Our Vision

The Africa Forests Research Initiative on Conservation and Development (AFRICAD) is committed to a vision of healthy and prosperous forest-dependent communities in Africa where the maintenance of forest resources is considered vital to long-term poverty alleviation, the mitigation of conflicts, and sustainable and equitable economic development.

Our Mission

AFRICAD is a conservation-oriented research initiative located within the Faculty of Forestry at the University of British Columbia. We work in Africa’s forested regions on applied research that addresses poverty alleviation, sustainable livelihoods, social equity, and conflicts over forest resources.

We strive to be a leader, in both the generation of knowledge through scientific inquiry and the communication of knowledge through teaching and capacity building, on poverty and forest-dependent livelihoods in Africa. To ensure our research is policy-relevant and applicable to local needs, we take the necessary actions to engage local people, policy-makers, civil society, governments, other research institutes, and ENGOs.

We develop and co-teach courses on conservation and poverty alleviation that are unique to UBC, and which we hope to offer concurrently at UBC and with partner institutions in Africa. As Nelson Mandela said, “education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.”

Areas of Expertise

The AFRICAD team draws upon a wide set of expertise from our work involving effectiveness evaluations, alternative tenure and business models, criteria and indicators for sustainable forest management, parks and protected areas assessments, forest certification, sustainable business management, decentralization and co-management, environmental and social impact assessments, life cycle assessment, and environmental compliance auditing. While we have worked in countries all over the world, AFRICAD was borne out of our collective research experiences in the following African countries: Ghana, Cameroon, South Africa, Uganda, Tanzania, Madagascar, and Mozambique.

Organizational Structure

AFRICAD is housed at the University of British Columbia Faculty of Forestry, and is part of the Forests and Communities in Transition (FACT) initiative that aims to foster a global network of researchers and communities working in partnership with governments, non-government organizations, academia, industry and others to contribute to the development of more resilient and liveable forest-dependent communities. FACT recognizes sub-Saharan Africa as a region of significance where forest-dependent communities in transition are concerned, and AFRICAD plays an active role in setting priorities for FACT and realizing FACT’s objectives in Africa.