Making forestry research work: bridging science, practice and policy


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There’s a gap between knowledge and practice when it comes to adopting scientific recommendations for sustainably managing forests. So what can forestry scientists do to foster the adoption of good, research-based practices and policies? How can we effectively spread our research and get the people we’re trying to reach to take it on board? Robert Nasi, CIFOR scientist and Director of the CGIAR Research Program on Forests, Trees and Agroforestry, gave this presentation on these questions as his keynote speech at the opening session of the inaugral International Conference of Indonesian Forestry Researchers (INAFOR), held from 5 – 7 December 2011 in Bogor, Indonesia. INAFOR aims to provide a discussion and knowledge-sharing forum for Indonesia’s forestry scientists from governmental agencies or the private sector, and is planned as a preparatory forum for Indonesia’s increased involvement in IUFRO (the International Union of Forest Research Organisations).

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  • Photo: Pandanus – Bangka Island – R. NasiWomen collecting Piliostigma reticulatum pods for animal feed.
  • Photo: Intsia – Yamdena Island, Tanimbar – R. NasiWomen collecting Piliostigma reticulatum pods for animal feed.
  • Photo: Tanimbar;R. Nasi
  • Making forestry research work: bridging science, practice and policy

    1. 1. Making Forestry Research Work: Bridging Science, Practice and Policy Robert Nasi INAFOR Conference, 5-7 December 2011, IPB BogorTHINKINGbeyond the canopy
    2. 2. The policy change process“The whole life of policy isa chaos of purposes andaccidents. It is not at all amatter of the rationalimplementation of the so-called decisions throughselected strategies.”Clay and Schaffer (1984) THINKING beyond the canopy
    3. 3. The gap between knowledge and practice“Constraints to successfulmanagement of sustainableforest management overthe years largely relate tothe adoption ofrecommendations — notthe generation of „bestpractice‟.”Dawkins & Phillip (1998) THINKING beyond the canopy
    4. 4. A (never ending)silviculture story THINKING beyond the canopy
    5. 5. The Indonesian silvicultural systems• Indonesian Selective Cutting System (Tebang Pilih Indonesia – TPI): 1972• Indonesian Selective Cutting and Replanting System (Tebang Pilih Tanam Indonesia – TPTI): 1989• Selective Cutting and Strip Planting System (Tebang Pilih Tanam Jalur – TPTJ): 1995• Intensified Silviculture (SILIN) or Intensified Selective Cutting and Replanting System (Tebang Pilih Tanam Intensif Indonesia-TPTII): 2005• Silvicultural Multi-system (Multisistem Silvikultur)…. THINKING beyond the canopy
    6. 6. TPI and TPTI• TPI abandoned for TPTI without real assessment and lowland forest disappeared• TPTI: still prominent but • Indiscriminate (all production forests; all population structure) • Growth assumptions are too optimistic (most species <1cm/yr) • No control of logging intensity (RIL ineffective if >8 trees/ha) • Discrepancy between concession duration (20yr)/cutting cycle (35yr)/rotation (70yr) • Expensive ($10-15/m3) • Line planting is not really successful (concession, maintenance) As a result the condition of the logged-over stands is not as good as could be expected Appanah 1998; Yasman 1998; Sist et al. 2003 THINKING beyond the canopy
    7. 7. Scientific recommendations Sist et al. 2003 THINKING beyond the canopy
    8. 8. SILIN/TPTII• Diameter felling limit • Extensive stand perturbation reduced to 40cm • Minimum fructification• Line planting of 200 diameter generally > 40cm seedlings/ha • First growth estimates only 7• Rotation cycle down to 25 to 13% of planted trees reach yr 2cm/yr• Concession given for • Costs $15 to 40/m3 periods of 55 to 70 yr • Still complex prescriptions• Growth assumption of • Authorise cutting in logged- planted trees 2cm/yr over area Priyadi et al. 2011Seems to go against all the previous recommendations THINKING beyond the canopy
