logo Thinking beyond the canopy

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.

Research highlights

Rural ‘environmental income’ on par with crop income, study finds

Natural forests and wildlands across 58 tropical research sites provide 28 percent of total household income — nearly as much as crops — according to a new study. Read more

Global study questions primary role of forests as safety nets and gap fillers

Forest resources may be less important as a buffer between harvests and in times of hardship than previously believed, according to a comprehensive global study. Read more

PEN Video

Environmental incomes and rural livelihoods

Terry Sunderland (CIFOR Senior Scientist) giving a presentation on behalf of the PEN Team at the IUCN World Conservation Congress, on the 10th of September 2012 in Jeju, Korea. The presentation is called "Environmental incomes and rural livelihoods: A global comparative analysis, and was part of a side event called 'Linking conservation and poverty, landscapes and livelihoods: What have we learnt so far?"

  • Forest tenure and linkages to poverty
    Pam Jagger
  • Wealth-driven deforestation
    Ronnie Babigumira
  • PEN and Principal Economist at CIFOR
    Sven Wunder
  • CIFOR Senior Scientist
    Terry Sunderland
  • Measuring livelihoods and environmental dependence
    Sven Wunder
  • Policy implications
    Sven Wunder


PEN sites map

PEN Sites Map

  • 1. Miriam Wyman - University of Florida
  • 2. Jose Pablo Prada Cordova - University of Copenhagen
  • 3. Bolier Torres - German Organisation for Technical Cooperation
  • 4. Angelica Almeyda - Stanford University
  • 5. Amy Duchelle - University of Florida
  • 6. Patricia Uberhuaga Candia - University of Copenhagen
  • 7. Jamie Cotta - CIFOR
  • 8. Marie Therese Yaba Ndiaye - University Federal Rural de Rio de Janeiro
  • 9. Boureima Ouedraogo - University of Ouagadougou
  • 10. Marieve Pouliot - University of Copenhagen
  • 11. Beatrice O. Darko - Forest Research Institute of Ghana
  • 12. Sylvanus Abua - Wildlife Conservation Society, Nigeria
  • 13. Julius Tieguhong Chupezy - University of Natal
  • 14. Riyong Kim Bakkegaard - University of Copenhagen
  • 15. Manyewu Mutamba - University of Pretoria
  • 16. Oystein Juul Nielsen - University of Copenhagen
  • 17. Ravi Hegde - University of British Columbia
  • 18. Thabbie Chilongo - Norwegian University of Life Sciences
  • 19. Pamela Jagger - Indiana University
  • 20. Yemiru Tesfaye - Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences
  • 21. Abebe Seifu - Norwegian Univesity of Life Sciences
  • 22. Ajith Chandran - University of British Columbia
  • 23. Monica Singh - Barkatullah University
  • 24. Santosh Rayamajhi - University of Copenhagen
  • 25. Bir Bahadur Khanal Chhetri - University of Copenhagen
  • 26. Ajijur Rahman - University of Rajshahi
  • 27. Khaled Misbahuzzaman - Chittagong University
  • 28. Shiba P. Kar - Pebb State University
  • 29. Nicholas Hogarth - Charles Darwin University
  • 30. Dao Huy Giap - Hanoi National University of Education
  • 31. Dararath Yem - Cambodia Development Resource Institute
  • 32. Ririn S. Purnamasari - Melbourne University
  • 33. Ermi Irene Koeslulate - Gajah Mada University

A closer look at poverty and the environment