Louis Putzel

CIFOR Associate
Chinese, English, French, Spanish

Before his appointment as associate, Louis Putzel was a senior scientist with CIFOR, where he worked between 2009 to 2017. His research interests center around the relationships between the socioeconomics of landscape management for agricultural/forestry production and ecological sustainability. From an academic background in plant sciences, economic botany, environmental policy and forestry research, he conducts and manages multidisciplinary research related to interactions of forest systems with other natural resource sectors, including agriculture and mining. The environments on which he focuses are forest-farm mosaic landscapes in which smallholders manage food and timber crops. Putzel obtained a PhD in Biology from City University of New York in 2010; a master of international affairs (MIA) in environmental policy studies and a conservation biology certificate from Columbia University in 1999; and a BA in East Asian (Chinese) studies from Columbia University in 1989. His doctoral research, conducted in Peruvian Amazonia, related to the ecology and trade of shihuahuaco (Dipteryx spp.) a source of hardwood timber popular in the global market, and particularly in China. The results of that work shed light on the interactions between timber companies, smallholder farmers, and the sustainability of the resource as reflected by the regeneration ecology of the species under different conditions affected by logging and forest farming. From that base, Putzel’s research addresses topical areas including resource tenure and access, certification of timber and ecosystem services, the socioecological effects of China’s resource demand in Africa, smallholder forest management, and forest landscape restoration in hilly and mountainous regions occupied by farming communities. Most recently, as Lead International Consultant, Putzel led the design and write up of a four-year Global Environment Facility (GEF) project to be implemented by IUCN and executed by China's State Forestry Administration, consisting of pilot testing approaches to forest landscape restoration in three provinces in North and South China. As senior expert with the Asia-Pacific Network for Sustainable Forest Management and Rehabilitation (APFNet) he is currently conducting a study to characterize fragmentation of forest governance in seven Asia-Pacific economies, to be completed in 2018.

Forest landscape restoration; Effects of forestry policy and global trade on forest cover and quality and on forest-based livelihoods; Smallholder forest management; Natural regeneration and tree population ecology