Enforcement, Governance, and Trade agreements between the EU and countries that grow tropical timber aim to complement, alter, or generate new regulatory mechanisms that ensure the legality of timber products. These regulatory changes affect pre-existing policies and practices within timber production networks. The Indonesian-EU Voluntary Partnership Agreement was signed in 2013, and legality verification is scheduled to become mandatory for all smallholders by the end of 2017. Using grower surveys conducted in the Jepara regency of Central Java (n = 204), we generate information on who Jepara smallholders are, what timber species they are growing, and how programs that provide free and discounted seedlings contribute to STP. We use these data to understand how STP operates and how Sistem Verifikasi Legalitas Kayu (SVLK), the Indonesian method for timber legality verification, will affect STP networks and producers. We find that resource provision and oversight of source documentation increase formalization within STP. Our discussion details four policy-relevant insights for promoting STP amid continued formalization.

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Hajjar and Molnar (2016) Decentralization and community-based approaches

Hajjar and Molnar (2016) Decentralization and community-based approaches

Citation: Hajjar, R and A Molnar. 2016 Decentralization and Community-based Approaches. In Panwar, R et al. (eds). Forests, business and sustainability. Earthscan, London.

Link to Google Book

Hajjar et al. (2016) Promoting small and medium forest enterprises in the context of REDD+: A multi-country analysis of enabling environments

Hajjar et al. (2016) Promoting small and medium forest enterprises in the context of REDD+: A multi-country analysis of enabling environments

Citation: Hajjar, Reem, Olivia Sanchez Badini, and Robert A Kozak. 2016. “Promoting Small and Medium Forest Enterprises in National REDD + Strategies: A Global Analysis of Enabling Environments.” Climate Policy 3062 (June).

Abstract

REDD+ has emerged as a key component of climate mitigation strategies in developing countries. Small and medium forest enterprises (SMFEs) can contribute towards the achievement of REDD+ goals through conservation, sustainable use of forests, and enhancement of carbon stocks, while simultaneously improving local livelihoods and contributing to local economies. Thus, the promotion of SMFEs can be thought of as an important component of a nation’s REDD+ strategy. This study assesses the degree to which enabling environments for SMFEs are being promoted in countries that are in the midst of becoming REDD-ready. It uses an analytical framework, developed from a literature review on small-scale forestry enabling environments, to conduct a qualitative content analysis of REDD-readiness documents that 41 countries have submitted to multilateral funders and assess the degree to which enabling environments for smallscale forest enterprises are being promoted under the auspices of REDD+. Despite a general recognition of the importance of SMFEs in REDD+ schemes, most countries failed to propose strategies and actions for improving enabling environments, particularly with respect to internal business capacities. Priority areas for investment of REDD-readiness funds that will deliver returns for both carbon and livelihoods through SMFEs are identified and enumerated.

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Hajjar et al. (2016) The data not collected on community forestry

Hajjar et al. (2016) The data not collected on community forestry

Citation: Hajjar, Reem, Johan A. Oldekop, Peter Cronkleton, Emily Etue, Peter Newton, Aaron J M Russel, Januarti Sinarra Tjajadi, Wen Zhou, and Arun Agrawal. 2016. “The Data Not Collected on Community Forestry.” Conservation Biology 30 (6): 1357–62.

Conservation and development practitioners increasingly promote community forestry as a way to conserve ecosystem services, consolidate resource rights, and reduce poverty. However, outcomes of community forestry have been mixed, with many initiatives failing to achieve intended objectives. There is a rich literature on community forestry institutional arrangements, but fewer efforts to examine the role of socioeconomic, market, and biophysical factors in shaping both land cover change dynamics, and individual and collective livelihood decisions. We
systematically reviewed the peer-reviewed literature on community forestry to examine and quantify existing knowledge gaps in the community forestry literature. In examining 697 cases of community forest management, extracted from 267 peer-reviewed publications, we find three key trends that limit our understanding of community forestry. First, there are substantial data gaps linking population dynamics, market forces, and biophysical characteristics to both environmental and livelihood outcomes. Second, most studies focus on environmental outcomes, and
the majority of studies that do assess socio-economic outcomes rely on qualitative data, making it difficult to make comparisons across cases. Finally, we find a heavy bias towards studies on South Asian forests, indicating that the literature on community forestry might not be representative of decentralization policies and community forest management globally.

