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Javier Godar

Senior Research Fellow

Javier Godar

Javier Godar joined SEI in September 2012. He is a Senior Research Fellow. He co-founded the Trase platform and leads the development of the SEI-PCS approach that underlies the information provided by Trase.

His primary focus during the last 15 years has been on understanding transitions towards more sustainable land-use systems in the forested tropics, with especial focus in South America. Recent work on this issue has been supported by three different grants from the Swedish Research Council Formas, looking at actor-specific deforestation outcomes in the Amazon, land-base emissions and biodiversity impacts associated to global demand of tropical forest-risk commodities, and land leakage in the soy and beef sectors in South America. The main goal of this research is to increase our understanding of social-ecological systems in tropical forested areas, to better inform rural development and deforestation policies.

More recently Javier focuses also on mapping for the Trase platform the flows of globally traded commodities, such as soy, beef or palm oil; the aim is to identify their regions of production and to allocate the impacts generated along the supply chain (e.g. deforestation, biodiversity losses, transportation emissions) to the actors demanding those products downstream (e.g. traders, consumers, investors). Based on the insights provided by this data Javier contributes with research towards understanding mechanisms of agricultural frontier formation, assessing the effects of zero-deforestation commitments and of tropical conservation and rural development policies, and the quantification of emissions in different supply chain steps. These works are supported by the Swedish EPA, Formas and various Trase donors, including the Moore Foundation, the EC and GEF.

Javier has extensive fieldwork experience in Brazil, Perú, Bolivia and Ecuador. He holds a Forestry BSc/MSc from the Polytechnic University of Madrid (2003), with specialization on Tropical Forestry. In 2009 he gained a PhD in Biodiversity and Natural Resources Management from the University of Leon (Spain), obtained while working for the EU-funded project “Forest management by small farmers in the Amazon. An opportunity to enhance forest ecosystem stability and rural livelihoods” (ForLive).

Relevant publications authored externally to SEI

Peer-reviewed journal articles and book chapters

  • Godar, J., Tizado, E.J., Pokorny, B., Johnson, J. (2012). Typology and characterization of Amazon colonists: a case study along the Transamazon Highway. Human Ecology, 40, 251-267
  • Godar, J., Tizado, E.J., Pokorny, B. (2012). Who is responsible for deforestation in the Amazon? A spatially explicit analysis along the Transamazon Highway in Brazil. Forest Ecology and Management, 267, 58–73
  • Godar, J. and Pokorny, B. (2009). El papel del bosque en el desarrollo rural: el caso de los pequeños productores de Medicilandia. In Pokorny B., Montero I. and Montero J.C. (eds): Productores familiares, bosques amazónicos y su potencial para el desarrollo rural. EU-ForLive project. University of Freiburg.


  • Pokorny, B., Godar, J., Hoch, L., Johnson, J., De Koning, J., Medina, G., Steinbrenner, R.,Vos, V.,Weigelt, J.(2010): A produção familiar como alternativa de um desenvolvimento sustentável para a Amazônia. Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR), Bogor, 174p.

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