Welcome to FTA’s new-look newsletter series, with a special focus on climate change for this edition. Find out about food security, soil carbon, REDD+, timber licensing and more, in the specially curated news stories and videos below.
Thus, to mark the full integration of gender into our research program, we have united our “FTA” newsletters and “Focus on gender” newsletters in a unique FTA series. We welcome our gender readership to this new initiative.
In this new series, regular readers will now find special gender editions published periodically among the FTA newsletters received throughout the year. With gender being a cross-cutting theme of research for development, we trust that this will be of interest to our broad community of readers.
The HLPE, the independent science-policy interface of the United Nations Committee on World Food Security (CFS), recently launched a landmark report on sustainable forestry for food security and nutrition. The launch marked the first time that the CFS discussed the contributions of forests and trees to world food security, and how to enhance them – a significant debate at UN level.
FTA contributed to the elaboration of the report and looks forward to the multistakeholder discussions on policy convergence at CFS 44 in October, which will inform FTA priorities and research, for a development agenda with partners. To this aim, FTA will organize a side event at CFS 44 together with the Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN, the Netherlands, the Swedish International Agricultural Network Initiative, Mars Inc. and Tropenbos International.
For more updates, stay tuned to FTA’s website and social media.
Soil organic carbon is a key component of many essential soil functions, including food production, habitats and biodiversity, carbon storage, as well as water storage and filtration. Climate change is also altering the picture. A recent webinar, cohosted by FTA and other CGIAR research programs, aimed to build a common understanding of current soil carbon research and inform a vision and coordinated agenda.
Since the 1980s, Brazil has taken steps to reduce deforestation, with the greatest success occurring between 2004 and 2016, when the rate decreased by 71 percent. Some of those measures involved actions for reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation (REDD+). Whether that improvement will be sustainable in the long run is unclear, however, as there has been a recent sharp increase in deforestation rates.
Protecting forests and child health? The connection may not be obvious. But before communities can be compensated for emissions reductions, it’s necessary to measure, report and verify their activities. With most REDD+ initiatives taking place in remote areas, and limited funding available, it’s been proposed that forest communities themselves participate in this monitoring, which could make communities feel more empowered and engaged in REDD+.
The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) is set to establish agroforestry guidelines to help its member states share benefits with their 650 million citizens. Led by the World Agroforestry Centre (ICRAF), the guidelines are to be developed through an open consultative process that will embrace governments, community groups and others, to provide a framework that states can adopt as appropriate for their local contexts.
Indonesia has suffered massive economic, environmental and health losses owing to fires that annually ravage peatland and from general poor management of the unique landscapes. Better management of Indonesia’s vast peatlands, some of the biggest and most efficient carbon stores on the planet, which have been extensively degraded, means working with the people who make their living from them.
The world’s favorite treat has never been more popular. In the past decade, the chocolate industry’s demand for cocoa has increased by 12% and production has barely been able to keep pace. At the same time, about 6 million cocoa producers face significant challenges. Improved and diverse planting stock that can resist pest and diseases, thrive in poor soils and grow in changing climatic conditions is in short supply.
The Climate-smart, Tree-based Co-investment in Adaptation and Mitigation in Asia (Smart Tree-Invest) project, which ran from 2014 to 2017, aimed to improve the livelihoods and resilience of smallholder farmers through the promotion of climate-smart, tree-based agriculture in Indonesia, Vietnam and the Philippines. The project reduced people’s vulnerability to climate change by involving smallholders as ecosystem service providers in a co-investment model.
Among the most innovative aspects of the Smart Tree-Invest project was Photovoice, a participatory research method that saw cameras provided to farmers in field sites. The farmers thus had a creative way to express their perspectives, could better understand their vulnerabilities and capacities and more actively participated in discussing issues related to their land. Simultaneously, the researchers could collect baseline photographs of the landscapes.
Indonesia is the only country in the world to have implemented Forest Law Enforcement, Governance and Trade (FLEGT) licensing so far, giving its furniture a competitive advantage in an increasingly discerning market as consumers pay more attention to the issues of a green environment, illegal logging, deforestation and sustainable production. A recent policy dialogue brought together varied stakeholders to discuss the challenges and benefits of meeting FLEGT requirements.
The CGIAR Research Program on Forests, Trees and Agroforestry (FTA) is the world’s largest research for development program to enhance the role of forests, trees and agroforestry in sustainable development and food security and to address climate change. CIFOR leads FTA in partnership with Bioversity International, CATIE, CIRAD, ICRAF, INBAR and TBI.
We would like to thank all donors who support this work through their contributions to the CGIAR Fund.