Forest Sciences Centre 4623
2424 Main Mall
Vancouver, BC V6T 1Z4
work phone: 604-822-8949
Research Areas:BiodiversityCommunicationsCommunities and LivelihoodsConservationEcosystem ServicesEnvironmental CommunicationForest ManagementForest PolicyLand-use ChangeLandscape EcologySocial ScienceSustainabilityTropical Landscapes and Livelihoods
FRST 559 Natural Resource Management (Masters in International Forestry): Natural resource planning has traditionally focused on a single sector – forests are primarily managed for sustainable timber, ecosystem services (e.g., clean water, carbon storage, biodiversity) and other economic products; agricultural lands are managed for crop yields; freshwater aquatic systems are managed for water provision and fisheries. But landscapes are multifunctional and interactions between these systems are commonplace; for example, the greatest cause of deforestation globally is clearance for agriculture. Yet many rural people depend simultaneously on the interaction between forests, agriculture and the wider environment for their livelihoods, health, food security and nutrition. Indeed, much of the world’s food originates in complex and diverse landscape mosaics. Managing forestry, agriculture, and livelihoods in an integrated fashion is thus critical to achieve sustainable development. Given the contribution of forests and other systems both to rural livelihoods and our wider society, this course will be underpinned by an integrated landscape approach to natural resources planning and will pay reference to global policy processes such as the Convention on Biodiversity (CBD and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG’s). This approach represents a broad systems framework that integrates agriculture, the natural environment, different livelihood systems, and socio-ecological interactions towards a global sustainable development strategy.
CONS 452 Global Perspectives Capstone: In this course, we hope you will weave together the many strands of your learning over the last four years to synthesize the linkages between the multiple (and sometimes conflicting) facets of sustainability in social-ecological systems. We will do this through the lens of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), a comprehensive collection of global goals adopted in 2015 as a blueprint for a more sustainable, equitable, peaceful, and prosperous future for all. These ambitious goals highlight the immense challenges that we currently face on the planet, as well as the potential conflicts in achieving these goals simultaneously. For example, how can we protect Life on Land (Goal 15) while achieving Zero Hunger (Goal 2) when agriculture is the leading cause of deforestation? You will also have the opportunity to direct your own learning through a team project selected and designed by you and your teammates.
In the first part of the course, you will complete a series of activities (conceptual mapping, quantitative labs, debates) to develop frameworks for resilient socio-ecological systems, and evaluate the SDGs and linkages between them within these frameworks. A typical week will begin with a lecture on Monday to introduce the weekly topic, a hands-on activity on Tuesday to apply your knowledge, a ‘complicating’ lecture on Wednesday to push us to think more deeply, and a final hands-on activity on Thursday to synthesize our learnings. You will also lay the groundwork for your projects (usually on M/W after lectures) by selecting your study area, completing a literature review, brainstorming good questions and searching for the data to answer them.
The second part of the course will be devoted primarily to working on your team projects. You will have multiple opportunities to present your work both informally for feedback (ungraded) and as more formal (graded) presentations. We will also devote several sessions to professional development topics, including exercises to help you plan your next steps after finishing your degree, and on effectively communicating your work to different audiences.
We will finish the course with final public presentations of the best projects in the class. We are always proud of the high-caliber projects that emerge from this class and look forward to learning along with you.
Guest lecturer: FRST 495 (Biological diversity and forest management) / FRST 444 (Agroforestry)
June, 2018 – May, 2023
The Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR) is a leader in global research on the most pressing challenges of forest and landscape management. CIFOR scientists have considered landscape-scale interactions between multiple stakeholders and their environment through numerous pioneering programs that have attempted to reconcile the objectives of biodiversity conservation and socio-economic development.
Explore this site to learn more about ongoing research into these critical landscape issues – particularly, research via the project “Collaborating to Operationalise Landscape Approaches for Nature, Development and Sustainability (COLANDS).” This project is working with CIFOR, the Global Landscapes Forum (GLF) and other partners to conduct innovative research related to landscapes, including forestry and other productive processes; as well as the essential work of engaging multiple stakeholders.
