Tue 02 Nov 2010: 2pm – Vojtech Novotny on “Rainforest conservation in Papua New Guinea and why indigenous people do not like it”

Department of Biological Sciences (BEJC) Seminar Announcement
20101102-vojtech.pdf (1 page)“Rainforest conservation in Papua New Guinea and why indigenous people do not like it”

By Professor Vojtech Novotny
Biology Center,
Czech Academy of Sciences
& Faculty of Science,
University of South Bohemia,
Czech Republic

Tue 02 Nov 2010: 2.00pm
DBS Conference Room [map]
Block S3, Level 5
National University of Singapore

Host: Richard Corlett

About the talk – In Papua New Guinea, the fate of forests is governed by forest-dwelling tribal societies. A rapidly increasing pace of logging compels us to ask why tribal communities prefer logging to conservation. In the absence of feasible development opportunities, remote communities become quickly enthusiastic about conservation projects, but once an area is opened up to logging few such projects survive.

Direct payments to forest owners to cover the costs of missed opportunities for economic development are advocated here to make conservation competitive. A conservation royalty scheme would deliver a higher proportion of the conservation funds to the resource owners than the management-intensive community development projects currently favored.

Such an approach requires a profound cultural change within conservation organizations from a ‘development aid’ approach to one more oriented toward business.

About the speaker – “Vojtech Novotny is a tropical biologist. He is Professor of Ecology at the University of South Bohemia and the Head of the Department of Ecology and Conservation Biology at the Biology Center of the Czech Academy of Sciences in the Czech Republic. He is leading an international team of researchers studying relationships between plants and insects in tropical rainforests. This work has provided, among other results, the currently accepted estimate of the number of insects living on our planet. Novotny is directing the New Guinea Binatang Research Center, a research station in Papua New Guinea, recognized for its ecological research, which successfully unites western scientists and the tribal peoples of the New Guinea rainforests.” – from the Google Books entry for “Notebooks from New Guinea: field notes of a tropical biologist” (available at Amazon.com).

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