Athens, Ga. – Despite reforms in forest management policies and practices, tropical nations are still losing forests at a rate of hundreds of thousands of hectares a year-both to the peril of local populations and the global community.
Jeffrey R. Vincent, who serves as the Clarence F. Korstian Professor of Forest Economics and Management at Duke University’s Nicholas School of the Environment and Health Sciences, is looking to quantify the true value of this lost forest in hopes of understanding the impact that deforestation has on local communities to help their governments make more informed policy decisions.
Vincent will give his lecture, “How and why should tropical countries protect their forests?,” Dec. 3 at 10:30 a.m. as part of the 29th annual J.W. Fanning Lecture on agricultural and applied economics. The lecture will be held in Room R of the University of Georgia Center for Continuing Education.
“It is important for communities and policymakers to realize that the true economic value of a forest is much higher than what its wood can sell for,” said Octavio Ramirez, head of UGA’s Department of Agricultural and Applied Economics at the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences.
“Forests serve many ecological functions and those have a substantial economic value as well,” he said. “In many cases, they are primary sources of income and natural amenities for local communities. Such values need to be considered when making policy decisions that affect the future of our natural and secondary forests. Unfortunately, all too often this is not the case, particularly in developing countries.”
Vincent’s experience lies in the economics of natural resource management and policy in developing countries, with an emphasis on forests, agriculture and water in Asia. His primary area of expertise is environmental economics. Vincent received his Ph.D. at the School of Forestry and Environmental Studies at Yale University.
The UGA College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences Department of Agricultural and Applied Economics partners with the Agricultural Economics Association of Georgia annually to hold the J.W. Fanning Lecture.
Fanning was a UGA alumnus who began his career as a UGA Extension county agent. During his 43-year career, Fanning held many roles at the University of Georgia, serving as head of the then-Department of Agricultural Economics from 1956 to 1961 before becoming UGA’s vice president for services and retiring in 1972.
In addition to Vincent’s presentation, there will be a separate luncheon and ceremony to honor the recipients of the 2013 J.W. Fanning Distinguished Professional and Young Professional Awards.
All UGA students, faculty and staff as well as the general public are invited to attend Vincent’s lecture, but registration has closed for the luncheon.