Best of 2013: The year in forestry research

CIFOR’s research in 2013 covered everything from Brazil nuts to board games, from traditional knowledge helping Africa to smoke choking Southeast Asia, and from photogenic leopards to edible insects — generating new data, insight and analysis for a host of forestry-related issues across the landscape. (Did we mention that 2013 was the year of “landscapes”?)

Looking back, what were CIFOR’s most popular blog articles of the year? The most popular videos? The most downloaded publications? The answers might surprise you.

New partnership
CIFOR inks pact with Peru’s Ministry of Environment

This month, Peru’s Ministry of the Environment and CIFOR signed a formal agreement to increase cooperation on research into forestry and sustainable development. This pact looks to produce targeted research to inform stronger policies and practices to sustain the forests of the Peruvian Amazon. “Protecting the Amazon requires national commitment, and Peru is demonstrating its commitment to supporting research and policies that manage the trade-offs between conservation and development,” said CIFOR’s director general, Peter Holmgren. Read more about the agreement here.

Related reading:

  • SPECIAL REPORT: “Lessons from the Amazon”: Who’s buying Ecuador’s timber? How is a remote Brazilian state leading climate-change policy? Can nut and timber harvests co-exist in Peru? See stories, videos and more in a special report on the latest CIFOR research in the forests of the Amazon.

Global Landscapes Forum
At Forum, young people state case for inclusion

“We now have the largest youth and most restless generation in human history. Too many activities happen without the input from young people”: These words opened the discussion sessions at the Global Landscapes Forum. More than 200 young people and their supporters came together to deliver a strong message to climate negotiators, urging them to address land uses in a coherent way putting youth at the center. Read their messages here.

More landscapes news: is CIFOR's new online portal for original news, views and research on forests and climate change

Laser scanner maps forests and sometimes more

Meet Billy the African elephant. At 2.4m in height, he is a little smaller than your average African elephant, but he’s become somewhat of a local celebrity to scientists working in Gabon’s Lope National Park. A researcher carrying out fieldwork spotted Billy from a distance and set up his LiDAR laser scanner to get a picture. The LiDAR technology is increasingly used by foresters to take high-precision measurements of forests — critical for schemes aiming to reduce emissions from deforestation and forest degradation (REDD+). Read the story here.

A look back
Forests Climate Change research highlights of 2013

Forest cover mapping technology, the IPCC's guidelines for wetlands in greenhouse gas inventories, and a new theory on how forests may determine rainfall – this is just some of the research that readers nominated as the forests and climate change highlights of 2013. Over the festive season, we will be profiling the forest climate policies, tools, methodologies and news stories that made a splash in 2013. Read the full story here.

New Forests Asia dates 5-6 May 2014; applications to host sessions now open

The timeline for Forests Asia has shifted — the two-day event will now take place on 5-6 May 2014 in Jakarta.

CIFOR is accepting applications from organizations to host Technical and Networking sessions on 5 May. The deadline for applications is 31 January 2014. For guidelines and information on applying, please visit or contact Adinda Hasan:

When is a forest no longer a forest?

As countries ponder incentives to slow the degradation of their tropical forests, a huge, unanswered question looms: What exactly is a degraded forest? Programs that provide such incentives, such as REDD+ (Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and forest Degradation), a U.N.-backed initiative, face the challenge of accurate measurements of deforestation and degradation. New criteria can help address that problem. Read the full story here.

Upcoming events

21st Session of the Near East Forestry and Range Commission
26-30 January 2014, Amman, Jordan. More information

World Congress on Agroforestry, Trees for life: Accelerating the impact of agroforestry
10-14 February 2014, Delhi, India. More information

Restoring Coastal Livelihoods: Increasing the Resilience of Mangrove-Aquaculture Socio-Ecological Systems in Southeast Asia
17-20 February 2014, Bogor, Indonesia. More information

World Forests Summit 2014
20 March 2014, Stockholm, Sweden. More information


Director of Governance Research


Senior Scientist, Forest Ecology and Forest Management


Outreach Manager


General Call for Applications - Science Roster



CIFOR advances human well-being, environmental conservation and equity by conducting research to help shape policies and practices that affect forests in developing countries. CIFOR is a member of the CGIAR Consortium. Our headquarters are in Bogor, Indonesia, with offices in Asia, Africa and South America.

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CIFOR Research Priorities 2013-2014

CIFOR in Eastern and Southern Africa

Warming and nitrogen affect size structuring and density dependence in a host parasitoid food web

Commercial community tree-growing inside state forests

CIFOR in ASIA: Celebrating 20 years of research

Guidebook on integrating community-based adaptation into REDD+ projects: Lessons from Indonesia and the Philippines

CIFOR in Latin America: Celebrating 20 years of research

Agricultural biodiversity as a link between traditional food systems and contemporary development, social integrity and ecological health

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