Improving tropical forest resilience to human-climate pressures – learning from the past to guide the future (FOREPAST)

One of the main parts of FOREPAST are four webinars and discussion groups, held via Zoom to introduce the perspectives from archaeology and paleoecology, present-day ecology and climate sciences, and social sciences. The presentations are planned to be given by ECR* experts in their fields. We therefore invite everyone interested in presenting their research relevant to one of the first three webinars listed below. An indicative outline is given but can be adjusted by the presenter as needed. We will then select one presentation for each of the three webinar topics. 

The general structure of webinars will be a 5-7 minute introductory presentation on the field with focus on the human and climate impacts on tropical forest biomes, followed by a 20-40 minutes open discussion to synthesize existing knowledge.

  • Webinar 1
  • Webinar 2
  • Webinar 3
  • Webinar 4
Webinar 1

Introduction to archaeology and paleoecology of the tropical forest biome

16th November 2020, 14:00-15:15 GMT

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This webinar should give an overview on approaches to unravel the changes of the tropical forest biome through time and past anthropogenic impact. It should include the presentation of findings from sites(s) with diverse paleoecological and archaeological evidence on past anthropogenic impact and resilience. We hope that during the following discussion other researchers can give input on additional sites and experiences.     

List of presenters:

  1. Erik J. de Boer (University of Barcelona) – Insular biodiversity responses to past climate change
  2. Giorgia Camperio (ETH Zürich) – Reconstructing Environmental Changes in the Tropical Pacific Islands of Vanuatu
  3. Oliver Wilson (University of Reading) – Multidisciplinary approaches to illuminate past human and climate influences on Brazil’s Araucaria forests
  4. Sandra O. Brugger (Desert Research Institute Reno) – Colonial legacies in modern mountain forest ecosystems inferred from a Tropical glacier ice core in the Bolivian Andes
  5. Emuobosa A. Orijemie (University of Ibadan, Nigeria) – Environmental and human-environment history in the Okomu National Park: a preliminary, palynological investigation
Webinar 2

Present-day ecosystem functions of tropical forests, and their pressures from climate change and human activities

1st December 2020, 10:00–11:00 GMT

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Webinar 2 should cover an introduction to the ecosystem functions (e.g. climate regulation, habitat, livelihood) of tropical forests and some of their current and future pressures (e.g. drought, fire, deforestation), depending on the expertise of the presenter.

List of presenters:

  1. Nitin Chaudary (University of Oslo) – The role of vegetation-climate feedbacks on Indian climate
  2. Julian Donald (University of Toulouse) – Tropical Soil Biota and the effects of Urbanization
  3. Kwek Yan Chong (National University of Singapore) – Carbon stocks and fluxes of tropical freshwater swamp forests
  4. Pramit Kumar Deb Burman (Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology) – Understanding the carbon cycle of tropical forests in cloudier environment in climate change scenario
  5. Carole Adolf (University of Oxford) – Developing quantitative approaches to better understand past fire-related tipping points in tropical forests
Webinar 3

Adaptation to changes in the tropical forest biome

8th December, 12:00 -13:00 GMT

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This webinar should cover the current knowledge of adaptation strategies to environmental changes and policies affecting the tropical forest biome, depending on the expertise of the presenter.

List of presenters:

  1. Matthew Aruch (University of Maryland) – Aldeia do mundo: Indigenous communities, international alliances, and tropical forest conservation in the Brazilian Amazon
  2. Alex Koch (University of Hong Kong) – REDD+ and the voluntary carbon market: opportunities and risks
  3. Charlotte Wheeler (University of Edinburgh) – The Role of Forests as Nature Based Solutions
  4. Charuta Kulkarni (European Union Marie Curie Fellow 2018-2020) – Synergistic impacts of anthropogenic fires and aridity on plant diversity in the Western Ghats: Implications for management of ancient social-ecological systems
Webinar 4

Summary and discussion

15th December, 12:00 -13:00 GMT

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The final webinar will be used to identify intersecting knowledge between archeological, paleoecological, ecological, and social science to inform policy aiming to improve the resilience of tropical forests to climate and human pressures. The outcomes, which will include existing literature reviews, and links to secondary or open source data, will be added to a knowledge database by the project coordinators. 

*We define early-career researcher loosely as someone holding a postgraduate degree, current PhD candidates or who obtained their PhD in or after 2012. The eight years since obtaining a PhD include adjustment for career breaks (e.g. maternity/paternity leaves). 

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