The Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR) and partner research institutions play key roles in generating evidence for policy processes, through targeted research and through building the body of relevant knowledge. However, while other sectors have well-established procedures for using systematic approaches to identify and consolidate research findings, transparent methods for assessing a body of evidence have been used only rarely to inform decision-makers in the forestry arena. This opens the potential for bias in the evidence that underpins policy, and makes for poorly informed policy decisions.
The Evidence-Based Forestry initiative seeks to address this gap in the evidence-policy interface in forestry, broadly defined across the spectrum of forests and landscapes, their values and services, their governance, and their contributions to sustainable development. A major output of the initiative will be systematic reviews of key research and policy questions; such reviews identify the best available evidence on specific questions by using transparent and predefined procedures to find, evaluate and synthesize the results of relevant research. In 2014, the EBF initiative will also institute a global consultation with stakeholders to identify priority research questions of policy to forestry, in a process entitled the “Top 20 Questions in Forestry (T20Q)”.
This presentation served to introduce visitors to the Evidence-Based Forestry initiative as a new approach for bridging the research-policy divide, as well as present its current activities in systematic reviews and T20Q.