Feb 2017: Why Forests? Why Now? (Los Altos) – special event


On February 15th 2017 from 4-6 pm, the Packard Foundation is hosting a book launch event celebrating the publication of:

Why Forests? Why Now? The Science, Economics, and Politics of Tropical Forests and Climate Change by Frances Seymour and Jonah Busch

This comprehensive synthesis of the latest research makes the case that tropical forests are essential for both climate stability and sustainable development. Why Forests? Why Now? covers every aspect of forest conservation and finance to underscore the urgency, affordability, and feasibility of scaling up funding for reducing deforestation, particularly through performance-based approaches.

Opening Remarks:
Walt Reid, The David and Lucile Packard Foundation

– Chris Elliott, Climate and Land Use Alliance (moderator)
– Frances Seymour, Center for Global Development
– Dan Nepstad, Earth Innovation Institute
– Donna Lee, Climate Change and Land Use Policy Consultant

The David and Lucile Packard Foundation
343 Second St. Los Altos, CA 94022

Despite their importance, tropical forests and their ecosystems are being destroyed at a high, increasing rate in most forest-rich countries. The good news is that the science, economics, and politics are aligned to support a framework for international cooperation to reverse tropical deforestation. Now is the time for countries to increase investment in protecting tropical forests.

Light refreshments will be served.

To attend please RSVP here

Nov 2016 BATFN: Building an inclusive low-carbon economy in Acre, Brazil (Berkeley)


Join us on October 26 from 7-8:30 pm for an event co-hosted by the Bay Area Tropical Forest Network (BATFN), Earth Innovation Institute, Forest Trends, and the UC Berkeley Renewable and Appropriate Energy Laboratory and featuring Tião Viana, the governor of Brazil’s state of Acre.

Acre, Brazil has one of the most advanced state-wide systems for promoting sustainable development in the tropics. During the last year, when deforestation rates across the Brazilian Amazon increased 24%, Acre’s deforestation declined, falling to 44% of its ten-year average. Acre is leading the way on forest conservation while simultaneously driving economic growth and ensuring inclusion for its people. This event features the premier of The Story of SISA—a short film examining the powerful partnership between the state of Acre and the indigenous and traditional peoples working to keep its forests standing while improving livelihoods.


6:45 Doors open
7:00 Welcome by Rhett Butler, Mongabay and the Bay Area Tropical Forests Network
7:05 Introduction to the Low Carbon Economy by Dan Kammen, UC Berkeley, Founding Director, Renewable and Appropriate Energy Laboratory
7:10 Introduction to Acre’s Grand Experiment by Daniel Nepstad, Executive Director, Earth Innovation Institute
7:15 Address by Tião Viana, Governor of Acre, Brazil
7:30 The Story of SISA
7:45 Panel discussion with representatives of Acre’s indigenous and business communities followed by audience questions
8:30 Closing Remarks by Rhett Butler

Please note, the structure of this event is more formal that the typical BATFN. The program will start promptly at 7 pm, so we recommend you arrive a few minutes early.

Admission is free and open to all.

WHEN: October 26, 2016 from 6:45 PM to 8:45 PM (PDT)

WHERE: Brower Center Goldman Theater. 2150 Allston Way, Berkeley, CA 94705



Oct 2016 BATFN – The struggle for indigenous rights within Brazil’s political turmoil (Stanford)


Join us on Thursday, October 6 from 6-9 pm for a Bay Area Tropical Forest Network (BATFN) event held at the Carnegie Department of Global Ecology at Stanford University.

As Brazil weathers severe political and economic unrest in the wake of President Dilma Rousseff’s impeachment, the country’s indigenous peoples are at the forefront of social movements demanding social and environmental justice.

Citing today’s alarming assault on native rights enshrined in Brazil’s 1988 Constitution by a powerful political bloc known as the ruralistas, national indigenous leader Sônia Guajarara will discuss the struggle to defend these rights and the country’s rich ecological heritage through the lens of Brazil’s indigenous mobilization.

    Sônia hails from the Amazonian forests of the Araribóia indigenous territory in Brazil’s Maranhão State. Her life reflects the struggle of Brazil’s native peoples for recognition of their rights and ancestral lands. Prior to becoming the national coordinator of Brazil’s Association of Indigenous Peoples (APIB), Sônia served as vice-coordinator of the Brazilian Amazon’s indigenous network COIAB for four years, gleaning a broad understanding of movement building as well as the diverse threats confronting the country’s native population. She is today one the most expressive leaders of Brazil’s indigenous movement, transmitting the cry of recognition of Brazil’s first nations everywhere she goes

Exploring the ramifications of Dilma’s removal and the installation of President Michel Temer, Maria Luiza Mendonça of Brazil’s Network for Social Justice and Human Rights will contextualize this polemic rightward shift in socio-environmental terms.

