Sarah Jane Wilson

Sarah Jane Wilson
University of Victoria | UVIC · School of Environmental Studies

Doctor of Philosophy

About

38
Publications
32,528
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1,280
Citations
Citations since 2016
31 Research Items
1252 Citations
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Introduction
Sarah Jane Wilson is a forest geographer with a background in ecology/biology (MSc, BSc) and human geography (PhD). She has worked with community-based forest restoration and conservation enterprises throughout the tropics, with extensive time in Andean Ecuador. Recent postdocs include IFRI/FLARE at the University of Michigan and the PARTNERS restoration network and their extensive networks. Sarah has served as a consultant for many international organizations including ITTO, IUCN, and CI.

Publications

Publications (38)
Article
Full-text available
Better Forests, Better Cities evaluates how forests both inside and outside city boundaries benefit cities and their residents, and what actions cities can take to conserve, restore and sustainably manage those forests. This report is the first of its kind comprehensive resource on the connection between cities and forests, synthesizing hundreds of...
Article
Full-text available
While the scientific community documents environmental degradation and develops scenarios to identify the operational margins of system Earth, less attention is given to how decisions are made that steer the system in one direction or the other. We propose to use strategy games for this purpose, increasing the representation of human agency in scen...
Article
Forest and landscape restoration (FLR) aims to simultaneously restore ecological functionality to deforested or degraded landscapes and ensure the provision of ecosystem services essential for human well-being. Interest in FLR has followed the ambitious commitments made to restore degraded forest by 2030 under the Bonn Challenge and the New York De...
Preprint
Full-text available
While the scientific community has focused on documenting environmental degradation and developing scenarios that help identify the operational margins for system Earth, less attention has been given to the mental models of decision-makers that underpin environmental policies. We suggest that global efforts to stop deforestation and biodiversity lo...
Article
While the policy momentum behind ecosystem restoration has never been stronger, restoration finance remains insufficient. A crucial information gap to unlock finance is the lack of robust and consistent data on the costs and benefits of restoration. This is due in part to the wide variety of contexts, interventions and objectives of restoration pro...
Article
Ensuring the long‐term persistence of tropical forest restoration projects is vital to maintaining carbon stocks, biodiversity, and other benefits of restored ecosystems. But our understanding of the factors that determine restoration longevity – the age that a restored ecosystem attains before being converted to another land use – is limited, and...
Article
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 long-term effects on forests and forest livelihoods: forest megadisturbances; changing rural demographics; the rise of...
Preprint
Full-text available
Leclère et al.1 have outlined the possibility of a biodiversity transition for the 21st century, a line of thinking equivalent to the Forest Transition theory and what it says about forest cover globally2. The authors use a suite of global models to explore the impacts on global biodiversity of interventions on land-use, consumption and production...
Article
Full-text available
Forests managed by Indigenous and other local communities generate important benefits for livelihood, and contribute to regional and global biodiversity and carbon sequestration goals. Yet, challenges to community forestry remain. Rural out-migration, for one, can make it hard for communities to maintain broad and diverse memberships invested in lo...
Article
Full-text available
Las iniciativas de la restauración del paisaje forestal pueden verse obstaculizadas por falta de comunicación o tal vez por la superposición entre sectores, políticas no alineadas con un objetivo común y por desbalances de información y poder tanto al interior como entre diferentes niveles de gobierno. Es necesario enfocarse en cómo funcionan los a...
Article
Full-text available
Forest and landscape restoration (FLR) is being carried out across the world to meet ambitious global goals. However, the scale of these efforts combined with the timeframe in which they are supposed to take place may compromise the quality of restoration, and thus limit the persistence of restoration on the landscape. This paper presents a synthes...
Article
Governance arrangements directly influence decision making processes and the degree to which different stakeholder groups are engaged in planning, implementing, and receiving benefits from Forest and Landscape Restoration (FLR). Narrow institutional and agency mandates must be better aligned to permit new ways of governing landscapes that are cente...
Article
Full-text available
Forests across the world stand at a crossroads where climate and land-use changes are shaping their future. Despite demonstrations of political will and global efforts, forest loss, fragmentation, and degradation continue unabated. No clear evidence exists to suggest that these initiatives are working. A key reason for this apparent ineffectiveness...
Preprint
Full-text available
Forests across the world stand at the crossroad with climate and land use changes shaping their future. Despite the demonstration of political will and global efforts, forest loss, fragmentation and land degradation continue unabated. No clear evidence exists that these initiatives are working. Why are policies designed to halt deforestation and in...
Article
Full-text available
Andean forests decreased in area over the past decade, and communities throughout the Andes are experiencing environmental degradation and soil fertility loss. But amid deforestation, forests returned to some Andean regions, producing local ‘forest transitions’, or net increases in forest cover. The mechanisms that drive these local transitions – o...
Article
Full-text available
Over 140 Mha of restoration commitments have been pledged across the global tropics, yet guidance is needed to identify those landscapes where implementation is likely to provide the greatest potential benefits and cost-effective outcomes. By overlaying seven recent, peer-reviewed spatial datasets as proxies for socioenviron-mental benefits and fea...