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Hicks et al. (2016) Engage key social concepts for sustainability

Hicks et al. (2016) Engage key social concepts for sustainability

Citation: Hicks, Christina,  A Levine, A Agrawal, X Basurto, SJ Breslow, C Carothers, S Charnley, S Coulthard, N Dolsak, J Donatuto, C Garcia-Quijano, MB Mascia, K Norman, MR Poe, T Satterfield, KS Martin, PS Levin. 2016. Engage key social concepts for sustainability. Science 352: 38-40

Abstract

With humans altering climate processes, biogeochemical cycles, and ecosystem functions (1), governments and societies confront the challenge of shaping a sustainable future for people and nature. Policies and practices to address these challenges must draw on social sciences, along with natural sciences and engineering (2). Although various social science approaches can enable and assess progress toward sustainability, debate about such concrete engagement is outpacing actual use. To catalyze uptake, we identify seven key social concepts that are largely absent from many efforts to pursue sustainability goals. We present existing and emerging well-tested indicators and propose priority areas for conceptual and methodological development.

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Ingalls et al. (2016) Missing the forest for the trees? Navigating the trade-offs between mitigation and adaptation under REDD

Ingalls et al. (2016) Missing the forest for the trees? Navigating the trade-offs between mitigation and adaptation under REDD

Citation: Ingalls, Micah L. and Dwyer, Michael B., 2016. Missing the forest for the trees? Navigating the trade-offs between mitigation and adaptation under REDD. Climatic Change, 136(2), pp.353-366.

Abstract

Forested landscapes play a critical role in mitigating climate change by sequestering carbon while at the same time fostering adaption by supporting ecosystem services, the recognition of which is reflected in the recent Paris Agreement on climate change. It has been suggested, therefore, that the conservation of forested landscapes may provide a potential win-win in the fight against global environmental change. Despite the potential synergies between mitigation and adaptation efforts, recent studies have also raised concerns about possible trade-offs. Our research employs the analytic lens of social-ecological resilience to explore the intersection between mitigation and adaptation in the context of a Reduced Emissions from Deforestation and forest Degradation (REDD) project in Lao PDR. Drawing on ecosystem analyses, group discussions and interviews with policy makers, practitioners and resource-dependent communities, we identify three potential limitations of REDD for achieving climate synergies. First, by disrupting existing disturbance regimes, REDD interventions run the risk of reducing diversity and structural heterogeneity and thus may undermine functional redundancy core to resilience. Second, REDD-as-practiced has tended to select local, rather than structural, drivers of deforestation, focusing disproportionately on curtailing local livelihood practices, reducing local resources for adaptation. Third, REDD risks redirecting ecosystem service benefits away from local communities toward state agencies, incentivizing recentralization and limiting the scope of local governance. We argue that REDD’s potential for delivering synergies between climate change mitigation and adaptation in Laos is currently attenuated by structural factors rooted in development policies and broader political-economic trajectories in ways that may not be legible to, or adequately addressed by, current programmes and policy.

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Liao et al. (2016) Insufficient research on land grabbing

Liao et al. (2016) Insufficient research on land grabbing

Citation: Liao, Chuan, Suhyun Jung, Arun Agrawal, and Daniel G. Brown. “Insufcient Research on Land Grabbing.” Science 353.6295 (2016): 131-32. Web.

FLARE researchers have published an article in the latest issue of Science on land grabbing.

