Plenary Panel - Tropical Forest Restoration, A Case Study in Socio-ecological Complexity

2 February, Friday

This panel will explore addressing scale in complexity from different angles. Environmental Leadership & Training Initiative (ELTI) and the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) have partnered together to launch an online course on the Restoration Opportunities Assessment Methodology (ROAM) to enhance the capacity of restoration practitioners worldwide. Eva Garen, Director of ELTI, will speak to the bottom-up technique to running this project while Mirjam Kuzee, Forest Landscape Restoration Assessment Coordinator at IUCN, will provide a perspective on the national and sub-national top-down approach. Zoraida Calle, who has partnered with both ELTI and IUCN, provides an example from Colombia of bringing locally grounded solutions to the national level. 

Dr. Eva Garen

Director, Environmental Leadership and Training Initiative

Dr. Eva Garen has spent almost twenty years working on the social aspects of conservation and development in the tropics.Prior to becoming the Director of ELTI in 2012, Eva was a technical advisor on the social aspects of REDD+ with Conservation International’s Science and Knowledge Division. Eva also worked with USAID’s Forestry and Biodiversity Teams in Washington D.C. as a Science and Technology Policy Fellow with the American Association for the Advancement of Science. For her postdoctoral research in Panama at STRI, she worked with cattle ranchers and smallholders on issues of native species reforestation and land restoration in human-dominated landscapes. Eva completed her M.E.S. and Ph.D. at the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies, with a concentration in social ecology.





Mirjam Kuzee

Forest Landscape Restoration Assessment Coordinator, International Union for the Conservation of Nature

Mirjam Kuzee completed her studies on Forest Ecology and Forest Management at Wageningen University, the Netherlands. She has worked as a researcher, programme manager and policy specialist in the area of forestry and environment. She gained her experience working for Wageningen University and Research Center, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN (FAO), The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) and at the Regional Government of Zealand. She has worked globally and been based in West Africa (Ivory Coast and Senegal), Europe (Rome and Netherlands) and the Caribbean region (Jamaica). She has more than 10 years’ experience working specifically on forest landscape restoration and the ecology and management of secondary and degraded forests. In more recent years she has worked to combine landscape level restoration with climate change adaptation, mitigating loss of biodiversity and incorporation economic and social needs. She has worked closely with industry and the agriculture and recreational sectors to seek win-win solutions whenever possible. She is a fierce proponent of science-based policies and learning through doing, by implementing and validating ideas at the national and local level with stakeholders and partners.

Zoraida Calle

Co-founder, Fundación CIPAV
Coordinator, Neotropics Program, ELTI

The exhuberant nature, unique biodiversity and resilient rural communities of her native country have inspired Zoraida’s restoration work in Colombian agricultural landscapes. For more than two decades, Zoraida has coordinated an ecological restoration group within Fundación CIPAV, ELTI’s partner organization in Colombia. CIPAV’s restoration work involves a combination of participatory research, pilot projects, on-farm activities and bioengineering. Focused on the synergy between restoration and sustainable farming, Zoraida has explored the complementary role of silvopastoral systems in landscape-scale conservation.








Plenary Panel - Complexity in Practice

3 February, Saturday

This panel will address how to attend to complexity in practice and from where solutions originate by hearing from a variety of practitioners working in tropical forest landscapes. This session will highlight a diversity of perspectives, including non-governmental organizations, indigenous groups, and conservation research. While the priorities and experiences of each sector often differ and sometimes come into conflict, they can inform and influence each other in valuable ways. This session will therefore be a great opportunity to hear about the challenges and successes of addressing complexity at all levels.

Dr. Manuel Guariguata

Theme Leader on Forest Management and Restoration at the Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR)

Dr. Manuel Guariguata is Theme Leader on Forest Management and Restoration at the Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR).  Before joining CIFOR in 2006, he was Program Officer at the Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity where he facilitated intergovernmental dialogue on forest biodiversity and climate change.  From 1994 to 2002, he was based at the Centro Agronómico Tropical de Investigación y Enseñanza (CATIE) in Costa Rica, carrying out regional research on forest management for production and conservation as well as teaching in CATIE´s graduate school.  Dr. Guariguata received his doctorate in 1993 from Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies and his Master´s from University of Florida in 1989.  A Venezuelan national, Dr. Guariguata´s research focuses on forest management for multiple goods and services of both natural and restored forests, largely from a biophysical perspective yet considering governance issues in order to influence forest policy and practice. He has published extensively about forest certification, forest-based ecosystem services, forestry and climate change, participatory monitoring, forest ecology and silviculture, and forest restoration. He is a member of the International Union of Forest Research Organizations (IUFRO) Enlarged Board, representing the Latin American region.  Dr. Guariguata has served as editorial board member of various international journals and currently leads CIFOR’s Latin American office in Lima, Peru.

