Allen Blackman, senior research fellow at Resources for the Future (RFF), will spend one year at CATIE in Costa Rica. As resident advisor for the EfD Program for Central America, he will collaborate on research projects, help build links to RFF and academia in the US, and provide input on how to build a new center.
"I like being on the ground floor of building this new EfD center. It is great to be here from the beginning and possibly help shape something that´s going to be around for many years. It´s also very nice to be at CATIE and have the chance to collaborate with internationally recognized agriculture, forest, and natural scientists," says Blackman.
Since coming to RFF, Blackman has studied environmental issues in developing countries and has worked in Mexico, Colombia, and El Salvador.
"Costa Rica is an ideal place to work on the issues that I’ve been studying in my carreer: industrial pollution and forest conservation in developing countries. I also strongly feel that economists have a role to play in building capacity in developing countries. I think this is an opportunity for me to do that."
Allen Blackman will be working on several projects at CATIE including studies of the the adoption of environmentally friendly technologies by coffee farmers in Costa Rica, the effectiveness of protected areas in stemming deforestation in Mexico, and the workings of Costa Rica’s payments for ecological services program. He hope to start new collaborative projects on the impact of biofuels production on land use in Costa Rica, mobile source air pollution in San Jose, the prospects for generating carbon credits from reduced emissions from deforestation and degradation (REDD) in Costa Rica.
"What I like the most in my profession is getting to do fieldwork. I like talking with people and learning about their issues and their problems. I also like talking to policy makers – people trying to make change happen."