Tropenbos International

Kumasi, Ghana

Tropenbos International

Kumasi, Ghana
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Jezeer R.E.,University Utrecht | Verweij P.A.,University Utrecht | Santos M.J.,University Utrecht | Boot R.G.A.,Tropenbos International | Boot R.G.A.,University Utrecht
Ecological Economics | Year: 2017

This paper compares financial and biodiversity performance of small-scale shaded coffee and cocoa plantations versus intensified conventional ones. We conduct a meta-analysis including 23 studies on coffee and cocoa plantations over a 26 year period. Our results show that, contrary to common perceptions, profitability and cost-efficiency are higher for small-scale shaded systems. Despite the lower yields for shaded systems, the lower costs per area and higher price per kilogram of coffee or cocoa causes shaded systems to perform better financially. This finding shows that the traditional indicator ‘yield’ is an inaccurate measure of financial performance when studying diversified systems, and that the more detailed indicators as net revenue or benefit-cost ratio should be used instead. Few studies specifically reported on the relationship between biodiversity and financial performance, providing divergent results, yet various papers showed a promising optimum relationship for intermediate levels of shade. Because shaded systems are known to correlate positively with biodiversity, we postulate that they can offer competitive business opportunities for small-scale farmers, while also contributing to biodiversity conservation. Still, there is a pressing need for multidisciplinary studies to quantify financial and biodiversity performance simultaneously, and to identify opportunities for scaling up shaded systems. © 2017 Elsevier B.V.


Putz F.E.,University of Florida | Putz F.E.,University Utrecht | Zuidema P.A.,University Utrecht | Zuidema P.A.,Wageningen University | And 11 more authors.
Conservation Letters | Year: 2012

Most tropical forests outside protected areas have been or will be selectively logged so it is essential to maximize the conservation values of partially harvested areas. Here we examine the extent to which these forests sustain timber production, retain species, and conserve carbon stocks. We then describe some improvements in tropical forestry and how their implementation can be promoted. A simple meta-analysis based on >100 publications revealed substantial variability but that: timber yields decline by about 46% after the first harvest but are subsequently sustained at that level; 76% of carbon is retained in once-logged forests; and, 85-100% of species of mammals, birds, invertebrates, and plants remain after logging. Timber stocks will not regain primary-forest levels within current harvest cycles, but yields increase if collateral damage is reduced and silvicultural treatments are applied. Given that selectively logged forests retain substantial biodiversity, carbon, and timber stocks, this "middle way" between deforestation and total protection deserves more attention from researchers, conservation organizations, and policy-makers. Improvements in forest management are now likely if synergies are enhanced among initiatives to retain forest carbon stocks (REDD+), assure the legality of forest products, certify responsible management, and devolve control over forests to empowered local communities. © 2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.


Laurance W.F.,James Cook University | Koster H.,World Wide Fund for Nature WWF Netherlands | Grooten M.,World Wide Fund for Nature WWF Netherlands | Anderson A.B.,World Wide Fund for Nature WWF Brazil | And 7 more authors.
Biological Conservation | Year: 2012

Conservation scientists and practitioners share many of the same goals. Yet in a majority of cases, we argue, research conducted by academic conservation scientists actually makes surprisingly few direct contributions to environmental conservation. We illustrate how researchers can increase the utility and impact of their scientific findings for real-world conservation, using examples of pressing environmental challenges. These examples demonstrate some practices and principles that scientists can adopt to better assist conservation practitioners and advance specific conservation outcomes. These include (1) producing time-critical research rapidly enough to affect political outcomes; (2) attacking 'wicked' problems that transcend traditional scientific approaches; (3) using multidisciplinary approaches that link science with fields such as economics, sociology, and politics; and (4) communicating in a bolder, more direct manner in the public arena to advance environmental conservation. We conclude with a plea for more proactive dialogue between conservation scientists and practitioners when devising research priorities. © 2012 Elsevier Ltd.