Read the full article here

Newton et al. (2016) Carbon, biodiversity, and livelihoods in forest commons: synergies, trade-offs, and implications for REDD+

Newton et al. (2016) Carbon, biodiversity, and livelihoods in forest commons: synergies, trade-offs, and implications for REDD+

Citation: Newton, Peter, Johan A. Oldekop, Gernot Brodnig, Birendra K. Karna, and Arun Agrawal. 2016. Carbon, Biodiversity, and Livelihoods in Forest Commons: Synergies, Trade-offs, and Implications for REDD+. Environmental Research Letters doi:10.1088/1748-9326/11/4/044017

Abstract

Understanding the relationships and tradeoffs among management outcomes in forest commons has assumed new weight in the context of parallels between the objectives of community forest management and those of reduced emissions for deforestation and forest degradation (REDD+) programs to reduce carbon emissions while supporting local livelihoods. We examine the association between biophysical, demographic, institutional and socio-economic variables and three distinct forest management outcomes of interest to both community forestry and REDD+ advocates—carbon storage, biodiversity conservation, and livelihood benefits—in 56 forest commons in Nepal. REDD+ programs aim foremost to increase forest carbon storage and sequestration, but also seek to improve forest biodiversity, and to contribute to local livelihood benefits. The success of REDD+ programs can therefore be defined by improvements in one or more of these dimensions, while satisfying the principle of ‘do no harm’ in the others. We find that each outcome is associated with a different set of independent variables. This suggests that there is a need for policy-makers to clearly define their desired outcomes and to target their interventions accordingly. Our research points to the complex ways in which different factors relate to forest outcomes and has implications for the large number of cases where REDD+ projects are being implemented in the context of community forestry.

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Newton et al. (2016) Overcoming barriers to low carbon agriculture and forest restoration in Brazil: The Rural Sustentavel Project

Newton et al. (2016) Overcoming barriers to low carbon agriculture and forest restoration in Brazil: The Rural Sustentavel Project

Citation: Newton, Peter, Angelo Eduardo Angel Gomez, Suhyun Jung, Timothy Kelly, Thiago De Aragao Mendes, Laura Vang Rasmussen, Julio Cesar Dos Reis, Renato De Aragao Ribeiro Rodrigues, Richard Tipper, Dan Van Der Horst, and Cristy Watkins. “Overcoming barriers to low carbon agriculture and forest restoration in Brazil: The Rural Sustentavel Project.” World Development Perspectives 4 (2016): 5-7. ScienceDirect. Web.

Abstract

The Rural Sustentável project aims to decrease greenhouse gas emissions, reduce poverty, and promote sustainable rural development in the Brazilian Amazon and Atlantic Forest biomes: by restoring deforested and degraded land, and by facilitating and promoting the uptake of low carbon agricultural technologies. The project offers farmers a) access to information, through demonstration units and field days; b) access to technical assistance, through in-person and online training and capacity-building; c) access to rural credit, through collaborative farmer-technician partnerships, and d) financial incentives, in the form of results based financing to successful farmer-technician teams. The project is still in its implementation stage, but the innovative design and theory of change of this project offer insights into possible mechanisms for promoting forest restoration on private lands in the tropics.

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Newton et al. (2016) Who are forest-dependent people? A taxonomy to aid livelihood and land use decision-making in forested regions

Newton et al. (2016) Who are forest-dependent people? A taxonomy to aid livelihood and land use decision-making in forested regions

Citation: Newton, Peter, Daniel C. Miller, Mugabi Augustine Ateenyi Byenkya, and Arun Agrawal. “Who Are Forest-dependent People? A Taxonomy to Aid Livelihood and Land Use Decision-making in Forested Regions.” Land Use Policy 57 (2016): 388-95.

Abstract

The relationship between forests and people is of substantial interest to peoples and agencies that govern and use them, private sector actors that seek to manage and profit from them, NGOs who support and implement conservation and development projects, and researchers who study these relationships and others. The term ‘forest-dependent people’ is widely used to describe human populations that gain some form of benefits from forests. But despite its long history and widespread use, there are substantial divergences in who the term refers to, what each of its constituent words mean, and how many forest- dependent people there are globally. This paper identifies the range of existing uses and definitions of the term ‘forest-dependent people’, and summarizes them in a systematic taxonomy. Our taxonomy exposes the dimensions that characterize the relationships between people and forests, and leads to two conclusions: First, an absolute, universally accepted definition of the term is untenable. Rather, users of the term ‘forest-dependent people’ need to comprehensively define their population of interest with reference to the context and purpose of their forest- and people-related objectives. The framework and language of our taxonomy aims to aid such efforts. Second, conservation and development program funders, designers, and implementers must reconsider whether forest dependence is an appropriate target for policy objectives.

