National Socio-Environmental Synthesis Center (SESYNC)
1 Park Place, Suite 300
Annapolis, MD 21401
Deforestation of tropical forests is considered a global environmental problem as extensive areas of this natural landscape in tropical countries have been transformed into agriculture or urban development. In Brazil, deforestation has degraded, damaged, or destroyed 88% of the Brazilian Atlantic forest, causing not only a tremendous loss in biodiversity but also a decrease in the production of forest goods and the delivery of ecosystem services such as freshwater provision. However, an unprecedented large-scale forest restoration project was implemented in the region about eight years ago in an effort to reverse such environmental losses. The restoration project was accompanied by a monitoring program designed to assess restoration effectiveness at establishing stable self-perpetuating forests that support ecosystem functioning and adaptive evolution and the continual provision of ecosystem services. Since the beginning of the restoration project, data have been collected in about 3,500 ha of Atlantic Forest in 30 distinct agricultural watersheds with various stages of restoration and configuration. Pristine forested watersheds are also used as reference sites.
This seminar will provide an introduction to the speakers' research interests and an overview of their project in Brazil and proposed activities at SESYNC: synthesis, analysis, and evaluation of the data from forest restoration projects in Brazil. Based on this synthesis and evaluation, the visiting scientists propose to develop a new collaborative research project to better assess the recovery of important ecosystem services such as freshwater provision and biodiversity. The results of this research will be used to help guide public policies in Brazil and other developing countries, especially in the tropics.