Forest Policy and Forest-Dependent Livelihoods

Type: Virtual Paper
Sponsor Groups: China Specialty Group, Asian Geography Specialty Group
Poster #:
Day: 4/8/2021
Start / End Time: 4:40 PM / 5:55 PM (PDT)
Room: Virtual 45
Organizers: Conghe Song
Chairs: Qi Zhang


Forests provide vital natural resources and ecosystem services upon which many poor and vulnerable populations heavily rely for livelihoods. Currently, one quarter of the world population are estimated to live within or in proximity to forests, and over a billion people benefit directly from forests. Forest policy has been an essential tool for forest conservation and sustainable forest management. Many prominent forest policies have been implemented across the globe for such purposes, such as the well-known Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD+), the nationwide natural forest conservation program and conversion of cropland to forest program in China, the community forestry program in many developing countries in the tropics, etc. These policies often restrict the use of natural resources for subsistence or income generation, negatively influencing forest-dependent people’s livelihoods. So far, mixed results have been found regarding the socioeconomic consequences of these policies, indicating large uncertainty for their sustainability. This is mainly due to the complex social-ecological dynamics involved in the policy-livelihood relationships in the coupled natural and human systems. Understanding the underlying mechanisms within such complex systems can provide insights on better designing forest policies that reduce poverty among the forest-dependent populations and improve sustainable forest management simultaneously.

This virtual session calls for papers that seek to address the theoretical, methodological, and empirical issues to better understand the relationships between forest policies and the livelihoods of forest-dependent people. The topics include, but not limited to:
1) Socioeconomic, demographic and political impacts of forest policies (e.g., livelihood improvement, migration, inequality in benefit distribution, and income diversification)
2) Potential mechanisms for the success or failure of forest policies
3) Feedbacks from the forest ecosystem under particular forest policy to the human system that influences the forest-dependent people’s livelihoods.
4) Integrated approaches (e.g., agent-based modeling, system dynamic modeling) to explore human-environmental interactions as affected by forest policies

Please send your paper title and abstract with your PIN to the following organizers:

Dr. Conghe Song (
Department of Geography
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Dr. Qi Zhang (
Frederick S. Pardee Center
Boston University


Type Details Minutes Start Time
Presenter Qi Zhang*, Boston University, Conghe Song, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Interactions between cropland abandonment and labor migration under forest conservation policies 15 4:40 PM
Presenter Rajesh Bista*, University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill, What drives cropland abandonment in community-forest landscape? A case study from mid hills of Nepal 15 4:55 PM
Presenter Ying Wang*, China University of Geosciences, Qi Zhang, The Frederick S. Pardee Center for the Study of the Longer-Range Future, Frederick S. Pardee School of Global Studies, Boston University, Boston, MA 02215, USA , Conghe Song, Department of Geography, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, NC 27599, USA, Richard Bilsborrow, Carolina Population Center, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, NC 27516, USA, Understanding the Effects of China’s Agro-Environmental Policies on Rural Households’ Labor and Land Allocation with a Spatially Explicit Agent-Based Model 15 5:10 PM
Presenter Prabisha Shrestha*, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Conghe Song, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Rajesh Bista, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Socioeconomic determinants of fuel choice, fuelwood use and dependence in middle-hills of Nepal 15 5:25 PM
Presenter Asraf Siddique*, University of Calgary, Sujoy Subroto*, University of Calgary, Conny Davidsen, Associate Professor, University of Calgary, Global REDD+ pilot projects and policy lessons vis-à-vis Bangladesh’s current REDD+ Preparations: A Critical Review 15 5:40 PM

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