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Nurrochmat et al. (2016) Contesting national and international forest regimes: Case of timber legality certification for community forests in Central Java, Indonesia

Nurrochmat et al. (2016) Contesting national and international forest regimes: Case of timber legality certification for community forests in Central Java, Indonesia

Citation: Nurrochmat, D. R., Dharmawan, A. H., Obidzinski, K., Dermawan, A., & Erbaugh, J. (2016). Contesting national and international forest regimes: Case of timber legality certification for community forests in Central Java, Indonesia. Forest Policy and Economics.

Abstract

The Government of Indonesia (GoI) and the European Union (EU) have signed a Voluntary Partnership Agreement on Forest Law Enforcement Governance and Trade (FLEGT-VPA), which aims to prevent illegal timber products from entering the EU. This agreement recognizes a certification for timber products exported from Indonesia based on FLEGT-VPA standards and implemented through the timber legality verification system, Sistem Verifikasi Legalitas Kayu (SVLK). While the implementation of SVLK complies with the FLEGT-VPA, it has not dissolved pre-existing national systems for forest management and timber trade. Implementing SVLK standards amid multiple forest regimes causes redundancy of administrative procedures in forest management and timber trade in Indonesia. This redundancy, in turn, leads to decrease in cost efficiency, weak legitimation, and low effectiveness of the system, especially in community forests.

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Oldekop et al. (2016) A global assessment of the social and conservation outcomes of protected areas

Oldekop et al. (2016) A global assessment of the social and conservation outcomes of protected areas

Citation: Oldekop JA, Holmes G, Harris WE, Evans KL. 2016. A global assessment of the social and conservation outcomes of protected areas. Conservation Biology 30(1): 133-141.

Abstract

Protected areas (PAs) are a key strategy for protecting biological resources, but they vary considerably in their effectiveness and are frequently reported as having negative impacts on local people. This has contributed to a divisive and unresolved debate concerning the compatibility of environmental and socioeconomic development goals. Elucidating the relationship between positive and negative social impacts and conservation outcomes of PAs is key for the development of more effective and socially just conservation. We conducted a global meta-analysis on 165 PAs using data from 171 published studies. We assessed how PAs affect the well-being of local people, the factors associated with these impacts, and crucially the relationship between PAs’ conservation and socioeconomic outcomes. Protected areas associated with positive socioeconomic outcomes were more likely to report positive conservation outcomes. Positive conservation and socioeconomic outcomes were more likely to occur when PAs adopted comanagement regimes, empowered local people, reduced economic inequalities, and maintained cultural and livelihood benefits. Whereas the strictest regimes of PA management attempted to exclude anthropogenic influences to achieve biological conservation objectives, PAs that explicitly integrated local people as stakeholders tended to be more effective at achieving joint biological conservation and socioeconomic development outcomes. Strict protection may be needed in some circumstances, yet our results demonstrate that conservation and development objectives can be synergistic and highlight management strategies that increase the probability of maximizing both conservation performance and development outcomes of PAs.

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Oldekop et al. (2016) 100 key research questions for the post-2015 development agenda

Oldekop, J.A., Fontana, L.B., Grugel, J., Roughton, N., Adu-Ampong, E.A., Bird, G.K., Dorgan, A., Vera Espinoza, M.A., Wallin, S., Hammett, D., Agbarakwe, E., Agrawal, A., et al. 2016. “100 key research questions for the post-2015 development agenda.” Development Policy Review 34(1): 55-82.

