To the agro-food industry, it’s a miracle plant. To NGOs and indigenous groups, it’s a threat to the environment. How can a single plant — the oil palm — cause such controversy? Alain Rival and CIFOR’s Patrice Levang tackle these questions in their book “Palms of controversies: Oil palm and development challenges,” newly translated into English and Spanish. The problem, they write, is not the plant but how it is grown.

6-7 December: 2014 Global Landscapes Forum in Lima

Forum filling quickly—secure your space now

More than 60 leading forestry, agriculture and development organizations will be part of the 2014 Global Landscapes Forum—and so can you. Newly confirmed speakers include leaders from across the globe: Paraguay Environment Minister Cristina Morales, Norway’s Climate and Forests Initiative head Per Pharo and the OECD’s lead on climate change, Simon Buckle, will explore opportunities for a new climate deal. Beyond the two-day event itself, the Forum offers numerous opportunities to get engaged:

  • PICTURE THAT: Voting has begun in our online landscapes photo competition. The 24 top photos will be displayed in Lima’s Kennedy Park during COP20. Vote for your favorite now.
  • ATENCIÓN: Spanish speakers, apply now for the social media training to learn from experts on medios sociales.
  • NEW VOICES: The Forum will start with 12 impressive young entrepreneurs sharing their ideas for sustainable land use. The future of the planet is in their hands—follow their stories here.

Recent op-eds in reputable publications suggest that Ebola outbreaks could be avoided if people stopped eating wild meat. This argument is unsound, experts Robert Nasi and John E. Fa write, and owes to a misunderstanding of human diseases—and a troubling double standard when it comes to afflictions in Africa. is CIFOR's online portal for original news, views and research on forests and climate change


REDD negotiator: GCF model a ‘powerful incentive’

The Green Climate Fund has drafted a logic model and a performance measurement framework for REDD+ results-based payments—“a powerful incentive for more and more developing countries to start implementing REDD+,” a REDD negotiator from a developing country said.

The negotiator said that the logic model, which has yet to be approved, can help establish predictability and sustainability in REDD+ finance if it does not create further requirements for accessing REDD+ funds.

Join our growing online community by following @ForestsCC and signing up to monthly updates here.

CIFOR’s research on gender and forests was a hot topic at the IUFRO World Congress in Salt Lake City in October. In a keynote speech, CIFOR’s Carol Colfer decried the lack of social science training among forestry institutions, urging a stronger focus on gender relations. Meanwhile, CIFOR launched a new guidebook on integrating gender into Adaptive Collaborative Management methods.

Policymakers working on forests and climate change in Central Africa often lack knowledge of fundamental concepts of those issues, according to a sobering new study. The research points to a greater need for capacity-building in the countries that are home to the world’s second-largest area of tropical forest.

Jobs at CIFOR

Job vacancies at CIFOR this month:

Scientist – Governance of Furniture Value Chains

General Call for Applications – Science Roster

Property Administrator




Mutual legal assistance to strengthen Indonesia-ASEAN forest governance

Policy options for improved integration of domestic timber markets under the voluntary partnership agreement (VPA) regime: Lessons from formalization case studies

Policy options for improved forest use by smallholders in the Ecuadorian Amazon

Policy options for improved integration of domestic timber markets under the voluntary partnership agreement (VPA) regime: Synthesis from lessons learned in Cameroon, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ecuador, Gabon and Indonesia

REDD+ policy networks in Vietnam

Bushmeat harvest in tropical forests: Knowledge base, gaps and research priorities

The impacts of artisanal gold mining on local livelihoods and the environment in the forested areas of Cameroon

Timber legality verification and small-scale forestry enterprises in Indonesia: Lessons learned and policy options


Upcoming events

IUCN World Parks Congress
12 – 19 November 2014, Sydney, Australia

1 – 12 December 2014, Lima, Peru

Global Landscapes Forum
6 – 7 December 2014, Lima, Peru

Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR)

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. | CIFOR blog

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