de Jong W.,Kyoto University | Cano W.,Tropenbos International | Cano W.,Center for International Forestry Research | Zenteno M.,Tropenbos International | Soriano M.,Instituto Boliviano Of Investigacion Forestal
Forest Policy and Economics | Year: 2014

We analyze legality in the forest sector in Bolivia, focusing particularly on the domestic timber value chain in the northern Bolivian Amazon. Bolivia adopted wide-reaching forest, land and democratic regulatory changes since the mid-1990s that were partly intended to reduce illegal logging and related practices. The new forest regulations, in turn, led to new illegal practices because implementation and sanctioning were poor, but also because new forest and land regulations were inadequate and often contradictory. In response, the government and various forest agencies adopted new measures to address the new illegal practices. These forest regulatory and forest policy renovations and modifications of the last two decades are, for instance, reflected in the domestic timber market of the northern Bolivian Amazon, a region that relies heavily on the forest sector. The paper analyzes Bolivia's regulatory changes that were relevant for legality in the forest sector and the multiple modifications that were made to address shortcomings of these reforms. It also analyses legality in the domestic timber value chain in northern Bolivia. The new actors involved in especially the domestic timber value chain have moved away from formal and legal mechanisms to benefit from timber that grows on their land and forests to practices that were not considered or actually shunned in the law and that appear difficult to regulate. Unless these new practices are recognized adequately in a new forestry law, some of the production and trade of the timber value chain will likely continue to operate at the margin of legality. © 2014 Elsevier B.V.


Savenije H.,Ministry of Agriculture | Van Dijk K.,Tropenbos International
Unasylva | Year: 2010

H. Savenije and K. van Dijk reflect on forest sector trends in light of the XIII World Forestry Congress. The XIII World Forestry Congress was hosted by Argentina from October 18 to 23 in 2009. The increasing number of claims on forests - economic, social and environmental - and the plurality of stakeholders at all scales with forests, values and vocabularies, complicate the play of forces and the decision-making regarding forests, requiring an integrated, coordinated, collaborative approach. A general shift can be observed in many countries in governance practice and policy-making and in the role and position of central government. The connection between international dialog and local implementation of sustainable forest management has improved little since 2003. The greatest threats to forests come from beyond the domain of forestry, arising from the rapidly increasing demand for food, feed and fuel.


Evans K.,Center for International Forestry Research | de Jong W.,Kyoto University | Cronkleton P.,Center for International Forestry Research | Nghi T.H.,Tropenbos International
Society and Natural Resources | Year: 2010

Forest devolution and government decentralization have increased community control over forests. Remoteness, low literacy, and lack of formal planning experience often leave forest communities unprepared for their new responsibilities. Forest communities need to develop skills that allow them to establish goals and make decisions transparently and democratically and to negotiate effectively with other local actors if they are to become more proactive participants in local governance processes. In Bolivia and Vietnam we tested four adaptations of scenario-based methods to assist forest communities to develop these skills. This article reflects on the strengths, limitations, and new applications of these methods. The methods encourage participation by members who have little experience with structured planning, including the most marginalized: women, elderly, and illiterate participants. The methods are useful as planning tools, for generating records of decision-making processes, and for preparing for negotiations between communities and local governments. © 2010 Taylor & Francis Group, LLC.


Zenteno M.,Tropenbos International | Zenteno M.,University Utrecht | De Jong W.,Kyoto University | Boot R.,Tropenbos International | And 2 more authors.
Environmental Science and Policy | Year: 2014

We use social ecological systems theory (SES) to analyse change in forest communities in the northern Bolivian Amazon. SES characterizes interdependent dynamics of social and ecological systems and we hypothesized it to be a useful frame to grasp dynamics of forest communities affected by changes in forest policies, regulations and institutions, as well as economic demands and conservation objectives. We analysed the long-term historical changes since the region became incorporated in the global tropical forest product value chain since the late 19th century and quantitatively analysed changes in 85 forest communities between 1997 and 2009. We collected information on 16 variables related to demographic, productive, and socio-economic characteristics. Results show that forest communities have experienced major changes and have adapted to these changes. Social thresholds, a key concept in SES, are consistent with multiple social economic forces experienced by forest communities. Detrimental feed-back effects of SES can be confronted when innovative exploration mechanisms, such as new productive chains are developed, or the agro-extractive cycles of current productive system are expanded. Competition among households, population growth and more profitable economic opportunities may threaten benign forms of forest products extraction that have persisted through various cycles of internal and external changes. © 2014 Elsevier Ltd.


