ASB Benchmark Sites

ASB works at the margins of the world's remaining tropical rainforests, in landscape mosaics. These rainforests are an invaluable natural heritage and home to over one billion rural people. Through this network of sites that spans the humid tropics, ASB ensures that its analyses of local and national perspectives are grounded in reality.

ASB households, communities, and policymakers live and work in 12 benchmark sites in:

These sites are large areas (ranging from about 100 - 1000 km2) for long-term study and engagement with households, communities and policymakers.

All sites are located in the humid tropical and sub-tropical broadleaf forest biome (as mapped by the Worldwide Fund for Nature). This is the world's most biologically diverse terrestrial biome by far, and conversion of these forests to other uses leads to the greatest species loss per unit area of any land cover change. Most of ASB benchmark sites are also biodiversity hotspots (as mapped by Conservation International).

ASB partners work to understand problems, opportunities and constraints of households, and local and national policymakers. In this way, participatory research guides the iterative process necessary to identify and develop policy, institutional and technological options that are workable and relevant.

ASB's multi-site network ensures that the search for effective policy, institutional and technological interventions is well grounded in science, is carried out uniformly, and is appropriate to local conditions and customs. What makes ASB unusually effective in the arena of natural resource management research is that it uses standardized methods and research questions at all sites, thereby generating data and knowledge that can be compared across sites and, indeed, across the tropics.