Director General, CIFOR
Reflecting on 2019 – a year in which climate change and biodiversity became existential crises and ‘social distancing’ was still just an oxymoron – it’s clear that we must turn normal thinking on its head.
We need forests and trees more than ever. Once viewed mainly as a source of timber, forests are increasingly being recognized as a vital green infrastructure, storing carbon, protecting watersheds, biodiversity and wild foods, and providing livelihoods to billions of people.
Last year, CIFOR advanced critical knowledge on social forestry in Southeast Asia; timber legality in Zambia and the DRC; peatland restoration, biofuel, oil palm and mangroves in Indonesia – as well as ongoing global research on REDD+, tenure security, forest landscape restoration and gender. The Global Landscapes Forum found new and more innovative ways (like GLFx) to connect people together, in addition to five major events.
We understand the problems, and we have both solutions and resources to respond to them. There are reasons to be optimistic in spite of the immense challenges we are facing.