Value chains, finance and investment

CIFOR facilitates innovations in public policy, business models, private investments and finance to ensure the sustainable and inclusive use of forests.

The way timber, palm oil, soy, sugar, beef and other commodities are produced is being transformed. Private companies, governments and financial services providers are driving this transformation by investing in sustainable activities that reduce pressure on forests and by exploring options to support small-scale farmers, who depend more and more on global markets for their incomes.

CIFOR contributes to these efforts through its research on public policy, business models, private investments and finance. With partners, it is conducting research on the ways to make timber and high-value tree crops more sustainable, to build business options and fair partnerships that create opportunities for smallholders, and to promote investments that safeguard the rights of marginalized groups such as women and indigenous people.

About this team

Aligning public and private institutional arrangements with each other and with finance can trigger the widespread adoption of sustainable and inclusive practices in forestry and tree crop value chains. CIFOR aims to investigate how forest products, bioenergy, trade and investment can minimize negative impacts on the environment, address sustainability, improve rural livelihoods, and generate economic benefits to society at large.

Our work on value chains, finance and investment is aligned with the Sustainable Development Goals, specifically Goal 8: Decent work and economic growth, Goal 9: Industry, innovation and infrastructure, and Goal 12: Responsible consumption and production.


Through our research, policy engagement and outreach, we aim to stimulate the sustainable and inclusive supply of timber from natural and planted forests, enhance sustainable production of high-value tree crops and reduce the impacts of agricultural expansion in forest landscapes.

Research priorities:

  • New public and private institutional arrangements for sustainable supply – examining what influences the implementation of corporate commitments to sustainability, and tracking their effectiveness at slowing deforestation and triggering more sustainable land use.
  • Inclusive business models in global value chains – better understanding the adaptive capacity of business models – both informal to formal – to integrate smallholders and deliver positive impacts across social, economic and environmental dimensions.
  • Responsible and innovative finance and investment – looking at the impacts of finance and investment schemes on landscape dynamics, and the potential and limits of innovative financial mechanisms to make financial goods and services more accessible and affordable to smallholders.
  • Use of forestry value chains for numerous wood products – including biomass for community and commercial renewable energy.

Research sites

From East Central and West Africa to the forests and peatlands of Southeast Asia, the value chains, finance and investment team continues to build its network of strong partnerships at various levels.

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Research projects

Our current work builds on decades of research and engagement around illegal logging, value chains, fire and haze management, community livelihood support, certification and zero deforestation commitments.

Active project list

Completed project list

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