    Maria Luisa Mendonça is a professor at the International Relations Department of University of Rio de Janeiro (UERJ) and director of Rede Social de Justiça e Direitos Humanos (Network for Social Justice and Human Rights – www.social.org.br) in Brazil. She has a PhD in Philosophy and Social Sciences with a focus on Human Geography from the University of Sao Paulo (USP). In 2013 she was a visiting scholar in the Development Sociology Department at Cornell University. Her work focuses on agricultural systems, political economy, international studies, and geopolitical land and natural resource conflicts. She is the editor of the book “Human Rights in Brazil,” which has been published annually by Rede Social since 2000, and she was one of the founders of the World Social Forum.

Admission is free and open to all, with refreshments (including wine and beer) courtesy of Mongabay / the Bay Area Tropical Forest Network.

    Carnegie Institution’s Department of Global Ecology conference room
    Stanford University
    260 Panama St,
    Stanford, CA 94305

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Sep 2016 event – Development Without Destruction: Community-Managed Conservation in Malaysian Borneo (Berkeley)

Google Earth image showing deforestation, dams, and logging on lands traditionally managed by indigenous peoples in Sarawak.
Google Earth image showing deforestation, dams, and logging on lands traditionally managed by indigenous peoples in Sarawak.

Join BATFN and The Borneo Project for a panel discussion with indigenous activists from Borneo and the academics from UC Berkeley who support their efforts.

Peter Kallang and Komeok Joe are on the front lines of human rights and environmental justice campaigns in the Malaysian state of Sarawak on the island of Borneo. Komeok, founder of the Penan organization Keruan, has been actively fighting logging since the mid 90s. He has been involved in dozens of blockades and non-violent direct actions against logging companies.

As Chairman of the grassroots network SAVE Rivers, Peter Kallang is a leader in the campaign against a series of mega-dams planned for Sarawak. In March 2016 the campaign had a major success when the state government cancelled the Baram Dam, the next dam in line to be built.

Dr. Rebekah Shirley from the Renewable and Appropriate Energy Laboratory (RAEL) at UC Berkeley produced three studies on the proposed Sarawak dams that have discredited the initiative, proposing instead a energy development plan based on decentralized renewable systems.

Save Rivers and Keruan are now teaming up to ensure long-term indigenous and environmental rights in Sarawak by creating a community-managed protected area in the Baram River Basin.

Join us to learn how a coalition of NGOs, community organizations, and academics are resisting destructive development practices in Borneo, and how a multi-ethnic coalition envisions their sustainable future.

WHEN: Wednesday, September 7, 2016 from 6:00 PM to 8:30 PM (PDT)

WHERE: Goldman School of Public Policy – Living Room – 2607 Hearst Ave, Berkeley, CA 94720

RSVP here

Aug 2016 event – Reducing the negative impacts of tropical logging (San Francisco)

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Join us on Thursday, July 28 (note the August BATFN is being held in late July!) from 6-8:30 pm for a Bay Area Tropical Forest Network (BATFN) event held at the Rainforest Action Network’s office in San Francisco.

Peter Riggs of Pivot Point will be leading a discussion on the timber sector in tropical developing countries. Come ready to share your experiences.

    Is it possible to move timber production beyond its often violent and destructive origins? What business models are necessary to move tropical timber markets from illegality to legality, from monocultures to mixed stands, and to combat continuous deforestation at the forest frontier? What can we learn from attempts to ‘de-commodify’ other forest products that serve both local and distant buyers – such as cacao, coffee, or cardamom— where fair-trade certification and a livelihoods back-story can be built into product appeal? Can smallholders benefit from any of this? How does any of it get financed?

    Join us for a fun, interactive evening unpacking these forest-sector transition questions. [Guest presenter is …] After a quick summary of the science and rights-based debates on tropical logging, we’ll take stock of current strands in the effort to improve the development performance of tropical timber: anti-corruption, tenure security, sustainable livelihoods, REDD+ payments, certification, chain-of-custody innovations, ‘landscape approaches’.

    Building on that foundation we’ll present a multi-country effort, ‘Fair Wood’. Fair Wood’s entrepreneur-support model is galvanizing Scandinavia’s progressive business community with new ideas about wood-product sourcing and around new roles for companies and smallholders in timber value chains.