Ochieng R.M.,Regional Development Centre | Visseren-Hamakers I.J.,Wageningen University | Nketiah K.S.,Tropenbos International
Forest Policy and Economics | Year: 2013

Deforestation and forest degradation remain high worldwide, and one of the dominant underlying causes for this forest loss is illegal logging. Numerous international policies have been developed aimed at addressing these issues. This article studies two of these regimes, the European Union's Forest Law Enforcement, Governance and Trade (FLEGT) action plan and its Voluntary Partnership Agreement (VPA) with Ghana, and the climate mitigation policy of reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation (REDD+). The interactions between these two international policies at the national level, namely in Ghana, are analyzed. The research shows numerous current and anticipated interactions between the two regimes. Most of these interactions potentially have a positive influence, but much depends on the future implementation of both regimes. The article makes recommendations on how to manage the interactions in order to improve the synergies and enhance effectiveness, including institutionalizing information sharing and learning, jurisdictional delimitation, and improving collaboration. © 2012 Elsevier B.V.


van Oosten C.,Wageningen University | Gunarso P.,Tropenbos International | Koesoetjahjo I.,Tropenbos International | Wiersum F.,Wageningen University
Forests | Year: 2014

Forest landscape restoration includes both the planning and implementation of measures to restore degraded forests within the perspective of the wider landscape. Governing forest landscape restoration requires fundamental considerations about the conceptualisation of forested landscapes and the types of restoration measures to be taken, and about who should be engaged in the governance process. A variety of governance approaches to forest landscape restoration exist, differing in both the nature of the object to be governed and the mode of governance. This paper analyses the nature and governance of restoration in three cases of forest landscape restoration in Indonesia. In each of these cases, both the original aim for restoration and the initiators of the process differ. The cases also differ in how deeply embedded they are in formal spatial planning mechanisms at the various political scales. Nonetheless, the cases show similar trends. All cases show a dynamic process of mobilising the landscape's stakeholders, plus a flexible process of crafting institutional space for conflict management, negotiation and decision making at the landscape level. As a result, the landscape focus changed over time from reserved forests to forested mosaic lands. The cases illustrate that the governance of forest landscape restoration should not be based on strict design criteria, but rather on a flexible governance approach that stimulates the creation of novel public-private institutional arrangements at the landscape level. © 2014 by the authors.


Boscolo M.,FAO | van Dijk K.,Tropenbos International | Savenije H.,Tropenbos International
Forests | Year: 2010

The problems that hamper the financing of sustainable forest management (SFM) are manifold and complex. However, forestry is also facing unprecedented opportunities. The multiple functions and values of forests are increasingly recognized as part of the solution to pressing global issues (e.g., climate change, energy scarcity, poverty, environmental degradation, biodiversity loss and raw material supply). Emerging initiatives to enhance forest carbon stocks and cut greenhouse gas emissions associated with forest clearing (known as REDD+), together with voluntary carbon markets, are offering additional funding options for SFM. Indigenous peoples, local communities and small scale farmers feature as key players in the discourse on implementing such initiatives. Based on the experience of countries developing national forest financing strategies and instruments, we suggest the following points be considered when financing such initiatives, particularly for small scale forestry: (1) Integrate financing of REDD+ and similar initiatives within broader national strategies for SFM financing; (2) Design REDD+ finance mechanisms that are =community ready', i.e., tailored to local realities; (3) Consider existing livelihood strategies as the starting point; (4) Build on existing structures, but be mindful of their strengths and weaknesses; (5) Be strategic with your priority actions; and (6) Promote innovation, knowledge sharing and information exchange. © 2010 by FAO.

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