The Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR) is a nonprofit, global organization dedicated to advancing human wellbeing, environmental conservation and equity. It conducts research that enables more informed and equitable decision making about the use and management of forests in less-developed countries.
Its research and expert analysis help policy makers and practitioners shape effective policy, improve the management of tropical forests and address the needs and perspectives of people who depend on forests for their livelihoods. Its multidisciplinary approach considers the underlying drivers of deforestation and degradation, which often lie outside the forestry sector: forces such as agriculture, infrastructure development, trade and investment policies and law enforcement.
Spanning governance, poverty and environmental issues, its research includes the following topics:
- How do we manage forests in ways that enable us to mitigate and adapt to climate change?
- How can the people who depend on smallholder and community forestry improve their livelihoods?
- How do we manage the trade-offs between conservation and development?
- How do we manage the impacts of globalised trade and investment?
- How can tropical production forests be managed sustainably?
CIFOR’s vision is of a world in which forests remain high on the world’s political agenda, and people recognise the real value of forests for maintaining livelihoods and ecosystems services. Decision-making that affects forests should be based on solid science and principles of good governance, and reflects the perspectives of developing countries and forest-dependent people.
CIFOR scientists conduct high-quality research across Asia, Latin America and Africa. CIFOR has eight regional and project offices worldwide. Its headquarters is in Bogor, Indonesia.
The organization’s approach is one of collaboration and innovation. It ensures projects and research initiatives are tailored to the specific needs and cultures of the local communities, and that practitioners and decision makers can translate the research into action.
Why forests are important?
- They make up 31% of the world’s land mass
- Forests provide $250 billion in various forms of income and are essential to the livelihoods of 1.6 billion people – a quarter of the world’s population
- They contain 80% of the Earth’s terrestrial biodiversity
- Forests absorb up to a third of all carbon emissions
- Global forests have decreased since 1990 by 300 million hectares – an area larger than Argentina
- Deforestation and land use change contribute 10-15% of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions; and peatland degradation adds as much as another 3%
- Forest destruction cuts agricultural productivity and undermines food security globally
- Forest loss endangers biodiversity & hurts indigenous people and other forest communities
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