Natural and social scientists launch international network to investigate tropical reforestation

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Beginning in fall 2013, a group of scientists will undertake a series of activities to investigate the ecological potential and social underpinnings of natural regeneration and reforestation in the earth’s tropical zones. PARTNERS (People And Reforestation in the Tropics: a Network for Education, Research, and Synthesis), led by Professor Robin Chazdon of the University of Connecticut, is a new Research Coordination Network funded by the National Science Foundation. PARTNERS will convene several workshops to unite researchers and initiate synthetic multidisciplinary working groups, author scholarly papers, develop educational modules, and write policy briefs that focus on the regrowth processes occurring in many deforested regions across the tropics. Reforestation, through passive and active activities, is occurring throughout Africa, Asia, and Latin America, and offers potential new solutions for sequestering large amounts of carbon, protecting watersheds, preventing erosion, sustaining biodiversity, and providing local livelihoods in the aftermath of deforestation and land degradation. This new network of cooperating scientists reflects the global reach of tropical reforestation, with participants and reforestation practitioners joining from all over the world to share perspectives, insights, and information. Through a five-year program of planned activities, PARTNERS aims to identify important areas for further research and describe potential policy interventions that would promote ecologically and socially based tropical reforestation approaches across the globe.

To register an interest in PARTNERS, participate in the network’s activities, or to learn more about the network, please visit the website at http://partners-rcn.uconn.edu.