• Home
  • Analysis of gender research on forest, tree and agroforestry value chains in Latin America

Analysis of gender research on forest, tree and agroforestry value chains in Latin America

Posted by

FTA COMMUNICATIONS TEAM

Latin America presents an important opportunity for research in gender and forest, tree and agroforestry (FTA) value chains due in part to the growth of its rural-urban interface, the region’s large expanses of existing forests, and the relatively limited research on gender and forestry themes in Latin America to date.

This paper seeks to analyze the principal themes and findings in the literature related to gender and FTA value chains in Latin America, and to provide recommendations for future areas of research. The analytical review focuses on literature from 2000 to 2017 and includes a total of 50 publications. Studies tend to analyze how the interplay of norms and policies can influence women’s and men’s benefits from participation in FTA value chains.

While a significant portion of the literature seeks to illuminate women’s contributions to FTA value chains, increased research on both women’s and men’s roles is necessary in order to understand gender dynamics along the chains. Additional research on gender equality impacts of women specific value chain interventions will also be important in order to assess opportunities and challenges for enhancing women’s empowerment in Latin America’s dynamic rural context.

  • Home
  • Webinar: Género, agroforestería y cambio climático en América Latina (Parte 1)

Webinar: Género, agroforestería y cambio climático en América Latina (Parte 1)

Posted by

FTA communications

Fecha: 23 de noviembre, 2016

Este webinar buscó proveer hallazgos recientes de investigaciones empíricas en género y agroforestería en países latinoamericanos, a tomadores de decisiones de los sectores agropecuarios y ambientales y profesionales involucrados en el desarrollo rural en América Latina, con el fin de promover la integración de género en la formulación de políticas e intervenciones de cambio climático. Específicamente, los objetivos del webinar incluyeron: Compartir nuevas investigaciones de Sur y Centro América sobre género, agroforestería y cambio climático con tomadores de decisiones y profesionales en América Latina; y Discutir experiencias y buenas prácticas para la integración de género en la formulación de políticas e intervenciones en agricultura, agroforestería y cambio climático

  • Home
  • Webinar: Género, agroforestería y cambio climático en América Latina (Parte 2)

Webinar: Género, agroforestería y cambio climático en América Latina (Parte 2)

Posted by

FTA communications

Fecha: 23 de noviembre, 2016

Este webinar buscó proveer hallazgos recientes de investigaciones empíricas en género y agroforestería en países latinoamericanos, a tomadores de decisiones de los sectores agropecuarios y ambientales y profesionales involucrados en el desarrollo rural en América Latina, con el fin de promover la integración de género en la formulación de políticas e intervenciones de cambio climático. Específicamente, los objetivos del webinar incluyeron: Compartir nuevas investigaciones de Sur y Centro América sobre género, agroforestería y cambio climático con tomadores de decisiones y profesionales en América Latina; y Discutir experiencias y buenas prácticas para la integración de género en la formulación de políticas e intervenciones en agricultura, agroforestería y cambio climático.

  • Home
  • FTA event coverage: Credit Suisse, CIAT and IFPRI endorse Global Landscapes Forum

FTA event coverage: Credit Suisse, CIAT and IFPRI endorse Global Landscapes Forum

Posted by

FTA

Mark Burrows, Vice Chairman at Credit Suisse, IFPRI’s Director General Shenggen Fan and CIAT’s Director General Ruben Echeverria give their endorsement to the long-term future of the Global Landscapes Forum.

Through scientific input, capacity-building programs, online engagement, thematic symposiums and global events, GLF aspires to introduce one billion people by 2020 to the landscape approach – and connect them in embracing it. The GLF is more than just a series of events: it is a dynamic platform with which diverse stakeholders can collaborate to create a more sustainable world.

See the full event coverage at http://www.landscapes.org/glf-marrakesh/videos/

  • Home
  • Four unexplored big wins in agriculture: tackling climate change through landscape restoration

Four unexplored big wins in agriculture: tackling climate change through landscape restoration

Posted by

FTA

28958502692_b93eeac4d5_k-2-1080x675
Photo: CIAT

By Georgina Smith, originally published at CIAT’s blog

Four solutions lie in how we farm our food and treat our landscapes: this session aims to throw light on some of the tools that can tackle climate change head-on.

