From Talks@ATREE:

Speaker: Dr. Margaret D. Lowman
Date: January 28, 2011
Time: 4 pm
Venue: ATREE Auditorium in Bangalore, India
Title: UN Year of the Forest – inspiring new stakeholders to reverse deforestation

Rates of tropical deforestation continue to accelerate, and yet the United Nations has declared 2011 as the International Year of the Forest. Our conventional mechanisms of conservation have not been effective over the past several decades, so new and innovative solutions to reverse forest degradation are required. As a canopy biologist with over 30 years of experience, I discuss ways to leverage research and education outreach for conservation purposes. First, partnerships with non-traditional stakeholders are an emerging mechanism for success i.e., religious leaders, corporate and business partners, and engaging women in science are illustrated by case studies. Second, the inclusion of education and broader science communication as an essential component of my research – in particular the involvement of children as future stakeholders and increasing use of social media – have proven effective. The field of canopy science, with its creative toolkit of walkways and ropes that also foster ecotourism, can enhance forest conservation through the integration of economics and ecology to a growing diversity of stakeholders.

Dr. Lowman is the Director of the Nature Research Centre at the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences and Professor at North Carolina State University Raleigh, NC. She also serves as Vice President of The Explorers Club; Vice President of the Ecological Society of America; Executive Director of Florida’s TREE Foundation; and Cluster Chair for the Sarasota Economic Development Corporation.