About the Human and Social Dynamics (HSD) Project at CIPEC

While the forces driving deforestation are well understood, relatively little attention has focused on the decision-making dynamics that result in local or regional increases in net forest cover. Forests are essential to biodiversity protection, water quality, and carbon sequestration. Reforestation can occur through both active tree planting and natural forest regeneration, but the factors contributing to these reforestation processes are not well understood. This project addresses how private and public actors at local, state, and federal levels affect land management dynamics resulting in reforestation. In particular, we seek to understand the relative influence of biophysical conditions, social factors, and geographic location on reforestation. Social factors include small-scale local interactions between landowners as well as large-scale economic dynamics. Finally, we want to understand how spatial interactions among private landowners, government, and land trusts affect reforestation. We are using the states of Indiana and São Paulo, Brazil, which have different legal systems and actors, to address these questions.

This project is funded by the National Science Foundation through the Human and Social Dynamics program (proposal number 0624178) and endorsed by the Global Land Project initiative.