During this session, we call on the audience at the on-going 22nd Conference of the Parties (COP 22) to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) in Morocco to consider these:

The first big win: trees on agricultural land could sink four times more carbon. Recent studies show that carbon sequestered by trees on agricultural land is not well accounted for. If it was, researchers argue in this study: “Global Tree Cover and Biomass Carbon on Agricultural Land: The contribution of agroforestry to global and national carbon budgets,” total carbon estimates from agricultural land could be more than four times higher than they are.

Yet while carbon stored and sequestered by forests is widely recognized and land cover changes well monitored, carbon stored by trees on agricultural land needs to be measured better. Growing more trees on farm land could be a fast and easy route to increasing carbon sequestration, above and below ground, with a myriad of other benefits.

That entails mapping landscapes to guide decision makers about where to invest in certain management practices over others, and policies that enhance carbon sequestration on agricultural land to benefit farmers and society as a whole.

image-2-trees-on-farms

The second big win is that carbon can be absorbed back into the soil. The stock of carbon in the soil is twice as high as that in the atmosphere. Small changes in soil carbon can have big impact on atmospheric carbon.

This session discusses new research from the International Center for Tropical Agriculture and The Nature Conservancy, presenting an initiative that could offset all CO2 emissions from fossil fuel burning that are not already absorbed by oceans and land.

Data and maps show the most up-to-date soil properties from World Soil Information and Food and Agriculture Organization and illustrate where carbon could be sequestered if practices to enhance soil organic matter were widely adopted.

Since agricultural soils, already managed actively, have lost significant amounts of carbon, they could also re-absorb carbon based on soil type and climate. What’s needed are site-specific tools for decision makers presenting the bigger picture on where soils are degraded, and where to invest to improve soil carbon stocks.

A third big win looks at protecting wetland and peatland ecosystems

These ecosystems contain around 20% of global soil organic carbon stocks. But tropical peat fires are a major contributor to global greenhouse gas emissions, producing transboundary “hazes” impacting human health, regional economies and ecosystems.

Huge opportunities to mitigate climate change lie in protecting these lands. But they are often under threat from commercial and development interests. Combined with contemporary agricultural practices on peatlands – land clearance, burning, drainage and fertilization – these landscapes and the carbon they store are at risk. How can they be climate-proofed?

The fourth big win shows how improving grasslands can provide a triple-climate-win. Brachiaria grasses sequester significant amounts of soil organic carbon – conservative estimates indicate a 2-3 fold higher annual sequestration rate than in other annual cropping systems.

A growing body of research shows that some varieties of brachiaria reduce N2O emissions from soils, a phenomenon known as biological nitrification inhibition. New research also finds 40% more milk and tens of millions of dollars in revenue are possible for African farmers adopting drought resilient brachiaria varieties.

Wider adoption of brachiaria grasses to improve grasslands has a tremendous potential to mitigate climate – especially in sub-Saharan Africa. But further research is needed to investigate commercial-quality seed in Africa, and tackle climate-related challenges like new pests and diseases.

Unexplored big wins for climate change through landscape restoration,” is a side event at the Global Landscape Forum, on Wednesday November 16th, Ourika room, Kenzi Club Agdal Medina, Marrakesh, 11.00 – 12.30. The session is co-hosted by CIAT and the CGIAR Research Program on Water, Land and Ecosystems. 

For more information and next steps on action read our four briefs:

Big win 1: trees on agricultural land could sink four times more carbon.

Big win 2: Carbon can be absorbed back into the soil

Big win 3: Protecting Wetland and Peatland ecosystems 

Big win 4: improving grasslands

  • Home
  • Robert Nasi: Partnerships make forests, trees and agroforestry program work

Robert Nasi: Partnerships make forests, trees and agroforestry program work

Posted by

FTA

Robert Nasi. Photo: CIFOR
Robert Nasi. Photo: CIFOR

The CGIAR Research Program on Forests, Trees and Agroforestry (FTA) is entering its next phase in 2017; this is an opportunity to take stock of the partnerships that made this research program a success and to look at the new partners who will come on board. In several upcoming blog posts and interviews, we are showcasing partnerships that can serve as examples, in the knowledge that it took hundreds of partners to make it work: donor agencies, research institutes and universities, government bodies, nongovernmental organizations and farmers on the ground. For our first blog, we asked the previous FTA Director Robert Nasi about the FTA partnership model and what worked well. You can find more stories on partnerships here.

