CAMBRIDGE, Mass. (July 12, 2010) – James N. Levitt, an expert in land conservation, climate change adaptation strategies, and conservation finance, has joined the Lincoln Institute of Land Policy as a fellow. The immediate focus of his work will be large landscape conservation.
"This is a subject of emerging interest across the land, water and biodiversity conservation communities,” said Levitt, who also serves as director of the Program on Conservation Innovation at The Harvard Forest, and a research fellow at the Ash Center for Democratic Governance and Innovation at the Harvard Kennedy School.
“Public, private and non-profit practitioners and policymakers in the field are increasingly interested in showing that, by collaborating across parcel, sector, jurisdictional, and even national boundaries, they can achieve lasting, measurable conservation outcomes -- outcomes that protect biodiversity, provide ecosystem services, produce commodities sustainably, promote human health, and enhance treasured amenities.”
In joining the Department of Planning and Urban Form at the Lincoln Institute, Levitt will be collaborating with several of the institute’s joint venture partners, including colleagues at the University of Montana's Center for Natural Resource and Environmental Policy, the Sonoran Institute, and the Regional Plan Association. This group has already done significant work on the subject, culminating most recently in the Policy Focus Report Large Landscape Conservation: A Strategic Framework for Policy and Action.
That report, released in June, details grassroots and collaborative strategies for managing large ecosystems, forest lands, watersheds, and wildlife corridors that involve multiple jurisdictions and ownership. The report, which recommends ways to encourage such efforts and foster innovation going forwarded, coincided with the first “listening sessions,” held in Montana, for President Obama’s Great Outdoors initiative – an effort to build on the legacy of national parks and protected lands for the next century.
“As continental-scale ribbons of development spread across every continent on earth in the 21st century, we collectively aim to make a significant contribution the advancement of complementary regional conservation areas and corridors that will provide essential natural goods, services and wonders for many, many generations to come," Levitt said.
In addition to leading the Lincoln Institute’s annual Conservation Leadership Dialogue, Levitt is editor of three books on conservation policy and practice: Conservation Capital in the Americas (Lincoln Institute, in collaboration with the Ash Center at the Harvard Kennedy School, the David Rockefeller Center for Latin American Studies at Harvard University and Island Press, 2010); From Walden to Wall Street: Frontiers of Conservation Finance (Island Press and Lincoln Institute, 2005); and Conservation in the Internet Age: Threats and Opportunities (Island Press, 2002).
A graduate of Yale College and the Yale School of Management, he has served on the National Advisory Board of the Long-Term Ecological Research program sponsored by the National Science Foundation, and is a past vice chair of the Massachusetts Audubon Society. He currently serves as a director or advisor of QLF/Atlantic Center for the Environment, the Center for Business and the Environment at Yale, and Saving Land (the journal of the Land Trust Alliance. In 2008 he was named by the Yale School of Management as a Donaldson Fellow, an honor given to alumni for career achievements that “exemplify the mission of the School.” He was also awarded the medallion of Chile’s Chamber of Deputies in recognition of his work to advance land conservation in that nation.
James Levitt is available as an expert source on land conservation and climate change, by contacting firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Lincoln Institute of Land Policy is a leading resource for key issues concerning the use, regulation, and taxation of land. Providing high-quality education and research, the Institute strives to improve public dialogue and decisions about land policy.
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