On the Frontier: Impact-Oriented Multidisciplinary Research

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This paper discusses how to make multidisciplinary research more effective at influencing policies related to deforestation. It reviews previous experiences with multidisciplinary farming systems research and the difficulties bringing together researchers from different disciplines. Leadership, value added, timeliness, targeted communications, and work at multiple scales are identified as important characteristics of policy-effective research. Three examples of effective multidisciplinary research are presented: IPAM's research on deforestation for soybeans and beef in the Brazilian Amazon, CIFOR's research on pulp and paper in Indonesia, and IPAM's research on logging concessions in Brazil.

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