    We’ll troubleshoot the Fair Wood model, draw out key assumptions, and ask what components are attractive (or not) in the American market – sketching an ‘ecosystem of actions’ around preventing tropical deforestation, while delving more deeply into one European effort that takes its impetus from a progressive business community.

Admission is free and open to all, with refreshments (including wine and beer) courtesy of the Bay Area Tropical Forest Network and Pivot Point. Thank you to RAN for generously hosting the event at their office.

WHEN: Thursday, July 28, 6-8:30 pm

WHERE: 425 Bush Street, Ste 300, San Francisco, CA 94108 USA

Please RSVP so we know how much food and drink to buy

July 2016 event – Covering What’s Working in Conservation (San Francisco)


Join the Solutions Journalism Network, the Bay Area Tropical Forest Network (BATFN), and OpenIDEO for a discussion on how to find and cover stories about effective responses to the challenges that face our forests, oceans, and wildlife. We welcome anyone working on environmental issues or any storytellers or communicators with a demonstrated interest in conservation to join us for talks from Rhett Butler, the founder of Mongabay.com; Jenny Park of the Goldman Environmental Prize; Byron Swift, president of Nature and Culture International; Jason Mark, editor of Sierra Club’s magazine; Rikha Sharma Rani, intelligence director at the Solutions Journalism Network; and Willie Shubert, Program Officer with Internews’ Earth Journalism Network.

WHERE: This event will be held at IDEO – 501 The Embarcadero, Pier 28 Annex , San Francisco, CA 94105

WHEN: Tuesday, July 12 at 6 PM – 8 PM in PDT

RSVP via EventBrite is required to attend.

June 2016 event – Solutions Journalism Network Hub Launch Party (San Francisco)


BATFN has been on hiatus the past few months, but we’re getting ready for some meetings in coming months. In the meantime, we’ll highlight a few events that may be of interest to members.

Solutions Journalism Network San Francisco Hub Launch Party
Hosted by the Solutions Journalism Network

The Solutions Journalism Network is relaunching its website, and with it, unveiling the Solutions Hub, an online space to connect, support, and celebrate reporters, editors, academics, students, communications professionals, social entrepreneurs, and practitioners in various fields around the world—all those interested in informing and shaping the world we live in. We’ll also be releasing the Solutions Story Tracker, our growing collection of over 1,000 solutions stories, searchable by author, publication, location, and keyword.

Join us to celebrate! Come hear about the organizations we’re working with, learn about how you can get involved, and connect with other practitioners of solutions journalism. We welcome anyone interested in how we can overcome societal problems, create better policy and programs, and foster a more productive public conversation.

Remarks by SJN co-founder Courtney Martin. Light appetizers and beverages will be served.

Wednesday, June 1, 2016 from 6:00 PM to 8:00 PM (PDT)
TechSoup – 435 Brannan Street, San Francisco, CA 94107

More information

May 2015 event – Forests lost and found (Palo Alto)


BATFN has been on hiatus the past few months, but we’re getting ready for some meetings in coming months. In the meantime, we’ll highlight a few events that may be of interest to members.

Forests lost and found: deforestation control and forest resurgence in Latin America – Susanna B. Hecht
Hosted by the Carnegie Institution for Science – Department of Global Ecology

    Latin American forests express complex trends and none are more startling than the decline of deforestation in Amazonia by some 80%, and forest recovery in many regions which, like El Salvador, were described as places where nature “had been extinguished.” This lecture explores the politics, political ecologies and policies to limit deforestation, and the complex dynamics of the forest transition ranging from remittances, urbanization and social movements and the complex ways in which these unfold in globalized landscapes.

    Dr. Susanna B. Hecht is professor in the Luskin School of Public Affairs and Institute of the Environment at UCLA. She is also Professor of Environmental History at the Graduate Institute for International Development in Geneva. Her work has focused on the political ecology of development in Amazonia and Central America as well as their environmental history. Her work engages the politics of development, indigenous knowledge, Agroecology systems, forest transitions, and social, ideological and historical structures of tropical sciences. The author of numerous articles, and many books and edited volumes (including the recent “Social Lives of Forests” her recent book, “The Scramble for the Amazon and the Lost Paradise of Euclides da Cunha” was the 2015 Winner of the Melville Prize for the best book in Latin American Environmental History, by the American Historical Association.

