Jeff Sayer

Prof. Jeff Sayer is an ecologist who has worked at the interface of research and conservation practice in many tropical countries and for many different organizations. Jeff’s approach to conservation and sustainable management has been very much influenced by working in areas where poverty is prevalent and where solutions to forest conservation and management problems have to align with the needs to improve the livelihoods of local people. Jeff has been a pioneer in the development of integrated landscape approaches where the locus of decision making on forests is moved as close to the ground as possible. Jeff has had a long-term involvement in several forest landscapes in the tropics but particularly in the Congo Basin and Indonesia. Jeff launched and then headed the Forest Conservation Program at the International Union for the Conservation of Nature in Switzerland with forest conservation field activities all over the world and a portfolio of policy initiatives seeking solutions to forest problems that also meet human needs. Subsequently, Jeff was the founding Director of the Center for International Forestry Research with a global research mandate but its headquarters in Indonesia. CIFOR conducted strategic research on issues around forests and sustainable development. At UBC Jeff is contributing to the Masters of International Forestry and conducting research on forest landscape conservation in Indonesia, British Columbia, and Central Africa.

ResearchGate | Google Scholar

Intu Boedhihartono

Agni Klintuni Boedhihartono has a multidisciplinary background (Anthropology, Fine Arts, Cinematography, and Natural Sciences). She has a Doctorate in Ethnology & Visual Anthropology from the University of Paris 7, France. She went to the Ecole National Superieure des Beaux-Arts and the University of Paris 7 in France to pursue her passion in arts, culture, people, and sciences. Intu subsequently worked for the United Nations Environment Program and the International Union for the Conservation of Nature in Switzerland. Intu joins UBC after spending eight years running a master’s program in Development Practice at James Cook University in tropical northern Australia.

Intu has worked with multidisciplinary teams in remote locations in tropical landscapes and seascapes in Asia, Africa, and Latin America. Intu has focussed on issues with indigenous people and local communities, particularly on the importance of their traditional knowledge and wise practices in natural resources management and the conservation of their cultural diversity. Intu’s research has sought to enable forest-dependent people, coastal communities, and indigenous groups to achieve a balance between conservation and social, cultural, and economic development.

Intu uses visual techniques to explore landscape scenarios and other participatory methods to maximize the involvement of diverse stakeholder groups. Her goal is to have an influence on global efforts to support indigenous people and local communities to improve their livelihoods whilst retaining their identity, cultural diversity, traditional knowledge, environment, and natural assets.

ResearchGate | Google Scholar

Chris Gaston

Chris Gaston is an Associate Professor at the Faculty of Forestry at the University of British Columbia and past manager of the Markets & Economics Group at FPInnovations in Vancouver, British Columbia. He has degrees in Forestry Economics (Ph.D.) and Agricultural Economics & Business (B.Sc., M.Sc.) from the University of British Columbia and the University of Guelph, Ontario, Canada.

Chris has worked in both academia (teaching and research) and industry (management, consulting, research), with over 35 years’ experience in agribusiness and forestry. His research and consulting have focused on price-risk management strategies, market research, econometrics, and trade modeling. Recent research efforts have included value chain optimization and product development for Canada, the United States, Japan, China, and Europe, including for Aboriginal communities. Chris has co-supervised over twenty M.Sc. and Ph.D. students, as well as managing a national staff of markets and economics researchers for nearly two decades. He is also past Chairperson and active member of the “Team of Specialists for Forest Products Marketing” for the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe. He has published widely and has spoken at conferences throughout the world.

Rebecca Riggs

Rebecca is a Post-Doctoral Research Fellow at the Department of Forest Conservation Sciences. She was born in Adelaide, Australia, and developed an interest in travel and outdoors at an early age. Rebecca studied a Bachelor of Chemical Engineering and Economics at the University of Adelaide, where she graduated with a desire to work in international development. Following a Master of Development Practice at James Cook University in Cairns, Australia, Rebecca spent the last few years travelling to remote areas of Cambodia and Indonesia to understand the complexity of landscape governance and challenges facing rural smallholders. In 2020, Rebecca completed her doctoral thesis on Governing Landscape Transitions in Cambodia. In this research, she examined forest landscapes in Cambodia to understand local perceptions and institutional leverage points for nurturing landscape transitions for prosperity and sustainability.

