The DFID Forestry Research Program (FRP) was one of ten competitive grants programs in the Renewable Natural Resources Research Strategy (RNRRS 1995-2006). The management of FRP was out-sourced by the then Overseas Development Administration (now the UK Department for International Development) in the late 1980s when the preliminary work for the UNCED ’92 – the Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro – increased the pressure on donor governments.
This pressure was to expand their forestry research program for the conservation of tropical forests and to support the Tropical Forest Action Program which had been started in the late 1980’s.
The management of FRP has been outsourced since the late 1980s. For FRP, this entity has been Natural Resources International Ltd. since April 1997.Other DFID centrally-funded research programs include education, health, engineering and infrastructure; all are now administered by the DFID Central Research Department of DFID HQ in London. Research may also be commissioned directly by any of the c.30 teams in the DFID HQ Policy Division.
The RNRRS 1995-2006 itself was formalized in 1994 to give a consistent structure to the disciplinary research programs for renewable natural resources which were intended to work on multi-country problems, not those of single countries; the latter were to be supported by the in-country program offices of the then ODA (now DFID) if the problems were greater than the capability of the national research systems in those countries. The RNRRS closed in March 2006.
In September 2000, a revised strategy was approved by FRP’s Program Advisory Committee. The new strategy is built on solid project management principles and is based on explicit research demand by partner institutions and countries. The strategy simplified the then existing 34 outputs and 94 activities, to only four outputs which are more congruent with the changing needs of the forest- and tree-dependent poor.