Forests and Communities in Transition (FACT) includes the FACT Lab and the FACT Network. FACT is a University of British Columbia Faculty of Forestry initiative dedicated to research, dialogue and knowledge exchange. We aim to foster a global network of researchers and communities working in partnership with governments, non-government organizations, academia, industry and others to contribute to the development of more resilient and liveable forest-dependent communities. At the foundation of our initiative is the recognition that the natural environment is not boundless, and that it plays an integral role in the economic and social fabric of communities and the health of community members. Thus, the wellbeing of forest-dependent communities begins with the responsible and sustainable management of forest resources.

Acknowledging that there is no single panacea for the challenges currently confronting forest-dependent communities and embracing the subjective nature of these issues, we believe that an enhanced global dialogue regarding the sustainable management of forest resources will form the basis of meaningful community-based solutions that are practicable and lasting. This can only be achieved through improved research practices, collaboration, respect and an increased mutual capacity to work together. We promote the collaborative study of the interface between society and forest ecosystems and the exchange of relevant, actionable and scientifically rigorous findings. We advocate for the inclusion of these findings in the development of natural resource management policy.

Priorities and Functions

FACT is action- and solutions-oriented. We believe that rural development and forest resource management – both internationally and in British Columbia – will be strengthened through sharing international research findings and lessons. To be effective, we must engage in a two-way dialogue that occurs at multiple scales (local, national and international) and through multiple platforms. Partnerships between researchers and communities are also becoming increasingly prevalent as funders and research organizations recognize the value and importance of meaningfully partnering with communities and co-developing research questions. Research done in collaboration with communities can produce more relevant, robust and valid results, better inform policy-making processes and ultimately produce direct community benefits. While the advantages to both communities and researchers are clear, there is a need to develop capacity on both sides to ensure that research is conducted in an ethical, timely and rigorous manner.

Current Research Interests

Forest certification
Poverty alleviation and development strategies
Sustainable development
Supply chain management
Corporate social responsibility
Non-timber values
Sustainable forest management
Marketing, management, and consumer behaviour
Education and capacity building
Quality improvement and control

Currently Funded Projects

Fostering Community Forest Enterprises with a Multilateral Funding Mechanism for Mitigating Climate Change:  Examining REDD+ and the Roles of Social Capital, Gender, and Institutional Legitimacy – SSHRC Insight Development Grant

Reforestation Stocks for Future Climate:  Identifying what Matters to Stakeholders and Communities (Co-Investigator) – Genome Canada

Rethinking Sustainable Supply Chains:  A Case Study of Paper and Digital Supply Chains – NSERC Value Chain Optimization Strategic Network

Assessing the Enabling Conditions and Constraints Facing Alternative Business Models on Publicly Held Forestlands:  Case Studies in Canada and Central and West Africa – SSHRC Standard Research Grants

Reducing Vulnerability and Susceptibility through Increased Understanding:  Health and Environmental Interactions of Forest-Dependent HIV/AIDS-Affected African Households (Collaborator) – SSHRC Research Development Initiatives (International Opportunities Fund)

Reviewing Decades of Socio-Economic Impact Assessment in Rural British Columbia – SSHRC Research Development Initiatives (Canadian Environmental Issues)