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.



  • 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
  • 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
  • Main ecological drivers of woody plant species richness recovery in secondary forests in China
    Liu XF; Garcia-Ulloa J; Cornioley T; Liu XH; Wang ZH; Garcia C
    SCIENTIFIC REPORTS, 9 10.1038/s41598-018-35963-7 JAN 22 2019
  • Approaching Local Perceptions of Forest Governance and Livelihood Challenges with Companion Modeling from a Case Study around Zahamena National Park, Madagascar
    Bodonirina N; Reibelt LM; Stoudmann N; Chamagne J; Jones TG; Ravaka A; Ranjaharivelo HVF; Ravonimanantsoa T; Moser G; De Grave A; Garcia C; Ramamonjisoa BS; Wilme L; Waeber PO
    FORESTS, 9 (10):10.3390/f9100624 OCT 2018
  • Opportunities for sustainable intensification of coffee agro-ecosystems along an altitudinal gradient on Mt. Elgon, Uganda
    Rahn, E; Liebig, T; Ghazoul, J; van Asten, P; Laderach, P; Vaast, P; Sarmiento, A; Garcia, C; Jassogne, L
    AGRICULTURE ECOSYSTEMS & ENVIRONMENT, 263 31-40; 10.1016/j.agee.2018.04.019 AUG 1 2018
  • Games as Tools to Address Conservation Conflicts
    Redpath SM; Keane A; Andren H; Baynham-Herd Z; Bunnefeld N; Duthie AB; Frank J; Garcia CA; Mansson J; Nilsson L; Pollard CRJ; Rakotonarivo OS; Salk CF; Travers H
    TRENDS IN ECOLOGY & EVOLUTION, 33 (6):415-426; 10.1016/j.tree.2018.03.005 JUN 2018
  • Role of Community and User Attributes in Collective Action: Case Study of Community-Based Forest Management in Nepal
    Negi, S; Pham, TT; Karky, B; Garcia, C
    FORESTS, 9 (3):10.3390/f9030136 MAR 2018
  • Nesting sites of giant honeybees modulated by landscape patterns
    Pavageau, C; Gaucherel, C; Garcia, C; Ghazoul, J
    JOURNAL OF APPLIED ECOLOGY, 55 (3):1230-1240; MAY 2018
  • Perception of change: Narratives and strategies of farmers in Madagascar 
    Stoudmann, Natasha; Waeber, Patrick O.; Randriamalala, Ihoby H.; et al. 
    JOURNAL OF RURAL STUDIES, 56: 76-86 NOV 2017
  • Recovery of woody plant species richness in secondary forests in China: a meta-analysis 
    Liu, Xiaofei; Liu, Xuehua; Skidmore, Andrew; et al. 
  • Coffee monoculture trends in tropical agroforested landscapes of Western Ghats (India) 
    Gaucherel, C; Alet, J; Garcia, C
    ENVIRONMENTAL CONSERVATION, 44 (2): 183-190 JUN 2017
  • A Critical Comparison of Conventional, Certified, and Community Management of Tropical Forests for Timber in Terms of Environmental, Economic, and Social Variables 
    Burivalova, Zuzana; Hua, Fangyuan; Koh, Lian Pin; et al. 
    CONSERVATION LETTERS, 10 (1): 4-14 JAN-APR 2017
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