“Restoration for What and for Whom? Shifting the Paradigm in Tropical Forest Management” (Yale International Society of Tropical Foresters’ 26th Annual Conference)

Event time: 
Thursday, January 30, 2020 - 12:00pm to Saturday, February 1, 2020 - 4:45pm
Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Science See map
Event description: 
The year 2020 marks the deadline for many international climate change and conservation
targets, yet most goals and promises remain unfulfilled. In 2021 the UN’s Decade on Ecosystem
Restoration begins, with new goals that reflect the mounting threats faced by tropical forests and
their inhabitants, and the essential role of forests in combating climate change. As countries
around the world ramp up their pledges to restore tropical ecosystems, we need to re-examine
our approach. What is being restored? Why is restoration necessary in the first place? Who will
benefit from restoration efforts and who will lose out? How should Bonn Challenge
commitments be approached, from both a theoretical and technical standpoint? 
The ISTF 2020 conference calls for progressive approaches to restoration that shift the paradigm
of tropical landscape management: 
- projects led by and truly inclusive of those most affected by forest loss
- concrete proposals that promote ecological resilience and combat colonial legacies
- compelling storytelling that confronts power and impacts policy 
- research that reflects on-the-ground needs
- restoration interventions that are backed by evidence
It’s clear that our conventional models won’t solve the climate crisis. If we’re going to radically
change course, we must interrogate the past and be truly imaginative about future possibilities. If
restoration can be a tool to maintain the status quo, can it also be an opportunity to upend it?
How can we center justice in our nature-based solutions? Given the changing climate, how can
scientific models account for ecological migration and fluidity? As we seek the potential for
structural change in the Decade on Ecosystem Restoration, we also ask: What gets left out of the
conversation when we talk about restoration? And can place-based, context-specific restoration
be scaled-up?
The conference will bring together scientists, practitioners, activists, policy makers, artists,
journalists from around the world, paying particular attention to voices from the ground. We seek
to inspire the well-informed, holistic, and creative action needed to restore forests and change
society. Exploring both traditional practices and innovative recent approaches, we’re looking for
equitable and effective solutions. Driven by questions of restoration for what and for whom, our
interdisciplinary group will build a platform to address the question of how, as we plan for the
upcoming decade and beyond.