These are some of the questions that a new multidisciplinary project aims to address. People and Reforestation in the Tropics: a Network for Education, Research, and Synthesis (PARTNERS) aims to ‘to help scientists, governments, and peoples around the world understand and plan for sustainable and socially responsible tropical forest regrowth.’ Led by Robin Chazdon, an expert in tropical forest regeneration, PARTNERS brings together biologists, geographers, social and political scientists, economists, and NGOs, in recognition of the fact that is the interaction between people and forests that not only determines how forests are cut down or degraded, but also how they regrow.
It was a privilege to participate in the network’s inaugural workshop held at the University of Connecticut in May. The main themes we focused on were how to achieve resilient reforestation, how reforestation can both mitigate and adapt to climate change, what drives different land transitions, and what might the consequences of these be for forest recovery, and what are the synergies and trade-offs between different outcomes when reforestation is undertaken. For more information you can read about the recent workshop here, and about the network in more depth here.