Centre for Livelihoods and Ecology (CLE)
The Centre for Livelihoods and Ecology (CLE) is a research centre dedicated to strategic and applied research on forest resources and rural economy. The focus to date has been primarily on non-timber resources, a large and relatively under-developed and under-researched area of resource management and economic development that “falls between the cracks” of conventional forestry and agriculture faculties and government departments. Non-timber resources include a wide range of products and services of the forest such as foods, health products, flavours and essences, floral greens, ornamental and craft products as well as tourism services, biodiversity conservation, watershed management, and the increasingly important area of carbon management.
CLE has been successful in raising the profile of non-timber forest products and other non-timber resources in sustainable forest management and rural development. CLE works in partnership with a broad network of public, First Nations, private and non-governmental organizations to research, support and facilitate the development of non-timber resources within sustainable forest management systems for the benefit of rural and remote communities. The Centre has played an important role in helping to establish the fledgling “wild products” sector in BC and nationally in Canada, with an annual directory, regular conferences and fairs, and an ongoing effort to establish a national association.
CLE’s three programme areas are: 1. Socio-economic Research; 2. Ecology and Management Research; 3. Extension and Sector Support
1. Developing More Effective Methods for Assessing Conservation and Livelihoods Outcomes in Forest Landscapes. Funded by CIDA through the Canada-CGIAR Linkage Fund, this project is being done in collaboration with CIFOR. The project will review approaches used by international conservation and development organizations for assessing conservation and livelihoods outcomes, and develop and test a “participatory modeling” approach to support monitoring and evaluation work in conjunction with conservation and development projects in Lao PDR and Cameroon.
2. Establishing a Collaborative Research Programme to Guide Investment in Non-Timber Resource-Based Development in the Canadian North. This is exploratory research and partnerships development to lay the groundwork for subsequent planned research on the impacts of investments in the NTFP sector in two northern Canadian study locations.
3. Poverty and Environment Network (PEN). Prof. Belcher is a founding member of the scientific team that conceived and developed an international comparative study of natural resource income through a series of comparable survey-based case studies. 30+ case studies are completed or nearly complete. Analysis will commence in 2009.