Monday | May 5th     13.15 - 14.45

Food and biodiversity: Sloping lands in transition – ecosystem services and rural livelihoods

Hosted by Center for International Forestry Research

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This session aimed to: 1) contribute to better understanding the implementation of programs that promote forestry for the provision of ecosystem services in smallholder-occupied hilly and mountainous lands in Southeast Asia, China and India; 2) critically assess their environmental performance, and political-economic and socio-cultural effects; 3) identify questions regarding upland communities’ ability to adapt to anthropogenic and climate induced land-use change; and 4) share this knowledge regionally with the aim of launching an ongoing forum on this topic.

Participants are associated with the FTA’s nascent SLANT project, which takes a landscape approach to understanding how processes of ecosystem service provision to downstream and global beneficiaries affects smallholders and the landscapes they manage. Presentations and discussion built on CIFOR, ICRAF and partner studies underway in seven Asian countries, including China, India, Indonesia, Nepal, The Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam.

Key questions addressed in the session:

  1. What socio-economic and environmental changes are associated with conversion of hilly and mountainous lands in Asia?
  2. What are the implications for sustainability and how might these changes relate to climate change mitigation and the adaptive capacity of local communities?
  3. How have government interventions and programs in sloping lands, including PES-type schemes, affected the well-being, land rights and equitable access to resources of people living in these regions?

Background reading: