Stream Presenters

Stream 1: Reconciling conservation with multiple land uses

Helena Nery Alves Pinto
Environmental Analyst at International Institute for Sustainability

Presentation topic: Strategies for reconciling biodiversity conservation, forest restoration and sustainable cattle ranching have important implications for the future of the Brazilian Atlantic Forest. We present and integrated land use analysis in the Brazilian Atlantic Forest and propose strategies and policies that may aid catalyze the development of sustainable cattle ranching systems and protection of local and global ecosystem services.

Bronson W. Griscom
Director, Forest Carbon Science Forests and Climate Global Priority at The Nature Conservancy

Presentation topic: I will present a case study of sharing vs. sparing scenarios for wood production applied to the district of Berau, Indonesia in eastern Borneo.  The wood production landscape, including both selectively logged native Dipterocarp forests and Acacia mangium pulp plantations, represents over half of remaining forests in Berau - and much of Borneo.  I will discuss two scales of the sharing vs. sparing question applied to Berau: (1) within existing production systems (selective logging vs. exotic plantations) how much land should be set aside as fully protected?, and (2) comparing between selective logging vs. exotic plantations, which offers a better trade-off between conservation values and wood production?  

Rosa Goodman
Postdoctoral Associate, Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies

Presentation topic: We integrated a literature review and a quantitative analysis to address the question, How do we achieve the greatest conservation outcome for a fixed level of wood production?, within the framework of ‘land-sharing or land-sparing’ approaches to land use planning. The majority of sharing/sparing studies have focused on agriculture production and biodiversity outcomes, but the debate has yet to be adapted to forestry production and other ecosystem services. Our results indicate that outcomes of sharing/sparing scenarios are (i) distinct for tropical forestry systems and (ii) dependent upon the silvicultural system, business model, and level of complexity considered. 

Ian J. Starr
Technical Specialist, Climate Program at Rainforest Alliance

Presentation topic: Although sustainability certification has seen a significant level of uptake across a variety of commodities throughout the world, it faces additional demands to measure and monitor the causes and impacts of climate change in forestry and agriculture.  There is also an increasing desire to advance  productivity and sustainability indicators at larger spatial scales.  This presentation focuses on a landscape-scale initiative in a cacao production landscape in western Ghana in order to highlight some current advances and challenges related to the integration and application of climate change mitigation and adaptation criteria into existing sustainability standards.

Sarah Jane Wilson
Postdoctoral Research Fellow, International Forestry Resources and Institutions (IFRI) at University of Michigan, Ann Arbor

Presentation topic: In heavily deforested landscapes, community-based reforestation is essential to sustain both biodiversity and rural livelihoods. I show that Andean communities experiencing environmental crisis participated extensively in NGO-lead reforestation to restore scarce ecosystem services, adapting new arboricultural skills to meet specific livelihood needs and ultimately spurring a local increase in forest cover. Communities in long deforested, post-frontier regions may be most in need of, and thus willing to participate in, tree-planting projects, environments which, ecologically, are also most in need of restoring – a win-win for forests, people, and biodiversity.

Jose Roman Carrera
Senior Manager, Strategy and Development TREES at Rainforest Alliance

Presentation topic: I will present the deforestation trends in different management zones of the Mayan Biosphere Reserve during the period 2000-2013, and analyzes within these zones to identify trends among specific management  units. A series of  conclusions regarding performance of varying land-use arrangements will be presented and end with a series of recommendations for policy makers and technical assistance providers.  Covering close to 2.1 million hectares, Guatemala’s Maya Biosphere Reserve (MBR) is the largest protected area in Central America and home to around 180,000 people, as well as globally important biodiversity and cultural heritage.

Moderator: Eva Garen 
Director, Environmental Leadership Training Initiative (ELTI)

Dr. Garen is a social ecologist with almost twenty years of experience working on the social aspects of conservation and development, primarily in Latin America. She holds a master’s degree in Environmental Studies and a doctoral degree in Social Ecology from Yale University’s School of Forestry and Environmental Studies. Prior to joining ELTI, she was a technical advisor on the social aspects of REDD+ with Conservation International’s Science and knowledge Division, where she designed trainings on social safeguards and REDD+, analyzed the social impacts of REDD+ projects and managed CI’s participation in the social and environmental soundness component of USAID’s Forest Carbon, Markets and Communities Program. Eva also worked with USAID’s Forestry and Biodiversity Teams in Washington D.C. During her postdoctoral research in Panama with the native species reforestation program (PRORENA), she worked with cattle ranchers on issues of native species reforestation and land restoration. Eva previously worked with ELTI as the Neotropics Training Program Coordinator based at the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute (STRI) in Panama. She also analyzed the design and impacts of an environmental management project in Honduras funded by the Inter-American Development Bank for her doctoral research.

