Twenty-five years ago, Tropenbos International was created to harness the contributions of the science community towards the sustainable management of tropical rain forests. Much progress has been made since then, and I am proud of the contributions that we, with our partners, have been able to make.
However, even though tropical rain forests are better appreciated than ever for their contributions to local and global wellbeing, there are still serious challenges. FAO statistics show that rapid development and unsustainable land use practices, driven by increasing global demand for food, fuel and fibre, have taken a toll of almost 300 million hectares of forest since TBI’s creation – thus reducing their potential to contribute to sustainable economic development. About a billion of an estimated 1.2 billion extremely poor people depend at least in part on forest resources. At the same time, initiatives ranging from greening supply chains to improving forest governance and compensating forest owners for carbon sequestration services hold promise for a change for the good.
We believe that tropical forests can be a part of the solution to many of the challenges faced by the world today. This is the main message of our new Strategic Plan 2011 – 2016, of which this brochure is a summary. It shows how TBI will contribute to improving forest governance and management for the benefit of people, conservation and sustainable development.
The plan prioritises research, capacity building and dialogue that:
- help shaping productive landscapes which sustainably meet the demand for food, water and forest products
- achieve sustainable international and domestic trade in timber and wood products;
- improve local governance and management of forests; and
- make investment in sustainable forest management attractive.
This new strategic plan will put TBI on a strong footing to make knowledge work for forests and people in the years ahead.
Director, Tropenbos International