CIFOR at a glance
Forestry Science As We Enter the New Millennium
Adapting to Meet Strategic Research Needs
1999 Highlights
Global and National Policy Influence
Scientific Knowledge and "Best Practices" for Sustainable Forests
Toward Improved Livelihoods and Local Management
Tools and Methodologies to Aid Forest Management
Building Regional Impact
Transforming CIFOR Into a Knowledge Organisation
Publications by CIFOR Staff and Partners
Financial Summary
Board of Trustees



CIFOR at a glance
line-brown.gif (799 bytes)


  • Established in 1993, CIFOR is the 16th and newest institute in the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR), which works to end poverty and hunger in developing countries through science.

  • CIFOR has headquarters in Bogor, Indonesia, and conducts research in the forests of more than two dozen countries in the tropics. There are regional offices in Belém, Brazil; Yaoundé, Cameroon; and Harare, Zimbabwe.

  • Collaboration is crucial for CIFOR’s broad reach and impact. Partners include national research institutes, universities, donor and development agencies, non-governmental organisations and other CGIAR centres.

  • CIFOR research is interdisciplinary. The centre’s internationally recruited staff of 60 scientists works to develop solutions to forest-related problems that integrate ecological, social and environmental concerns.

  • CIFOR generates knowledge and tools to help policy makers, forest managers and others make sound decisions that safeguard the future of forests and the people who depend on them. The centre plays a central role in global dialogues on forests and environmental protection.

  • People in forested areas benefit from CIFOR research designed to strengthen their role in the management of forests. Other research areas include sustainable forest management, tropical plantations, rehabilitation of degraded forest land, biodiversity protection, non-timber forest products and underlying causes of deforestation.

  • CIFOR’s research impact can be felt in three broad categories: 1) a scientific underpinning to forest-related policies; 2) knowledge, tools and methodologies to aid forest management; and 3) improved well-being of and management participation by forest-dwelling people.


line-brown.gif (799 bytes)
Forestry Science As We Enter the New Millennium
             Message from the Director General
line-brown.gif (799 bytes)

1999 was a historic year in Indonesia. Our host country became the world’s third largest democracy; a new government took control, committed to eliminating the corruption and cronyism that not only had restricted the social development of the country but also was the root cause of the misuse of its forests. CIFOR welcomes these changes that will bring a liberal and progressive culture to the environment in which we work. But this progress has not come without cost. During the civil unrest associated with the democratisation process, three of our young Indonesian scientists working in the field in the Province of Aceh disappeared. Now, eight months later, we still have no reliable information on what happened to them, and hopes are fading for their safe return. We share the grief of their families at this tragic loss.

1999 was also an important year for forests. The work of the Intergovernmental Forum on Forests drew toward its climax. International opinion is converging around a vision of forests as having multiple functions, while the highly dichotomous views of the North and South are giving way to a mutual search for technical and institutional solutions at the national level. There is a growing recognition that a given area of forest can be managed to simultaneously meet the objectives of the IFF, the Convention on Biological Diversity, the Framework Convention on Climate Change and perhaps even the Convention to Combat Desertification. The Global Environment Facility has shown an awareness of the need to manage forests to provide for multiple functions. CIFOR contributed to these and other international policy-making processes by preparing a number of major papers. Moreover, a study we produced late in 1998 on the potential of using the World Heritage Convention as a mechanism for conserving biodiversity in forests led the UN Foundation to award a $45 million grant to the World Heritage Convention Secretariat.

CIFOR’s activities elsewhere in the world progressed well in 1999. Our office hosted by EMBRAPA at Belém in the Brazilian Amazon was the venue for a Board meeting, where staff and trustees got to know our Brazilian colleagues and we jointly reviewed our emerging research agenda in the region. Valuable results are emerging from studies of secondary forest management and improved siliviculture, and CIFOR will initiate additional activities in Belém in the coming months.

In Africa our outposts in Harare and Yaoundé had good years. Although we have few staff members based at these locations, they are facilitating a considerable number of activities by our programmes, notably Adaptive Co-Management, Underlying Causes of Deforestation and Forest Products and People. We are grateful to our hosts, the International Institute for Tropical Agriculture in Yaoundé and the Institute for Environmental Studies at the University of Zimbabwe, for their hospitality. Our Biodiversity Conservation and Sustainable Forest Management Programmes will expand their activities in Africa next year.

