Rev. of the book Environmentalism, Ethical Trade, and Commodification. Technologies of Value and the Forest Stewardship Council in Chile, by A. Henne. Anthropological Notebooks, 2016, vol. XXII (2). ISSN 1408-032X. Click HERE to access the review.

Commons in Action | The stories published on the IASC’s website document research projects on the impact of working for common-pool resources. To read my impact story, click HERE.

Rev. of the book Doing Anthropological Research. A Practical Guide, by N. Konopinski (ed.). Anthropological Notebooks, 2015, vol. XXI (1). ISSN 1408-032X. Click HERE to access the review.

Conference Paper | Konrad, Claudia: An Institutional Analysis of the Socio Bosque Program. Ostrom Workshop Mini-Conference, April 29, 2013. Presenter: Catherine Tucker. Click HERE to access the paper.

map_ecu-cropPeople and Forests: Adaptive Governance in Social-ecological Systems in Ecuador [Synopsis]

Ecuador shows one of the highest deforestation rates in South America (MAE 2011), and the increasingly serious problem of forest loss raises the challenge of securing forest-dependent livelihoods of indigenous organizations. In this context, the national Socio Bosque Program aims to reduce deforestation and poverty through direct incentive payments to forest owners, who decide to stop using timber resources. Since most of the remaining forest areas that are not included in the National System of Protected Areas are located in the Amazon region and collectively owned by indigenous organizations, the participation of collective landowners is crucial for implementing the program.

Forest-related livelihoods are subject to an increasing vulnerability, and change in response to a new situation becomes a premise for handling uncertainty and improve livelihood security. In this context, adaptability describes the capacity of actors in a system to learn and reorganize in response to changing conditions by testing and revising institutional arrangements (Berkes 2008; Walker/Salt 2006). Against this background, the research project is based on the question, whether the Socio Bosque Program promotes adaptive governance, and applies conceptional approaches resulting from research on common-pool resources, adaptability and resilience in social-ecological systems.

I have chosen a social network perspective in order to capture cooperation networks for the management of collectively owned forests under contract with the Socio Bosque Program. So far, little research has been done that combines adaptation theory and resilience thinking with network analysis. While most of the existing work is focused on quantitative approaches, my focus is on mixed methods research in order to understand the stories behind the network structure and to gain insight into processes of decision-making that shape and influence the social network.

The collection of data took place in two stages in the period from August 2013 to March 2014 and in July and August 2015. The research project is kindly supported by five indigenous organizations and the Ministry of Environment Ecuador.

Berkes, F. (2008): Navigating Social-ecological Systems. Building Resilience for Complexity and Change. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Ministerio del Ambiente Ecuador (MAE) (2011): Estimación de la Tasa de Deforestación del Ecuador Continental. Quito.
Walker, B. H./Salt, D. (2006): Resilience Thinking. Sustaining Ecosystems and People in a Changing World. Washington, DC: Island Press.