Intact Forests in the 21st Century Conference, Magdalen College, Oxford

Event Date: 
18 Jun 2018 - 09:00 to 20 Jun 2018 - 18:00
Other Events

A reminder that it is possible to submit abstracts and register at the early bird rate until 30 March 2018 for the conference “Intact Forests in the 21st Century” taking place in Oxford on 18-20 June 2018.  The three days of the meeting will examine the extent and condition of intact forests, ongoing threats, and policy actions for their preservation and restoration.  We welcome contributions that can speak to the key questions outlined below.  

The working definition of “intact forest” for the purposes of this conference is ‘forest free of significant anthropogenic degradation’, where anthropogenic degradation includes all human activities known to cause physical changes in a forest (including faunal changes) that lead to declines of ecological function. All forest ecosystems are considered – tropical, temperate and boreal. The conference is not limited to systems with no trace of human influence – indeed it is commonly stated that such places no longer exist and in many cases have not existed in the recent past. 

The definition above is expected to stimulate scientific and policy debate around questions such as:  

  •      How can forest intactness (and its converse, degradation) be quantified? 
  •      What constitutes significant degradation in this context, and how does that vary between different functions and values of a forest? On what scale is this occurring?
  •      What are effective responses by various sectors of society to avoid declines in intact forest whilst recognizing the rights of people who currently occupy them, and what role does national and global policy play?

The conference will have two main technical sections, each approx. 1.5 days and spread over 4 sessions:

  •       Section 1 - The geography of intactness – definitions, metrics, mapping, threats and values
  •       Section 2 - Management options and policy interventions

Please submit abstracts for oral presentations or posters (300 words) by 30 March 2018 to Emily Read using the email address

Keynote Speakers: 

  • Frances Seymour, Distinguished Senior Fellow, World Resources Institute, US
  • Yadvinder Malhi, Professor of Ecosystem Science, University of Oxford
  • Oliver Phillips, Professor of Tropical Ecology, Faculty of Environment, University of Leeds, UK
  • Peter Potapov, Research Associate Professor, Department of Geographical Sciences, University of Maryland, US
  • Anand Osuri, Postdoctoral Research Scientist, Earth Institute, Columbia University, US
  • James Watson, Director, Science and Research Initiative at the Wildlife Conservation Society, US, and Professor at the School of Earth and Environmental Sciences and Interim Director for the Centre for Biodiversity and Conservation Science, University of Queensland, Australia

The meeting is hosted by the University of Oxford in partnership with the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS).  It is kindly supported by the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation.

A recently published paper highlights many of the issues to be discussed: