Human-forest interface in subtropical and tropical regions

Biodiversity Conservation – Natural Resources Management

Forest fragmentation and degradation, pollution, the unsustainable use of natural resources and the spread of invasive species are a few of the many problems which threaten most tropical forest landscapes. But we also need to recognize that these complex landscapes also ensure the livelihood of rural populations and forest dwellers. Our research focuses on how to resolve the complex trade-offs between conservation and sustainable management of forest resources and agroforestry in transition and developing countries.

In order for agricultural production to be compatible with biodiversity conservation and rural livelihoods in the tropics, we need to develop approaches that better recognize farmers’ aspirations, needs and constraints. We achieve that by developing research that focuses on (1) a better understanding of the complexities of social and ecological systems, (2) uses this understanding to develop narratives of alternative futures through participatory modelling and then (3) feeds these in the policy cycles to help decision making processes take better account of the aspirations of local communities and of the ecological processes that will be impacted by management.



  • Strategy games to improve environmental policymaking
    Garcia, Claude A.; Savilaakso, Sini; Verburg, Rene W.; Stoudmann, Natasha; Fernbach, Philip; et al.
    Nature Sustainability   10.1038/s41893-022-00881-0  JUN 2022
  • Definitions of and Perspectives on Forests of High Value: A Systematic Map Protocol
    Savilaakso, Sini; Lausberg, Nik; Garcia, Claude A.; Grenacher, Raymond; Kleinschroth, Fritz; et al.
    Forests 10.3390/f12070876 JUL 2021
  • Drivers of transgression: What pushes people to enter protected areas
    Ponta, Nicole; Cornioley, Tina; Waeber, Patrick Oliver; Dray, Anne; van Vliet, Nathalie; Mesa, Maria Paula Quiceno; Garcia, Claude Antoine
    Biological Conservation 10.1016/j.biocon.2021.109121  MAY 2021
  • Choices We Make in Times of Crisis
    Waeber, Patrick O.; Stoudmann, Natasha; Langston, James D.; Ghazoul, Jaboury; Wilme, Lucienne; Sayer, Jeffrey; Nobre, Carlos; Innes, John L.; Fernbach, Philip; Sloman, Steven A.; Garcia, Claude A.
    Sustainability 10.3390/su13063578  MAR 2021
  • Unveiling African rainforest composition and vulnerability to global change
    Rejou-Mechain, Maxime; Mortier, Frederic; Bastin, Jean-Francois; Cornu, Guillaume; Barbier, Nicolas; et al.
    Nature 10.1038/s41586-021-03483-6 Published: MAY 6 2021
  • A double-edged sword: Realities of artisanal and small-scale mining for rural people in the Alaotra region of Madagascar
    Stoudmann, Natasha; Reibelt, Lena M.; Rakotomalala, Aimee G.; Randriamanjakahasina, Olivier; Garcia, Claude A.; et al.
    Natural Resources Forum,  10.1111/1477-8947.12215 Published: FEB 2021
  • Coffee, Farmers, and Trees-Shifting Rights Accelerates Changing Landscapes
    Garcia, Claude A.; Vende, Jeremy; Konerira, Nanaya; Kalla, Jenu; Nay, Michelle; et al.
    Forests  DOI: 10.3390/f11040480 Published: APR 2020
  • Exploring Livelihood Strategies of Shifting Cultivation Farmers in Assam through Games
    Bos, Swen P. M.; Cornioley, Tina; Dray, Anne; Waeber, Patrick O.; Garcia, Claude A.
    Sustainability,  DOI: 10.3390/su12062438   MAR 2 2020
  • Response to Comment on "The global tree restoration potential"
    Bastin, Jean-Francois; Finegold, Yelena; Garcia, Claude; Mollicone, Danilo; Rezende, Marcelo; Routh, Devin; Zohner, Constantin; Crowther, Thomas W
    Science,  DOI: 10.1126/science.aaz0493  2019
  • The global tree restoration potential
    Bastin, JF; Finegold, Y; Garcia, C; Mollicone, D; Rezende, M; Routh, D; Zohner, CM; Crowther, TW
    SCIENCE, 365 (6448):76-+; JUL 5 2019
  • The next widespread bamboo flowering poses a massive risk to the giant panda
    Tian, ZX; Liu, XH; Fan, ZY; Liu, JG; Pimm, SL; Liu, LM; Garcia, C; Songer, M; Shao, XM; Skidmore, A; Wang, TJ; Zhang, YK; Chang, YD; Jin,XL; Gong, MH; Zhou, LG; He, XB; Dang, GD; Zhu, Y; Cai, Q
    BIOLOGICAL CONSERVATION, 234 180-187; 10.1016/j.biocon.2019.03.030 JUN 2019
  • Biting the Bullet: Dealing with the Annual Hunger Gap in the Alaotra, Madagascar
    Stoudmann, N; Reibelt, LM; Kull, CA; Garcia, CA; Randriamalala, M; Waeber, PO
    SUSTAINABILITY, 11 (7):10.3390/su11072147 APR 1 2019
  • Hunting in Times of Change: Uncovering Indigenous Strategies in the Colombian Amazon Using a Role-Playing Game
    Ponta, N; Cornioley, T; Dray, A; van Vliet, N; Waeber, PO; Garcia, CA
    FRONTIERS IN ECOLOGY AND EVOLUTION, 7 10.3389/fevo.2019.00034 MAR 28 2019
  • Hunting in Times of Change: Unconvering Indigenous Stretegies in the Colombian Amazon Using a Role-Playing Game
    Ponta N, Cornioley T, Dray A, van Vliet N, Waeber P. and Garcia C. (2019)
    Front. Ecol. Evol. 7:34. doi: 10.3389/fevo.2019.00034
  • Reconciling certification and intact forest landscape conservation
    Kleinschroth, Fritz; Garcia, Claude; Ghazoul, Jaboury
    AMBIO, 48 (2):153-159; 10.1007/s13280-018-1063-6 FEB 2019
Garcia Claude

Dr. Claude Garcia
ETH Zürich
Institute of Terrestrial Ecosystems
8092 Zurich

Tel: +41 (0)44 632 32 14

Research topics

  • Links between the environment and livelihood in tropical landscapes
  • Tropical Ecology
  • Community Ecology
  • Conservation Ecology
  • Participatory Modelling



  • Merging Ecology, Sociology, Economy and Political Sciences
  • Embedding multiple sources of knowledge (academic, expert, empirical)
  • Cross cultural research