Natural Resources, Ecology, and Public Policy: Time for Some Unconventional Ideas


May 28, 2014


Joel Darmstadter, Roger A. Sedjo, and Molly Macauley

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Demographers emphasize that the population growth rate has steadily declined over the last four decades and is expected to continue declining at a rapid rate. What does this demographic phenomenon signify for demands on natural resources and ecological systems? What other factors may concurrently come into play? This moderated panel discussion will draw on the emerging insight that humankind may be in the era of the “Anthropocene,” prompting us to reconsider interrelationships among people, resources, ecology, and the way public policies shape these linkages. Jack Bobo will discuss some of the key demographic trends. Erle Ellis, who has developed the still more recent concept of the “anthrome,” will discuss implications for ecological systems, including whether the potential to conserve biodiversity may, paradoxically, be increased by rapid urbanization and more intensive use of agricultural land. Roger Sedjo and Joel Darmstadter will emphasize the joint influence of markets and policy intervention, particularly in the cases of forests, agriculture, and energy.


Jack Bobo, Senior Advisor for Biotechnology, US Department of State (Download presentation)

Joel Darmstadter, Senior Fellow, Resources for the Future

Erle Ellis, Associate Professor, Geography and Environmental Systems, University of Maryland, Baltimore County; and Visiting Associate Professor of Landscape Architecture, Graduate School of Design, Harvard University (Download presentation)

Roger Sedjo, Senior Fellow and Director, Forest Economics and Policy Program, RFF (Download presentation)


Molly Macauley, Vice President for Research and Senior Fellow, RFF

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