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  • CGIAR Research Program on Forests, Trees and Agroforestry (FTA) Annual Report 2017

CGIAR Research Program on Forests, Trees and Agroforestry (FTA) Annual Report 2017

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FTA COMMUNICATIONS TEAM

The CGIAR Research Program on Forests, Trees and Agroforestry (FTA) contributes to 9 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), to all CGIAR Intermediate Development Outcomes (IDOs) and to 31 sub-IDOs with different levels of investment. With efforts targeted respectively at 29%, 33%, 38% across System Level Outcomes (SLOs) 1, 2 and 3, FTA balanced its work across four main production systems (natural forests, plantations, pastures and cropping systems with trees) dealing with a number of globally traded and/or locally important tree-crop commodities (timber, oil palm, rubber, coffee, cocoa, coconut, wood fuel, fruits, etc.), that form the basis for the livelihoods of hundreds of millions of smallholders. These commodities also represent an important share of the land area, including 13 million km2 of forests and 9.5 million km2 of agricultural lands (45% of the total agricultural area with >10% tree cover). Progress towards IDOs in 2017 resulted from FTA work on technical innovations and tools, as well as on value chains, and institutional and policy processes. These innovations were taken up and diffused by different actors and along value chains, and all were suited to their particular context. As 2017 is the first year of FTA’s six-year program, progress towards SLOs was aimed at the upstream level; in some cases there was already progress towards downstream uptake.

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  • Drone technology for science

Drone technology for science

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CGIAR Research Program on Forests, Trees and Agroforestry (FTA) scientist Yves Laumonier of the Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR) and Agricultural Research for Development (CIRAD) explains how drone technology has furthered his research work in Indonesia. Here, he teaches his fellow colleagues how to operate the technology to get closer to forests and communities on the ground.

Originally published by CIFOR.

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

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  • ‘Rainfall recycling’ as a landscape function: Connecting SDGs 6, 13 and 15

‘Rainfall recycling’ as a landscape function: Connecting SDGs 6, 13 and 15

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The ‘Rainfall recycling’ as a landscape function: Connecting SDGs 6, 13 and 15 Discussion Forum was held at the Global Landscapes Forum (GLF) Bonn on Dec. 19, 2017.

Climate change is a reality and, for those most affected by it, it is often experienced as a change in the most basic commodity: water. Drawing on the insights of farmers and local communities, this session examines the role of forests in regulating the water cycle.

New research suggests that vegetation plays a critical role in the frequency and intensity of rainfall. This discussion forum will explore the implications on the many areas affected by these effects — land restoration, water management and climate change adaptation — toward an integrated approach for land/water and climate for the SDGs.

The discussion forum will build on a successful online symposium that took place in May 2017. The discussion will also discuss highlights of the current Global Forest Expert Panel (GFEP) on forests and water, which is expected to issue a policy relevant global assessment report in the first half of 2018.

The session was hosted by the CGIAR Research Program on Forests, Trees and Agroforestry (FTA) with the International Union of Forest Research Organizations (IUFRO) and Swedish International Agricultural Network Initiative (SIANI).

This video was originally published by the GLF.

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  • Enhancing tenure security and gender equality in the context of forest landscape restoration

Enhancing tenure security and gender equality in the context of forest landscape restoration

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The Enhancing tenure security and gender equality in the context of forest landscape restoration Discussion Forum was held at the Global Landscapes Forum (GLF) Bonn on Dec. 19, 2017.

The breadth and ambition of international commitments to restore the environment often hide the failure to consult – and directly benefit – the communities who rely on the targeted landscapes. Furthermore, past initiatives have occasionally exacerbated existing social inequities. Therefore, involving local communities, institutions and interests is necessary for a sustainable environmental agenda.

By drawing on a broad range of stakeholders in an open discussion, the forest landscape restoration (FLR) agenda aims to fully incorporate gender awareness and residents’ concerns. As a general theme, the panel sought to identify conflicts and synergies between forest restoration, tenure security and gender equality.

The session was hosted by the World Bank, with Program on Forests (PROFOR), Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR), CGIAR Research Program on Forests, Trees and Agroforestry (FTA), CGIAR Research Program on Water, Land and Ecosystems (WLE) and the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).

This video was originally published by the GLF.

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  • Agroforestry in landscape restoration for livelihoods, climate and ecosystem services

Agroforestry in landscape restoration for livelihoods, climate and ecosystem services

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The Agroforestry in landscape restoration for livelihoods, climate and ecosystem services Discussion Forum was held at the Global Landscapes Forum (GLF) Bonn on Dec. 20, 2017.

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 policy-making.

The session aimed to achieve a vital exchange of knowledge on ecosystem functionality, biodiversity, livelihoods and climate change, among other topics. The forum demonstrated the potential dividends for human wellbeing offered by landscape restoration in developing countries.

The session was hosted by the World Agroforestry Centre (ICRAF), with Humanist Institute for Co-operation with Developing Countries (HIVOS) and the CGIAR Research Program on Forests, Trees and Agroforestry (FTA).

This video was originally published by the GLF.

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  • FTA at GLF: From rainfall recycling to landscape restoration

FTA at GLF: From rainfall recycling to landscape restoration

An aerial shot of Southern Nepal. Photo by Chandra Shekhar Karki/CIFOR
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FTA COMMUNICATIONS TEAM

An aerial shot of Southern Nepal. Photo by Chandra Shekhar Karki/CIFOR

Following the CGIAR Research Program on Forests, Trees and Agroforestry’s (FTA) successful involvement in the Global Landscapes Forum (GLF) Peatlands earlier this year, FTA is anticipating productive involvement once again in the upcoming GLF Bonn on Dec. 19-20, 2017.