Partnerships are key to the delivery pathways of FTA; also we have many different levels and types of partnerships within the program, spanning research, capacity development, outreach, implementation, and more.

The core management partnership is between the Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR), Agricultural Research for Development (CIRAD), Bioversity InternationalTropical Agricultural Research and Higher Education Center [Centro Agronómico Tropical de Investigación y Enseñanza], (CATIE), the International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT) and the World Agroforestry Centre (ICRAF).

This partnership has been effective although we had a rather difficult starting point in 2011 when centers were essentially competing for leadership of the different Research Programs.


Also read: CGIAR Research Program on Forests, Trees and Agroforestry has new Director


Developing and implementing FTA research gave us the opportunity to sit and plan together, to exchange knowledge and ideas and to learn to value each other. And now, after five years, we can see an increased level of solidarity between partners in developing and getting over the various hurdles during the joint preparation of the proposal for the next phase.

In South Sulawesi, the two FTA partners CIFOR and ICRAF collaborate in the successful AgFor project. Photo: Tri Saputro/CIFOR
In South Sulawesi, the two FTA partners CIFOR and ICRAF collaborate in the successful AgFor project. Photo: Tri Saputro/CIFOR

We can honestly say that we have moved from a competitive to a more collaborative approach. Of course there still is and will be some level of competition because of the nature of the work and the funding context but we are becoming more and more collaborative in our fundraising efforts.

We now have a mature partnership so we can address hard issues up front and solve them together. For me, this is real success and proof of a real partnership.

New partners joining

The fact that new partners, such as Tropenbos International and the International Network for Bamboo and Rattan (INBAR) want to join us demonstrates the value and reputation of the FTA as a partnership. They want to come on board as core partners for the new phase because they are interested in the research agenda and because FTA as a program adds value to their work. Partners are interested because of the things we do and because of the added value of being part of an integrated effort more than for the prospect of getting a huge amount of money.

Bigger than the sum of its parts

The Tropical managed Forest Observatory is a product of partnerships within FTA.
The Tropical managed Forest Observatory is a product of partnerships within FTA.

We have developed specific partnerships within FTA that are bigger than the program, for example the Tropical managed Forests Observatory (TmFO), led by CIRAD which has 22 institutions working in it. The Partnership for the Tropical Forest Margins (ASB) and the Sentinel Landscapes project are other partnerships within FTA.

Working through the difficulties

During the last 24 months, we have had some issues with commitment to our partners because of unplanned budget cuts but thanks to the maturity of the partnership we have managed to overcome these and keep people on board (even after cutting their budget by more than 50% in some cases).

There is still some room for improvement. It is not always easy for people in one institution to understand what is happening in another in terms of budget management or internal procedures. It is often challenging for non-CGIAR partners to respond to specific CGIAR requests.

This has created some practical issues, but we’ve always managed to sort it out. So, all in all, FTA in a short number of years and in a difficult budget environment, has managed to gather up six competitive organizations at the top of their field in forest, trees, agroforestry and land use research, to work together in a real collaborative way. And the decision by the CGIAR System Council to continue this vast integrated program for another six years confirms that FTA phase 1 was a real success story.

More partnerships stories:

Long-term relationships and mutual trust—partnerships and research on climate change

The best science is nothing without local voices: Partnerships and landscapes

Influence flows both ways: Partnerships are key to research on Livelihood systems

Connecting with countries: Tropenbos International to join CGIAR Research Program on Forests, Trees and Agroforestry

Partnership increases number of academically trained foresters in DR Congo from 6 to 160 in just ten years

  • Home
  • Are the major imperatives of food security missing in ecosystem services research?

