Most people believe that tropical deforestation contributes significantly to climate change. We can safely assert that tropical deforestation and habitat degradation, combined with a seeming increase in severity and frequency of natural disasters, and sometimes drier (for example, in the Caribbean) or wetter conditions, are increasingly threatening the well-being and livelihoods of people who live near forests and/or depend on natural resources.
There is an important role for ecologists and other scientists to play in helping build capacity overseas in a number of different areas related to deforestation and climate change. These could include better management of forests overall, including through integrated natural resource management; application of knowledge of the role of managed forests (e.g., plantations or restored forest), and agroforestry systems in the carbon cycle and biodiversity conservation, and practical recommendations; and improving capability to predict and respond to different disaster scenarios at the local, national and international scales. Using two or three case studies from Mesoamerica and