Abstract 

The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) herald a new phase for international development. This article presents the results of a consultative exercise to collaboratively identify 100 research questions of critical importance for the post-2015 international development agenda. The final shortlist is grouped into nine thematic areas and was selected by 21 representatives of international and non-governmental organisations and consultancies, and 14 academics with diverse disciplinary expertise from an initial pool of 704 questions submitted by 110 organisations based in 34 countries. The shortlist includes questions addressing long-standing problems, new challenges and broader issues related to development policies, practices and institutions. Collectively, these questions are relevant for future development-related research priorities of governmental and non-governmental organisations worldwide and could act as focal points for transdisciplinary research collaborations.

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Rasmussen et al. (2016) Adaptation by stealth: Climate information use in the Great Lakes region across scales

Rasmussen et al. (2016) Adaptation by stealth: Climate information use in the Great Lakes region across scales

Citation: Rasmussen, Laura Vang, Christine J. Kirchhoff, and Maria Carmen Lemos. “Adaptation by stealth: Climate information use in the Great Lakes region across scales.” Climatic Change (2016): 1-15. Springer Link. Web.

Abstract

While there has been considerable focus on understanding barriers to climate information use associated with the character of climate knowledge, individuals’ negative perception of its usability and constraints of decision-contexts, less attention has been paid to understanding how different scales of decision-making influence information use. In this study, we explore how water and resource managers’ scales of decision-making and scope of decision responsibilities influence climate information use in two Great Lakes watersheds. We find that despite availability of tailored climate information, actual use of information remains low. Reasons include (a) lack of willingness to place climate on agendas because local managers perceive climate change as politically risky, (b) lack of formal mandate or authority at the city and county scale to translate climate information into on-the-ground action, (c) problems with the information itself, and (d) perceived lack of demand for climate information by those managers who have the mandate and authority to use (or help others use) climate information. Our findings suggest that (1) scientists and information brokers should produce information that meets a range of decision needs and reserve intensive tailoring efforts for decision makers who have willingness and authority to use climate information; (2) without support from higher levels of decision-making (e.g., state), it is unlikely that climate information use will accelerate significantly; and (3) the trend towards characterizing climate specific actions within a broader concept of sustainability practices, or “adaptation by stealth,” should be supported as a component of the climate adaptation repertoire.

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Wilson et al. (2016) Acceleration and novelty: community restoration speeds recovery and transforms species composition in Andean cloud forest

Wilson et al. (2016) Acceleration and novelty: community restoration speeds recovery and transforms species composition in Andean cloud forest

Citation: Wilson, Sarah Jane, and Jeanine M. Rhemtulla. 2016. Acceleration and novelty: community restoration speeds recovery and transforms species composition in Andean cloud forest. Ecological Applications 26(1): 203-218.

Abstract

Community-based tropical forest restoration projects, often promoted as a win-win solution for local communities and the environment, have increased dramatically in number in the past decade. Many such projects are underway in Andean cloud forests, which, given their extremely high biodiversity and history of extensive clearing, are understudied. This study investigates the efficacy of community-based tree-planting projects to accelerate cloud forest recovery, as compared to unassisted natural regeneration. This study takes place in northwest Andean Ecuador, where the majority of the original, highly diverse cloud forests have been cleared, in five communities that initiated tree-planting projects to restore forests in 2003. In 2011, we identified tree species along transects in planted forests (n = 5), naturally regenerating forests (n = 5), and primary forests (n = 5). We also surveyed 120 households about their restoration methods, tree preferences, and forest uses. We found that tree diversity was higher in planted than in unplanted secondary forest, but both were less diverse than primary forests. Ordination analysis showed that all three forests had distinct species compositions, although planted forests shared more species with primary forests than did unplanted forests. Planted forests also contained more animal-dispersed species in both the planted canopy and in the unplanted, regenerating understory than unplanted forests, and contained the highest proportion of species with use value for local people. While restoring forest increased biodiversity and accelerated forest recovery, restored forests may also represent novel ecosystems that are distinct from the region’s previous ecosystems and, given their usefulness to people, are likely to be more common in the future.

