Tuesday, 15 March 2011 14:09

CIFOR – Thinking Beyond the Canopy

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In Cameroon, the amount of timber harvested since 1996 has increased by a factor of 10, making logging a significant economic player in this African country. However, nearly 75% of that timber is harvested illegally, a practice that threatens the very resource the nation depends on. The Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR) is shedding light and knowledge on what they’re calling “Cameroon’s Hidden Harvest,” highlighting the degradation of the local environment while also pointing out that over 45,000 people in the local community depend on such practices to support their families. CIFOR’s research draws attention to the fact that while moving toward stronger deforestation laws is critical to our environment and combating climate change, the human element at economic risk cannot be ignored and must be part of the story in the path to more sustainable development techniques. The Center for International Forestry Research is a nonprofit, global facility dedicated to advancing human well-being, environmental conservation and equity, and Carbonfund.org is proud to partner with CIFOR for another year to support the research facility in a different capacity – helping mitigate the carbon footprint of the organization’s corporate emissions. CIFOR’s work is particularly critical for many of the forest projects that Carbonfund.org supports, and we are pleased to support their mission. Operating around the world, and primarily in Asia, Africa, and Latin America, CIFOR provides important analysis to help policy makers improve forest management techniques from the viewpoint of the people whose livelihoods depend on forests for agriculture, infrastructure, and trade. A real eye-opener is “deforestation counter” on CIFOR’s homepage, which showed me that during the short time I spent on their site learning about their programs, 3,600 hectares of forest were lost. This is staggering, to say the least. We encourage everyone to follow the important work of CIFOR, which is now easier than ever with three new Facebook pages: one in English that is focused internationally, one in Spanish focused on Latin America and another in French focused on Africa. Likewise, they have launched three new Twitter feeds in English, French and Spanish. To learn more about the important forestry issues affecting our world today, check out the thoughtful and informative articles on the CIFOR blog.
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