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  • Gendered aspirations and occupations among rural youth, in agriculture and beyond: A cross-regional perspective

Gendered aspirations and occupations among rural youth, in agriculture and beyond: A cross-regional perspective

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Based on 25 case studies from the global comparative study ‘GENNOVATE: Enabling gender equality in agricultural and environmental innovation’, this paper explores rural young women’s and men’s occupational aspirations and trajectories in India, Mali, Malawi, Morocco, Mexico, Nigeria, and the Philippines. We draw upon qualitative data from 50 sex-segregated focus groups with the youth to show that across the study’s regional contexts, young rural women and men predominantly aspire for formal blue and white-collar jobs. Yet, they experience an aspiration- achievement gap, as the promise of their education for securing the formal employment they seek is unfulfilled, and they continue to farm in their family’s production. Whereas some young men aspired to engage in knowledge-intensive or ‘modern’ agriculture, young women did not express any such interest. Framing our analysis within a relational approach, we contend that various gender norms that discriminate against women in agriculture dissuade young women from aspiring for agriculture-related occupation. We discuss the gendered opportunity spaces of the study sites, the meanings these hold for allowing young women and men to achieve their aspirations and catalyze agricultural innovation, and implications for agricultural policies and research for development. Our findings show that youth and gender issues are inextricably intertwined and cannot be understood in isolation one from the other.

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  • CATIE marks 45 years of putting knowledge into practice 

CATIE marks 45 years of putting knowledge into practice 

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Flower buds grow on a coffee plant. Photo by CATIE

As CATIE (Tropical Agricultural Research and Higher Education Center) marks its 45th year, it is continuing to build its reputation as a renowned research platform and internationally recognized education institution.

So, what is CATIE’s vision for the future of its unique combination of education, research and innovation?

Remarking on the anniversary milestone, CATIE’s Director General Muhammad Ibrahim said CATIE’s vision over the coming years would focus on offering leadership in the generation of ‘agents of change’ and in search of solutions to challenges facing the region and the world that have been emphasized in the Sustainable Development Goals and the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change.

“CATIE has become an ally to countries across Latin America and the Caribbean as it constantly generates new knowledge and makes it available,” he said.

Read also: CATIE continues to improve people’s wellbeing across Latin America and Caribbean through education and research

In line with FTA’s role in enhancing the role of forests, trees and agroforestry in sustainable development and food security, and addressing climate change, CATIE has two very important programs, which link perfectly,” said Eduardo Somarriba, leader of CATIE’s Agriculture, Livestock and Agroforestry Program (PRAGA).

“One very important part of CATIE’s work in FTA has been the development of the Nicaragua-Honduras sentinel landscape [NHSL], where CATIE has introduced a climate smart territories methodology, carried out research initiatives and supported more than 20 master’s theses,” he added.

The sentinel landscapes initiative has made rapid progress toward understanding important metrics of ecosystem health, as well as drivers of land degradation across a range of ecosystems in the global tropics. An important part of the initiative is the integration of socioeconomic surveys and ecosystem health metrics.

Meanwhile, the CATIE-MAP project has produced a range of tools and farmer resources on alternative agricultural practices related to a range of crops and livestock.

“These include coffee, cocoa, livestock, silvopastoral systems, backyard gardening and staple cereals,” said Somarriba, “and their distribution has focused on farmers and agricultural extension services.”

Cows are pictured in a agrosilvopastoral system at CATIE’s farm. Photo by CATIE

CATIE’s work in the following areas links closely with FTA’s efforts to progress sustainable development and food security and to address climate change:

  • Forest restoration of degraded land
  • Mitigation and adaptation to climate change in the forestry sector and in the framework of conservation efforts and management of ecosystem services
  • Policy and governance of multiscale management of forests, biodiversity and hydrological ecosystem services
  • Conservation strategies for forests, biodiversity and ecosystem services
  • Productive efficiency and resilience of livestock based on silvopastoral systems
  • Productive efficiency and resilience of agroforestry systems with perennial crops (coffee and cocoa)
  • Carbon stocks and greenhouse gas flows in agroforestry systems and silvopastoral areas

Read also: Nicaragua-Honduras sentinel landscape on FTA

CATIE is dedicated to research and graduate education in agriculture and the management, conservation and sustainable use of natural resources, introducing the knowledge generated by its research programs. This allows students, technical staff and professionals to be exposed to the knowledge and to be able to adapt it for use in their countries,” Somarriba explained.

Indeed, CATIE ensures that the knowledge it generates is put into practice and adopted on the ground across Latin America and the Caribbean. The center’s projects implement farmer field schools as the main capacity building mechanisms to influence farmers and their families.

CATIE’s graduate school has educated over 40 professionals at master’s and PhD levels using the NHSL as a research platform. These graduates then return to their home countries where they can apply their knowledge to their work in national development and education programs.

In terms of higher education overall, CATIE has seen 2,530 professionals graduate with master’s and doctoral degrees, and has trained more than 70,000 people in various fields related to sustainable agriculture development and natural resource conservation. CATIE publications are also regularly used by academic institutions in Latin America in their educational programs.

“The center also works closely with policymakers and the governance platforms of many private subsectors — such as livestock, coffee, cocoa and forestry. CATIE’s research results support the development of public policies and private development programs through these platforms. For instance, CATIE’s research has supported the development of Nationally Appropriate Mitigation Action (NAMA) interventions in the livestock sector in all Central American countries,” Somarriba said.

“We have built all this work jointly with key local partners, national and international, who we thank today for their cooperation and for joining in sustainable, rural and inclusive development alongside CATIE,” Ibrahim concluded.

Read also: CATIE aims to strengthen its work in environmental livestock, agroforestry, agrobiodiversity and family farming

By Hannah Maddison-Harris, FTA Communications and Editorial Coordinator, and Karla Salazar, CATIE Communicator.

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  • Putting the concept of the ‘landscape approach’ into action

Putting the concept of the ‘landscape approach’ into action

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Foraged forest food on display at a local food fair in Luwingu, Zambia. Photo by Joe Nkadaani/CIFOR

“Landscape approaches” seek to provide tools and concepts for allocating and managing land to achieve social, economic, and environmental objectives in areas where agriculture, livestock, mining and other productive land uses compete with environmental and biodiversity goals. 