Article
Over 140 Mha of restoration commitments have been pledged across the global tropics, yet guidance is needed to identify those landscapes where implementation is likely to provide the greatest potential benefits and cost-effective outcomes. By overlaying seven recent, peer-reviewed spatial datasets as proxies for socioenviron-mental benefits and fea...
Article
Extensive areas of tropical land have been deforested and degraded, leading to declines in ecosystem services, biodiversity, and farm productivity over time in these post-frontier environments. Conservation and development organizations are promoting community-based tree planting for forest restoration as a means to conserve biodiversity, sequester...
Article
Indigenous Peoples and Local Communities (IPLC) are affected by global environmental change because they directly rely on their immediate environment for meeting basic livelihood needs. Therefore, safeguarding and restoring ecosystem resilience is critical to support their wellbeing. Based on examples from the literature, we illustrate how IPLC par...
Article
Full-text available
New forests are expanding around the world. In many regions, regrowth rates are surpassing deforestation rates, resulting in “forest transitions,” or net gains in forest cover. Typically measured only in terms of aggregate“’forest cover” change, these new forests are ecologically distinct from each other and from those originally cleared. We ask, w...
Article
Why do some restored ecosystems persist for centuries while others are quickly converted to alternative land uses or land covers? We propose that restored ecosystems have a temporal dimension that is variable, often finite, and likely predictable to some extent based on attributes of stakeholders, environment, and governance. The longevity of a res...
Article
Full-text available
Although significant resources are being spent researching and fostering the relationship between forests and livelihoods to promote mutually beneficial outcomes, critical gaps in understanding persist. A core reason for such gaps is that researchers, practitioners, and policy makers lack the structured space to interact and collaborate, which is e...
Article
Montane tropical cloud forests, with their complex topography, biodiversity, high numbers of endemic species, and rapid rates of clearing, are a top global conservation priority. However, species distributions at local and landscape scales in cloud forests are still poorly understood, in part because few regions have been surveyed. Empirical work h...
Article
Governance structures are urgently needed to promote forest landscape restoration (FLR). In light of recent commitments to mitigate climate change and conserve biodiversity, international organizations are calling for vast areas of land to be restored over the next few decades. At the landscape level, for restoration to be adopted and sustained, it...
Article
Engaging smallholders in restoring forests can be challenging, but is essential if landscape-level projects are to succeed in many populated regions. Compared to other competing land uses (agriculture, pasture, and even other tree-based systems such as plantations) the benefits of restoration are often dispersed, less obvious, unproven in the local...
Article
Full-text available
We present a historical overview of forest concepts and definitions, linking these changes with distinct perspectives and management objectives. Policies dealing with a broad range of forest issues are often based on definitions created for the purpose of assessing global forest stocks, which do not distinguish between natural and planted forests o...
Article
Community-based tropical forest restoration projects, often promoted as a win-win solution for local communities and the environment, have increased dramatically in number in the past decade. Many such projects are underway in Andean cloud forests, which, given their extremely high biodiversity and history of extensive clearing, are understudied. T...
Article
Community-based tropical forest restoration projects, often promoted as a win-win solution for local communities and the environment, have increased dramatically in number in the past decade. Many such projects are underway in Andean cloud forests, which, given their extremely high biodiversity and history of extensive clearing, are understudied. T...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
These papers are part of the research project, Research to Practice – Strengthening Contributions to Evidence-based Policymaking, generously funded by the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA).
Conference Paper
The number of community based, tropical forest-restoration projects has increased dramatically in the past decade. In coming years, as high deforestation rates coincide with increasing demand for forest ecosystem services, such projects will become even more common. Many of these projects are taking place in Andean cloud forests, which, given their...
Article
Full-text available
Aquatic macrophytes play an important role in the survival and proliferation of invertebrates in freshwater eco-systems. Epiphytic invertebrate communities may be altered through the replacement of native macrophytes by exotic macrophytes, even when the macrophytes are close relatives and have similar morphology. We sampled an invasive exotic macro...

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Projects (6)
Project
To foster transitions in the way in which forests are exploited, managed and restored by developing future scenarios and using them in decision-making platforms at local, regional and global scales. In order to achieve this, we have three specific objectives: I. Understanding Feedbacks between ecological processes, stakeholder strategies and policy decisions along the forest transition curve and across biomes, which is crucial to developing better scenarios. II. Constructing Scenarios of alternative futures, developing in parallel the three complementary approaches to model development based on trade-offs between precision, generality and realism. III. Fostering Change by: engaging decision-makers and stakeholders at multiple levels in dialogues and transformative scenarios to identify strategy and policy options; generating the will and commitment towards change; facilitating and promoting the capacity to develop scenarios; and harvesting outcome stories to demonstrate impact.