Laura F. Kowler, PhD

social equity | forest governance | monitoring and evaluation | impact assessment | responsible and sustainable sourcing practices | supply chain governance


An interdisciplinary researcher and program manager with a background in environmental sociology and natural resource governance, committed to developing innovative and effective tools for monitoring and evaluation and impact management for food and agricultural supply chains. Twelve years of experience working with rural communities, producer organizations, companies, and government and non-government entities in the tropics to address governance challenges and opportunities around conservation and development, sustainable and responsible supply chains, and participatory planning. Committed to working with organizations and companies to measure impact and develop best practices and metrics to track equitable and sustainable sourcing practices within their supply chains.


PhD, University of Florida, School of Natural Resources & Environment

MSc, University of Florida, School of Natural Resources & Environment

BJA, University of Georgia, Grady College of Journalism



​My research focuses on:

  • multi-stakeholder engagement processes;

  • equitable decision-making processes;

  • organizational development;

  • natural resource governance;

  • supply chain governance;

  • responsible and sustainable sourcing practices;

  • impact management


I focus on developing research methods and coordinating research projects on equitable benefit-sharing arrangements in the context of low-emissions development programs, working with rural agricultural organizations and communities to capture their perceptions of conservation programs as well as well as working with food companies on standards for responsible and sustainable sourcing practices in addition to impact management.


years of professional experience


Selected publications (7)

Legitimacy and beyond: Benefit sharing for low-emissions development in the Peruvian Amazon.


Kowler, L.F. and Larson, A.M.

Aiming for Sustainability and Scalability: Community engagement in forest payment schemes


Kowler, L.F., Ojedo del Arco, A., Larson, A.M.

Can multilevel governance transform business-as-usual trajectories driving deforestation? Lessons for REDD+ and beyond


Open Access

Larson, A.M.; Libert Amico, A.; Martius, C.; Ravikumar, A.; Tovar, J.G.; Kowler, L.F.; Myers, R.; Rodriguez-Ward, D.; Sanders, A.; Trench, T.; Yang, A.L.; Deschamps, P.R.

CIFOR InfoBrief

Does the monitoring of local governance improve transparency? Lessons from three approaches in subnational jurisdictions


Open Access

Sarmiento Barletti, J.P.; Larson, A.M.; Libert Amico, A; Evans, K; Cisneros, N; Durbin, N; Kowler, LF

CIFOR InfoBrief

Analyzing multi-level governance in Peru: lessons for REDD+ from land use change and benefit sharing in Madre de Dios, Ucayali and San Martin


Open Access

Kowler, L. F., Ravikumar, A., Larson, A.M.

CIFOR Working Paper

The legitimacy of multilevel governance structures for benefit sharing REDD+ and other low emissions options in Peru. Center for International Forestry Research


Open Access

Kowler, L. F., Gonzales Tovar, J., Ravikumar, R. Larson, A

CIFOR InfoBrief

Interpreting Legitimacy through a Multilevel Governance Lens: The Case of Environmental Forums in Bolivia.


Open Access

Kowler, L

The University of Florida