In this article, the Center for International Forestry Research‘s (CIFOR) James Reed and Terry Sunderland discuss getting these approaches off the ground with a new, five-year project.

Given the vast range of landscapes on this earth, we have yet to devise a singular definition of the landscape approach, but this is how we described the aim and purpose in a research paper back in 2013: The term can be as elastic as the changing and developing environments in which it’s meant to be implemented – a landscape approach is, inherently, a context-based process. As such, we assert there is not a single landscape approach, as is often presumed, but a wide range of landscape approaches that can be applied in differing geographical social and institutional contexts.

In an attempt to reconcile competing land use objectives, landscape approaches have increasingly become a dominant discourse within the conservation and development lexicon. It is now recognized that sectorial silos must be overcome to start down sustainable development pathways acknowledging interdependencies between sectors operating within multifunctional landscapes — and tropical landscapes in particular, which perpetually see gaps between knowledge and implementation and between policy and practice. Consequently, while the landscape approach discourse has continued to evolve, attempts at implementation — and particularly evaluation — in the tropics remain nascent.

Watch: FTA scientists feature in innovative series of talks on landscapes

Significant advances have been made in how we think about landscape approaches, be that in conceptual frameworks, methodological tools and resources, reviews of theoretical development and implementation, or operational guidelines. But putting them into action and monitoring progress has been a different story.

Now is the time to take this next step – to build on this momentum and see how landscape approaches can work on the ground. With all the talk about their potential, how are they put into action, and to what extent are they effective in achieving multiple objectives?

The German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety (BMUB) has recently funded CIFOR and partners to operationalize landscape approaches in three tropical countries – Indonesia, Burkina Faso and Zambia – over the course of five years. In this work, we seek not only to use landscape approaches to address challenges in communities in these countries, but also to observe the implementation process and local uptake of such approaches. We plan to convey our findings as we go along so that others can learn simultaneously from our work.

Read also: The concept and development of the ‘landscape approach’

Resin trees are seen in West Java, Indonesia, which is a common habitat for the Javanese monkey. Photo by Ricky Martin/CIFOR

OPERATION OPERATIONALIZE

Recent UN conventions for biodiversity, climate change and sustainable development have all called for more integrated and sustainable approaches to landscape governance. International policy dialogues are increasingly doing away with perceived antagonisms between sectors and facilitating greater engagement between forestry, food, water and energy, with an enhanced acknowledgement of the role of the private sector as well.

Yet, uptake of landscape approaches within the tropics has thus far been limited, which is likely in part due to a weak evidence base demonstrating effectiveness. A recent review failed to find a single definitive example of a landscape approach in the tropics, or at least reported in scientific literature. This is not to say that they do not exist, but perhaps that grass-roots efforts lack capacity or motivation to monitor progress and formally report findings.

This project will seek to address this gap as CIFOR and partners will assume a mediating role within landscapes in Burkina Faso, Indonesia and Zambia. With a particular focus on the contribution of biodiversity and a remit to engage policy, practice and people, we will facilitate multi-stakeholder platforms and identify linkages with existing institutional structures within each of the landscapes. Through working with existing frameworks and publicly available information (such as census, health and income data, and remote sensing imagery) we hope to further develop a model for scaling up our efforts easily adopted by governments, NGOs and other institutions.

Read also: Agroforestry offers pathways to sustainable landscape restoration

A MATTER OF TIME

The long-term nature of the funding is a crucial foundation for this effort, as it presents a rare opportunity to adopt the mindset of moving from “project to process” by examining and explaining how dynamic processes of social, political, economic and environmental interactions work over time within these landscapes. It allows us to learn deeply through diagnosis, rather than focus on generating immediate results within the rigid confines of a project framework.

As such, over the course of the next five years, our research team intends to embrace two key components of the landscape approach philosophy. Firstly, we will think beyond typical project-cycle timelines and structures and become more fully established and integrated within the target landscapes.

Secondly, in contrast to many prior approaches, we will attempt to facilitate a truly trans-disciplinary approach to all activities, from design and implementation to governance and evaluation. Rather than having a preconceived agenda of what the landscape and its stakeholders should fulfill, we will engage with open minds and a suite of tools designed to enhance stakeholder engagement and action, assess divergence in stakeholder perception and objectives, and in turn generate an increased understanding of the landscape dynamics. Only then, can we build stakeholder capacity to make more informed choices, evaluate progress, and empower previously marginalized groups to more effectively engage in decision-making processes.

Ultimately, we hope that this process will not only contribute to a more robust evidence base for landscape approaches but also enhance stakeholder capacity and landscape sustainability within the target landscapes. A key objective is to work in tandem with landscape stakeholders to co-construct a shared learning platform that can improve our understanding of landscape dynamics in these countries. While we are not blind to the complex challenges of integrating conservation and development, we are committed to implementing and reporting on these landscape approaches and developing an inclusive dissemination strategy with our colleagues at the Global Landscapes Forum. We hope that both the positive and negative outcomes that emerge will contribute to our understanding of the conditions under which landscape approaches can develop and therefore inform future evidence-based research, policy and practice agendas.

By James Reed and Terry Sunderland, originally published at CIFOR’s Forests News.

For more information on this topic, please contact Terry Sunderland at [email protected] or James Reed at [email protected]ar.org.


This research forms part of the CGIAR Research Program on Forests, Trees and Agroforestry, which is supported by CGIAR Fund Donors.

This research was supported by the German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety (BMUB)

 

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  • Putting the concept of the ‘landscape approach’ into action

Putting the concept of the ‘landscape approach’ into action

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FTA COMMUNICATIONS TEAM

Foraged forest food on display at a local food fair in Luwingu, Zambia. Photo by Joe Nkadaani/CIFOR

“Landscape approaches” seek to provide tools and concepts for allocating and managing land to achieve social, economic, and environmental objectives in areas where agriculture, livestock, mining and other productive land uses compete with environmental and biodiversity goals. 

In this article, the Center for International Forestry Research‘s (CIFOR) James Reed and Terry Sunderland discuss getting these approaches off the ground with a new, five-year project.

