Welcome back to another CGIAR Research Program on Forests, Tree and Agroforestry (FTA) newsletter! In this edition, we are showcasing reforestation and forest restoration through the expansion of market-based agroforestry in Indonesia.
We are also pleased to introduce the new “Innovative finance for sustainable landscapes” series from FTA, Tropenbos International (TBI) and the Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR), with the first two interviews discussing finance and investment in sustainable forestry and farming for smallholders, as well as applying sustainable finance experience at a landscape level.
FTA has been present at many important events of late, from my presentation at the World Rubber Summit to the gender equality and social inclusion team’s contributions at Seeds of Change. We are also looking forward to many FTA scientists participating in the upcoming World Congress on Agroforestry next month.
Read on for more about these stories and events, plus the latest FTA publications and resources.
In success stories of reforestation and forest restoration, local communities are often cast as the heroes of sustainable forestry, while private sector businesses are portrayed as villains. But what if that’s not the whole story? The Kanoppi project, which has now entered its second phase, concentrates on the expansion of market-based agroforestry and the development of integrated landscape management in the poorest provinces of eastern Indonesia and the country’s most densely-populated island of Java. Kanoppi combines the expertise and experience of CIFOR and World Agroforestry (ICRAF) scientists, making for a strong response to development and sustainability challenges in forested landscapes – among the many reasons the two institutions recently announced a merger.
The recent Seeds of Change conference in Canberra, Australia, brought together researchers and practitioners from around the globe. Three FTA presenters showcased studies that emphasized the importance of understanding complex gender relations for designing successful policies and interventions – looking at why challenging generally accepted beliefs about women and agriculture is a good starting point in Indonesia; the use of planting basins in a restoration project in eastern Kenya; and how women and men have participated in, and benefited from, four different restoration initiatives, also in Kenya.
The 4th World Congress on Agroforestry taking place in Montpellier, France, on May 20-22 aims to strengthen the links between science, society and public policies. Open to researchers, students, farmers, NGOs, and political and economic decisionmakers, the congress is expecting some 1,500 participants from more than 100 countries. FTA is a platinum partner for the event. The congress looks set to be an opportunity to assess the contribution of agroforestry to the agroecological transition of agriculture at a global level.
Many countries with tropical forests have placed community forestry at the heart of their rural development strategies, giving local communities the rights to directly manage forests and decide how land will be used. Underpinning this is the belief that local people are best placed to manage resources on which they rely. Done sustainably, poverty can be alleviated, social mobility enhanced, and the ecological protection of the forest achieved. But between theory and practice lies a disconnect, with a new study showing that benefits do not always materialize.
As part of the new “Innovative finance for sustainable landscapes” interview series from FTA, TBI and CIFOR, the International Institute for Environment and Development’s (IIED) Forest Team Leader Duncan Macqueen spoke about increasing finance and investment in sustainable forestry and farming for smallholders. Inclusive finance is not primarily about individuals, but about producer organizations that include women, landless people and ethnic minorities. It ensures that local forest and farm producers are collectively involved in generating incomes, saving and making investments that improve their livelihoods.
In the second edition of the innovative finance series, sustainable finance experts from the Netherlands Development Finance Company (FMO) – Steven Duyverman and Charlotte van Andel of FMO’s Agribusiness, Food and Water department – reflect on how to apply their experience at the landscape level. Working in inclusive and green finance, FMO is ramping up its investments in the forestry sector. Among other things, making finance inclusive is about increasing local employment, with decent and sustainable jobs that help improve local economies and reduce inequalities.
“Evolution to Revolution: New Paths for the Rubber Economy” was the theme of the World Rubber Summit held in Singapore on March 18-19, where FTA Director Vincent Gitz presented during a session titled Managing sustainability performances in the rubber value chain. Lying in the shadow of oil palm in terms of sustainable development issues, the rubber sector needs a combination of measures to progress toward sustainable development, and there is now a wealth of knowledge and evidence to make this happen.
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.
FTA thanks all donors who supported this research through their contributions to the CGIAR Trust Fund.