Are the major imperatives of food security missing in ecosystem services research?

Posted by

FTA communications

Authors: Cruz-Garcia, Gisella S.; Sachet, Erwan; Vanegas, Martha; Piispanen, Kyle

It has been widely recognized that food security depends on the sustainable use and provisioning of ecosystem services. The goal of this paper is to present an overview of the scientific literature on ecosystem services and food security, with a major focus on case studies of farming communities in Africa, Asia, and Latin America, in order to answer the following research questions: (1) does ecosystem services research generate knowledge that helps to address the major imperatives of food security?, and (2) are the multiple linkages between ecosystem services and food security analyzed or assumed in research? The results of the study highlighted that food utilization, access and stability, which are the major food security challenges in the world, remained under-investigated. There is a major bias on food availability in relation to crop production, and most articles assumed that food security would improve by increasing crop productivity, but this hypothesis remained largely untested. Other research blind-spots were co-production, trade-offs and off-site effects of ecosystem services in relation to food security, gender and cultural services. The study concludes that ecosystem services research needs to improve efforts to generate knowledge that helps to address the main imperatives of food security.

Source: Ecosystem Services, June 2016

  • Home
  • Low Emission Development Strategies in Agriculture. An Agriculture, Forestry, and Other Land Uses (AFOLU) Perspective

Low Emission Development Strategies in Agriculture. An Agriculture, Forestry, and Other Land Uses (AFOLU) Perspective

Posted by

FTA communications

As countries experience economic growth and choose among available development pathways, they are in a favorable position to adopt natural resource use technologies and production practices that favor efficient use of inputs, healthy soils, and ecosystems. Current emphasis on increasing resilience to climate change and reducing agricultural greenhouse gasses (GHG) emissions strengthens the support for sustainable agricultural production. In fact, reducing losses in soil fertility, reclaiming degraded lands, and promoting synergistic interaction between crop production and forests are generally seen as good climate change policies. In order for decision-makers to develop long-term policies that address these issues, they must have tools at their disposal that evaluate trade-offs, opportunities, and repercussions of the options considered. In this paper, the authors combine and reconcile the output of three models widely accessible to the public to analyze the impacts of policies that target emission reduction in the agricultural sector. We present an application to Colombia which reveals the importance of considering the full scope of interactions among the various land uses. Results indicate that investments in increasing the efficiency and productivity of the livestock sector and reducing land allocated to pasture are preferable to policies that target deforestation alone or target a reduction of emissions in crop production. Investments in livestock productivity and land-carrying capacity would reduce deforestation and provide sufficient gains in carbon stock to offset greater emissions from increased crop production while generating higher revenues.

Source: Word Development, November 2016

  • Home
  • Setting the record straight on oil palm and peat in South East Asia: Letter by 139 scientists

Setting the record straight on oil palm and peat in South East Asia: Letter by 139 scientists

Researchers use geo-radar technology to measure peat depth in the Tumbang Nusa research forest, outside Palangka Raya, Central Kalimantan. Photo by Aulia Erlangga/ CIFOR
Posted by

FTA

Researchers use geo-radar technology to measure peat depth in the Tumbang Nusa research forest, outside Palangka Raya, Central Kalimantan. Photo by Aulia Erlangga/ CIFOR
Researchers use geo-radar technology to measure peat depth in the Tumbang Nusa research forest, outside Palangka Raya, Central Kalimantan. Photo by Aulia Erlangga/ CIFOR

Adapted from CIAT Blog

A group of 139 scientists, including from the CGIAR Research Program on Forests, Trees and Agroforestry, have published a letter in response to recent newspaper reports carrying comments made by a Malaysian government minister about the country’s peatlands.

The Minister of Modernisation, Agriculture and Rural Economy, Douglas Uggah Embas, described oil palm production – one of the biggest culprits in the destruction of Malaysia’s peatlands – as being “handled well” and “responsibly” in the country.

The comments were made to reporters by during an official dinner of the 16th International Peat Congress in Sarawak, in August, and were widely reported in regional media.

Writing in Global Change Biology, the scientists, representing 115 government, academic, industry and non-governmental organisations from 20 countries, describe the comments as a state of denial, with potentially “devastating consequences.”

