Research

Multilevel forest governance

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This theme examines the evolution and interaction of state and non-state forest governance from local to global levels. It draws on both case study work and large N international comparisons to consider how various actors define the goals and shape the rules and incentives for environmental and social performance.

Protected area effectiveness

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Protected areas have long been recognised as an important tool for protecting biodiversity, and are now increasingly recognised for their role in protecting carbon; recent global analyses by UNEP-WCMC (2008) have shown that approximately 15% of the global carbon stock is currently found within protected areas. Carbon emissions from deforestation account for an estimated 20% of global carbon emissions (IPCC 2007.

In collaboration with the University of Copenhagen and the University of Queensland, we aim to measure protected area effectiveness, at a regional and national scale, using a landscape modelling approach. As part of this project we are working to update and analyse the Protected Areas Management Effectiveness (PAME) database, which is linked to the

World Database on Protected Areas (WDPA), and holds information on the management and governance of over 6000 protected areas worldwide.

Deforestation in West Africa

Tropical deforestation contributes around 15% of current climate change. International action on slowing down rates of tropical deforestation is one aspect of climate change negotiations that has the greatest promise of making progress. However, international agreement and financing is only one part of the challenge. How can such resources make a real difference in the complex realities of the tropical forest frontier, whilst also promoting sustainable development and poverty alleviation?

Ecosystem Services and Poverty Alleviation

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This project brings together an interdisciplinary team of collaborators from universities (Southampton, Oxford, Rutgers and the Australian National University), a policy think-tank (Overseas Development Institute), regional research and training centres (RECOFTC and CATIE) and a regional NGO (Ugandan Coalition for Sustainable Development) to develop a conceptual framework that analyses the links between ecosystem services and sustainable poverty reduction, examining in particular how benefits derived from ecosystem services are distributed among different stakeholders, the factors underlying these processes and their potential impacts. This framework will contribute to the critical challenge of the equitable management of ecosystems in a manner that benefits poor people. In particular, it will help decision-makers in REDD and PES programmes minimise negative impacts on equity and maximise positive impacts on poverty alleviation.

Operationalizing REDD+: Actors, Interests and Ideas

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Although REDD+ has become the central focus of deforestation policy and practice globally, there is no globally accepted implementation strategy. Instead, REDD+ is being shaped in a range of different arenas, from local level projects to international negotiations. The aim of this project is to gain a better understanding of the wide range of actors, interests and ideas that are shaping REDD+.

Bushmeat Hunting in Central Africa

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Bushmeat hunting is a crucial issue for both wildlife conservation and human well-being. Increases in human population density, commercial trade in bushmeat, and access to forests through logging concessions have led to bushmeat hunting becoming the most significant immediate threat to wildlife in many African and Asian countries. Unsustainable hunting threatens the survival of hunted species, the functioning of ecosystems, and the food security and livelihoods of the rural poor in these countries.