Given the vast range of landscapes on this earth, we have yet to devise a singular definition of the landscape approach, but this is how we described the aim and purpose in a research paper back in 2013: The term can be as elastic as the changing and developing environments in which it’s meant to be implemented – a landscape approach is, inherently, a context-based process. As such, we assert there is not a single landscape approach, as is often presumed, but a wide range of landscape approaches that can be applied in differing geographical social and institutional contexts.

In an attempt to reconcile competing land use objectives, landscape approaches have increasingly become a dominant discourse within the conservation and development lexicon. It is now recognized that sectorial silos must be overcome to start down sustainable development pathways acknowledging interdependencies between sectors operating within multifunctional landscapes — and tropical landscapes in particular, which perpetually see gaps between knowledge and implementation and between policy and practice. Consequently, while the landscape approach discourse has continued to evolve, attempts at implementation — and particularly evaluation — in the tropics remain nascent.

Watch: FTA scientists feature in innovative series of talks on landscapes

Significant advances have been made in how we think about landscape approaches, be that in conceptual frameworks, methodological tools and resources, reviews of theoretical development and implementation, or operational guidelines. But putting them into action and monitoring progress has been a different story.

Now is the time to take this next step – to build on this momentum and see how landscape approaches can work on the ground. With all the talk about their potential, how are they put into action, and to what extent are they effective in achieving multiple objectives?

The German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety (BMUB) has recently funded CIFOR and partners to operationalize landscape approaches in three tropical countries – Indonesia, Burkina Faso and Zambia – over the course of five years. In this work, we seek not only to use landscape approaches to address challenges in communities in these countries, but also to observe the implementation process and local uptake of such approaches. We plan to convey our findings as we go along so that others can learn simultaneously from our work.

Read also: The concept and development of the ‘landscape approach’

Resin trees are seen in West Java, Indonesia, which is a common habitat for the Javanese monkey. Photo by Ricky Martin/CIFOR

OPERATION OPERATIONALIZE

Recent UN conventions for biodiversity, climate change and sustainable development have all called for more integrated and sustainable approaches to landscape governance. International policy dialogues are increasingly doing away with perceived antagonisms between sectors and facilitating greater engagement between forestry, food, water and energy, with an enhanced acknowledgement of the role of the private sector as well.

Yet, uptake of landscape approaches within the tropics has thus far been limited, which is likely in part due to a weak evidence base demonstrating effectiveness. A recent review failed to find a single definitive example of a landscape approach in the tropics, or at least reported in scientific literature. This is not to say that they do not exist, but perhaps that grass-roots efforts lack capacity or motivation to monitor progress and formally report findings.

This project will seek to address this gap as CIFOR and partners will assume a mediating role within landscapes in Burkina Faso, Indonesia and Zambia. With a particular focus on the contribution of biodiversity and a remit to engage policy, practice and people, we will facilitate multi-stakeholder platforms and identify linkages with existing institutional structures within each of the landscapes. Through working with existing frameworks and publicly available information (such as census, health and income data, and remote sensing imagery) we hope to further develop a model for scaling up our efforts easily adopted by governments, NGOs and other institutions.

Read also: Agroforestry offers pathways to sustainable landscape restoration

A MATTER OF TIME

The long-term nature of the funding is a crucial foundation for this effort, as it presents a rare opportunity to adopt the mindset of moving from “project to process” by examining and explaining how dynamic processes of social, political, economic and environmental interactions work over time within these landscapes. It allows us to learn deeply through diagnosis, rather than focus on generating immediate results within the rigid confines of a project framework.

As such, over the course of the next five years, our research team intends to embrace two key components of the landscape approach philosophy. Firstly, we will think beyond typical project-cycle timelines and structures and become more fully established and integrated within the target landscapes.

Secondly, in contrast to many prior approaches, we will attempt to facilitate a truly trans-disciplinary approach to all activities, from design and implementation to governance and evaluation. Rather than having a preconceived agenda of what the landscape and its stakeholders should fulfill, we will engage with open minds and a suite of tools designed to enhance stakeholder engagement and action, assess divergence in stakeholder perception and objectives, and in turn generate an increased understanding of the landscape dynamics. Only then, can we build stakeholder capacity to make more informed choices, evaluate progress, and empower previously marginalized groups to more effectively engage in decision-making processes.

Ultimately, we hope that this process will not only contribute to a more robust evidence base for landscape approaches but also enhance stakeholder capacity and landscape sustainability within the target landscapes. A key objective is to work in tandem with landscape stakeholders to co-construct a shared learning platform that can improve our understanding of landscape dynamics in these countries. While we are not blind to the complex challenges of integrating conservation and development, we are committed to implementing and reporting on these landscape approaches and developing an inclusive dissemination strategy with our colleagues at the Global Landscapes Forum. We hope that both the positive and negative outcomes that emerge will contribute to our understanding of the conditions under which landscape approaches can develop and therefore inform future evidence-based research, policy and practice agendas.

By James Reed and Terry Sunderland, originally published at CIFOR’s Forests News.

For more information on this topic, please contact Terry Sunderland at [email protected] or James Reed at [email protected].


This research forms part of the CGIAR Research Program on Forests, Trees and Agroforestry, which is supported by CGIAR Fund Donors.

This research was supported by the German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety (BMUB)

 

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  • Climate-smart land use requires local solutions, transdisciplinary research, policy coherence and transparency

Climate-smart land use requires local solutions, transdisciplinary research, policy coherence and transparency

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Successfully meeting the mitigation and adaptation targets of the Paris Climate Agreement (PA) will depend on strengthening the ties between forests and agriculture. Climate-smart land use can be achieved by integrating climate-smart agriculture (CSA) and REDD+. The focus on agriculture for food security within a changing climate, and on forests for climate change mitigation and adaptation, can be achieved simultaneously with a transformational change in the land-use sector. Striving for both independently will lead to competition for land, inefficiencies in monitoring and conflicting agendas. Practical solutions exist for specific contexts that can lead to increased agricultural output and forest protection. Landscape-level emissions accounting can be used to identify these practices. Transdisciplinary research agendas can identify and prioritize solutions and targets for integrated mitigation and adaptation interventions. Policy coherence must be achieved at a number of levels, from international to local, to avoid conflicting incentives. Transparency must lastly be integrated, through collaborative design of projects, and open data and methods. Climate-smart land use requires all these elements, and will increase the likelihood of successful REDD+ and CSA interventions. This will support the PA as well as other initiatives as part of the Sustainable Development Goals.

