International Forestry Resources and Institutions

The primary mission of IFRI is to examine how governance arrangements shape forest outcomes in terms of both social and environmental dimensions. Scholars and policy makers affiliated with IFRI are interested in understanding the role of formal and informal institutions in enhancing livelihoods and adaptive capacity of peoples, conserving biodiversity, and promoting greater sustainability in carbon sequestration. IFRI was established by Prof. Elinor Ostrom (Indiana University) who won the 2009 Nobel Prize in Economics.

IFRI’s goal is to carry out rigorous research that can help policy makers and forest users design and implement improved evidence-based forest policies. Most importantly, IFRI comprises partner collaborating research institutes in North America, Latin America, Asia, and Africa. As such, it draws on localized knowledge and perspectives in developing its research program. At the same time, IFRI utilizes an institutional analysis and development framework which promotes interdisciplinary research and analysis that enables comparability across regions.

Specifically, some of the goals of IFRI’s work are to:

     •    determine how to change processes leading to deforestation in many countries of the world;

     •    assess the nature of tradeoffs among forest conservation, livelihoods promotion, and carbon sequestration

     •    the role of institutions and policies in promoting better forest outcomes

The IFRI research program was initiated in 1992.  It is currently housed at the School of Natural Resources and Environment at the University of Michigan, having moved from Indiana University in 2006.

For more information go to IFRI's website.