Press release
New Director General takes helm of global forestry research center

Food security, forestry and climate change leading expert Peter Holmgren took the reins at the Center for International Forestry Research this month amid growing awareness worldwide of the critical role forests play in sustainable development and global warming.

Going once, going twice….. The great green land grab

“While the phenomenon of ‘land grabbing’ continues unabated, an increasingly subtle and arguably more ethically questionable movement has gathered momentum” says CIFOR scientist, Terry Sunderland in this month’s POLEX. Drawing from a recent paper, he highlights 'green grabbing' -- a new approach to conservation where large tracts of land across the globe are being appropriated for finance-driven conservation activities, such as PES and REDD+. He examines whether the commoditization of nature -- where the market defines and a dictates how nature is both perceived and managed -- is just another guise for the wealthy to preside over local rights and access to land.

Related blogs:

Science Dispatch
What open access science research could mean for the developing world?

The British government recently unveiled plans to make all publicly funded scientific research available to anyone by 2014 – for free. “This signals a dramatic change for British universities, whose current scientific research is only available through expensive subscription-based journals,” says Terry Sunderland, CIFOR scientist in this latest Science Dispatch. While all scientists want to publish in high impact journals whilst at the same time making their research accessible to a wider audience, he discusses that, for scientists in developing countries, “the open access movement could mean the world.”

Are conservation projects succeeding in the Lower Mekong Basin?

For thousands of years, the people living on the banks of the Mekong river have been paddling through its treacherous waters in wooden cargo boats laden with freshly grown produce, ready for trade. But in the last few decades rising foreign investment and a rapidly expanding population has changed all that. Trucks carrying tonnes of commercially grown produce now trundle along newly built roads slicing through the forested slopes. As droves of aid and conservation projects move in to protect one of the world's great waterways, a new book co-authored by CIFOR asks – can they really succeed?

Related blogs:

The world’s shrinking food basket: why it is critical we increase crop diversity

With 60 percent of the world relying on 30-40 of the world’s crops, the world’s food basket is shrinking at an alarming rate says a new CIFOR blog. Furthermore industrial agriculture consumes resources, contributes pollutants, and degrades resilient landscapes at levels that exceed the earth’s capacity to cope. Monitoring threatened wild crops, as well as the cultivated plants and domesticated animals that farmers depend on, will be vital to understanding how to adapt to the impacts of climate change.

Related blog:

Açaí: could the wonder fruit also be wonderful for forests?

The increased cultivation of açaí — the purple fruit that dangles from palms in the Brazilian rainforest and is touted by many celebrities for its ‘age-defying’ properties – may be one of the reasons for the country’s staggering increase in forest cover over the past two decades. But despite smallholder success in improving biodiversity and forest cover, there needs to be a greater understanding of how local people manage and market their produce in order to recognise their contribution to the economy and sustainable forest management.

Related blogs:

Cattle ranching and law enforcement key areas of action to slow Bolivia’s deforestation rate

Policy makers seeking to slow the pace of deforestation in lowland Bolivia need to prioritise two key areas of action, say experts: reduce the expansion of cattle ranching, which accounts for nearly a third of all forest loss, and enforce existing legislation that protects carbon-rich forests. In this CIFOR blog on land-use change in Bolivia, a new study found although large and small- scale agriculture was far more destructive to forests, targeting the expansion of cattle ranching would be less detrimental to the livelihoods of smallholders, especially those taking part in reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation or REDD+.

Related publications:


Upcoming events

Eleventh meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity
8 - 19 October 2012, Andhra Pradesh, India. more

The Crawford Fund’s Annual International Conference, “The Scramble for Natural Resources: More Food, Less Land?”
9 - 10 October 2012, , Canberra, Australia. more

International Greening Education Event
10 -12 October 2012, Karlsruhe, Germany. more

The 2012 Conference on Sustainable Business in Asia
1 - 3 November 2012, Bangkok, Thailand. more

Events calendar

3 new jobs vacant at CIFOR this month. See here.


CIFOR advances human wellbeing, environmental conservation and equity by conducting research to inform policies and practices that affect forests in developing countries. CIFOR is a CGIAR Consortium Research Center. CIFOR's headquarters are in Bogor, Indonesia and it also has offices in Asia, Africa and South America.

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The context

Policy options to reduce deforestation based on a systematic analysis of drivers and agents in lowland Bolivia

The context

Formalisation of charcoal value chains and livelihood outcomes in Central- and West Africa


The complex evolution of cattle ranching development amid market integration and policy shifts in the Brazilian Amazon


Controlling illegal logging in domestic and international markets by harnessing multi-level governance opportunities


The context of REDD+ in Indonesia: Drivers, agents, and institutions


Dry forest based livelihoods in resettlement areas of Northwestern Ethiopia

The context

Lowering environmental costs of oil-palm expansion in Colombia


Multi-level governance and adaptive capacity in West Africa


Multi-level governance of forest resources

Vacancies at CIFOR

Scientist, Restoration and Plantation Forestry


Senior Scientist, Forest Ecology and Forest Management


Scientist, Impact Assessment

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