CIFOR Research Priorities 2013 - 2014

Since its establishment in 1993, the Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR) has grown in size and is scope. The Center's 20th anniversary has provided an opportunity to look back on its work and to begin charting its course for the future. Setting priorities for future research that align with CIFOR's vision of forests remaining high on the world's political agenda, and people recognizing the real value of forests for maintaining livelihoods and ecosystems services, will become ever more important as CIFOR seeks to strengthen its position as the most relevant source of knowledge on forest landscapes. This document, intended for donors, partners and staff, will serve as a "road map" of CIFOR's research priorities now, in the near future, and on the horizon. It will be produced yearly with inputs from CIFOR's Annual Meeting.

CIFOR's current research comprises a wide range of topics addressing forestry issues as they relate to the environment, livelihoods and governance. CIFOR leads the CGIAR Research Program on Forests, Trees and Agroforestry (CRP-FTA), which seeks to enhance the management and use of forests, agroforestry and tree genetic resources, and is also involved in the CGIAR Research Program on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security (CCAFS). A gender focus is embedded throughout CIFOR's research to inform policies that reflect differences in men's and women's knowledge and roles in forest landscapes.

CIFOR's research portfolio therefore encompasses the people who live in forests and the products derived from them, as well as the policies and processes that affect the entire landscape. Much current research is dedicated to forests role in addressing climate change from mitigation to adaption; as a source food from Brazil nuts to bushmeat; as a source of income from charcoal to furniture; and the broad array of other ecosystem services provided by forests including carbon sequestration, water filtration and flow control, pollination, nutrient cycling and much more. CIFOR also looks beyond the forests to understand markets and other exogenous factors including finance, agricultural development, indigenous interests, law enforcement, timber certification systems and land-rights policy. Through landscape, multi-level governance and ecosystem approaches, CIFOR seeks combined solutions to sometimes conflicting goals of poverty alleviation, food security, forest conservation, and climate change mitigation and adaptation.

Emerging research sees CIFOR expanding geographically and thematically, examining how migration and remittances affect forests, and how forests provide ecosystem services to the farms on which an increasingly urban world will rely. Many of CIFOR's projects, including its REDD+ research, are expanding to include a broader perspective and our research will increasingly contribute to and apply the methods of the Evidence-Based Forestry (EBF) Initiative, which aims to increase the strength of the evidence-base that informs policy and ensure that research is of demonstrably high impact. While advancing these initiatives, CIFOR looks to expand activities in various regions and countries including China, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Ethiopia, India, Mexico, Mozambique, Myanmar, Peru, Tanzania and Zambia in the coming years.

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