Societal Concerns and Planted Forests

Tuesday, November 8, 2022 - 11:30am

Societal Concerns and Planted Forests

Pulpwood plantations radically transform forest landscapes and some continue to have very serious social impacts. Certification standards require companies to mitigate or avoid social harms but implementation has been patchy. Emerging norms now require companies to provide remedy for human rights violations alongside forest restoration and to ensure the realisation of shared value at the landscape level but can this be achieved without major legal and governance reforms?


Marcus Colchester - Senior Policy Advisor, Forest Peoples Programme

Marcus Colchester is English and received his doctorate in Social Anthropology from the University of Oxford. He was Founder Director of the Forest Peoples Programme and now acts as Senior Policy Advisor. Marcus has over 35 years’ experience working with forest peoples in the humid tropics. His expertise is in indigenous peoples, social and political ecology, standard setting, human rights, environment, development, land tenure, policy reform advocacy, ‘Free, Prior and Informed Consent’ and conflict resolution. Marcus has worked intensively in support of forest peoples’ rights in relation to logging, plantations, palm oil, extractive industries, dams, colonisation and protected areas.

He has a long history of experience with multi-stakeholder processes, initially as an appellant using the International Labour Organisation’s redress procedures in the 1980s and then representing Survival International on the Committee of Experts for the Revision of ILO Convention 107, which became ILO Convention 169 on Indigenous and Tribal Peoples in Independent Countries. He has been involved in standard-setting and accountability procedures with the Forest Stewardship Council, Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil, Roundtable on Sustainable Biomaterials, Palm Oil Innovators Group, High Conservation Value Network, High Carbon Stock Approach and The Forests Dialogue. He is a member of the Commission on Economic, Environmental and Social Policy of IUCN. He has contributed to standard-setting on indigenous peoples’ rights for the World Commission on Dams, Extractive Industries Review and the World Forest Policy and Implementation Review and Strategy and made extensive use of the complaints procedures of the International Finance Corporation and the World Bank.

His human rights advocacy related to development and conservation has earned him a Pew Conservation Fellowship and the Royal Anthropological Institute’s Lucy Mair Medal for Applied Anthropology. He has received an Honorary Doctorate of Letters from Oxford Brookes University. He has published extensively in academic and NGO journals and is the author and editor of numerous books including The Struggle for Land and the Fate of the Forests (1993) with Larry Lohmann, and Salvaging Nature: Indigenous Peoples, Protected Areas and Biodiversity Conservation. He also led the CIFOR review of community forestry co-published as Bridging the Gap: Communities, Forests and International Networks. He is married with two children, and one grandchild, and lives in the Cotswolds in England.