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  • CATIE continues to improve people's wellbeing across Latin America and Caribbean through education and research

CATIE continues to improve people’s wellbeing across Latin America and Caribbean through education and research

A family poses with their agricultural produce. Photo by CATIE
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CATIE provides families with information about climate-smart agriculture. Photo by CATIE

Ever since its inception in 1973, CATIE (the Tropical Agricultural Research and Higher Education Center) has supported countries to enrich their rural populations’ quality of life, as well as addressing agricultural issues and improving natural resources management.

Celebrating its 45th anniversary this year, CATIE continues to remain focused on generating and disseminating knowledge, putting it into practice and encouraging the adoption of relevant ideas, which has led to it being known as a regional research platform and an internationally recognized higher education institution.

As a CGIAR Research Program on Forests, Trees and Agroforestry (FTA) partner institution, CATIE provides the program with a solid science-based approach across the diverse communities in which it engages, as well as the applicability and transference of knowledge to countries and communities through the development of projects and pilot programs.

CATIE works in food security, forest management, gender, agroforestry, value chain and agribusiness, sustainable livestock production, environmental economics, and territorial approaches. Providing solutions for development, sustainable agriculture and natural resources management in Latin American and Caribbean territories, and improving human wellbeing, have been the driving force behind CATIE’s work in the region over the past 45 years, in coordination with key national, regional, and international partners, combining post graduate education, research and innovation.

“CATIE has become an ally to the region’s countries as it constantly generates new knowledge, making it available, with the finality of facing existing challenges and achieving acquired commitments at an environmental, economic and social level,” said CATIE Director General Muhammad Ibrahim.

In terms of higher education, CATIE has seen 2,530 professionals graduate with master’s and doctoral degrees, and has trained more than 70,000 people in various fields related to sustainable agriculture development and natural resources conservation.

Through our students’ thesis and graduation projects, we make important contributions to countries of the region, giving an answer to problems and real necessities; additionally, once they have graduated and become professionals, they go back to their countries willing to work for the most vulnerable populations,” said Isabel Gutiérrez, Dean of the Postgraduate School of CATIE.

CATIE has supported cocoa producers with training. Photo by CATIE

The research itself has also had important results, positively affecting the quality of life of thousands of rural families. CATIE is seen as a pioneer institution in terms of encouraging agricultural production that at the same time allows for the conservation of ecosystem services through agroforestry systems.

CATIE has spread sustainable forest management throughout Latin American countries generated knowledge for the establishment of forest plantations, worked to simplify national policies to encourage the forest sector and provided the region with high quality forest seeds.

It has also promoted water management and conservation, working on the governance of water basins. Knowledge generated on the subject of silvopastoral systems is being used in the region as a base for Nationally Appropriate Mitigation Actions (NAMAs) and livestock policies for lower greenhouse gas emissions.

CATIE has conserved thousands of genetic resources for coffee, cocoa and other crops that are great importance for food security in its germplasm collections. In the case of coffee and cocoa, some of the resources have been used to generate new varieties that are more tolerant to disease, more productive and of higher quality.

CATIE has supported the elaboration of policies for countries in the region on issues related to REDD+, climate change adaptation and mitigation, and agriculture and sustainable livestock. It has generated tools and knowledge related to the environmental economy that promote policies and incentives to conserve natural resources and capture carbon.

Francisco Alpízar, Director of the Research Directorate for Green and Inclusive Development, said the role CATIE plays had been developed jointly with local and international partners in a participative and interdisciplinary way.

Meanwhile, Ibrahim noted that CATIE’s vision over the coming years would focus on offering leadership in the generation of ‘agents of change’ and in search of answers to multiple challenges facing region and the world, which have been emphasized in the Sustainable Development Goals and the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change.

For more information, contact CATIE communicator Karla Salazar Leiva at [email protected].

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  • Vietnam's Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development awards ICRAF coordinator for agriculture and rural development work

Vietnam’s Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development awards ICRAF coordinator for agriculture and rural development work

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Delia Catacutan receives an award from His Excellency Dr. Le Quoc Doanh, Vice-Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development. Photo by Pham Duc Thanh/ICRAF

The World Agroforestry Centre’s (ICRAF) Vietnam Coordinator Delia C. Catacutan has received Vietnam’s highest award for agriculture and rural development.

Catacutan, who holds a PhD on natural and rural systems management from the University of Queensland, as well as a post-doc on sustainability science from Harvard University, specializes in policy and institutional research on integrated natural resources management.

As a senior social scientist and country representative for ICRAF in Vietnam, Catacutan aims to enhance the Vietnam Country Program in line with the Centre Global Program’s mission and vision.

His Excellency Dr Le Quoc Doanh, Vietnam’s Vice-Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, awarded the medal on April 5, 2018, during a workshop in Hanoi on Enhancing Agroforestry Development in Vietnam.

It is the highest award in the sector for individuals who have made an outstanding contribution to rural development.

On behalf of the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, the Vice-Minister expressed his deep appreciation for Catacutan’s contributions and the close cooperation seen during her six years at the helm of ICRAF Vietnam, which includes some work that forms part of the CGIAR Research Program on Forests, Trees and Agroforestry (FTA). He emphasized that the agriculture and rural development sector had received valuable assistance from the international resources provided by ICRAF.

Trees planted on the side of a farming area protect against water flowing from the road in the Philippines. Photo by Jovita Banaag/ICRAF

In particular, Catacutan has facilitated policy dialogues among government officers and the international community on agroforestry, climate change, disaster prevention, sustainable forestry development, ecosystem conservation and payments for environmental services.

Under Catacutan’s leadership, ICRAF cooperated closely with the Vietnam Administration of Forestry to review the new Forest Law before its adoption by the National Assembly in November 2017. Research was also carried out to support the provisions on forestry, agroforestry and fisheries in the Forest Law Enforcement Decree.