    9. 9. How to foster adoption andimplementation of good,research-based practices and policies? THINKING beyond the canopy
    10. 10. Uptake / Adoption CurvesResearch shows that when 10 to 25% of a target „population‟ hasadopted an innovation, the whole process becomes self-sustaining.ONLY THEN DO „GOOD PRODUCTS SELL THEMSELVES‟ Cumulative Early Late Majority Majority Number of users Early Adopters Laggards Frequency Pioneers Time
    11. 11. PublicationsNumber of downloads /yr
    12. 12. Publications Download Title (2005 - 2011)Realising REDD+: national strategy and policy options 46,793Hutanpascapemanenan: melindungisatwa liar 38,947dalamkegiatanhutanproduksidi KalimantanMoving ahead with REDD: issues, options and implications 29,252Dari desakedesa: dinamika gender danpengelolaankekayaanalam 28,974BelajardariBungo: mengelolasumberdayaalamdi era desentralisasi 22,992Payments for environmental services: some nuts and bolts 22,350Plantulas de 60 especies forestales de Bolivia: guia Ilustrada 22,035Panduansingkatcarapembuatanarangkayu: 21,875alternatifpemanfaatanlimbahkayuolehmasyarakatAtlas industrimebelkayudiJepara, Indonesia 20,014PartisipasimasyarakatdalampembuatankebijakandaerahdikabupatenTanj 19,712ungJabung Barat, Jambi: ketidakpastian, tantangan, danharapanMenujukesejahteraandalammasyarakathutan: 19,160bukupanduanuntukpemerintahdaerahRiquezasdafloresta: frutas, plantasmedicinais e artesanatonaAmérica 18,623Latina THINKING beyond the canopy
    13. 13. Changing levels of stakeholder involvement during successful innovation and uptake processes RESEARCH TEAM QuantifyingOwnership impact UnderstandingPartnership processConsultation KEY STAKEHOLDERS Development Start-up Adaptation Application / expansion Douthwaite 2001 THINKING beyond the canopy
    14. 14. Outreach and uptake efforts that have little or no effect  Educational materials (distribution of recommendations for changed practice; including practical guidelines, audiovisual materials, and electronic publications)  Didactic educational meetings (lectures like this one!!)Pile of 855 guidelines in general practices in the Cambridge andHuntingdon Health Authority“The mass of paper we collectedrepresents a large amount ofinformation, but it is in an unmanageableform that does little to aiddecision making” Spilsbury & Nasi 2004
    15. 15. Interventions of variable effectiveness Audit and feedback (or any summary of performance) The use of local opinion leaders (practitioners identified by their colleagues as influential) Local consensus processes (inclusion of participating practitioners in discussions — problem focus and appropriateness of solutions) UNFF 4, Brazzaville 2004 THINKING beyond the canopy
    16. 16. Consistently effective outreach efforts Educational outreach ‘visits’ ‘Social’ media (blogs, Twitter, Facebook, website) Repeated reminders (manual or computerised) Multi-faceted interventions (a combination that includes two or more of the following: ‘audit’ and feedback, reminders, local consensus processes, or marketing) Interactive educational meetings (participation of intended users in workshops that include discussion or practice) UNFF 4, Brazzaville 2004 THINKING beyond the canopy
    17. 17. Impact on scientific publication THINKING beyond the canopy
    18. 18. Using videos, photos and media stories to make complicated REDD+ issues more accessible for stakeholders worldwideTHINKING beyond the canopy
    19. 19. Conclusions• Passive dissemination of information is generally ineffective• Best practice for dissemination and promoting effective diffusion is well known, but seldom implemented by research institutions• Applied and strategic research institutions must reward successin uptake / adoption not just count publications• Further empirical studies on the relative effectiveness and efficiency of different dissemination and uptake strategies is required – build this into the research process THINKING beyond the canopy
    20. 20. THINKINGbeyond the canopy