CPC Fellow Jagger contributes to a major global study that busts myths about forests and livelihoods

Apr 22, 2014

The Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR) announced the results of a major global study that could "upend conceptions of how forests, people interact." CPC Fellow Pamela Jagger co-authored two of the five papers that are part of the research findings.

Read an excerpt from the CIFOR news release:

Now, in the most comprehensive study on the links between the environment and livelihoods to date, researchers have challenged conventional wisdom about the importance of environmental income, the roles of men and women in forest-product use, and the function of forests as safety nets. In fact, income from forests and other natural environments makes a significant contribution to the livelihoods of millions of people in developing countries, according to the study, although not always in the ways case study research had suggested.

The global study is the product of the Poverty and Environment Network (PEN) (www.cifor.org/pen), a collaborative effort led by the Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR). Five complementary research papers tackle the themes of income generation and rural livelihoods; safety nets during shortfalls; gender and forest use; forest clearing and livelihoods; and tenure and forest income. The five papers - from which preliminary findings were released in 2011 - will appear in an upcoming special issue of World Development.

Jagger's papers in this study are:

  1. Angelsen, A., Jagger, P., Babigumira, R., Belcher, B., Hogarth, N., Bauch, S., Borner, J., Smith-Olsen, C. and S. Wunder. 2014. Environmental Income and Rural Livelihoods: A Global Comparative Analysis. World Development. Forthcoming.
  2. Jagger, P., M.K. Luckert, A. Duchelle, J.F. Lund and W.D. Sunderlin. 2014. Tenure and Forest Income: Observations from a Global Study on Forests and Poverty. World Development. Forthcoming.

CIFOR has a blog post about the Environmental Income and Rural Livelihoods study:

Rural 'environmental income' on par with crop income, study finds
By Mark Foss


Natural forests and wildlands across 58 tropical research sites provide 28 percent of total household income -- nearly as much as crops -- according to a new study.

The study, titled "Environmental Income and Rural Livelihoods: A Global-Comparative Analysis," is the product of the Poverty and Environment Network (PEN), a collaborative effort led by the Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR). The largest quantitative global-comparative research project to date on forests and rural livelihoods, it analyzes data gathered from some 8,000 households in 24 developing countries.

Co-author Pam Jagger, an assistant professor at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and CIFOR associate, went further. "Yes, there are trees in the forest, but there are also a lot of trees outside the forest," she said. "What's really great about the study is that we've collected a lot of data on 'other environmental income' -- all the non-agricultural products that come from what we call wildlands that are completely understudied."

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