Catacutan led the strengthening of research collaboration with other Vietnamese partners in agroforestry development, reflected in memoranda of understanding signed with the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, Vietnam Academy of Agricultural Sciences, Vietnam Academy of Forest Science and Vietnam Farmers’ Union.

Dr. Le Quoc Doanh particularly acknowledged Catacutan’s efforts in coordinating successful projects throughout Vietnam, such as:

  • Agroforestry for Livelihoods of Smallholder Farmers in Northwest Viet Nam (2011–2016)
  • Developing and Promoting Market-based Agroforestry and Forest Rehabilitation Options for Northwest Viet Nam (2017–2021)
  • ICRAF Support to the ASEAN-Swiss Partnership on Social Forestry and Climate Change Phase 2 (2014–2016) and Phase 3 (2017–2020)
  • My Loi Climate-Smart Village in Ky Son Commune, Ky Anh District, Ha Tinh Province (2015–2018)
  • The Vietnam component of the Climate-smart, Tree-based, Co-investment in Adaptation and Mitigation in Asia (2014–2017)
  • Sustaining Ecosystem and Carbon Benefits by Unlocking Reversal of Emissions Drivers in Landscapes (2013–2015)

The Vice-Minister expressed hope that Catacutan would continue to act as a bridge for cooperation between Vietnam and her home country of the Philippines, as well as other nations, and invited her to find ways to continue supporting Vietnam in the field of agroforestry.

Upon receiving the medal, Catacutan thanked Dr. Le Quoc Doanh and staff at the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, as well as her ICRAF colleagues, saying she expected ties between the ministry and ICRAF, as well as between Vietnam and the Philippines, to become even stronger in the future.

Adapted from the article by Tran Ha My, originally published at ICRAF’s Agroforestry World

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  • Agroforestry offers pathways to sustainable landscape restoration

Agroforestry offers pathways to sustainable landscape restoration

Agroforestry techniques can support dairy farming. Photo by Sherry Odeyo/ICRAF
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FTA COMMUNICATIONS TEAM

Agroforestry landscapes cover 1 billion hectares of land worldwide and make a significant contribution to the overall health of the planet.

The introduction of trees to farms and landscapes for multiple productive purposes could play a key role in mitigating the impact of climate change by potentially contributing to more than 1.5 billion hectares of mosaic land restoration, said a CGIAR Research Program on Forests, Trees and Agroforestry (FTA) expert speaking at the Global Landscapes Forum (GLF) in Bonn, Germany.

“Agroforestry provides some of the greatest opportunities for emission reductions and potential carbon neutrality in agriculture — carbon benefits,” said Peter Minang, leader and global coordinator of landscapes governance at the World Agroforestry Centre (ICRAF), adding that a huge emissions reduction saving can be achieved by increasing agroforestry landscapes, which sequester carbon.

Land restoration was part of a global plan for meeting targets agreed at UN climate talks in 2015. The aim is to limit global temperature increases to well below 2 degrees Celsius and to pursue efforts to limit increases to 1.5 degrees Celsius. For example, more than 80 percent of activities to restore degraded land in Kenya will focus on tree-based or agroforestry systems, according to ICRAF.

Watch: Agroforestry in landscape restoration for livelihoods, climate and ecosystem services

Several large-scale forest restoration projects have been launched to meet a target to restore 350 million hectares of land in accordance with the Bonn Challenge. The African Forest Landscape Restoration Initiative (AFR100) aims to help achieve the target by restoring 100 million hectares in Africa.

The practice, which can include scattered trees on farmland, intercropping, home gardens, tree crop systems — is increasingly popular on all continents, with 1.2 million people engaging in agroforestry worldwide, Minang said.

Agroforestry leads to better soil fertility, and contributes to improved nutrition by boosting dietary options, but finding financial backing for large-scale projects can be difficult.

In line with this, ICRAF hosted a session at the GLF, along with with Humanist Institute for Co-operation with Developing Countries (HIVOS) and FTA, titled Agroforestry in landscape restoration for livelihoods, climate and ecosystem services.

Agricultural production is seen in Malawi. Photo by Charlie Pye-Smith/ICRAF

Inspired by the Sustainable Development Goals, the session focused on the accomplishments and future of agroforestry as a path toward sustainable landscape restoration. By offering a route to reconciliation between the frequently competing claims of agriculture and reforestation, agroforestry is playing an increasingly central role in policymaking.

Aiming to achieve an exchange of knowledge on ecosystem functionality, biodiversity, livelihoods and climate change, the forum demonstrated the potential dividends for human wellbeing offered by landscape restoration in developing countries.

Read also: Good investments in agriculture and forestry can benefit smallholders and landscapes

THEORY TO PRACTICE

Working with the private sector and local government in China’s Yunnan province, ICRAF collaborated on a major restoration project that converted a large-scale site degraded by mining into a lush green productive mosaic landscape bolstered by a profitable mushroom trade.

“It’s a tremendous transformation — it’s a really good restoration of multiple services, Minang said. “Mushrooms are being cultivated underneath the tree systems — high value mushrooms, highly economically valuable, but also generating jobs and linking to the market.”

The area also produces timber, fruit, tea, oil, flowers, spices and medicine.

Meanwhile, a restoration project offering multiple socioeconomic benefits to an area degraded by cattle grazing in the Shinyanga region of Tanzania now features almost 380,000 hectares of trees due to a local process known as ngitili, which protects certain areas from grazing.

“The two case studies illustrate there is broad potential,” Minang said.

Agroforestry techniques can support dairy farming. Photo by Sherry Odeyo/ICRAF

Read more: FTA scientists feature in innovative series of talks on landscapes

To fully realize their potential, agroforestry projects must attract more investment and financing, quality planting material, locally appropriate options, relevant incentives, and methods for monitoring agroforestry in restoration projects to implement large-scale transformation, he said.

“We need enabling policies and good governance,” he explained.

WHERE TO IMPLEMENT?

In the latter part of the discussion forum at GLF, ICRAF scientist Roeland Kindt introduced a new publication titled Suitability of key Central American agroforestry species under future climates: an atlas

The atlas provides habitat suitability maps for 54 species that are widely used in Central America for shade in coffee or cocoa agroforestry systems. The 54 species represent 24 fruit species, 24 timber species and six species used for soil fertility improvement. It was developed to support climate change oriented initiatives for diversification and conservation of forest genetic resources across Central America.

