Forest-linked Livelihoods in a Globalized World

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

  • External authors:
  • Laura Vang Rasmussen
  • Arun Agrawal
  • Patrick Meyfroidt
  • David N Bengston
  • Allen Blackman
  • Stephen Brooks
  • Iain Davidson-Hunt
  • Penny Davies
  • Stanley C Dinsi
  • Lorenza B Fontana
  • Tatiana Gumucio
  • Cheton Kumar
  • Kundan Kumar
  • Dominic Moran
  • Tuyeni H Mwampamba
  • Robert Nasi
  • Margareta Nilsson
  • Miguel A Pinedo-Vasquez
  • Jeanine M Rhemtulla
  • William J Sutherland
  • Cristy Watkins
  • Sarah J Wilson


Forests have re-taken centre stage in global conversations about sustainability, climate, and biodiversity. Here, we use a horizon scanning approach to identify five large-scale trends that are likely to have substantial medium- and longterm effects on forests and forest livelihoods: forest mega-disturbances; changing rural demographics; the rise of the middle-class in low- and middle-income countries; increased availability, access, and use of digital technologies; and large-scale infrastructure development. These trends represent human and environmental processes
that are exceptionally large in geographical extent and magnitude, and difficult to reverse. They are creating new agricultural and urban frontiers, changing existing rural landscapes and practices, opening spaces for novel conservation priorities, and facilitating an unprecedented development of monitoring and evaluation platforms that can be used by local communities, civil society organisations, governments, and international donors. Understanding these larger-scale dynamics is key to support not only the critical role of forests in meeting livelihood aspirations locally, but also a range of other sustainability challenges more globally. We argue that a better understanding of these trends and the identification of levers for change requires that the research community continue to build on case studies that have dominated research efforts so far, but place a greater emphasis on causality and causal mechanisms, and generate a deeper understanding of how local, national, and international geographical scales

Bibliographical metadata

Original languageEnglish
JournalNature Plants
Publication statusPublished - 30 Nov 2020