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2015

Agrawal and Lemos (2015) Adaptive development

Agrawal and Lemos (2015) Adaptive development

Citation: Arun Agrawal and Maria Lemos. 2015. Adaptive development. Nature Climate Change 5:185-187

Abstract

Adaptive development mitigates climate change risks without negatively influencing the well-being of human subjects and ecosystems by using incentives, institutions, and information-based policy interventions to address different components of climate risks.

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Agrawal et al. (2015) Motivational crowding in sustainable development interventions: assessing the effects of multiple treatments

Agrawal et al. (2015) Motivational crowding in sustainable development interventions: assessing the effects of multiple treatments

Citation: Arun Agrawal, Elisabeth Gerber, Ashwini Chhatre. 2015. Motivational crowding in sustainable development interventions: assessing the effects of multiple treatments. American Political Science Review 109: 470-87.

Abstract

We used a quasi-experimental research design to study the extent of motivational crowding in a recent sustainable development intervention in northern India. The project provided participants with both private and communal material benefits to enhance their incomes, and environmental and social information to inculcate pro-environmental motivations. We compared changes in reported motivations of participants for conserving forest resources, before and after project implementation, with changes in reported motivations of matched nonparticipants. We found that villagers who received private economic benefits were more likely to change from an environmental to an economic motivation for forest protection, whereas those who engaged in communal activities related to the project were less likely to change from an environmental to an economic motivation. These results, which indicate a substantial but conditional degree of motivational crowding, clarify the relationships between institutional change, incentives, and motivations and have important implications for the design of sustainable development interventions.

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Andersson et al. (2015) Governing resources: The socioeconomic impact of forestry expansion in Chile

Andersson et al. (2015) Governing resources: The socioeconomic impact of forestry expansion in Chile

Citation: Andersson, K., D. Lawrence, J. C. Zavaleta, and Manuel R. Guariguata. 2015. Governing Resources: The socioeconomic impact of forestry expansion in Chile. Environmental Management 57(1): 123-136.

Abstract

Tree plantations play a controversial role in many nations’ efforts to balance goals for economic development, ecological conservation, and social justice. This paper seeks to contribute to this debate by analyzing the socioeconomic impact of such plantations. We focus our study on Chile, a country that has experienced extraordinary growth of industrial tree plantations. Our analysis draws on a unique dataset with longitudinal observations collected in 180 municipal territories during 2001–2011. Employing panel data regression techniques, we find that growth in plantation area is associated with higher than average rates of poverty during this period.

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Hajjar (2015) Advancing small-scale forestry under FLEGT and REDD in Ghana

Hajjar (2015) Advancing small-scale forestry under FLEGT and REDD in Ghana

Citation: Hajjar, R. 2015. Advancing small-scale forestry under FLEGT and REDD in Ghana. Forest Policy and Economics 58: 12-20

Abstract

In Ghana, small and medium-scale forest enterprises (SMFEs) provide income and livelihoods for three million people and supply a growing domestic timber demand. However, most SMFEs operate in the informal sector, and thus have become a target for current forest sector reforms stemming from Ghana’s involvement in two international mechanisms: FLEGT and REDD. This paper examines how SMFEs are being incorporated into FLEGT and REDD plans, and asks whether reforms under these mechanisms will serve to advance SMFEs in the country while tackling illegal and unsustainable forest activities. The analysis shows that FLEGT-related reforms will target governance issues downstream in the domestic lumber supply chain, without tackling a root cause of illegalities and challenges within the SMFE sector: tree tenure. In contrast, REDD planning includes a strong focus on the illusive tenure issue, but to date has placed little emphasis on SMFE promotion. The paper concludes that reforms associated with both mechanisms may work complementarily to advance a legal and sustainable SMFE sector, but only if local communities are incentivized to manage forest and tree resources through clarification of land and tree tenure. Reasons for why tenure reform has been such a sticking point are discussed.