The Sunderland Lab is based in the Faculty of Forestry at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, Canada. The lab is led by Dr. Terry Sunderland, Professor in the Department of Forest and Conservation Sciences. Our research is focused on applied research, biodiversity, conservation sustainable resource management, and linkages to levering policy influence. For more details, please visit the ‘Research‘ page. To get recent updates on our work, please follow SunderlandLab and Dr. Terry Sunderland on Twitter!
Tree inventory of UBC Farm to accelerate agroforestry research On-going
June, 2020 – May, 2021
The UBC Farm is a 24-hectare multi-functional production and conservation area located on the unceded and ancestral territory of the Musqueam First Nation at the campus of University of British Columbia (UBC), Vancouver, Canada. The UBC Centre for Sustainable Food Systems (CSFS) is located at the UBC Farm, and offers teaching, learning and scientific research opportunities. The farm is organic certified and the crops are sold on campus and local markets. The CSFS promotes innovative food systems that support ecosystem services, biodiversity and traditional indigenous ecological knowledge.
Juxtaposed with the agricultural production systems at the UBC Farm is a large area of second growth forest that is currently classified as an area for agroforestry. This remnant forest is composed of a variety of tree species including: western red cedar, coastal Douglas fir, western hemlock, grand fir, yellow cedar, big leaf maple, red alder, black cottonwood, paper birch, cascara, bitter cherry, snowy mountain ash, noble fir and arbutus. While this forest is not currently actively managed for agroforestry or forestry production, it provides an unparalleled resource on campus for research and learning. However, despite close collaboration between the CSFS and the Faculty of Forestry over the years, there is no detailed inventory information as to the composition of the remaining forest. We are proposing to undertake a 100% inventory of all trees >10cm diameter at breast height (dbh), identify and record them in an agreed database format, and share the data on an open-source platform for students and researchers at UBC to access. This will provide the necessary baseline for further research on urban forestry, ecosystem services, biodiversity, climate change, potential sustainable timber production, and agroforestry, among others, to take place. The inventory will also help in locating invasive plant species, which can then be removed as necessary. The inventory represents an essential tool for the sustainable management of the remaining forest on the UBC Farm. In short, if we don’t know what is there, we cannot manage it!
Recent blogs and media
COVID-19 pandemic offers opportunity to rethink status quo conservation efforts (29th September 2020)
Reconciling forest and tree conservation with food security (28th September 2020)
Shorter lifespan of fast growing trees may limit capacity to meet climate change goals (16th September 2020)
Pressure on forests from unhealthy diets may increase spread of viruses, scientist says (27th August 2020)
Evidence base still weak, despite popularity of integrated landscape approaches (28th July 2020)
Survey shows potential impact of palm trees in quantifying rainforest carbon (22nd July 2020)
Forests can help reshape “dysfunctional” global food system, scientists say (20th July 2020)
Contribution of Forests, Trees and Agroforestry to Sustainable Food Security and Nutrition in a time of crisis Forests, Trees and Agroforestry (FTA) blog & video, 13th July 2020
Palm oil industry leaves Indonesian village struggling with loss and regret (5th June 2020)
Intact forests can retain high levels of carbon in high temperatures (23rd May 2020)
Lifting the barriers to improve women and child health in Komodo (28th April 2020)
Revolutionize food production system or face mass deforestation scientists warn (6th February 2020)
More forest patches, healthier diets (18th December 2019)
Making room for wild foods in forest conservation (22nd July 2019)
Global Landscapes Forum salutes UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration 2021-2030 (March 1st 2019)
Webinars, podcasts and interviews
Deforestation and pandemics. Radio interview with Global News Programme, The Shift (26th August 2020)
Integrated landscape approaches in the tropics (Evidensia webinar), 28th July 2020.
Landscape Ecology and the Covid-19 Pandemic, IUFRO Landscape Ecology Working Group Webinar, 24th June 2020.
Securing food and nutrition in a time of crisis: the role of forests, trees and agroforestry. Virtual side event at the Global Landscapes Forum, Bonn, 4th June 2020.
Operationalising the landscape approach: Learning from doing. Virtual discussion Forum for Global Landscapes Forum Kyoto event, May 13th 2019.