The authors expect that farmers, scientists and technicians will be able to use the atlas to identify suitable and vulnerable areas for shade species and develop strategies for climate change adaptation.

Read also: Suitability of key Central American agroforestry species under future climates: an atlas

Adapted from the article written by Julie Mollins, originally published by GLF’s Landscapes News.


This research forms part of the CGIAR Research Program on Forests, Trees and Agroforestry (FTA), which is supported by CGIAR Fund Donors.

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  • Agroforestry to meet the Paris Agreement

Agroforestry to meet the Paris Agreement

Maize growing on a farm in Tanzania. Photo by Todd Rosenstock/ICRAF
Posted by

FTA COMMUNICATIONS TEAM

Farmers in a rice-and-agroforestry landscape in Indonesia. Photo by ICRAF

Growing more trees on agricultural land will help farmers and the world adapt to, and mitigate, climate change, something the world’s nations began to implement at the 23rd climate change conference as they brought agriculture onto the agenda.

In a groundbreaking — though long overdue — decision, national delegates at the 23rd Conference of the Parties of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP 23), held on Nov. 6–17, 2017, in Bonn, Germany, agreed on a framework for addressing agriculture’s impact on climate. The framework includes assessing soil health, soil carbon and water management, nutrient use and manure management, and the impact of climate change on socio-economics and food security.

Agriculture was also a key agenda item at the COP’s side events as international organizations, research institutions, governments, civil society and the private sector discussed initiatives needed to achieve countries’ climate targets for agriculture.

Scientists from the World Agroforestry Centre (ICRAF), including from the CGIAR Research Program on Forests, Trees and Agroforestry (FTA), presented research findings at several side events, highlighting the benefits that trees in agriculture, aka agroforestry, bring to the fight against climate change.

Read more: World Agroforestry Centre at the UN Climate Conference 2017 (COP23)

Agriculture Action Day

More than 30 countries have included climate-smart agriculture in their nationally determined contributions (NDCs) to reduce greenhouse-gas emissions, underscoring the potential of the approach to drive agricultural investments and programmes.

Tony Simons, ICRAF Director General, moderated an event for the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), titled, ‘Scaling up climate-smart agriculture to the NDCs in the agriculture sector’. Panellists discussed approaches to implement, scale-up and monitor the outcomes of climate-smart agriculture.

Simons reminded the audience that, ‘Trees made this planet habitable and their destruction will render it uninhabitable’. Growing trees in agricultural land, which is often a key feature of climate-smart agriculture, brings many benefits not only to farmers but also to the environment they inhabit.

Rima Al-Aza of FAO talked about the Climate-smart Agriculture Sourcebook, highlighting five new areas introduced in the second edition: 1) climate-change adaptation and mitigation; 2) integrated production systems; 3) supporting rural producers with knowledge; 4) role of gender in climate-smart agriculture; and 5) theory of change for climate-smart agriculture.

Bruce Campbell of the CGIAR Research Programme on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security discussed the importance of indicators to monitor and measure the outcomes of context-specific, climate-smart agricultural approaches.

At another session hosted by FAO, ‘Reducing the vulnerability of fragile ecosystems to climate change: the case of mountains and drylands’, panellists discussed their experience with implementation, lessons they learned and progress achieved in building climate-resilient systems.

Somaya O. Abdoun of Sudan presented the Forests National Corporation’s agroforestry-related projects for improvement of the productivity of gum arabic. Smallholders were reaping agroforestry benefits related to timber, energy and nitrogen fixation.

At the same session, Tony Simons explained the benefits that trees bring to ecosystems, including improving microclimates, fixing nitrogen, bringing up water from deep in the soil, sequestering carbon from the atmosphere, supporting biodiversity and adding oxygen to the biosphere. Trees also provide more diversified income and are a source of energy: 75% of on-farm biomass comes from trees. For example, in beginning in the 1990s, in Tigray, Ethiopia, a community successfully restored degraded land, so much so that rivers in the catchment continue to flow even during severe droughts that once saw all streams dry up.

Maize growing on a farm in Tanzania. Photo by Todd Rosenstock/ICRAF

Agriculture Advantage: the case for climate action in agriculture

Agriculture Advantage: the case for climate action in agriculture was a collaborative event between research, development and private organizations aimed at transforming agriculture in the face of climate change. The event sought to create a collective case for investment in agriculture and open avenues for extended partnerships to scale-up climate actions across wider areas of the planet.

Various sessions focused on maximizing the productive use of water; species that were more tolerant to drought, heat and pests; incentives to increase women’s participation in agriculture; finance for climate action; the interface between science and policy for programmes that deliver action on the ground; crop breeding for climate-resilient varieties; and the private sector as an agent for transformative change in the sector.

At the session, ‘Scaling-up private sector climate actions in agriculture’, Tony Simons called for the need to link public goods with private interest to increase investments in the agricultural sector. Engaging with the private sector would increase access to information for both farmers and the private sector, increase expertise and networks, create appropriate products and services suited to the agricultural sector, enable leveraging of joint investments, develop novel approaches to address complex challenges, enhance competencies in the sector, and accelerate the impact of agricultural initiatives. He highlighted Indonesia’s Tropical Landscape Finance Facility that is using public funding to unlock private finance in renewable energy and sustainable landscape management. The long-term goal is to reduce deforestation and restore degraded land.

Simons also called for people to combine the science of discovery with the science of delivery to ensure the future of the agricultural sector. Different expertise needs to come together to find solutions that will enable smallholders to increase their productivity while also protecting the environment.

Read more: FTA at COP23

Indonesia’s low-carbon development plan

Recognizing the impact of climate change will have on its economy, the government of Indonesia has taken steps to reduce greenhouse-gas emissions from different sectors while at the same time sustaining economic growth and maintaining ecosystem services. At a side event hosted by ICRAF and the Indonesian Government, experts discussed actions that can fast-track low-carbon development.

