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Forest conservation in the agricultural frontier: a pan-tropical comparative assessment of intervention performance

AGC page image credit CIFOR.jpg
Aerial view of the landscape around Halimun Salak National Park, West Java, Indonesia.Photo by Kate Evans/CIFOR

The aim of this project is to examine the performance of distinct strategies at the forest agricultural nexus in conserving forests and avoiding land conversion. 

We will characterise site-based interventions across the tropics ranging from 'strict' conservation and forest protection, to 'coupled' approaches linking agricultural production with forest protection, to those with a strong agricultural intensification focus.

Changes in forest cover over the duration of these projects will be examined using remote sensing techniques. We will explore and test different approaches to quantify patterns of disturbances -  including forest loss, forest degradation and fire occurrence - derived from historical satellite imagery, and combine this information with field data where possible to allow the quantification of changes in the carbon stocks.

To estimate the effectiveness of these interventions, we will compare their performance with that of similar 'matched' sites, where no specific interventions are in place but other determinants of land use change are comparable.

Overall, this project will provide a pan-tropical comparative assessment of the potential of these different intervention typologies for conserving forests. Our analysis will support the interdisciplinary research initiative Assessing the Role of Forests and Landscapes in relation to Climate Change, Agricultural Production and Livelihoods, which aims to understand the linkages and trade-offs between forests, food and livelihoods resulting from the implementation of these contrasting landscape management approaches.

Research Overview