CIFOR, the Center for International Forestry Research, is dedicated to advancing human wellbeing, environmental conservation and equity through research that enables more informed and equitable decision-making about the use and management of forests in less-developed countries. CIFOR?s research and expert analysis helps policymakers 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. CIFOR?s multidisciplinary approach considers the underlying drivers of deforestation and degradation, which often lie outside the forestry sector; these include agriculture, infrastructure development, trade and investment policies and weak law enforcement. Headquartered in Bogor, Indonesia, CIFOR has 180 staff posted at offices in Asia, Africa and South America. CIFOR works in more than 30 countries worldwide and partners with some 175 international, regional, national and local organisations.
1. Managing the trade-offs between conservation and development at the landscape scale is one of CIFOR?s six research ?domains?, the goal of which is to shift policy and practice toward conservation and development approaches that are more effective, efficient and equitable in process and outcome. The research is intended to improve the conservation modalities of international conservation organisations and donor agencies, and to help foster land use allocation practices that better incorporate non market values, productive potential and local subsistence uses of forest resources. www.cifor.cgiar.org/Research/Themes/Theme4/theme_4.htm
2. Improving livelihoods through smallholder and community forestry: Forest-based activities provide 30 million informal jobs in developing countries, as well as 13 to 35 percent of all rural nonfarm employment. Yet many of the 240 million or more people who live in forested areas live in poverty. There is surprisingly little empirical knowledge to answer basic yet highly relevant questions about the forestry?poverty nexus. At least one-quarter of the forested land in developing countries is under some form of community control, and that proportion is likely to increase. Domestic markets for forest products are also expanding, and should create new economic opportunities for low-income households. We need better information about policies and practices that could help smallholder and community forestry enterprises flourish. CIFOR?s goal is to improve understanding of the links between forests and human wellbeing. Within five years, CIFOR will have influenced the way smallholder and community forestry concerns are incorporated into poverty alleviation strategies in at least five countries. www.cifor.cgiar.org/Research/Themes/Theme3/theme_3.htm
3. The Poverty and Environment Network (PEN) is investigating the circumstances and relative contributions of forests and forest products to subsistence livelihoods and the local economies of people dependent on forests, as well as how these functions can be enhanced and protected. www.cifor.cgiar.org/pen/_ref/home/index.htm
4. Research is being undertaken to understand the obstacles to women's participation in decisions about forest resources, particularly at regional and community scales. Action research will be undertaken in selected communities to try to promote greater gender balance in decisions about and benefits from forests.
5. The Makala Project aims to respond to the increasing domestic energy needs of central Africa and addresses the risks of non sustainable use of forest resources. It will contribute to the development of future policies and an institutional framework to ensure the sustainable use and management of fuel wood from natural and planted forests. It will further contribute to the improvement of transformation technologies relating to the use of wood and charcoal and seeks to involve communities at the local level.