CIFOR extends term of Director General Peter Holmgren

The Board of Trustees of the Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR) is pleased to announce the extension of its Director General Dr. Peter Holmgren for an additional two-year term. Dr. Holmgren has served as CIFOR’s Director General since 2012.

During his tenure at CIFOR, Dr. Holmgren has challenged the global community to redefine forestry and raise awareness of the contribution forests can make to all 17 of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) if viewed through a holistic, landscape approach. The approach seeks to balance competing demands to build more resilient, climate friendly, diverse, equitable and productive rural landscapes. In the process, Dr. Holmgren and his staff have worked to shift the world’s view of forests from a problem to an opportunity that can provide greater and more equitable livelihoods, economic services and rural prosperity for all, especially the world’s poor and marginalized. CIFOR realized this vision last year with the launch of CIFOR’s Strategy 2016-2025, which identifies new research opportunities including forests and foods, forest landscape restoration, sustainable supply chains, and innovative landscape finance instruments, in addition to its six core thematic areas1.

“Dr. Holmgren has enhanced CIFOR’s position as a center of excellence, strengthened the Center’s operations and changed the way the world looks at forests,” said Dr. José Joaquín Campos Arce, the Chairman of CIFOR’s Board of Trustees. “This extension will give Peter and CIFOR staff the time to carry forward this agenda and ensure a smooth transition in the future.”

As the world experiences a global slowdown in agriculture research funding, Dr. Holmgren succeeded in establishing new approaches to funding and operations, including a more proactive and targeted resource mobilization program, which made 2016 CIFOR’s most successful fundraising year since its founding in 1993.

In 2017, the Center will open the books on 10 new projects, building on the 114 projects active in 48 countries in 2016. Among them, CIFOR leads the second phase of the CGIAR Research Program on Forests, Trees and Agroforestry — the world’s largest integrated research program on forests and trees — that produced more 600 publications and trained nearly 50,000 people in 2016. The Government of Norway is funding a third phase of CIFOR’s Global Comparative Study on REDD+. The European Union is funding the continuation of the Center’s work in the Democratic Republic of the Congo to enhance conservation and livelihoods benefits in and around the Yangambi Mand and the Biosphere Reserve, and train the next generation of Congolese researchers through the University of Kisangani. Further, the Government of Germany would provide support from 2017-2021 to the Global Landscapes Forum (GLF) to establish a secretariat in Bonn and create a global community of practice around sustainable landscapes. Founded by CIFOR, UN Environment and the World Bank, the GLF is the world’s largest Forum on integrated land use, attracting thousands of organizations to Forum events and millions of users online.

CIFOR’s international standing as a source of research and information on forestry and landscapes has climbed steadily since 2012. The Center is ranked 25th among the Top Environmental Policy Think Tanks by the University of Pennsylvania, and is in the top three among the 15 CGIAR Centers — of which it is one — in MOZ web presence rankings. CIFOR’s online platforms are viewed more than 1.8 million times each month, and its research publications are viewed or downloaded 3,900 times a day and, with journal articles, are cited by scholars over 8,800 times each year.

“I greatly appreciate the Board’s support and trust, and look forward to continue to lead CIFOR to even greater heights,” said Dr. Holmgren. “With a very modest investment of Official Development Assistance (ODA), we are already making a difference on the ground, improving the lives of millions of people and the management of millions of hectares of forests. We will continue and will do more — and do it more efficiently — in the coming years.”

1 CIFOR’s core thematic areas are (1) Forests and human well-being; (2) Sustainable landscapes and food; (3) Equal opportunities, gender, justice and tenure; (4) Climate change, energy and low-carbon development; (5) Value chains, finance and investments; and (6) Forest management and restoration.