Sep 2017: Can technology drive conservation? (San Francisco)

There is an accelerating effort among scientists, forest and wildlife managers as well as technologists and interest groups from NASA, Google and the Jane Goodall Institute to harness new technologies. These technologies, which include satellite sensors, drones, camera traps and DNA detectors, can be used to improve and maintain forest and wildlife conservation; fight and expose illegal, unsustainable practices; and prevent the use of dangerous fuels and chemicals. Our panel will discuss what is new and what is working in this area. They will also discuss what 21st century technology might soon be available to protect and create healthy and safe environments in the Bay Area and throughout the world.


Rhett Butler
Founder and CEO, Mongabay

Topher White
Founder and CEO, Rainforest Connection

Crystal Davis
Director, Global Forest Watch

Virgil Zetterlind
Director, Protected Seas; Chief Technology Office, Conserve.IO

5:30 p.m. check-in
6 p.m. program

$20 general admission
$8 for Commonwealth Club members
FREE for students

Mar 2017: Why Forests? Why Now? (San Francisco) – REDUX

The Center for Global Development, together with The Nature Conservancy California Chapter and the University of California Center for Effective Global Action (CEGA), is hosting two upcoming events in the Bay Area to launch the book Why Forests? Why Now? The Science, Economics, and Politics of Tropical Forests and Climate Change. The events feature Dr. Jonah Busch, Senior Fellow at the Center for Global Development, who co-authored the book with Frances Seymour.

Monday, March 6th
5:30 – 7:30 pm
The Nature Conservancy California Chapter
201 Mission Street, 4th Floor
San Francisco, CA
Please RSVP to [email protected]

Thursday, March 9th
4:30 – 6:30 pm
Center for Effective Global Action (CEGA)
Giannini Hall 248
University of California, Berkeley
Berkeley, CA

From the authors:

    Tropical forests are an undervalued asset in meeting the greatest global challenges of our time—averting climate change and promoting sustainable development. Despite their importance, tropical forests and their ecosystems are being destroyed at a high and even increasing rate in most forest-rich countries. The good news is that the science, economics, and politics are aligned to support a major international effort to reverse tropical deforestation.
    Why Forests? Why Now? synthesizes the latest research on the importance of tropical forests in a way that is accessible to anyone interested in climate change and development and to readers already familiar with the problem of deforestation. It makes the case to decision-makers in rich countries that rewarding developing countries for protecting their forests is urgent, affordable, and achievable.

“Why Forests? Why Now? should be mandatory reading for people who already care deeply about tropical forests, as well as for those who remain not yet convinced.”
—Alec Baldwin, Actor and international advocate for forests and indigenous peoples

“Seymour and Busch highlight an important achievement of global climate negotiations—agreement on cooperation to reduce tropical deforestation—and suggest an effective path for the realization of this goal.”
—Christiana Figueres, former Executive Secretary, UN Framework Convention on Climate Change

Light refreshments will be served

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; 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

July 2014 BATFN: Saving the Amazon (San Francisco)

What’s Behind Brazil’s Big Drop in Amazon Deforestation?


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The July 2014 BATFN will take place from 6pm-8:30pm Jul 31 at a.Muse gallery (614 Alabama St, San Francisco, CA 94110). The event is hosted by Earth Innovation Institute and is free and open to the public.

We’re pleased to announce that Dan Nesptad, Senior Scientist & Executive Director at the Earth Innovation Institute, will present the results of his team’s recent Science paper, Slowing Amazon deforestation through public policy and interventions in beef and soy supply chains (Mongabay coverage).

      Description: Since 2005, deforestation in the Brazilian Amazon has declined 70% below the historic ten-year annual average, keeping 3.2 billion tons of CO₂ out of the atmosphere and avoiding 86,000 km² of forest clearing. As a result Brazil is the global leader in climate change mitigation. The achievement is made more remarkable by the fact that soy and beef production—the main drivers of deforestation—continued to grow.

Daniel Nepstad, senior scientist and founder of Earth Innovation Institute, will present the results of a recent Science article that reviews the mixture of policies, supply chain interventions, and market conditions that led to this tremendous decline in deforestation. The authors conclude that the decline in Amazon deforestation remains fragile as the interventions that contributed to the initial decline are operating in isolation and delivering few positive incentives to the communities and farmers whose land-use decisions drive deforestation. Daniel Nepstad will discuss how these lessons drive Earth Innovation’s strategy to align policy, supply chain initiatives, and finance to secure reductions in deforestation while stimulating investment for low-emission rural development.

If you plan to join us, please RSVP via this form or the Facebook event page.

We hope to see you there!

November 2013 BATFN: Exploring Solutions to Deforestation (@The Rainbow Warrior)

The final BATFN of 2013 took place Sunday, November 17 from 6-8 pm on board Greenpeace’s ship, The Rainbow Warrior, which was docked at Pier 15 on the Embarcadero near the Exploratorium.

The theme for the event was “An Evening Exploring Solutions to Deforestation” and involved a panel of speakers who talked about one solution that has worked in the past to reduce deforestation.

    The structure for the night is that after 45 minutes of food/drink/networking, the panel will commence. Each speaker will get 5-7 minutes to do a quick overview of their solution to deforestation (and 2 minutes to answer questions), and then at the end the floor will be opened up for discussion.

Here is video from the speakers’ portion of the event.

BATFN Meeting: Solutions to Deforestation from Paul Stoutenburgh on Vimeo.