Among the high-value products we produced in 1999, the Criteria and Indicators Tool Box has been widely acclaimed. It enables users to devise C&I tailor-made for any forest. The Tool Box marks a major conceptual breakthrough from the days when C&I were generated with a view to widespread and uniform application. CIFOR rejects this "one size fits all" view of forestry. We see sustainability as a matter of social choice and believe forests can be managed sustainably in a variety of ways that provide any balance of goods and services society chooses to derive.

A significant achievement in 1999 was having three areas of our research recognised by the journal Science. Douglas Sheil authored a paper attacking the myth that species counts represent a valid measure of the value of biodiversity. A news article described the work of David Kaimowitz and Arild Angelsen questioning the widely held assumption that agricultural intensification automatically relieves pressure to clear more forest. Science also accepted a commentary by Bruce Campbell and his colleagues in Africa on the weaknesses and strengths of community-based natural resource management approaches.

Our Plantations Programme published a number of major studies in 1999 on sustainability and diseases of tropical plantations. We also advanced our work to improve forest harvesting, with experiments on reduced-impact harvesting at Bulungan Research Forest in East Kalimantan yielding initial results. Overall, the volume of research at Bulungan grew considerably, and we can now claim to have a critical mass of scientific activity in the field.

Meanwhile, the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research renewed its interest in realigning its research programmes around integrated natural resource management approaches. CIFOR aided this dialogue by organising a system-wide meeting of INRM specialists in Holland in September. There is now wide acceptance within the CGIAR that crop improvement research must be integrated into its broader natural resource context and that managing for environmental outcomes is as important as managing for commodity crops.

We enter the new millenium with a strong scientific team and an excellent network of scientific partners in more than 40 countries. Our facilities in Bogor are excellent, and a renewed spirit of optimism pervades our host country. We have the resources and the opportunity to redouble our efforts to provide the science needed to sustain forests and forest-dependent people into the future.

Professor Jeffrey A. Sayer


line-brown.gif (799 bytes)
Adapting to Meet Strategic Research Needs
Message from the Director of Research
line-brown.gif (799 bytes)

If CIFOR were a forest, 1999 would have been the year of large-scale assisted natural regeneration. The departure of former Deputy Director General Dennis Dykstra and several senior scientists left large gaps that were only partially filled in 1999. But, just as regeneration generally occurs in gaps of a certain size, so has the process of regeneration begun in CIFOR’s Research Division.

CIFOR’s brief history has been marked by steady change and improvement. As CIFOR has grown, it has matured as an institution; a number of activities in 1999 represented a continuation of that maturation process. An influx of many new staff members and a number of process changes in 1999 have redirected the way in which research at CIFOR is planned, managed and reported.

In August we held a series of staff-wide reviews to aid in preparing proposals for the year 2000 Programme of Work and Budget. The meetings identified strategic, priority research topics deemed worthy of support from CIFOR’s unrestricted collaborative research funds. In this first programme review of its kind at CIFOR, the proposals were written in summary form and distributed for comment by the full scientific staff, proving an opportunity for peer review of concepts and proposed plans.

In September tragedy struck when three CIFOR researchers were kidnapped in Indonesia’s Aceh province. Their disappearance is a terrible loss, and we commiserate with their families.

In October during a week-long retreat in Ubud, Bali, the scientific staff identified ways of enhancing interdisciplinary research and proposed steps for reaching a better common understanding of research at CIFOR. A process that was suggested to help achieve a shared vision was devising a conceptual framework of research needs and CIFOR’s niche, based on the centre’s Strategic Plan. Development of a conceptual framework of forestry-related problems was initiated in November and will continue in the year 2000.

Bulungan Research Forest provides a unique opportunity for CIFOR’s research programme to vertically integrate research to solve important problems at the forest frontier. Constraints that limit sustainable forest management in East Kalimantan, Indonesia, range from insufficient training of chain saw operators to conflicts between local stakeholders to national policies that encourage inefficient forest management practices. The Bulungan Research Forest Working Group met at the Malinau logging concession site in December to consider how the existing funding sources can address selected problems and what changes in the research infrastructure are needed.

The process of change at CIFOR in 1999 led to some shifts in research emphasis within programmes as assumptions that underpin the selection of research projects were re-examined. The challenge in 2000 will be to consolidate these processes of change.

Dr. Ken MacDicken



1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12