Duncan Macqueen

Director of forests, Natural Resources research group

Duncan Macqueen's picture
Telephone: +44 (0)20 3463 7399
Languages: English, Portuguese and Spanish (basic)

Duncan Macqueen directs IIED’s work on forests. His work focuses on:

  • Forest and farm producer organisations – with an emphasis on innovations that allow those organisations to shape good forest governance, incubate sustainable businesses, undertake effective climate and nature action, and provide social and cultural protection and justice, and 
  • Climate-resilient forest and farm business models – with an emphasis on group enterprises that pursue a broad vision of prosperity for their members and aggregate products and services from multiple smallholdings or Indigenous Peoples territories to deliver a wide range of public goods.

Over the last 30-plus years Duncan has been a conceptual pioneer in the design and implementation of programmes to sustain climate-resilient and locally-controlled forest and farm businesses. 

Impacts have included: 

  • Agroforestry system improvements
  • Funding facilities for forest and farm producer organisations
  • Training tools and programmes for business development, access to finance, risk self-assessment, climate-resilient business incubation and agrobiodiversity
  • Improved labelling options – including for fair trade forest businesses
  • Tiered organisational structures between producer groups that aggregate product and power
  • Effective policy advocacy positions leading to good forest governance, and 
  • Knowledge and learning products for a range of audiences. 

He helped to set up and manage international alliances such as the Forest Connect alliance and multi-donor funding facilities such as the Forest and Farm Facility (FFF) together with partners from FAO, IUCN and Agricord.


Forest business incubation approaches for locally controlled forest enterprises; access to finance for such enterprises; risk self-assessment processes; forests and climate action; governance tactics and approaches for improving locally controlled forestry; innovations in forest ethics.

Before IIED

  • Deputy programme manager for the UK government's Department for International Development’s (DFID) Forestry Research Programme
  • DFID technical cooperation officer assigned to Embrapa Amazonia Oriental in Brazil
  • Student of theology
  • Research officer for the Oxford Forestry Institute operating in Central America


  • MSc in forestry and its relation to land use, Oxford University (Magdalen College)
  • MA in botany from Oxford University (Magdalen College)
  • Two-year diploma in theology from Oxford University (Wycliffe Hall)

Current work

Complex organisational structures and connections that optimise the way social, natural and entrepreneurial forces shape beneficial outcomes for both forests and people. Duncan works in diverse, creative, solidarity with the many local groups that articulate their own hopes for prosperity, design climate-resilient enterprise models to pursue those hopes, and stand together to shape good forest governance.