The letter goes on to clarify that Mr Uggah’s view is not shared by the majority of the participants who attended the Congress, nor does it reflect the evidence presented there, which is backed by several decades of scientific research.

hqdefault-4
Watch: What really happens when peat swamp-forest is cleared?

“Peat is an enormously valuable and extremely threatened resource,” said Louis Verchot, leader of CIAT’s Soils Research Program, and one of the scientists who signed the letter. “The Deputy Chief Minister is entitled to his opinion, but it is not shared by the vast majority of participants at the Congress, nor is it supported by science.

“It’s vital that these important issues are better understood. Our letter is an attempt to do that.”

The letter says that business-as-usual management of tropical peatland in SE Asia – which frequently includes burning to clear the land for oil palm plantation – is not sustainable and can no longer be justified.


Also read: Peatland loss could emit 2,800 years’ worth of carbon in an evolutionary eyeblink: study


1. What is peat?

Peat is what we call an organic soil, or in scientific terms, a histosol. It is made up of partially decayed plant matter (humus) that has accumulated in places with wet conditions where low levels of oxygen greatly slow the breakdown of organic matter.

Watch: Greenhouse Gas Emissions Associated with Land Use Change in Tropical Peat Swamp Forest
Watch: Greenhouse Gas Emissions Associated with Land Use Change in Tropical Peat Swamp Forest

2. Peat soils worldwide store as much carbon as the atmosphere

Soils worldwide store about three times as much carbon as is found in the atmosphere and one-third of this soil carbon is found in peat soils. In turn, tropical peatlands store at least one-third of the global peat carbon.  We say “at least” because tropical peatlands are poorly mapped and many scientists believe that these estimates are low.

Science has consistently shown that draining and clearing of peat swamps – usually for agriculture – causes the release of very large quantities of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere.

3. Burning of peatlands and noxious smog

As well as draining peatlands for farming, the vegetation growing there is also cleared – usually by burning it. When the vegetation burns, the peat material often catches fire and even larger amounts of carbon dioxide along with other noxious chemicals (carbon monoxide, methane, nitric oxide, cyanide, formaldehyde and other aldehydes, ammonia, particulates (PM10 and PM2.5), etc. This has happened on such an enormous scale that it has resulted in the notorious Southeast Asian haze, a blanket of noxious smog that has enveloped major capitals in the region over the last few years.

4. Oil palm production is a major cause of deforestation in peatlands

Peatlands in Southeast Asia are being cleared at alarmingly high rates.  Forest clearing generally in the region was about 1% per year between 2000 and 2010, but for peatlands the rate was more than double that, with oil palm a major driver there.

5. Draining peatlands for agriculture is unsustainable…

Tropical peatlands naturally form a dome of organic matter between two rivers.  The area between the rivers can be several meters above these water courses.  When peat is drained for production, the domes subside over time.  As the surface lowers, water from the rivers floods into the peat.  Thus, over time the area becomes seasonally flooded and finally permanently flooded.  At this point it is no longer economically feasible to pump water out of the peatlands and agricultural production cannot be sustained in these areas. One estimate suggests that over 40% of the region’s coastal peatlands could be flooded within the next 25 years if current practices continue.

6…And the search for sustainable use of peatland continues

The scientists argue that truly sustainable uses of peatland for agriculture do not yet exist.  They agree that finding a solution will require crops that can be grown in flooded conditions, and as yet no viable alternatives exist.  There have been suggestions that some native trees that grow naturally in these flooded conditions might be domesticated such as Borneo Tallow Nut or Jelutung (a latex producing species).  Maintaining the hydrological integrity of these systems will be essential for sustainability.

  • Home
  • Terra-i team, scientific talent for a greener world

Terra-i team, scientific talent for a greener world

Posted by

FTA

Terra-i_EN_300-1Originally published at CIAT’s blog

The Terra-i,  which works under CIAT’s Decision and Policy Analysis (DAPA) Research Area, is constantly evolving, and their main goal this year is to process a larger amount of data in less time.

