- News Update
New connections, better communications
Welcome to CIFOR's re-designed News Update, a regular wrap of everything happening at the Center for International Forestry Research. It is the latest leg in a year-long effort to build a web-based communication strategy that is linking multiple internet platforms in a knowledge-sharing community around tropical forests.
One of our challenges as a research organization is to bridge the gap between research, policy and practice through effective communications. That means finding new, faster and better ways to share the latest research findings and other information, not only with others in the research community, but also with policymakers, indigenous and community groups, donor agencies, the media and the general public.
Digital media is now our main avenue for communication. In the past few months, we have re-designed and re-structured our website with the goal of building a knowledge-sharing community around tropical forestry research and policy. We have launched a new blog, with multiple language posts. It includes a regular column launched this week by our Director General, Frances Seymour. We engage freelance journalists to contribute stories from conferences around the world. It will also play host to the re-launch of POLEX, which was started in 1997 to keep stakeholders informed about recent policy-relevant research results from CIFOR and others.
We have three Facebook accounts, one in English, another in French and focused on Africa and the third in Spanish on Latin America. Likewise, we have two Twitter feeds, in English and Spanish and a third coming soon in French. These include daily updates of new publications, events and news that we believe you will find interesting.
We are also expanding our outreach in other ways. We now have communication coordinators for Asia, Latin America and Africa, who are leading efforts to build new network at the regional level. We are increasing our presence at conferences worldwide, which you can see our new event page. We are also actively strengthening our relationship with environmental journalists around the world providing them with the access and information they need.
The importance of outreach is underscored by the United Nations declaring 2011 the International Year of Forests. The U.N.'s goal, which we share, is to raise public awareness of the challenges facing many of the world's forests, the people who depend on them and the policymakers who govern them.
The challenge of slowing deforestation and degradation is huge – and urgent. We cannot risk losing momentum on tackling unsustainable management of tropical forests. Consistent with our vision, those of us at CIFOR are committed to ensuring that forests stay high on the political agenda, and that decision-making that affects forests is based on solid science and principles of good governance, and reflects the perspectives of developing countries and forest-dependent people.
Thank you for connecting with us.