...exploring how people shape the world's forests

Featured Reseacher- Peter Newton

Peter Newton is a postdoctoral research fellow with IFRI, based at the University of Michigan CRC since January 2012. He received his undergraduate degree in Zoology from the University of Cambridge, UK and his M.Sc. and Ph.D. both from the University of East Anglia, also in the UK.

Peter is interested in mechanisms that aim to improve environmental, economic, and social outcomes in tropical forest regions. He has conducted extensive fieldwork in the tropics, using both natural and social science research methods, and collaborates with government agencies, NGOs, donors, businesses, and research institutes. His current research projects are studying:

1) How interventions, such as policies or incentives, can contribute to the development of sustainable supply chains for agricultural commodities in tropical forest landscapes. The project works with the CGIAR program on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security and focuses particularly on the soy and beef industries in Brazil, and on the palm oil industry in Indonesia.

2) How the lessons learnt from community forest management may facilitate the implementation of programs that will distribute REDD+ funding (for climate-change mitigation in forested developing countries). The project is funded by the World Bank and focuses particularly on Bolivia, Nepal, and Tanzania.

3) How extractive reserves can contribute to the conservation of biodiversity and environmental services whilst positively influencing rural livelihoods, through the commercialization of small-scale forest resource extraction and through payments for environmental services programs that reward local people for conserving forest areas. This project uses data collected during his Ph.D., from a project site in the western Brazilian Amazon.

Peter can be contacted at newtonp@umich.edu.