February 15 - February 15, 2012
US Forest Service International Programs Seminar Series
The Drivers of Tropical Deforestation: A Twenty-First Century View
In the last decade, scientific studies have shown fundamental changes in the forces causing tropical deforestation. Twentieth-century views emphasized population growth, peasant farming and firewood collection as the most important causes, but more recent research points to urbanization, changing diets and commercial agriculture particularly soy, beef and palm oil as the main drivers of deforestation today. Dr. Boucher will explain these changing views and their implications for policies for reducing greenhouse gas emissions from deforestation and forest degradation.
About the Speaker
Doug Boucher is the director of climate research and analysis at the Union of Concerned Scientists in Washington. He received his B.A. from Yale University in 1971 and his Ph.D. from the University of Michigan in 1979, and came to UCS after many years as a professor of biology at Hood College, the University of Québec and McGill University, as well as four years as Chief of Staff for Rep. Bernard Sanders in the U.S. Congress. He focuses particularly on land use issues and coordinates the Tropical Forest and Climate Coalition, which has brought together about two dozen environmental NGOs and major businesses to promote provisions to reduce deforestation in U.S. legislation. He has also been active in the international climate change negotiations. He is the author of about 80 articles in English, French and Spanish on a wide array of ecological, agricultural and other science-related topics.