Working Forests in the Tropics: Partnering Research with Practice for Conservation and Development

Working Forests in the Tropics: Partnering Research with Practice for Conservation and Development

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The University of Florida and the School of Forest Resources and Conservation invite you to attend the 2008 Working Forests in the Tropics Conference (WFT) held in Gainesville, FL at the J. Wayne Reitz Union, October 5-7.

The purpose of the Working Forests in the Tropics Conference is to provide an interdisciplinary and interactive forum for sharing and synthesis of information about tropical forest conservation and management. This conference will explore how scientists from universities and research organizations have worked in partnership with government agencies, policy-makers, the private sector, social movements, and natural resource managers to advance conservation and development through applied research and capacity-building. The conference will also offer networking opportunities for participants.

Who Should Attend:

This conference is designed to bring together academic and non-academic researchers and professionals (national and international agencies, NGO and private sector) and students interested in tropical forest, conservation, management, economics, and policy.

Call for Posters:

Conference Participants who wish to present their work on any aspect of the conference themes (i.e., tropical forest conservation, economics, management or policy) are encouraged to submit an abstract for consideration as a poster presentation no later than June 2, 2008. Poster presentations will provide a valuable format for dialogue outside the structured plenary and breakout sessions, and thus will be a significant component of this conference. For more information, or to submit a poster please click here:

Conference Topics:

1. Training Innovations This session presents innovative models for the training of researchers and practitioners. These innovations emphasize new tools and skills necessary for researchers to engage in policy and conservation and development practice. The models highlighted in this session include graduate education programs fostering collaboration with various stakeholders, such as communities, NGOs and policy makers, training programs bridging gaps between academic and applied skill sets, and the development of tools facilitating the exchange of information, knowledge and capacity across scales.

2. Cross-Scale Multi-stakeholder Processes This session showcases lessons from conservation and development initiatives involving the collaboration of multiple stakeholders at various scales. Within these initiatives, research may be just one of many objectives. The presentations in this session highlight the role of science and research within the context of these processes as well as the perception of science by various stakeholders. Public policy directives have often stimulated land use changes in tropical forest regions, especially those related to infrastructure and agricultural development.

3. Knowledge Exchange to Facilitate Research How can we effectively engage local stakeholders in the scientific research process to facilitate knowledge exchange between scientists, resource managers, practitioners and policy-makers in conservation and development? Presentations in this session highlight innovative and ethical strategies for collaborating with local people in the design and implementation of scientific research, as well as in the dissemination of research results. Capacity building is considered an important way to bridge the gap between science and practice.

Meeting Site Information:

The Meeting Site is within walking distance of the Holiday Inn University Center and is located at the  J. Wayne Reitz Union at the University of Florida on Museum Road. Participants will need to go to the second floor and check in at the conference registration table for nametags and conference materials. For directions and parking information for the Union, please click here:

Hotel Accommodations:

A block of guest rooms has been reserved at The Holiday Inn University Center for a special rate of $88 plus 9.25% tax for single or double occupancy. In order to receive the reduced rate, reservations must be made prior to September 15, 2008. Please be aware that traditionally the block of guest rooms fills before the deadline, therefore we encourage you to make your reservation at your earliest convenience. After September 15th, the discounted rate is not guaranteed.

Please contact the hotel directly at (352) 376-1661 to make your reservation. You may also fax your completed reservation form (see website), directly to the hotel at (352) 336-8717.

WFT Publicity:

We need your help! Please help us announce Working Forests in the Tropics by forwarding this email to any listservs, colleagues or constituents you feel would be interested in attending or learning more about WFT. If you edit or maintain a website, message board, newsletter or other type of publication, we would appreciate the posting of the WTF website and any additional information. Thank you in advance for your assistance with promoting this important event!

Register Online Today!

Visit the conference website for further information and to register online. The early registration deadline is August 8, 2008 so mark your calendar and be sure to register before the early rate expires!

Go Green:

The Working Forests in the Tropics Conference is asking you to help make a positive impact while at the conference. Visit the conference website for more information on “greening” your conference attendance.

For additional information about WFT please visit the conference website at or email Jhanna Gilbert at

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