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Hajjar and Kozak (2015) Exploring public perceptions of forest adaptation strategies in Western Canada: Implications for policy-makers

Hajjar and Kozak (2015) Exploring public perceptions of forest adaptation strategies in Western Canada: Implications for policy-makers

Citation: Hajjar, R, RA Kozak. 2015. Exploring public perceptions of forest adaptation strategies in Western Canada: Implications for policy-makers. Forest Policy and Economics 61(2015): 59-69.

Abstract

Various reforestation strategies that could potentially help forests adapt to a changing climate are currently being debated. We sought to gauge the public’s acceptance levels of different reforestation strategies, and explore which factors seem to be associated with people’s willingness to accept different forms of human and technological intervention in forest management. To do so, a public survey was administered in British Columbia and Alberta, Canada to assess acceptance of different forest adaptation strategies that could be employed to adapt to a changing climate, and explore variables identified from the literature as potentially affecting public decisions on biotechnology and assisted migration. A logistic regression was used to determine the degree to which variables identified in the literature are associated with levels of acceptance of different forest management strategies. What emerged was an explanatory model that can be used as a starting point to further engage the public in a discussion over appropriate and acceptable technologies and policies to help forests adapt to a changing climate.

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Mapfumo et al. (2015) Pathways to transformational change in the face of climate impacts: An analytical framework

Mapfumo et al. (2015) Pathways to transformational change in the face of climate impacts: An analytical framework

Citation: Mapfumo, Paul, M. Onyango, SK Jonkponou, EH El Mzouri…Arun Agrawal (12 authors). 2015. Pathways to transformational change in the face of climate impacts: an analytical framework. Climate and Development 7: 1-13.

Abstract

Unprecedented impacts of climate change and climate variability in the twenty-first century are likely to require transformational social, organizational and human responses. Yet, little existing empirical work examines how decision-makers can facilitate such responses. This paper suggests that in order to assess whether responses to climate risks and threats are transformational, it is necessary to move away from a focus only on outcomes and scale and towards the multiple dimensions of social responses and the processes through which transformational changes are realized. In so doing, the paper seeks to move the discussion on transformational change towards the processes and sustainability of adaptation interventions, and the changes they trigger. Drawing on the literature on transformational change in organizational theory and social–ecological systems, the paper first develops a framework with which to examine and assess development and adaptation interventions. The framework is then applied to eight interventions made between 2005 and 2011 in diverse socioecological settings across Africa. All interventions were underpinned by participatory action research methodologies. Our analysis shows how a focus on change agents, generalizability of field-scale adaptation mechanisms and pathways, and sustainability of outcomes, combined with attention to the scale and scope of change processes, provides information that can inform policy on the kinds of intervention that are likely to support long-term and sustainable responses to climate impacts. Although several of the cases mainly illustrate incremental adaptations, use of the analytical framework pointed towards the wider processes of systems change that might lead to transformative trajectories.

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Newton et al. (2015) Community forest management and REDD+

Newton et al. (2015) Community forest management and REDD+

Citation: Newton, Peter, Brian Schaap, Michelle Fournier, Meghan Cornwall, Derrick W. Rosenbach, Joel DeBoer, Jessica Whittemore, Ryan Stock, Mark Yoders, Gernot Brodnig, and Arun Agrawal. 2015. Community forest management and REDD+. Forest Policy and Economics 56: 27-37.

Abstract

The urgent need to limit anthropogenic carbon emissions has led to the global initiative on Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and forest Degradation (REDD +). One option to facilitate the design and implementation of REDD + is to build on the experiences of community forest management (CFM). Despite tensions between the central objectives of REDD + and CFM, the two policy interventions share the objective of managing forests sustainably. REDD + projects can build on and benefit from the environmental, social, human, and institutional capital associated with existing community forest governance. Using a comparative case approach with studies from Nepal and Tanzania, we illustrate interactions between REDD + and CFM. In Nepal, most REDD + pilot projects have been located in community forest sites, especially in high-carbon forests. In Tanzania, REDD + funding is being used to expand the area of forest under Participatory Forest Management. Our study also highlights how community forestry institutions may need to be modified to satisfy key REDD + criteria. Greater institutional coordination, equitable benefit sharing mechanisms, and higher community capacity for monitoring, reporting, and verification are key areas needing change. There are significant risks, but the vast experience and significant successes of CFM can improve prospects for achieving REDD + objectives in other less-industrialized, forested countries.