“To meet this challenge we purchased more data processing devices and improved the software of our current equipment to increase automatization of some of the steps in the process. He also added that this work was carried out in joint collaboration with the College of Engineering and Management of the Canton of Vaud (HEIG-VD, based in Switzerland).” Louis Reymondin, Leader of the Terra-i team

Terra-i is a vegetation monitoring system for Latin America, Africa, Asia and Oceania, used to detect land-cover changes in near real time. This tool is based on the hypothesis that vegetation has predictable patterns with specific cycles according to climatic conditions and soil characteristics.

The Terra-i system generates specialized information for sustainable use and conservation of natural resources and ecosystems. Moreover, it is updated permanently and allows to incorporate the results from analyses with higher resolution images. This information is used to address climate change mitigation, forest conservation, and biological diversity, among others.

It is important to highlight that this initiative is an inter-institutional collaboration betweenCIAT, The Nature Conservancy (TNC), the CGIAR Research Program on Forests, Trees and Agroforestry (FTA), the College of Engineering and Management Vaud (HEIG-VD, based in Switzerland), and King’s College London (KCL, based in the UK).

“This year we are planning to obtain more data for analysis in less time, particularly in Latin America and the tropics. We are searching for new opportunities in countries such as Honduras and Guatemala, and we will present the system in Asia to form a new working team.” Paula Andrea Paz, Research Assistant

Terra-i’s evolution

Recent achievements

  • The Peruvian Ministry of Environment (MINAM) adopted the Terra-i system to monitor deforestation.
  • A group of American scientists used the data collected between 2004 and 2012 in eastern Honduras to write a publication in Science.
  • Data shared with the “cartochaco” initiative. For further information, please visit www.cartochaco.org.
  • The team became a data provider for the Global Forest Watch, one of the biggest initiatives in data analysis on forest loss.
  • Moreover, Global Forest Watch allocated resources to the Terra-i team to run analyses and produce data every month instead of every two months.
  • The team received the CIAT Award for Outstanding Research Outcome, with a cash price of US$5.000 to fund their professional development.

Our team: 

Louis Reymondin

Louis Reymondin, Leader of the Terra-i team

Louis Reymondin is an expert in the development of software that combines big data and georeferenced information. He studied software development in the University of Applied Sciences in West Switzerland and then completed a PhD in Geography in the King’s College London. Louis has more than 10 years of experience in the coordination of the Terra-i project and research that involves the use of artificial intelligence and data mining to better understand the dynamics between human and environmental activities.

Jhon Jairo Tello

Jhon Jairo Tello, System Engineer

Jhon Jairo Tello graduated from Universidad Cooperativa de Colombia since 2011. Since then, he has been working on Terra-i, mainly in the development of its website.

Paula Andrea Paz

Paula Andrea Paz, Research Assistant

Topographical Engineer from Universidad del Valle. She works on the Terra-i project with data and information download, processing and post-processing, and supports deforestation monitoring in Latin America and across the tropics.

Oscar Bautista

Oscar Bautista, Research Assistant

Agricultural Engineer from Universidad Nacional de Colombia. He has been working since 2012 as a consultant in diverse conservation projects. Moreover, he has been engaged in the identification of ecosystem pressure and threats to assess land-use change and forest loss impact. Currently, he works as a research assistant in DAPA and is part of the team responsible for data generation, download, and processing.

Bernadette Menzinger

Bernadette Menzinger, Visiting Researcher

Geographer graduated from Julius-Maximilians-Universitat Wurzburg in Germany in 2014. She specialized as a research assistant supervising land use in West Africa. Currently she is pursuing her masters studies in High Mountain Geography and Climatology at the University of Graz in Austria, and is working as a visiting researcher in Terra-i. She is responsible for updating data, and downloading and processing information.

Finally, it is important to highlight the work carried out by former members of the Terra-i team who contributed to the success of this project. The Terra-i team wants to thank especially Karolina Argote and Alejandro Coca for their great contributions and dedication to the project.

More info about the Terra-i team
Terra-i: A Cool Tool for Detecting Deforestation. 


Back to top

Sign up to our monthly newsletter

Connect with us