The Poverty and Environment Network (PEN) is an international research project and network. Launched in 2004, PEN is the largest and most comprehensive global analysis of tropical forests and poverty. Its database contains survey data on 8000+ households in 40+ study sites in 25 developing countries. At the core of PEN is comparative, detailed socio-economic data that was collected quarterly at the household and village level by 50+ research partners using standardised definitions, questionnaires and methods. The study sites were chosen to obtain widely representative coverage of different geographical regions, forest types, forest tenure regimes, levels of poverty, infrastructure and market access, and population density.
The study aims to put forests more firmly onto the poverty agenda by informing and influencing mainstream forest policy formulation and implementation on a regional and global scale. Preliminary results from the global analysis strengthen the case for more systematic data collection on the ways that poor people depend on natural resources.