Sonya Dewi, ICRAF Indonesia program coordinator, presented a methodology called Land-use Planning for Multiple Environmental Services (LUMENS), which has been mandated by the Ministry for National Development Planning for use in all 34 provinces. LUMENS has been applied as a predictive tool that can analyse trade-offs for ‘green’ growth and other development scenarios. Using LUMENS, ICRAF has provided technical support for the development of South Sumatra Province’s green-growth strategy. This is Indonesia’s first master plan for renewables-driven green growth.

Land restoration, food systems and climate change

At a session hosted by WWF and TMG Think Tank, panellists discussed the impact of restoration of degraded land on food systems and climate. Soil restoration was seen as a multi-win strategy that can contribute to mitigation of climate change, strengthened food security and reduced pressure on natural habitats.

Alexander Müller, of TMG Think Tank and ICRAF Board member, called for better attention to soils given their finite nature, the inclusion of natural resources as capital in farming, and reduction in food waste as a trade-off.

Tony Simons outlined how the adoption of agroforestry can restore degraded land. He said that growing the right tree in the right place delivers economic benefits through tree products, including fruit, biomass, timber and medicines. Trees also deliver ecosystem services, such as carbon sequestration, improving soil fertility, preventing soil erosion, protecting watersheds, providing shade for both crops and animals, and supporting biodiversity.

Rights-based approaches and economic incentives were seen as the keys to success. Science has a major role to play in the global land restoration agenda and the agricultural targets in the climate agreement.  ICRAF’s tools such as the Tree Finder and the Agroforestry Database can support this ambition.

Peter Minang, FTA and ICRAF senior scientist and leader of the ASB Partnership for the Tropical Forest Margins presents the policy brief How agroforestry propels achievement of nationally determined contributions. Photo by Susan Onyango/ICRAF

Multisectoral process to NDC implementation in Peru

The Multisectoral Working Group, comprising Peru’s 13 ministries and the Centre of Strategic Planning, is working towards meeting the nation’s NDCs and sustainable development objectives. The group is exploring the potential of agriculture to contribute to the NDCs.

Valentina Robiglio, landscapes and climate-change scientist at ICRAF, discussed how agroforestry is being applied in Peru’s coffee and cocoa sectors.  The most direct contribution of agroforestry to the NDCs is increase in soil carbon stock. Indirect contributions include improved cocoa and coffee production and silviculture on degraded land. She stressed that increased investments in improving tree germplasm and capacity building for farmers and extension workers were crucial for increasing the uptake of agroforestry.

FTA scientist Peter Minang, who leads ICRAF’s Greening Tree Crop Landscapes research theme and the ASB Partnership for the Tropical Forest Margins, presented a newly-released policy brief, How agroforestry propels achievement of nationally determined contributions. The brief explores the degree to which agroforestry is represented in NDCs, how its application is envisaged and how its contribution could be enhanced. He said that agroforestry requires a multi-sectoral approach because it involves both agriculture and forestry. He called for the use of public finance to catalyse investments and de-risk agroforestry to cushion private-sector investments.

Way forward

Building on initiatives highlighted during the side events, the research and development sectors have the opportunity to work with governments towards meeting targets set out in the agriculture framework of the Paris Agreement. This demands better coordination and collaboration and financing to realize the goals.

By Susan Onyango, originally published at ICRAF’s Agroforestry World


The World Agroforestry Centre (ICRAF) is one of the 15 members of the CGIAR, a global partnership for a food-secure future. We thank all donors who support research in development through their contributions to the CGIAR Fund.

  • Home
  • Agroforestry to meet the Paris Agreement

Agroforestry to meet the Paris Agreement

Maize growing on a farm in Tanzania. Photo by Todd Rosenstock/ICRAF
Posted by

FTA COMMUNICATIONS TEAM

Farmers in a rice-and-agroforestry landscape in Indonesia. Photo by ICRAF

Growing more trees on agricultural land will help farmers and the world adapt to, and mitigate, climate change, something the world’s nations began to implement at the 23rd climate change conference as they brought agriculture onto the agenda.

In a groundbreaking — though long overdue — decision, national delegates at the 23rd Conference of the Parties of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP 23), held on Nov. 6–17, 2017, in Bonn, Germany, agreed on a framework for addressing agriculture’s impact on climate. The framework includes assessing soil health, soil carbon and water management, nutrient use and manure management, and the impact of climate change on socio-economics and food security.

Agriculture was also a key agenda item at the COP’s side events as international organizations, research institutions, governments, civil society and the private sector discussed initiatives needed to achieve countries’ climate targets for agriculture.

Scientists from the World Agroforestry Centre (ICRAF), including from the CGIAR Research Program on Forests, Trees and Agroforestry (FTA), presented research findings at several side events, highlighting the benefits that trees in agriculture, aka agroforestry, bring to the fight against climate change.

Read more: World Agroforestry Centre at the UN Climate Conference 2017 (COP23)

Agriculture Action Day

More than 30 countries have included climate-smart agriculture in their nationally determined contributions (NDCs) to reduce greenhouse-gas emissions, underscoring the potential of the approach to drive agricultural investments and programmes.

Tony Simons, ICRAF Director General, moderated an event for the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), titled, ‘Scaling up climate-smart agriculture to the NDCs in the agriculture sector’. Panellists discussed approaches to implement, scale-up and monitor the outcomes of climate-smart agriculture.

Simons reminded the audience that, ‘Trees made this planet habitable and their destruction will render it uninhabitable’. Growing trees in agricultural land, which is often a key feature of climate-smart agriculture, brings many benefits not only to farmers but also to the environment they inhabit.

Rima Al-Aza of FAO talked about the Climate-smart Agriculture Sourcebook, highlighting five new areas introduced in the second edition: 1) climate-change adaptation and mitigation; 2) integrated production systems; 3) supporting rural producers with knowledge; 4) role of gender in climate-smart agriculture; and 5) theory of change for climate-smart agriculture.

Bruce Campbell of the CGIAR Research Programme on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security discussed the importance of indicators to monitor and measure the outcomes of context-specific, climate-smart agricultural approaches.

At another session hosted by FAO, ‘Reducing the vulnerability of fragile ecosystems to climate change: the case of mountains and drylands’, panellists discussed their experience with implementation, lessons they learned and progress achieved in building climate-resilient systems.