Tuesday, May 24, 2016.
4:00 pm – 5:00 pm
Turing Auditorium at Stanford University, CA

More information

Special tech event in Palo Alto

### This is a BATFN-partner event ###

Driven by Silicon Valley, innovation and technology have disrupted the way we experience everyday life. But what about using innovative technology around drones, data, & mobile to solve meaningful, critical problems?

Come join RippleWorks and a host of exciting social ventures to get an inside look from technologists who are disrupting and driving impact as they work to actually create change and “make the world a better place.”

Hosted at the BNY Mellon Innovation Center in Palo Alto, the event will discuss how technology is being used to empower meaningful solutions.

Featured panelists:

Andreas Raptopoulos, CEO @ Matternet
Matternet uses drone technology for medical delivery solutions in hard to reach area in emerging markets, crossing impassable roads and impossible terrains.

David Needham, VP Technology @ Oportun
Oportun uses advanced data analytics and technology to provide credit-building, affordable loans that help the underserved communities to build a better future.

Ryan Whitney, Head of Product @ Good World Solutions
Good World Solutions uses mobile technology to translate worker voices into actionable analytics that enable socially responsible supply chains.

The panel is moderated by
Doug Galen, CEO of RippleWorks
RippleWorks is a private foundation that pairs startup and technology experts with promising social ventures globally to conquer scaling challenges.

6:00 – 6:30 Free food truck & networking!
6:30 – 6:45 RippleWorks introduction
6:45 – 7:45 Panel discussion
7:45 – 8:30 Continued networking

The event is free with advanced registration.

RSVP here

Nov 2015 BATFN – Linking Conservation, Health, and Human Rights in Tropical Forests (Berkeley)

Join us on November 12 at 6:30 pm for a Bay Area Tropical Forest Network (BATFN) event on conservation, health, and human rights, held at UC Berkeley’s 103 Mulford Hall.

The event will feature an interactive presentation by Shannon Randolph, an environmental anthropologist and conservation specialist with Stanford d.school training in human-centered design. She will share how she trains teams in rapid ethnography in order to understand local reasoning and cultural meaning of environmental resources relevant to conservation and zoonotic disease risk.

The presentation will be followed by a panel discussion with specialists who are at the interface between conservation, health, and/or human rights in tropical forests. Panelists will include Shannon Randolph, Christopher Herndon, M.D. (President and Co-Founder, Acaté Amazon Conservation), and Adam Zuckerman (Environmental and Human Rights Campaigner, Amazon Watch).

Admission is free and open to all, with refreshments (including wine and beer) provided courtesy of the Bay Area Tropical Forest Network.

PLEASE RSVP so we know how much food and drink to buy.

Additional information about the panelists:

Shannon Randolph is an environmental anthropologist and conservation specialist with extensive Stanford d.school training in human-centered design. Her mission is to design a path to reduce the loss of valuable environmental and cultural resources and zoonotic disease risk in the world’s most vulnerable places. Most recently, she worked with Wildlife Conservation Society to design locally appropriate water conservation and to understand the extent and value of marine and forest resources on islands threatened by rising sea levels. She has also worked with San Francisco non-profits to design mission-aligned revenue-generating models; with Stanford’s School of Education to design user-friendly approaches to administration; and with Bay area businesses to design legal strategies for corporate lawyers. She is currently working with National Geographic to design conservation messaging for zoonotic disease-prevention related conservation. Her work area has ranged from the SF Bay area, to Oceania and Africa.

Christopher Herndon has worked over the past 15 years in some of the most remote regions of the Amazon to conduct research on the medicinal plant knowledge and healing systems of its indigenous peoples. As a medical student, he collaborated with shamans in southern Suriname to develop an innovative approach for the integration of indigenous health practices into healthcare delivery, a program that remains ongoing years after implementation. He is currently President and Co-Founder of Acaté Amazon Conservation, an on-the ground conservation organization that directly partners with the Matsés indigenous people of the Peruvian Amazon. Acaté and the Matsés recently completed the Matsés Traditional Medicine Encyclopedia, a 500 page repository of ancestral healing knowledge written by elder shamans in their own language and words, the first of its kind and scope.

Adam Zuckerman has spent the last three years as Amazon Watch’s Environmental and Human Rights Campaigner. In that role Adam helps to amplify the voices of indigenous communities in the western Amazon in their fight to keep their territory free of oil operations. Prior to Amazon Watch, Adam spent years organizing with activist diaspora communities and worked for an international human rights grantmaker. Adam speaks fluent Spanish and has worked in the Ecuadorian Amazon. He has been quoted in The New York Times, The Washington Post, the Guardian, and numerous other publications.