Stream 2: Developing effective landscape governance mechanisms

Ibrahim A. Bakarr
Lecturer at Njala University, Sierra Leone

Presentation topic: My presentation will cover a two-year collaborative initiative of Njala University and the US Fish and Wildlife Service that will use targeted conservation actions and training on Chimpanzees to strengthen leadership for wildlife conservation in Sierra Leone and Liberia. The initiative includes a multidisciplinary training program designed to develop a cadre of professionals from relevant government agencies, non-governmental organization, and other entities in the two countries that are engaged in conservation activities. The emphasis on conservation action and training is intended to facilitate direct link between science, policy, and practice, which will support overall needs for multi-stakeholder engagement and governance across landscapes in the Upper Guinea region.

Cecilia Elizondo
Doctoral student at Centro de Investigaciones y Estudios Interdisciplinarios sobre Medio Ambiente y Desarollo (CIIEMAD) del Instituto Politecnico Nacional de Mexico (IPN)

Presentation topic: This presentation is the result of various research projects during 14 years, at different levels and scales, all in the field of tropical biodiversity conservation, landscape management and stakeholder participation, especially about the role of Community Conserved Areas (CCA) at the Mayan zone of the Yucatán Peninsula, Mexico. The people make a big effort to maintain these areas, and their contribution to biodiversity conservation is invaluable. The last results are from a workshop organized with the Coordinación General de Corredores y Recursos Biológicos from the CONABIO, Comisión Nacional para el Conocimiento y Uso de la Biodiversidad, on November 2014, to build a network of CCA in the Yucatan Peninsula. 


Cora Van Oosten
Project Manager/Programme Coordinator at Ecosystems and Landscape Governance Centre for Development Innovation, Wageningen University

Presentation topic: Landscape governance refers to the process of multi-stakeholder negotiation and decision making within spatial landscape units.  It has often been studied in the context of multiple-use and mosaic landscapes, but rarely in landscapes which have been incorporated in global commodity chains, providers of single commodities, and  characterised by mono-functionality. In this presentation I will show the landscape of Ketapang, in Indonesia’s West Kalimantan, where rubber and oil palm productions are competing for space. Both rubber and oil palm are embedded in global commodity chains, but they differ in terms of governance, given the different actor networks they are involved in, and the institutional frameworks regulating access to resources and markets. As a result, they have different impacts on the forested landscapes they share.

Ryan Sarsfield
Manager, Tropical Forest and Agriculture Project at the National Wildlife Federation

Presentation topic: Large-scale agricultural supply chains have faced mounting scrutiny and demands to produce, trade, and market agricultural commodities without incentivizing further expansion in the Amazon basin. Civil society organizations, multi-stakeholder initiatives such as commodity roundtables and moratoria, government enforcement, and the private sector have collectively made significant progress towards a Brazilian agriculture sector that produces without deforesting. I will present the National Wildlife Federation’s work in facilitating implementation of zero-deforestation agreements in the cattle and soybean supply chains, and the economic and political levers that have encouraged greater transparency in the sector.


Stream 3: Improving the financial sustainability of landscape conservation

Carolin Planitzer
Biodiversity Financing Specialist at Mentefactura CIA LTDA

Presentation topic: The economic valuation study demonstrates the economic contribution of Ecuador´s National Protected Area System to the national tourism and hydroenergetic sector, in order to justify the inclusion of the Protected Area System in national policy planning and investment decisions. The study applies the UNDP methodology “Targeted Scenario Analysis” (TSA) that uses different economic and social indicators to demonstrate the contribution of ecosystem services as inputs to specific economic sectors under two different scenarios, and develops projections over time. The Business as Usual scenarios are designed to demonstrate the economic value of the NPAS under current financial and management conditions, whereas the Sustainable Ecosystem Management scenario is defined by increased investment, a new management model and improved conservation measures in buffer zones and watersheds. 

Andrea Barrera Zambrano
Research and Conservation Director at Asociacion de Becarios de Casanare

Presentation topic: This project is collaboration between a NGO, and a oil Company, to establish Volunteer Conservation Agreements with landowners to preserve highly biodiverse ecosystems, and to support strategies for adaptation to climate change. During the establishment of this strategy we have found valuable biodiversity results, as endangered and endemic species like Spider monkeys and Flame-winged Parakeets. This project shows the achievements and difficulties of a process to engage ten rural communities in the conservation of nearly 1650 hectares of forest. Then, our experience can improve the methodologies of PES schemes to make them replicable in other zones with similar social and physical conditions.