Dr. Eleanor Sterling

Chief Conservation Scientist, Center for Biodiversity & Conservation at the American Museum of Natural History

Dr. Eleanor Sterling has interdisciplinary training in biological and social sciences and has over 30 years of field research and community outreach experience with direct application to biodiversity conservation in Africa, Asia, Latin America, and Oceania. Her work currently focuses on the intersection between biodiversity, culture, and languages; the factors influencing ecological and social resilience; and the development of indicators of wellbeing in biocultural landscapes. She is a world authority on the aye-aye, a nocturnal lemur endemic to Madagascar and collaborates on an initiative integrating biology and econometrics across multiple scales for sustainable wildlife trade in Vietnam. Dr. Sterling spearheaded the establishment of the CBC’s Network of Conservation Educators (NCEP), an international group that develops sound biodiversity conservation practice by improving conservation training at the undergraduate, graduate and professional level. She has curated five exhibits at AMNH and is most recently the co-curator of the Museum’s exhibit on the global food system: Our Global Kitchen: Food, Nature, Culture. She is currently Deputy Vice Chair for the International Union for Nature and Natural Resources (IUCN) World Commission on Protected Areas Core Capacity Development group where she co-leads working groups on Capacity Development Evaluation and on Indigenous Peoples and Local Communities. She co-founded the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee of the Society for Conservation Biology and the Women in Natural Sciences New York chapter of the Association for Women in Science.

Kalani Souza

Olohana Foundation, Founding Director

M. Kalani Souza works directly with indigenous communities throughout Oceania and North America on issues of resource conservation, food security, disaster preparedness, local economy, and self-governance. He is founding director of Olohana Foundation, a nonprofit based in Hawaii that works with communities to co-develop strategies for resilience around projects and programs that intersect food, energy, water, and knowledge systems. The U.S. Department of Agriculture; the U.S. Department of Interior, Office of Insular Affairs; and the University of Hawaii, Shidler College of Business, Pacific Business Center Program, have contracted with Kalani and Olohana partner, Agroforestry Net’s Craig Elevitch, as instructors to teach breadfruit agroforestry throughout Polynesia, Micronesia, U.S. affiliate islands and the U.S. Virgin Islands. 

Kalani is a recognized traditional practitioner of Native Hawaiian and Pacific Island culture and licensed to practice traditional religion and ceremony. He collaborates in community and with local scientists and researchers from the University of Hawaii and other educational institutions and consortiums, including the National Center for Atmospheric Research, the University Corporation for Atmospheric Research, and FEMA National Domestic Preparedness Consortium. He is the National Outreach Coordinator for Rural, Tribal and Native Communities for FEMA’s Natural Disaster Preparedness Training Center at University of Hawaii; a standing member and past steersperson for the Pacific Risk Management Ohana Indigenous Knowledge and Education Working Group. He serves on several Federal Native American efforts including Indigenous Peoples’ Climate Change Working Group (IPCCWG); and Rising Voices Collaborative Science with Indigenous Knowledge for Climate Solutions. Recently Kalani has become the chairman of the U.S. Geological Survey / Colorado State University’s Climate Science Center’s Indigenous Phenology Network.

Dr. Richard Peterson

Associate Professor, University of New England

Richard Peterson received his B.A. in International Studies from Michigan State University and earned both his M.S. and Ph.D. in Environmental Studies from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He has taught at the University of Wisconsin and at Antioch College (where he coordinated the Environmental Studies Program), and is now Associate Professor and Chair of the Department of Environmental Studies at the University of New England. His research focuses on the incorporation of indigenous ecological knowledge, practices, and perspectives into conservation projects and other environmental initiatives in Africa. His book Conversations in the Rainforest: Culture, Values, and the Environment in Central Africa (Westview Press, 2000; revised edition, University of New England DUNE, 2017 ), addresses such themes in the Democratic Republic of Congo, where he has spent over 17 years. He has also published his work in a variety of book chapters, journal articles, and conference proceedings. His current research, in collaboration with colleagues at Maseno University, examines community-based approaches to combating soil erosion in western Kenya, and has been recently published in the Journal of Rural Studies.