Rebecca is currently involved in research that seeks to support and strengthen small to medium forest enterprises in rural communities in Indonesia, Cameroon, and Canada. She aims to contribute to broader research on reconciling long-term development and environmental challenges by strengthening local institutions. Rebecca values spending time in landscapes with partners, sharing and discussing with people about their lives and future visions. Rebecca hopes to shed light on some of the challenges and aspirations of people living in these landscapes and bridge communication gaps across different levels of governance.

ResearchGate | Google Scholar

Shintia Arwida

Journalism & Communication, Climate Change Mitigation and Adaptation, Gender and Social Studies

Indonesian origin. Shintia started her career as a journalist and developed expertise in communications and publishing, both for commercial and nonprofit. She pursued her master's degree at Wageningen University in the Netherlands, focusing on social studies and the technical environment. Halfway through her career, she cultivated more interest in research and joined CIFOR which shaped her knowledge of REDD+, gender, and the environment. She later joined UNOPS which sharpened her program management skills and knowledge of peatland restoration. She is currently working in the climate change mitigation and adaptation sector, focusing her work on Nature-based Solution Projects in Asia and the Pacific. She is currently pursuing her PhD, focusing her research on customary government, indigenous people, and sustainable forest landscapes.

Fideline Mboringong

Fideline Mboringong is an International Development professional with an MSc in International Cooperation (Environmental Management and Sustainable Development) from the International Relations Institute of Cameroon (IRIC) and Università Cà Foscari de Venise.

Fideline has over 8 years of experience in promoting sustainable environmental and socio- economic development. She specializes in policy analysis, private sector engagement, participatory community based natural resource management and sustainable agricultural value chains development. She is interested in research on exploring scenarios of balancing economic development and biodiversity conservation in relation to landscape change.  She is also interested in the intersection between Biodiversity Conservation, Science-Policy and Practice Interfaces.

Prior to joining VFL, Fideline was the Sustainable Development Hub Coordinator for WWF Governance Practice.

Lauren Nerfa

Lauren is a PhD Candidate at the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa, Department of Botany. She is originally from Vancouver, British Columbia, and lived in the Caribbean at a young age which influenced her current research interest in tropical forest ecology. Lauren completed her BSc and MSc at the University of British Columbia. Her academic background is in ecology and ecosystem-based management, as well as household forest dependence in the tropics. While conducting research in Borneo during her undergraduate degree, she realized the importance of incorporating human values and needs into ecological conservation approaches, especially in tropical forests.  She now focuses on ethnoecology, particularly ethnobotany, and is fascinated by human-ecosystem interactions.

Lauren's research focuses on human dimensions and ecological outcomes of community-based forest restoration in Hawaiʻ i.  The overarching aim of the project is to support the communities with land use decision-making that bolsters community well-being and ecosystem integrity, and to provide insights that can be applied towards social-ecological sustainability and resilience in similar tropical contexts. Lauren hopes to continue this work on Seram island in Indonesia in the future.

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Ayumi Ono

Ayumi is an MSc student in Forest Conservation Sciences. She was born in Japan and became interested in the relationship between nature and people in her childhood, through her travel to  the countryside, mountain trekking, and eating. When she was in high school,  she visited a tropical rain forest in Thailand and was impressed by the complex dynamics in forests. Ayumi studied Forestry at Kyoto University in Japan; her research topic was the low impact logging on biodiversity in Indonesia. Following her bachelor’s degree, Ayumi worked for the Forestry Agency in Japan around eight years. The position included various roles - from the international department to a local forest office in Kyushu Island.

