Among the CGIAR Research Program on Forests, Trees and Agroforestry’s (FTA) major areas of work is sustainable value chains and investments, which support forest conservation and equitable development through innovations in public policy, business models, private investments and finance.
Sustainable finance is struggling to adapt to the rapidity of global development, forcing global research and dialogue to move quickly in figuring out how to keep it healthy and green. What existing mechanisms can we leverage, and what must we innovate? What financial infrastructure do we prune, replant, grow? During the third annual GLF Investment Case Symposium, particular topics of importance were put forward, namely blended finance, bonds and blockchains.
It is almost 10 years since the birth of REDD+, the UN-backed program to incentivize forest restoration and conservation in developing countries, as part of a worldwide effort to reduce emissions and increase carbon stocks. The program, also tailored to contribute to national sustainable development, has been heralded as a powerful part of the solution to both poverty and climate change. But at a session hosted by CIFOR and FTA at the GLF Investment Case Symposium in Washington, the debate ran fast and hot.
The average annual financing for REDD+ of US$323 million might sound like a lot on its own, but compared to the US$41 billion spent on agricultural subsidies and biofuel, it is just a drop in the bucket. This is one of many findings elucidated in a forthcoming study on funding for reduced emissions from deforestation and forest degradation (REDD+). A preview of the study was provided during an official side event at the recent Bonn Climate Change Conference.
Ahead of BARC on June 25-27, INBAR Director General Hans Friederich discusses the versatility and potential of bamboo and rattan, and what can be expected from the upcoming conference. Set to take place in Beijing, China, BARC will be the world’s first international, policy-focused conference on how the “green tools” of bamboo and rattan can benefit sustainable development. It is being coorganized by INBAR, an intergovernmental organization comprising 43 member states.
FTA has named two new, independent members of its Independent Steering Committee (ISC). The appointment was formalized by the Board of Trustees (BoT) of FTA’s lead center CIFOR, following a review of candidatures by the ISC. The ISC oversees the research programming, partnership engagement, delivery and effectiveness of FTA at a strategic level. Bringing many years of experience and expertise to the ISC, new members Linda Collette and Susan Braatz officially commenced their three-year terms in May 2018.
Pressure to manage the world’s resources responsibly for people, biodiversity and the climate has perhaps never been so intense. In this context, the landscape approach, which has grown in popularity in land management circles in recent years, may hold critical importance. According to a definitive research paper, the approach seeks to provide “tools and concepts for allocating and managing land to achieve social, economic, and environmental objectives in areas where agriculture, mining, and other productive land uses compete with environmental and biodiversity goals.”
Under the umbrella of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), the 48th session of the Subsidiary Body for Implementation (SBI 48) took place from April 30 to May 10 in Bonn, Germany. An in-session workshop at SBI 48, focused on differentiated impacts of climate change and gender-responsive climate policy and action, featured a number of prominent speakers, including FTA gender equality and social inclusion team member Markus Ihalainen.
One challenge with social forestry is that its inner workings are not always understood – often among the communities most involved in it. This is why a team of scientists has published a new guidebook that makes this complex form of forest management easier to understand. By explaining in simple terms the legal logistics of how local communities manage different forest areas, the guidebook serves as a reference to government officials and community assistants in the field. Through this, it aims to help local communities gain tenure for the forests they manage.
Agroforestry has been practiced for a long time in Vietnam, but widespread adoption remains limited. Building on previous work to address barriers to adoption, during a recent workshop participants agreed that a long-term strategy for the development of agroforestry throughout the country was needed to address national and international commitments – in another step forward after a 2015 national policy dialogue for agroforestry development, from which two actions were implemented with technical and financial support from the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations.
East Africa is home to some of the world’s most diverse forests and, like many forested areas around the globe, they are increasingly threatened by agricultural expansion and deforestation for fuelwood and timber purposes. Although regional authorities, governments, NGOs and international organizations are working hard to protect these forests, without an accurate dataset, there is no effective way to monitor the ecological, environmental and social aspects of these forests. Experts are now working together to lay the groundwork for a new regional observatory in East Africa.
Montane forests in East Africa play a crucial role as water towers, holding freshwater long enough for it to recharge aquifers that supply local communities. But communities can also help the water towers. When researchers found there were no consistent datasets on the state of water resources in Kenya’s Sondu-Miriu River basin, they decided to test an approach that is rarely used in developing countries, and even more uncommon in the field of hydrology: involving citizens in monitoring and crowdsourcing data collection.
The World Agroforestry Centre’s (ICRAF) Vietnam Coordinator Delia C. Catacutan recently received the country’s highest award for agriculture and rural development. Catacutan, who specializes in policy and institutional research on integrated natural resources management, aimed to enhance ICRAF’s Vietnam Country Program as a senior social scientist and country representative for the center in Vietnam, including by facilitating policy dialogues on agroforestry, climate change, disaster prevention, sustainable forestry development, ecosystem conservation and payments for environmental services.
Banner photo by O. Girard/CIFOR. Special feature and news photos, from top, by:N. Sujana/CIFOR; O. Girard/CIFOR; I. Cooke Vieira/CIFOR; M. del Aguila Guerrero/CIFOR; International Bamboo and Rattan Organisation; M. Edliadi/CIFOR; Y. Guterrez/CIFOR; I. Cooke Vieira/CIFOR; U. Ifansasti/CIFOR; R. Finlayson/ICRAF; D. Sheil/CIFOR; P. Shepherd/CIFOR; N. Sujana/CIFOR; Pham Duc Thanh/ICRAF.
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.