Center for International Forestry Research

Letter from the Director General

Forests hold the keys to solving some of the world’s greatest challenges, such as climate change, food security and sustainable development. They lie at the heart of what we do here at CIFOR and they are at the heart of the communities who live in and rely on forested landscapes.

Throughout 2012, CIFOR continued to work with decision makers and stakeholders across all levels to ensure that forestry policy is informed by quality research.

I joined CIFOR in September 2012 and feel honoured to be leading the organisation on its next chapter as we look to further extend our research approaches and collaborations. I would like to take this opportunity to recognise the outstanding contribution of my predecessor, Frances Seymour, who stepped down in mid 2012. Her dedication over her six-year tenure had a significant impact on global forestry policy and her leadership was instrumental in raising the standards and visibility of CIFOR’s work.

As CIFOR celebrates its 20th anniversary in 2013, we are taking time to reflect on these past achievements and creating strategies to meet the challenges ahead.

In November, on the sidelines of the Doha climate talks, Forest Day 6 signalled a new era in forestry research by focusing on landscapes. Climate change needs to be dealt with across sector boundaries and food security must not become a trade-off between agriculture and forests. With a landscape-based approach, we can tackle these challenges in a more holistic way.

CIFOR’s leadership of the CGIAR Research Program on Forests, Trees and Agroforestry: Livelihoods, Landscapes and Governance, which is now in its second year, is another example of this collaborative and cross-sectoral ethos.

These are exciting developments for forestry and CIFOR is ready to inform and contribute to these new paradigms in research and help provide the evidence base that is required for achieving a sustainable future.


Peter Holmgren
Director General