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Toward Sustainability

Managing Forests

Better Tools

Global Issues

Information and Communications



Better Tools for Forest Management


Formulating policies and making day-to-day decisions about forest use requires solid data and sound analysis. Effective forest management requires practical information about tree species and growth, site quality, market variables and many other factors for tactical planning for profitability and conservation over decades. Better methods are needed to assess the nature and quantity of biodiversity in a given area, and to monitor changes in those conditions over time.


Sophisticated modelling tools can demonstrate the likely consequences that proposed actions will have on forests and the people who depend on them, thereby stimulating reconsideration and possible alternatives.

CIFOR is developing a variety of tools to aid these processes. One of the centre’s most intensive efforts in this regard is research to develop "criteria and indicators" that can be used to assess the long-term health of tropical forests and whether they are being managed in ways that are likely to be sustainable.