SNAPP: Forest Sharing or Sparing?

Maintaining timber production while improving outcomes for carbon, conservation and water

Principal Investigator(s): 

Bronson Griscom, Mark Ashton, and Francis “Jack” Putz

Humans now actively manage the majority of land on Earth, and our footprint is found in nearly all remaining natural landscapes. It is no surprise that a debate about how to mix people and nature has emerged — dubbed “land sharing vs. land sparing” — that asks the question: How do we achieve the greatest conservation outcomes in a landscape given demands for food, fiber and fuel?  This SNAPP Working Group will synthesize a set of “best practices” across the range from low- to high- intensity timber production practices, and estimate carbon, water, biodiversity and human well-being benefits from the implementation of these practices. The team will consider both 1) how to improve outcomes per hectare harvested, and 2) whether an increase in harvest intensity paired with set asides that have high conservation value within a forestry management unit could improve conservation outcomes while maintaining timber production. Their results will be fed into landscape modeling analyses of “land sharing vs. sparing” scenarios where they can test best practices in specified regions and support land management decision making to balance forest conservation, human well-being, and timber production outcomes.


Reframing the Sharing vs Sparing Debate for Tropical Forestry Landscapes
BW Griscom and RC Goodman
Journal of Tropical Forest Science, 27(2): 145-147 (2015)

Mapping selective logging impacts in Borneo with GPS and airborne lidar
P. Ellis, B. Griscom, W. Walker, F. Gonçalves, T. Cormier.
Forest and Ecology Management, online 01/16/2016

This project is supported by the Science for Nature and People Partnership (SNAPP), generously funded through founding grants by Shirley and Harry Hagey, Steve and Roberta Denning, Seth Neiman, Angela Nomellini and Ken Olivier, the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, Ward W. and Priscilla B. Woods, and the David and Lucile Packard Foundation.

More information for project participants Visit the SNAPP website