With rigorous economic research and practical policy solutions, we focus on the issues and institutions that are critical to global development. Explore our core themes and topics to learn more about our work.
In timely and incisive analysis, our experts parse the latest development news and devise practical solutions to new and emerging challenges. Our events convene the top thinkers and doers in global development.
Frances Seymour was a Senior Fellow at the Center for Global Development based in Washington, DC, where she lead policy research on tropical forests and climate change. In December 2016, CGD published her book, Why Forests? Why Now? The Science, Economics, and Politics of Tropical Forests and Climate Change (co-authored by Jonah Busch), to promote the importance of forests to climate and development objectives, and the potential of results-based finance. Ms. Seymour also served as Senior Adviser to the David and Lucile Packard Foundation, with a focus on halting deforestation and peatland conversion due to expansion of oil palm cultivation in Indonesia.
From 2006 to 2012, Ms. Seymour served as Director General of the Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR), an international organization headquartered in Indonesia, and was awarded France’s Order of Agricultural Merit for her service there. Previously, she was the founding director of the Institutions and Governance Program at World Resources Institute, and served as Director of Development Assistance Policy at World Wildlife Fund. Early in her career, she spent five years as a Program Officer with the Ford Foundation in Indonesia.
She holds an MPA in Development Studies from Princeton University, and a BS in Zoology from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
In 2010, Norway and Indonesia signed a US$1 billion performance agreement to reduce greenhouse gas emission from deforestation. The experience holds lessons for international cooperation in addressing climate change and other global challenges.
The Center for Global Development hosted two side events in Lima during the 20th UNFCCC Conference of Parties. On December 3rd and December 5th, CGD experts Frances Seymour and Jonah Busch presented findings from their forthcoming book, Why Forests? Why Now?, which draws upon science, economics, and political analysis to show that tropical forests are essential for climate stability and sustainable development, that now is the time for action, and that payment-for-performance finance is a course of action with great potential for success. Background paper authors presented highlights from their analyses and discussed how their findings contribute to the mounting evidence of the urgency, affordability, and feasibility of scaled-up funding to reduce the rate of deforestation, particularly through performance-based approaches.
After two weeks in Indonesia I returned to Washington to discover that fall had turned to winter in my absence. A new CGD Working Paper explains how the prospects of jurisdictional forest offsets have experienced a similar chill in California since first proposed in the late 2000s.
Just over a year ago, we released our book Why Forests? Why Now? The Science, Economics, and Politics of Tropical Forests and Climate Change. To ensure the widest possible distribution, we are now delighted to make the full book available online for free.
On July 9th some 140 million Indonesians went to the polls to vote for a new President. It was only the country’s third direct presidential election, and certainly the closest, with two very different candidates. Each declared victory based on competing exit polls but at the urging of the outgoing president agreed to await the official results, to be announced on July 22nd.
When Indonesian President Joko Widodo (“Jokowi”) meets with President Obama on October 26, climate change will certainly be on the agenda, with the Paris 2015 summit only a month away. Obama should use the opportunity to praise and offer support for the steps Jokowi announced earlier today to address the underlying causes of fires currently consuming vast areas of Indonesia’s forests and peatlands. In particular, Obama should hail Jokowi’s plans to end the opening of peatlands for cultivation and to promote community-based restoration of those already disturbed. Neither head of state should allow his vision to be clouded by spurious claims that proposed solutions will hurt small farmers or infringe on Indonesia’s national sovereignty.