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Top 20 Questions

Top 20 Questions

We are pleased to publish the top 20 priority questions for forestry and landscapes. Thank you to everyone who took part.

The T20Q project – funded by CIFOR and supported by many partners during 2014 –  set out to collect policy-relevant questions relating to forestry and landscapes, as a first step towards support systematic reviews in these subjects. It was designed to work in two phases; firstly to crowd-source questions, and secondly to ask respondents to rank these. The audience was intended to be global, supported by partners with world-wide reach, and the survey was translated into multiple languages.

In the first phase 502 people submitted 2859 questions. Respondents came from over 100 countries. Questions received were coded with up to three keywords, allowing their grouping into clusters of terms or ‘themes’. In the second phase ‒ where questions were ranked ‒ 818 respondents (many of whom were thought to be new respondents) took part.


The top twenty questions

Here is the list of twenty priority questions derived from the process (where 1 is highest ranked):

  1. How can degraded ecosystems be restored to meet the objectives of biodiversity conservation, ecosystem function, ecosystem resilience, and sustainability of rural livelihoods?
  2. In the context of high human density and scarcity of farming land, how can we address the question of sustainable management of tropical forests? [Dans un contexte de forte densité humaine et de rareté des terres arables, comment peut-on aborder la question de gestion durable des forêts tropicales?]
  3. How can we integrate sustainability into trade regulation and law?
  4. How can we develop models of forest restoration that are economically feasible?
  5. Can we develop practical tools that allow land-planning and forest management to be better tailored to the needs, culture and perceptions of different communities and locations?
  6. What are the implications for biodiversity and the environment of using afforestation as a mean of carbon mitigation?
  7. How do we make sure that the needs of indigenous people who rely on intact forest systems are being met while also providing wood products for economic growth?
  8. How is it possible to develop a sustainable mechanism for payments for ecosystem services?
  9. What are the institutional arrangements that might enable smallholders within a landscape to jointly market the ecosystems services provided by reforestation of some of their land?
  10. How can we improve agriculture to reduce the pressure in forested areas?
  11. How can we best select species that simultaneously provide ecological and economic benefits?
  12. What are the best means to ensure that forest/landscape restoration projects add value to the landscape in terms of connectivity between populations and habitats, facilitating gene flow, species migration, as well as complementarity of land-uses and livelihoods of local people?
  13. How can local knowledge, wisdom and experiences (e.g. on tree species, NTFPs [non-timber forest products]) be effectively combined with national and subnational forest assessment, monitoring and management efforts?
  14. How can we guarantee effective protection and conservation of environmental services in a world increasingly in need of raw materials at low cost? [¿De que manera puede garantizarse la protección y conservación efectiva de los servicios ambientales en un mundo cada vez más tensionado por la necesidad de materias primas a bajo coste?]
  15. Adaptation to climate change means answering to trends in future climate and also to increasing risks. These two aspects are often studied separately when they should be combined. How to combine them?
  16. Can we really use ecosystem service values as a method to value a whole landscape?
  17. How can inclusive forest and landscape management be enhanced for the resource-poor?
  18. How can farmers get money from biodiversity conservation?
  19. How can we maintain, restore and shape water-friendly landscapes, including forests and trees, while addressing partly-conflicting land use and water needs of all stakeholders of a landscape?
  20. How can we ensure that forests are for the benefit of local economies and forests are not grabbed for the benefit of some foreign company?

Whether you took part or not, we would welcome any comments here on the blog about the final 20 questions, and of course the process as a whole.

Visit the T20Q project website

T20Q podcast December 2014

t20q podcast December 2014

T20Q co-ordinators, Gabriel Hemery and Gill Petrokofsky, talked recently to Jen Hurst about the next phase of the global project.

The discussion covered the background to the project, how the 2500 respondents from 104 countries who took part in the first phase have been re-engaged in a new phase, and how the set of 109 questions was derived under seven themes:

  • Ecosystem services
  • Management of Forest and Forested Land
  • Land use and Landscape
  • Economics and Trade
  • Conservations and Biodiversity
  • People and Society
  • Climate Change

Take part in Phase 2 of the T20Q survey

Listen to their conversation:

Top 20 Questions

Top 20 Questions – please take part

T20Q is a global project that allows you to have your say about issues of importance in forestry and landscapes. From May through November 2014 we collected questions – concerning research and policy in forestry and landscapes – from respondents in 104 countries around the world. We are now re-engaging those who completed this first phase AND we want those who haven’t contributed to get involved.

Sharing sets of filtered questions and then prioritising them

Questions submitted through in Phase 1 have been sorted and organised into topics that reflect the most frequently-occurring themes. These are presented in sets of questions for further consolidating online through a ranking process. We are now seeking your contribution in assessing these questions and rating them. 

We initially collected questions in very broad categories but the new themes presented in Phase 2 reflect the most frequently-occurring topics that emerged from the questions submitted in Phase 1. There are 7 cross-cutting themes in Phase 2:

  • People & society
  • Conservation & biodiversity
  • Landuse & landscape issues
  • Ecosystem services
  • Economics & trade
  • Climate change
  • Management of forests

We will count up all the scores and produce a final set of Top Twenty Questions in December.

Take part in Phase 2 of the T20Q survey

SilviFuture, a website promoting the use of novel forest species, was featured at this week’s launch of Royal Forestry Society’s Conifers for Colleges project.  Conifers for Colleges highlights the importance of conifers in the UK forestry while promoting research into forest resilience.

Conifers for Colleges provides students attending forestry and woodland management courses, first-hand experience of the tree species that may be needed to ensure that the UK has resilient woodlands and a viable timber industry.  The first trial plots are being planted this autumn at Moulton College, Myerscough College, Plumpton College, Coleg Gwent and Northumberland College.  The data and results will be made freely available to industry via the SilviFuture database so that woodland and forest owners can see what species might grow well on sites comparable to their own. The RFS will also publish the research findings and there will be opportunities for other project partners to do so.

Paul Orsi, Sylva, plants a Serbian spruce (Picea omorika) at Moulton College with Phil Tanner, RFS (right)

Paul Orsi, Sylva, plants a Serbian spruce (Picea omorika) at Moulton College with Phil Tanner, RFS (right)

 

Ensuring forests are resilient is a key part of the mission of the Sylva Foundation, which is why we invest in promoting and conducting research on sustainable forest management.

Louise Hill in Wytham Woods. Photo John Cairns

Louise Hill, Oxford-Sylva scholar, in Wytham Woods. Photo John Cairns

For the fourth academic year in a row, Sylva has supported a DPhil student in the Department of Plant Sciences with the Oxford–Sylva Foundation Graduate Scholarship. Current Oxford-Sylva Scholar Louise Hill, now in the second year of her DPhil, was interviewed recently for the university’s major fundraising campaign Oxford Thinking. She talks about her research, which focusses on ash dieback and its ecological consequences in British woodlands, and what it meant to receive our support. The full interview is available to read on the Oxford Thinking campaign pages – read here

Together with the University of Oxford, we are keen to raise funds to support more scholars of the highest calibre. Currently we meet the costs of the scholarship from our own core funds but this is sustainable only in the medium term. Our aim is work with other donors to secure the scholarship in perpetuity. We welcome expressions of interest from individuals or companies who would like to find out more about the scholarship and how they could support it.

Read more about the scholarship

 


Our thanks to Oxford Thinking for permission to feature the interview, and to John Cairns for the photograph.

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and in Scotland SC041892

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