Addressing deforestation and other land-based conflicts in the frontier forests of eastern Panama: The case of REDD+

Workshop leaders: Gordon M. Hickey, McGill University (in person) and Javier Mateo-Vega, McGill University and Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute (joining virtually from Panama)

Register hereYou will need to have registered for the ISTF conference already.

This session will explore the complexities of tropical deforestation and consider the potential role of the proposed climate change mitigation mechanism, Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation in Developing Countries (REDD+) in developing countries.  

Using the highly contested forest landscapes of eastern Panama as a stage, participants will confront some of the challenges associated with implementing ambitious, international, and often prescriptive natural resource policies at local levels. Eastern Panama, encompassing the Bayano and Darien regions, is home to vast and highly diverse forest ecosystems, and is considered one of the most important frontier forests in the Americas (dubbed by some the “Amazon of Central America”). It is also home to three indigenous groups (Kuna, Embera and Wounaan), populations of African descent (Afro-Darienitas) and mestizo migrant farmers (colonos), all with different histories, traditions and worldviews concerning forests and land management. Combining role-playing and problem-based learning strategies, students will participate in a mock public hearing on the potential implementation of REDD+ in the upper Bayano Watershed, raising issues concerning access to land, biodiversity conservation, poverty reduction, and social justice.

Note: Advance registration is required. Preparatory readings and videos will need to be completed prior to participating in this session.

This workshop is being hosted in collaboration with the F&ES Case Study Integration Initiative.