What the new Global Biodiversity Framework means for forests and trees – and the life they harbour

Three decades of dedication to trees and forests

Since 1993, the Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR) has brought critical forest research to global discussions, raising the profile of tropical forests and of the people who depend on them, and influencing policy and practice at international, national and subnational levels. Its achievements include uncovering direct and indirect causes of deforestation, revealing the critical role of tropical forests in rural livelihoods, and demonstrating how forests and trees can mitigate climate change and advance the Sustainable Development Goals. Its merger with World Agroforestry (ICRAF) in 2019 has accelerated impact in forestry and agroforestry research, policy and development.

This feature showcases major milestones in CIFOR’s journey and its next chapter as CIFOR-ICRAF – the world’s foremost research-for-development organization focused on trees in forests and agricultural systems.

Next step for nature

CIFOR 30-year timeline

  1. 1993

    • CIFOR launches under a host country agreement with the government of Indonesia

  2. 1995

    • The 300,000 ha Bulungan Research Forest in East Kalimantan, Indonesia is allocated to CIFOR by Ministerial Decree

  3. 1996

    • CIFOR headquarters inaugurated

    • The Strategy for Collaborative Forestry Research launches, positioning CIFOR to fill an empty niche in international research related to forests and forest-dependent people

  4. 1997

    • CIFOR begins actively promoting the concept of strategic ‘impact pathways’

  5. 2000

    • CIFOR recommendations on the underlying causes of deforestation for the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) are adopted by all governments

  6. 2001

    • CIFOR contributes to the work plan of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and clarifies some aspects of the Clean Development Mechanism of the Kyoto Protocol

  7. 2002

    • The Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) commissioned technical papers from CIFOR scientists on forest fires and non-timber forest products (NTFPs). CIFOR helped to establish the importance of NTFPs on the CBD agenda

    • CIFOR’s work on Criteria and Indicators (C&I) contributed directly to various certification schemes, including Forest Stewardship Council, Indonesian Ecolabelling Institute, IBAMA (Brazil) and African Timber Organisation

  8. 2004

    • Adaptive Collaborative Management (ACM) is found to have helped communities strengthen their organisations, begin new forestry activities and improve their relationships with government agencies and private companies at 30 sites in 11 countries since 1999

  9. 2007

  10. 2008

    • CIFOR scientists helped to formulate the International Tropical Timber Organisation (ITTO) biodiversity guidelines and contributed to Climate, Community and Biodiversity Alliance (CCBA) standards to evaluate impact of forest-based activities on climate, local communities and biodiversity

  11. 2009

  12. 2010

    • CIFOR research in Indonesia’s Papua province contributes to a reconsideration of the extent and pace of land being allocated for oil palm and timber plantations

  13. 2011

  14. 2013

  15. 2015

    • CIFOR coverage of 2015 fire and haze events helps generate global media attention to Indonesia’s peatland fires

    • Peru’s Forest Service incorporates CIFOR research into the legal norms that govern timber extraction in Brazil nut concessions

    • The Global Landscapes Forum (GLF) event in Paris draws stakeholders from forestry, agriculture, water, energy, law and finance to discuss land-use issues

  16. 2016

  17. 2017

    • CIFOR and World Agroforestry (ICRAF) begin merger discussions

  18. 2018

    • CIFOR and ICRAF decide to merge

    • Transforming REDD+: Lessons and new directions book, which analysed 10 years of GCS REDD+ and other research, is released

    • The Green Climate Fund’s 2018-2020 gender and social inclusion policy is released and includes key messages that align with CIFOR recommendations

    • Ethiopia’s new Forest Law draws on CIFOR recommendations to recognise the rights of local communities in forest management and restoration

  19. 2019

  20. 2020