In 2021, Ayumi restarted her learning at UBC to explore how to integrate forest conservation and local livelihoods in deforested areas. She is especially interested in mosaic landscapes that harmonize human and nature interactions to improve sustainability. Making the most of her experience in Japan, she is exploring how Japanese traditional land management approaches like SATOYAMA can be applied to Indonesia. Since beginning her MSc, Ayumi has enjoyed learning about diverse forest issues around the world through discussion with MIF students.

James Langston


James is a landscape transition scientist at CSIRO Environment. In addition to his work on peatland restoration in Indonesia, James collaborates with the VFL lab in Indonesia, Cameroon, and Canada to guide sustainability transitions and embedded science. Before joining CSIRO in Australia, James worked at UBC as the Master of International Forestry coordinator. He is now an Adjunct Professor with UBC Forestry.

About James' research:

I work with societal partners to seek how science can best be deployed to achieve equitable and sustainable development in contested landscapes. I call this a practical political ecology approach. Empowering local agency in the face of macro-level political and economic forces is essential for an equitable world. I strive to be an agent for more inclusive sciences to reconcile different ways of knowing so that the narratives that drive change are less clustered and more integrated.

LinkedIn | Google Scholar | CSIRO

Dwi Amalia Sari

Dwi is currently completing her PhD at James Cook University, Cairns, Australia. Prior to commencing her PhD, Dwi worked at the Supreme Audit Board of Indonesia. Dwi is passionate about sustainable development and seeks to identify and implement improvements in natural resource governance in Indonesia.

In her PhD, Dwi assessed multi-sectoral governance natural resources in three landscapes in Indonesia. She used professionally accepted auditing standards as well as Actor Network Analysis and Multi Criteria Analysis (V.I.S.A) as tools to analyse the performance, effectiveness, and efficiency of governance. Dwi’s research findings suggest that landscapes in Indonesia have distinct social, political, financial, and ecological aspects that should influence governance decisions. Her results show that strong leadership, multi-sectoral collaboration to manage trade-offs, and a combination of top-down and bottom-up approaches is needed to steer sustainable development in Indonesia. Dwi is currently working with government bodies in Indonesia to develop ways of implementing improvements at the regional and national scale.


Rumi Naito

Rumi is a Ph.D. student in the Institute for Resources, Environment and Sustainability (IRES) at the University of British Columbia (UBC), focusing on behavioral psychology applied to conservation and natural resource management in tropical landscapes. She is also a Liu Scholar at the Liu Institute for Global Issues and a UBC’s Four Year Doctoral Fellowship recipient. Drawing on insights from cognitive psychology, her doctoral studies will investigate: 1) how land-users perceive conservation challenges differently and make subsequent land-use decisions; and 2) what interventions might facilitate desired behavioral change for sustainability.

Prior to starting her doctoral studies at UBC, Rumi worked with an Indonesia-based consulting firm, Starling Resources, as a senior project manager on a number of projects concerning collaborative land-use planning, forestry policies, reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation (REDD+), ecosystem restoration, sustainable peatland management, agroecology, and community-based economic development. She holds a Master's degree in International Affairs from the School of International and Public Affairs, Columbia University in New York, with a focus on Environmental Policy Studies for Southeast Asia.

In her spare time, she enjoys training capoeira, traveling, hiking, and pottery.

Linked In | Behavioural Sustainability Lab | CHANS Lab

Chris Margules

Chris Margules is Adjunct Professor in the College of Science and Engineering at James Cook University, Australia and Adjunct professor in the Faculty of Mathematics and natural Sciences, University of Indonesia. His current interest focuses on integrating conservation and development at the landscape or seascape scale. Previously, he designed and implemented a large-scale experiment on the ecological effects of habitat fragmentation and played a key role in discovering and then implementing the idea of complementary in systematic conservation planning.

