April 2018: Jaguar conservation in the Grand Chaco (Stanford)


Join us on April 5 from 6-8:30 pm for a Bay Area Tropical Forest Network (BATFN) event held at the Carnegie Institution’s Department of Global Ecology at Stanford University.

The event will focus on jaguar conservation in the Gran Chaco of Paraguay, Bolivia, and Argentina, a dry tropical forest ecosystem that is fast being destroyed for industrial ranches and farms. Anthony Giordano of S.P.E.C.I.E.S and the Chaco Jaguar Conservation Project will discuss efforts to protect jaguars and their habitat.

The Gran Chaco of Paraguay, Bolivia, and Argentina is disappearing faster than any other habitat on earth, including the Amazon Rainforest. Rapid deforestation due to unsustainable cattle-ranching is fragmenting the last frontier of jaguars, causing conflict between the predators and people as their natural prey vanishes. By building trust and solving the growing conflict problems between people and jaguars brought on by severe habitat loss, the Chaco Jaguar Conservation Project is leading efforts to protect jaguars at the far southern end of their range. Our grand vision? Integrate our knowledge of the jaguar’s ecology into a working strategic framework to connect and restore the forests and savannas across the region with the most unique mammal species in the western hemisphere.

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

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


Thursday, April 5 from 6-8:30 pm

Department of Global Ecology Conference Room
Carnegie Institution
Stanford University
260 Panama St
Stanford, CA 94305

May 2017: Amazon indigenous leaders discuss culture & the environment (Stanford)

Join us on May 24 from 6-8:30 pm for a Bay Area Tropical Forest Network (BATFN) event held at the Carnegie Institution at Stanford University.

    Six indigenous leaders from the Tiriyo, Xavante, Makushi, Shuar and Kaxinawa Peoples of the Amazon region of Brazil, Guyana and Ecuador will discuss how environmental concerns, biodiversity conservation, climate change concerns and natural resource use intersect with indigenous culture, spirituality, development, politics and land rights. Also participating in the discussion will be Dr. Robert Miller, a Brazilian representative of the United Nations Development Program (UNDP-GEF) and a consultant and the technical Coordinator of the GATI (Indigenous Environmental and Territorial Management) Project in Brazil. This presentation for BATFN forms part of a larger Amazonian Indigenous People and Native American Summit being held at Stanford University from April 24-26. Presentations at the summit are open to all. Meetings are fostered between Native Americans and the Amazonian indigenous leaders as a means of seeking solutions to common issues. Locations and schedule for the summit will soon be posted.


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

May 24 from 6-8:30 pm

Department of Global Ecology Conference Room
Carnegie Institution
Stanford University
260 Panama St
Stanford, CA 94305

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

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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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

June 2014 BATFN: Deodorant, Diet, Dollars (@Stanford)

Riau rainforest

The June 2014 BATFN will take place from 6pm-8:30pm Jun 19 at the Carnegie Institution complex (260 Panama St, Stanford, CA 94305). The event is open to the public.

We’re pleased to announce that Sharon Smith of the Union of Concerned Scientists will present “Deodorant, Diet, Dollars—Recent Successes in Reducing Deforestation”.

    Description: In the 1990s, deforestation was consuming 16 million hectares a year—an area about the size of the state of Georgia—and was responsible for about 17 percent of the global warming pollution that threatens the world with dangerous climate change. But today the pace of deforestation is down; effective programs and policies—driven by individuals, communities, national governments and the private sector—have contributed to positive impacts for forest conservation, socioeconomic development and land-use changes. Sharon Smith, campaign manager of the Tropical Forest and Climate Initiative at UCS, and Peter Frumhoff, director of science and policy at UCS, will discuss the organization’s work—and biggest recent tropical forest victories–centered on commodity markets and international finance for tropical forest conservation.

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

We hope to see you there!

April 2014 BATFN: A Global Strategy for Road Building (@Stanford)

The next BATFN will take place April 27, 2014 at 4pm in Herrin T-175 at Stanford University. The event is open to the public.

This is a co-event held with the Stanford Center for Conservation Biology featuring a talk by William F. Laurance:

    The 21st century will see an unprecedented expansion of roads, with at least 25 million kilometers of new paved roads anticipated by 2050. Nine-tenths of all road construction is projected to occur in developing nations, including many regions that sustain exceptional biodiversity and vital ecosystem services. Roads penetrating into remote or frontier areas are a major proximate driver of habitat loss and fragmentation, fires, overhunting, and other environmental degradation, often with irreversible impacts on native ecosystems. Unfortunately, much road proliferation is chaotic or poorly planned and the rate of expansion is so great that it is overwhelming the capacity of environmental managers. In this talk I will describe a global scheme for prioritizing road building. This large-scale zoning plan seeks to limit the environmental costs of road expansion while maximizing its potential benefits, especially for agriculture. Our model identifies areas with high environmental values where future road building should be avoided, areas where strategic road improvements could markedly increase agricultural yields with modest environmental costs, and ‘conflict areas’ where road building could have sizable benefits but with serious environmental damage. This scheme provides a template for proactively zoning and prioritizing roads during the most explosive era of road expansion in human history.

Refreshments served at 3:45pm