Ian Lifshitz
Director, Sustainability and Stakeholder Relations at Asia Pulp and Paper

Presentation topic: 2014 marked a year of zero-deforestation commitments from various corporations, bringing hope to the world’s rainforest conservationists. As companies and NGOs work together to execute sustainability policies in their supply chains in 2015 and beyond, it is necessary to develop mechanisms supporting  the implementation of these commitments. From Indonesia to Ecuador and Colombia, this session will explore case studies of the required steps in developing an effective conservation strategy addressing key elements from planning, stakeholder engagement, and ultimately financing.

Stream 4: Leveraging data, technology and landscape planning tools

Aaron Reuben
Science and Knowledge Communications Officer, Global Forest and Climate Change Programme at the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN)

Presentation topic: IUCN and the World Resources Institute have developed a Restoration Opportunity Assessment Methodology (ROAM) that allows countries, individuals or organizations to identify landscape-scale opportunities for restoration, a conservation approach that can raise biodiversity levels across diverse land uses. The presentation will describe the tool and show how data analysis, stakeholder engagement, and participatory assessments can be leveraged to achieve policy and landscape-level change. Examples may be presented from Ghana, Rwanda and Mexico.

Eleanor J. Sterling
Chief Conservation Scientist, Center for Biodiversity and Conservation at American Museum of Natural History

Presentation topic: The current pace of demographic, sociocultural, and environmental changes at local and global scales poses a challenge for enhancing the resilience of human and natural systems; there is a critical need to develop and implement indicators that can be used to manage and monitor resources and effectively plan for the future. While substantial work has been undertaken to identify indicators of biodiversity, climate change, and human well-being, work on biocultural indicators is relatively new. Biocultural indicators differ from conventional indicators of ecosystem health (species richness, nutrient cycling, etc.) in that they explicitly capture and integrate social dimensions (e.g. harvest schedule for culturally significant species) and they can also provide both a historical view of the interactions between humans and their surrounding land/seascape and insight into dimensions of biocultural resilience that have not been well-considered elsewhere. This presentation will explore possibilities for developing a framework that allows for hierarchical categorization of biocultural resilience indicators to facilitate translation of indicator assessment across scales, from local communities to global policy arenas. 

Benjamin Jones
Project Coordinator, World Resources Institute 

Presentation topic: I look forward to presenting on how Global Forest Watch (GFW), a dynamic online tool for forest cover monitoring, can be used to advance biodiversity conservation. GFW is now working to integrate the most important geospatial data for biodiversity into the rapidly evolving platform, allowing users to monitor critical habitats and species using forest cover, loss, and gain as an indicator. Most terrestrial species are forest dependent, emphasizing the importance of such a method for landscape-scale conservation.

Walter Jetz
Associate Professor, Yale University

Presentation topic: Map of Life ( is a global resource for biodiversity mapping and monitoring that uses remote sensing and modeling tools for scientifically rigorous and transparent conservation analysis and support. I will illustrate a new service that taps into Map of Life’s vast biodiversity data store and, combining it with high-resolution remote sensing based habitat information, allows pinpointing suitable species locations in unprecedented detail. Especially for tropical forest species this allows a radically improved assessment and monitoring of distributions together with an interactive assessment of species’ potential representation in reserves.

Masoom Hamdard
Lecturer in Environmental Policy, Department of Integrated Water Systems and Governance at UNESCO-IHE Institute for Water Education

Presentation topic: My presentation will focus on the need for integrated approaches in natural resources management, and the role of spatial planning tools such as ecosystem services mapping in supporting integration by bringing all stakeholders together to address and prioritize natural resources problems. The presentation will further elaborate on a case study of Thukela district municipality in South Africa, where ecosystem services mapping was practiced as part of my project to support integration required for natural resources management. 

Hasita Bhammar, Dream Choi, Alark Saxena and Malia Carpio
Master Students, Yale University

Presentation topic: The Integrated Landscape and Livelihood Management System (IL2MS) is a collaborative project that leverages the power of two modeling approaches to understand complex interactions between social and ecological systems. IL2MS draws upon the strength of the Landscape Management System (LMS) to understand forest stand dynamics, and incorporates the Livelihood Management System to capture the causal relationships between forest dynamics and the activities of forest-dependent communities. As a decision-making tool, it aims to support a range of REDD+ goals, such as mitigation and adaptation to climate change, improve ecological and environmental services, and support biodiversity conservation plans and policies while maintaining local livelihoods.