Chris was a research scientist and later research manager at the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) for 32 years, where he led programs on landscape management and sustainable development in the tropics. He joined the NGO Conservation International in 2006 and later become Senior Vice-President and leader of the Asia Pacific Division. He has worked in a number of Asian countries, the Pacific region and southern Africa as well as Australia. He was a fellow of the Wissenschaftskolleg zu Berlin in 1994. He was a web of science highly cited author for the 20 years 1982 to 2002. He received order of Australia honors in the General Division (AM) for services to science in 2005.

Research Gate |RCCC UI

Emmanuel Acheampong

Emmanuel Acheampong has BSc. (Hons) and MPhil degrees in development planning at Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Kumasi, Ghana, and Master of Philosophy (Agriculture, Environment, and Related Studies) at James Cook University, Australia. He is currently a PhD researcher at James Cook University, Australia. Since 2012, Emmanuel has been researching sustainable development issues in Ghana and other developing countries and has acquired significant experience in community engagement and environmental conservation over the years in Ghana. Emmanuel’s research in Ghana has been focusing on forest restoration and management through community participation, and livelihood improvement of farmers in forest fringe communities. Through Emmanuel’s innovative ideas, he was able to secure a 50 ha degraded forestland from the Forestry Commission of Ghana to assess the feasibility of engaging local farmers to restore the degraded land and examine the benefits thereof using the landscape approach. Since 2017, Emmanuel has been able to engage about 30 farmers in forest fringe communities of Ghana to restore about 20 ha of the degraded forest reserve through which the livelihoods of the farmers have been significantly improved. Details of the project can be found at

Emmanuel desires to continue his engagement with smallholders in forest fringe Ghana in forest landscape restoration programs through which rural livelihoods are developed. Emmanuel believes that sustainable forest conservation, restoration, and management should always have the active participation of the local people because they are the most direct stakeholders of the forests and indigenous knowledge cannot be neglected. Assessing the feasibility of introducing non-timber forest products in planted forests for the benefit of indigenous people is Emmanuel’s next plan of action.

ResearchGate | Google Scholar

Agus Kastanya

Agus Kastanya is a Professor at the Department of Forestry, Faculty of Agriculture, at Pattimura University, Ambon, Indonesia. Agus has many years of experience working in sustainable forest management in Indonesia. Based in Ambon, Maluku, he works closely with government agencies, NGOs, and communities to develop forest management programs on small islands, taking a landscape - seascape approach. Agus coordinates several research projects, facilitating multi-stakeholder partnerships between local and international organisations, including UNPATTI and UBC. More information Agus' research, teaching and recent achievements can be found here.

Jatna Supriatna

Professor Jatna Supriatna is the current Chairman of Research Center for Climate Change University of Indonesia. He is based at the Department of Biology, Faculty of Mathematics and Science (Conservation Biology), University of Indonesia. Jatna is an active member of several international organizations, including IUCN-World Conservation of Protected Area, IUCN-Specialist Survival Commision-Primate Specialist Group, International Primatological Society, Society for Conservation Biologist and many others. Jatna has worked extensively to support biodiversity conservation in Indonesia. Among his many contributions to conservation science are the discoveries of new primates in Indonesia such as Tarsius tumpara (new species found in Siau Island with his friends) and Macaca togianus (in Togean island) and the hybrid animals in Sulawesi. A full profile can be found here.

Lalu Adi Gunawan (2015) Adapting to Climate Change: Perspectives from Rural communities in Lombok, Eastern Indonesia. PhD completed at James Cook University, Australia
Mercy Rampengan (2015) Impacts of Multiple Hazards on Small Island Communities - Perspectives from North Sulawesi, Indonesia. PhD completed at James Cook University, Australia
Lingfei Weng (2015) Extractive industries, Agriculture and Development Corridors in Africa. PhD completed at James Cook University, Australia
Adinda Herdianti (2022) Business ecosystems to provide incentives and opportunities for sustainable and resilient livelihoods in forest landscapes. MSc completed at The University of British Columbia, Canada
Emilio Valeri (2022) Challenges of participation in local forest initiatives. MSc completed at The University of British Columbia, Canada