Field houses

We seek to align governments, industry, communities and civil society around a shared agenda for shifting rural development from the prevalent boom-and-bust trajectory.

Our Strategy

Throughout human history, forest frontiers have been lawless, unruly places where natural resources are depleted for short-term gain. The capacity of regional societies to sustainably manage their forest regions often comes too late, when there is little left to manage.

For many of the great forests and fisheries of the tropics, however, it is not too late. There is still time to steer the Amazon, Borneo, and other great forest regions toward sustainable development, avoiding carbon emissions, keeping forests and fisheries intact, and increasing food, fuel, fiber, and feed production.

Pathway to Change

Theory of Change Diagram

Under an alternative low-emission rural development pathway, forest frontier regions would slow and even reverse deforestation, while governance capacity, incomes and employment, among other indicators of socio-economic well-being, would all increase.

Our pathway to change is grounded in the premise that the low emission rural development path will prevail when broadly inclusive development discussions are furnished with clear, reliable, information-rich scenarios of the principle options and their implications for key stakeholders. Currently, actors instrumental to changing the dominant model of rural development—governments, financial institutions, large-scale producers and extractors, smallholders, indigenous peoples and traditional communities, and civil society—typically hold different and conflicting interests and have little or no tradition of collaboration. We seek to align them around a shared agenda for an alternative model in which:

  • agricultural and livestock production grows through improved yields instead of expansion into forests;
  • key socio-economic sectors are provided with information and tools to move toward jurisdiction-wide plans in concert;
  • civil society organizations are strengthened to coordinate jurisdiction-wide participatory planning processes; and
  • the destruction of native ecosystems, soils, and freshwater systems is slowed, stopped, then reversed.