Monday, 15 April 2013

20 for CIFOR

In 1993 Jurassic Park was only in 2D, jeggings were simply called “leggings”, and the Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR) was established. It’s now 20 years later; dinosaurs come in multiple dimensions; and fashion trends remain questionable. Since its inception, CIFOR has made a significant impact and contribution to the global forestry research agenda.

CIFOR headquarters in Bogor, Indonesia
CIFOR was established as a type of ‘centre without walls’, allowing many countries and research teams to collaborate together on concerns about the massive destruction of tropical forests.

ACIAR and CIFOR have a long history of collaboration, working on a diverse range of activities such as forest conservation and livelihood enhancement initiatives. One project that is currently in effect is Mahogany and teak furniture: action research to improve value chain efficiency and enhance livelihoods.

The objective of this project is to enhance the structure and function of the furniture industry to benefit small-scale furniture producers. The people in Jepara in Java have a long tradition of making high-quality furniture, which has been coupled with access to high quality teak. The problem was that there were inefficiencies throughout the value chain, such as overharvesting the plantations, which were discouraging the producers of the furniture to continue making furniture – despite the furniture being of high quality.

Teak growing up in Indonesia
The project looks at the value-chain structure and finds ways to improve and enhance the process, with the aim to have small-scale furniture makers in Java being strong competitors in an international market, and ultimately enhancing their incomes.
The project is in its final year now, but has already had many good things come out of it. For example, the Jepara small-scale furniture producer association has been established, giving members improved access to markets and increased revenues. Which is nice.

This year CIFOR will celebrate its 20 year anniversary with a series of global events, functions and activities. The anniversary will bring together past and present stakeholders and Alumni to share their experiences, memories and achievements. The next event is a two-day policy and science conference entitled Sustainable forest management in Central Africa: Yesterday, today and tomorrow. More information can be found on CIFOR’s website.

Also, if you're interested, Jurassic Park 3D is currently in theatres. You’re free to wear jeggings if you so choose to do such a thing.

Written and posted by Samantha Williams, Communications Officer, ACIAR


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