Colloquium on Forests and Climate

New Thinking for Transformational Change

24 September 2014, Alfred Lerner Hall, Columbia University, New York

Eduardo Brondízio

Evolutionary governance for land stewardship

Although we have made a lot of progress, our efforts to reconcile development and conservation in forest regions currently rest on unsustainable grounds. We need to confront – intellectually and in practice – several mismatches and misconceptions: a mismatch of governance institutions, a mismatch of values, and a mismatch of representation and expectations.

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Eduardo S. Brondizio is Professor of Anthropology and Adjunct Professor of Environmental Sciences (SPEA) and Geography at Indiana University-Bloomington. He is co-director of the Anthropological Center for Training and Research on Global Environmental Change (ACT) and the Chair of the Advisory Council of the Vincent and Elinor Ostrom Workshop in Political Theory and Policy Analysis at Indiana University-Bloomington. Brondizio has served as the chair of the Department of Anthropology from 2005 to 2012.

Environmental anthropologist dedicated to longitudinal, comparative research among rural populations, Brondizio’s work has analyzed the transformation of rural areas, households and communities in the Amazon, particularly resulting from the influence of national and global markets, government programs and policies, development projects, and environmental change. Brondizio’s research has documented and analyzed the social and environmental implications of these changes and contributions to the transformation of the region as a whole. Increasingly, this research has paid attention to rural-urban migration and social networks and the evolving institutional, land tenure, and socioecological complexity at the intersection of rural, urban, conservation and indigenous areas in the Amazon. This long-term research program has examined these changes through the development of conceptual frameworks and methodologies integrating geospatial, ethnographic, survey, institutional analysis, ecological assessments, and historical investigation. Brondizio has published extensively on land-use and landscape change, agricultural and agroforestry intensification, small farmers’ livelihood, household socio-demography and economy, globalization and commodity chains, and more broadly environmental anthropology, rural development and poverty, urbanization, ecosystem services, institutional analysis of resource systems, and integrative methodologies. Ongoing research projects link empirical research in the Amazon to collaborative international efforts on: deltas vulnerabilities and sustainability, institutions and land use, comparative analysis of sustainable development indicators, and farmers’ adaptation to climate change.

Brondizio is a member of the inaugural Science Committee of the Future Earth program, and has been serving on the Science Committee of the International Geosphere-Biosphere Programme (IGBP) since 2011.  He serves as co-Editor-in-Chief of Elsevier’s Current Opinion in Environmental Sustainability.

Brondizio has been engaged with international global changed research programs since the mid-1990s and has contributed to several past and ongoing global assessments and initiatives, including: the Millenium Ecosystem Assessment, UNEP’s GEO-4, the Economics of Ecosystems and Biodiversity (TEEB), the United Nations Inter-governmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES); the Global Forest Expert Panels (GFEP) on Forests and Food Security [IUFRU, FAO], and the Thematic Group on Forest, Oceans, Biodiversity, and Ecosystem Services (FOBES) of the United Nations Sustainable Development Solutions Network (UN-SDSN).

Brondizio has held visiting scientist and professorship positions at the Université Sorbonne Nouvelle – Paris 3, Institut des Hautes Etudes de l’Amérique Latine, the Institut d’études avancées (IEA), and the Laboratoire d’Anthropologie Sociale, Collège de France, Paris, France. The Universidade do Vale do Paraiba (UNIVAP), S. J. Campos, Brazil, and the Swedish Agricultural University, Department of Rural Development, Uppsala, Sweden.

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