You are cordially invited to the RIHN Seminar

Date & time:
16:00-17:30 Wednesday 2 3 rd May 2007
Tom P. Evans 1 and Jacqui Bauer 2

1 Associate Professor, Department of Geography and Co-Director of Center for the Study of Institutions, Population and Environemental Change (CIPEC), Indiana University

2 A ssistant Director, Workshop in Political Theory and Policy Analysis, Indiana University

Venue :
Research Institute for Humanity and Nature (RIHN) Lecture Hall

Social and Biophysical Dynamics of Reforesting Systems:
  Tensions between Macro-scale Theories and Local-scale Findings


Historical trajectories of land cover change in developed countries have provided the basis for a theory of forest transition. To briefly summarize, Forest Transition Theory (FTT) suggests that nations experience dramatic deforestation during a frontier period of heavy resource use and this deforestation phase is eventually followed by a period of reforestation after some period of economic development. A considerable amount of research has focused on the drivers of deforestation but we have a less complete understanding of the diverse factors contributing to reforestation and the prospects for a transition from deforestation to reforestation in different economies. This presentation summarizes research findings to date from a project examining this deforestation-to-reforestation process in the Midwest United States and compares the context there to the potential for reforestation in other regions (in the US and internationally). In this analysis we address how local level findings can elaborate on generalizations within the context of FTT. We also present the framework for a community-level study of livelihoods and natural resource management in Uganda , Kenya , Mexico , and Bolivia . Decentralization and property rights reform policies formulated at the national level for large geographic domains often fail to account for the complexities involved in land use at the local level, and can thus fall short of their goals of sustainable natural resource management and improving local livelihoods. The project is a combined effort of Indiana University 's International Forest Resources and Institutions (IFRI) program, the Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR), and the Program on Collective Action and Property Rights (CAPRi/International Food Policy Research Institute) to identify the institutional conditions and interactions that will deliver benefits equitably to local people while sustaining natural resources.


Tom P. Evans is an associate professor in the Department of Geography, Co-Director of the Center for the Study of Institutions, Population and Environmental Change, and faculty affiliate with the Workshop in Political Theory and Policy Analysis at Indiana University .  His research interests lie in the study of human dimensions of global change, modeling social-ecological systems, geographic information systems, remote sensing, and land use/land cover change.  His current research focuses on the study of land cover change and more specifically the drivers and constraints to forest regrowth at a set of international field sites ( United States , Brazil , Guatemala , Bolivia , Laos and China ).  Dr. Evans completed his Ph.D. in geography from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (USA) where his research focused on deforestation in Northeast Thailand .  He is currently serving as a Visiting Fellow at the East-West Center in Honolulu , Hawaii ( USA ).

Jacqui Bauer is the Assistant Director of the Workshop in Political Theory and Policy Analysis at Indiana University in Bloomington .  She has a Bachelors Degree from University of Michigan in Japanese Language, and a Masters in Public Affairs and a Masters in Environmental Science from Indiana University .  Prior to coming to the Workshop in 2005, she worked for over five years with the Indiana Rural Community Assistance Program, three of them as State Director.  This organization works with low-income rural communities throughout the state to address drinking water and sanitation concerns.  In her current position, she oversees a project, funded with money from the US Agency for International Development, to evaluate the effects of decentralization on forests and livelihoods in Uganda , Mexico , Kenya , and Bolivia .  Her interests include developing a better understanding of community forestry in Japan and Southeast Asia (especially Vietnam ) and rural water and sanitation issues in Vietnam .


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