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Oldekop et al. (2015) 100 key research questions for the post-2015 development agenda

Oldekop et al. (2015) 100 key research questions for the post-2015 development agenda

Citation: Oldekop, Johan A., Lorenza B. Fontana, Jean Grugel, Nicole Roughton, Emmanuel A. Adu-Ampong, Gemma K. Bird, Alex Dorgan, Marcia A. Vera Espinoza, Sara Wallin, Daniel Hammett, Esther Agbarakwe, Arun Agrawal, Nurgul Asylbekova, Clarissa Azkoul, Craig Bardsley, Anthony J. Bebbington, Savio Carvalho, Deepta Chopra, Stamatios Christopoulos, Emma Crewe, Marie-Claude Dop, Joern Fischer, Daan Gerretsen, Jonathan Glennie, William Gios, Mtinkheni Gondwe, Lizz A. Harrison, Katja Hujo, Mark Keen, Roberto Laserna, Luca Maggiano, Sarah Mistry, Rosemary J. Morgan, Linda L. Raftree, Duncan Rhind, Thiago Rodrigues, Sonia Roschnik, Flavia Senkubuge, Ian Thornton, Simon Trace, Teresa Ore, Rene M. Valdes, Bhaskar Vira, Nicola Yeates, and William J. Sutherland. 2015. 100 Key Research Questions for the Post-2015 Development Agenda. Development Policy Review 34(1): 55-82.

Abstract

The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) herald a new phase for international development. This article presents the results of a consultative exercise to collaboratively identify 100 research questions of critical importance for the post-2015 international development agenda. The final shortlist is grouped into nine thematic areas and was selected by 21 representatives of international and non-governmental organisations and consultancies, and 14 academics with diverse disciplinary expertise from an initial pool of 704 questions submitted by 110 organisations based in 34 countries. The shortlist includes questions addressing long-standing problems, new challenges and broader issues related to development policies, practices and institutions. Collectively, these questions are relevant for future development-related research priorities of governmental and non-governmental organisations worldwide and could act as focal points for transdisciplinary research collaborations.

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Oldekop et al. (2015) Linking Brazil’s food security policies to agricultural change

Oldekop et al. (2015) Linking Brazil’s food security policies to agricultural change

Citation: Oldekop JA, Chappell MJ, Borges Peixoto FE, Paglia, Schmoeller M, Evans KL. 2015. Linking Brazil’s food security policies to agricultural change. Food Security 7: 779-793.

Abstract

Poverty, food security, and sustainability are intimately intertwined, driving conflict and synergy between environmental and societal concerns. Brazil’s flagship food security policies were implemented over a decade ago to address these issues simultaneously. Global institutions have pledged over 2 million US$ to develop similar programs in sub-Saharan Africa, yet empirical assessments of many aspects of these policies are still lacking. We focus on a case study in the state of Minas Gerais and assess the agricultural and environmental impacts of the Purchase with Simultaneous Donation (PSD) program. The PSD provides stable markets as incentives to diversify production, but we find no effect of participation on changes in local agricultural practices, production or income. While some farms are expanding, regional agricultural production appears to be declining due to local economic development and related shortages in farm labor. The PSD’s limited impact arises because most farmers only participate irregularly, typically during the dry season when the program offers higher prices than the local market price. Furthermore, participation is constrained by the specific nature of PSD contracts and centralized governance of the program. We complement these findings with data from the Brazilian Ministry of Social Development and the 2006 agricultural census, which show substantial variation in the availability of PSD initiatives, and the funding allocated to them at local, regional and national levels. We suggest that adaptive management strategies that can respond to local market conditions could lead to more equitable and efficient food security and agricultural policies in Brazil and elsewhere.

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