From plots to policy: how to ensure long-term forest plot data supports environmental management in intact tropical forest landscapes

Timothy R. Baker*, Edgar Vicuña Miñano, Karina Banda-R, Dennis del Castillo Torres, William Farfan-Rios, Ian T. Lawson, Eva Loja Alemán, Nadir Pallqui Camacho, Miles R. Silman, Katherine H. Roucoux, Oliver L. Phillips, Euridice N. Honorio Coronado, Abel Monteagudo Mendoza, Rocío Rojas Gonzáles

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)
3 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

Long‐term data from permanent forest inventory plots have much to offer the management and conservation of intact tropical forest landscapes. Knowledge of the growth and mortality rates of economically important species, forest carbon balance, and the impact of climate change on forest composition are all central to effective management. However, this information is rarely integrated within the policymaking process. The problem reflects broader issues in using evidence to influence environmental management, and in particular, the need to engage with potential users beyond the collection and publication of high‐quality data. To ensure permanent plot data are used, (a) key “policy windows”—opportunities to integrate data within policy making—need to be identified; (b) long‐term relationships need to be developed between scientists and policy makers and policymaking organizations; and (c) leadership of plot networks needs to be shared among all participants, and particularly between institutions in the global north and those in tropical countries. Addressing these issues will allow permanent plot networks to make tangible contributions to ensuring that intact tropical forest persists over coming decades.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)229-237
Number of pages9
JournalPlants, People, Planet
Volume3
Issue number3
Early online date7 Oct 2020
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 27 Apr 2021

Keywords

  • Carbon
  • Climate change
  • Conservation
  • Forest management
  • Monitoring
  • Permanent plot
  • Policy impact
  • Tropical forest

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