Locals along Malinau River in East Kalimantan say village life is improving, thanks to development projects, logging and mining activities, but they are concerned about the declining quality of their forests and the environment. The trade-off is negative to their livelihoods, especially in the long-term. Forest communities, often living in remote areas, support both development and conservation efforts. Giving greater control to local people in managing tropical forests, e.g. through adaptive and collaborative management, therefore offers both environmental and development benefits. CIFOR scientist Imam Basuki gave a presentation on these findings in a parallel 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 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).