Somaya O. Abdoun of Sudan presented the Forests National Corporation’s agroforestry-related projects for improvement of the productivity of gum arabic. Smallholders were reaping agroforestry benefits related to timber, energy and nitrogen fixation.

At the same session, Tony Simons explained the benefits that trees bring to ecosystems, including improving microclimates, fixing nitrogen, bringing up water from deep in the soil, sequestering carbon from the atmosphere, supporting biodiversity and adding oxygen to the biosphere. Trees also provide more diversified income and are a source of energy: 75% of on-farm biomass comes from trees. For example, in beginning in the 1990s, in Tigray, Ethiopia, a community successfully restored degraded land, so much so that rivers in the catchment continue to flow even during severe droughts that once saw all streams dry up.

Maize growing on a farm in Tanzania. Photo by Todd Rosenstock/ICRAF

Agriculture Advantage: the case for climate action in agriculture

Agriculture Advantage: the case for climate action in agriculture was a collaborative event between research, development and private organizations aimed at transforming agriculture in the face of climate change. The event sought to create a collective case for investment in agriculture and open avenues for extended partnerships to scale-up climate actions across wider areas of the planet.

Various sessions focused on maximizing the productive use of water; species that were more tolerant to drought, heat and pests; incentives to increase women’s participation in agriculture; finance for climate action; the interface between science and policy for programmes that deliver action on the ground; crop breeding for climate-resilient varieties; and the private sector as an agent for transformative change in the sector.

At the session, ‘Scaling-up private sector climate actions in agriculture’, Tony Simons called for the need to link public goods with private interest to increase investments in the agricultural sector. Engaging with the private sector would increase access to information for both farmers and the private sector, increase expertise and networks, create appropriate products and services suited to the agricultural sector, enable leveraging of joint investments, develop novel approaches to address complex challenges, enhance competencies in the sector, and accelerate the impact of agricultural initiatives. He highlighted Indonesia’s Tropical Landscape Finance Facility that is using public funding to unlock private finance in renewable energy and sustainable landscape management. The long-term goal is to reduce deforestation and restore degraded land.

Simons also called for people to combine the science of discovery with the science of delivery to ensure the future of the agricultural sector. Different expertise needs to come together to find solutions that will enable smallholders to increase their productivity while also protecting the environment.

Read more: FTA at COP23

Indonesia’s low-carbon development plan

Recognizing the impact of climate change will have on its economy, the government of Indonesia has taken steps to reduce greenhouse-gas emissions from different sectors while at the same time sustaining economic growth and maintaining ecosystem services. At a side event hosted by ICRAF and the Indonesian Government, experts discussed actions that can fast-track low-carbon development.

Sonya Dewi, ICRAF Indonesia program coordinator, presented a methodology called Land-use Planning for Multiple Environmental Services (LUMENS), which has been mandated by the Ministry for National Development Planning for use in all 34 provinces. LUMENS has been applied as a predictive tool that can analyse trade-offs for ‘green’ growth and other development scenarios. Using LUMENS, ICRAF has provided technical support for the development of South Sumatra Province’s green-growth strategy. This is Indonesia’s first master plan for renewables-driven green growth.

Land restoration, food systems and climate change

At a session hosted by WWF and TMG Think Tank, panellists discussed the impact of restoration of degraded land on food systems and climate. Soil restoration was seen as a multi-win strategy that can contribute to mitigation of climate change, strengthened food security and reduced pressure on natural habitats.

Alexander Müller, of TMG Think Tank and ICRAF Board member, called for better attention to soils given their finite nature, the inclusion of natural resources as capital in farming, and reduction in food waste as a trade-off.

Tony Simons outlined how the adoption of agroforestry can restore degraded land. He said that growing the right tree in the right place delivers economic benefits through tree products, including fruit, biomass, timber and medicines. Trees also deliver ecosystem services, such as carbon sequestration, improving soil fertility, preventing soil erosion, protecting watersheds, providing shade for both crops and animals, and supporting biodiversity.

Rights-based approaches and economic incentives were seen as the keys to success. Science has a major role to play in the global land restoration agenda and the agricultural targets in the climate agreement.  ICRAF’s tools such as the Tree Finder and the Agroforestry Database can support this ambition.

Peter Minang, FTA and ICRAF senior scientist and leader of the ASB Partnership for the Tropical Forest Margins presents the policy brief How agroforestry propels achievement of nationally determined contributions. Photo by Susan Onyango/ICRAF

Multisectoral process to NDC implementation in Peru

The Multisectoral Working Group, comprising Peru’s 13 ministries and the Centre of Strategic Planning, is working towards meeting the nation’s NDCs and sustainable development objectives. The group is exploring the potential of agriculture to contribute to the NDCs.

Valentina Robiglio, landscapes and climate-change scientist at ICRAF, discussed how agroforestry is being applied in Peru’s coffee and cocoa sectors.  The most direct contribution of agroforestry to the NDCs is increase in soil carbon stock. Indirect contributions include improved cocoa and coffee production and silviculture on degraded land. She stressed that increased investments in improving tree germplasm and capacity building for farmers and extension workers were crucial for increasing the uptake of agroforestry.

FTA scientist Peter Minang, who leads ICRAF’s Greening Tree Crop Landscapes research theme and the ASB Partnership for the Tropical Forest Margins, presented a newly-released policy brief, How agroforestry propels achievement of nationally determined contributions. The brief explores the degree to which agroforestry is represented in NDCs, how its application is envisaged and how its contribution could be enhanced. He said that agroforestry requires a multi-sectoral approach because it involves both agriculture and forestry. He called for the use of public finance to catalyse investments and de-risk agroforestry to cushion private-sector investments.

Way forward

Building on initiatives highlighted during the side events, the research and development sectors have the opportunity to work with governments towards meeting targets set out in the agriculture framework of the Paris Agreement. This demands better coordination and collaboration and financing to realize the goals.

By Susan Onyango, originally published at ICRAF’s Agroforestry World


The World Agroforestry Centre (ICRAF) is one of the 15 members of the CGIAR, a global partnership for a food-secure future. We thank all donors who support research in development through their contributions to the CGIAR Fund.


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