Of note is a Discussion Forum organized by FTA and the  International Union of Forest Research Organizations (IUFRO), ‘Rainfall Recycling’ as a Landscape Function: Connecting SDGs 6, 13 and 15, which will shed light on the role of forests and trees in the climate debate.

It will build on an online symposium held earlier this year and on a scientific review paper on the relationship between forests and water titled Trees, forests and water: Cool insights for a hot world. The discussion will also cover preliminary highlights of the current Global Forest Expert Panel (GFEP) on Forests and Water, which is expected to issue a policy relevant global assessment report in July 2018.

In an article following the online symposium, FTA Director Vincent Gitz and Meine van Noordwijk, both of whom will take part in the Discussion Forum, stated that “forests and trees are drivers of key mechanisms that govern the water cycle, atmospheric moisture, precipitation and climate at the local, regional and continental levels. In other words, forests and trees can help manage the water cycle not only from the well-known watershed perspective, but from a precipitation-shed perspective, with key implications for climate regulation. Geopolitical implications are huge: Who has the right to influence rainfall elsewhere?”

As research suggests that vegetation plays a critical role in the frequency and intensity of rainfall, the Discussion Forum will examine the role of forests in regulating the water cycle. This science is relevant for policies and implementation efforts related to climate change, land restoration, landscape management and food security.

A large patch of lemongrass in the Chisapani Community Forest. Photo by Chandra Shekhar Karki/CIFOR

In particular, the session aims to display the latest scientific findings on rainfall recycling and climate regulation in relation to forests and tree cover; explore the implications of these new scientific insights on climate, land, water and related policies and actions; and sketch a new agenda on water/land and climate, for coordinated science-to-policy linkages, from cross-cutting policy integration to implementation on the ground, and triggering interest for institutional and donor support.

“These findings have significant implications for policy and action, and for research – particularly for FTA research – and what it can do or the tools it can provide to inform and underpin this new agenda,” Gitz and Van Noordwijk wrote in the article.

Read more: FTA-IUFRO Discussion Forum

FTA is also involved in organizing two other Discussion Forums: Enhancing tenure security and gender equality in the context of forest landscape restoration, in which the panel will seek to identify conflicts and synergies between forest restoration, tenure security and gender equality; and Agroforestry’s role in landscape restoration: Connecting SDGs 15, 13, 1 and 3, which will focus on the accomplishments and future of agroforestry as a path toward sustainable landscape restoration. All Discussion Forums can be viewed online via the GLF website.

The GLF is expected to be a vibrant event involving world leaders, climate negotiators, policy makers, development practitioners, private sector representatives, world-class scientists, civil society and the media to accelerate action towards the creation of more resilient, equitable, profitable, productive and healthy landscapes.

For those attending the GLF in person, there will be many opportunities to see and hear from FTA scientists, including other Discussion Forums in which Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR) and World Agroforestry Centre (ICRAF) scientists will participate. FTA will also be well-represented in the Inclusive Landscapes Finance Pavilion and Restoration Pavilion, as well as TED-style Landscape Talks on topics ranging from integrated landscape approaches to peatlands.

Read more: FTA at GLF

Many notable plenary speakers are expected at the GLF, from actor Alec Baldwin who will give a video address, to Miss Rwanda 2016 Uwase Hirwa Honorine, the President of Mauritius Her Excellency Ameenah Gurib-Fakim, UN Environment Executive Director Erik Solheim, yogi and spiritual leader Sadhguru, UN Under-Secretary and UNCCD Chief Monique Barbut, indigenous leader Marcos Terena, French intellectual Jacques Attali who will also give a video address, cultural instigator Scott Goodson and Emmy Award-winning filmmaker Rob Burnet.

Meanwhile, over 200 young people are set to play the role of ambassadors, volunteers and coordinators over the two-day event, in a nod to youth integration and mainstreaming. Indigenous leaders from North America and the Pacific will also be present at the Indigenous People’s Pavilion to share their experiences and highlight the role of pastoralism as a viable livelihood system across significant landscapes worldwide, in the context of the Sustainable Development Goals, regional and national policy.

In addition, this year’s Wangari Maathai Award recipients, in honor of the late Nobel laureate, Kenyan environmental activist and founder of the Green Belt Movement, will be announced during the GLF.

Dubbed the world’s largest gathering on sustainability issues, the GLF will welcome more than 45 different organizations, with FTA among them. The GLF’s five key themes – Food and Livelihoods, Finance, Rights, Restoration, and Measuring Progress – are set to shape the event.

With the GLF’s key themes being of direct relevance to the work of FTA, the program is well-placed to help facilitate productive and valuable discussions, both to inform its own work and to support shared goals.

GLF Bonn 2017: Register to attend in person or watch online.


The CGIAR Research Program on Forests, Trees and Agroforestry (FTA) is supported by CGIAR Fund Donors.

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  • FTA at GLF: From rainfall recycling to landscape restoration

FTA at GLF: From rainfall recycling to landscape restoration

An aerial shot of Southern Nepal. Photo by Chandra Shekhar Karki/CIFOR
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FTA COMMUNICATIONS TEAM

An aerial shot of Southern Nepal. Photo by Chandra Shekhar Karki/CIFOR

Following the CGIAR Research Program on Forests, Trees and Agroforestry’s (FTA) successful involvement in the Global Landscapes Forum (GLF) Peatlands earlier this year, FTA is anticipating productive involvement once again in the upcoming GLF Bonn on Dec. 19-20, 2017.

Of note is a Discussion Forum organized by FTA and the  International Union of Forest Research Organizations (IUFRO), ‘Rainfall Recycling’ as a Landscape Function: Connecting SDGs 6, 13 and 15, which will shed light on the role of forests and trees in the climate debate.

It will build on an online symposium held earlier this year and on a scientific review paper on the relationship between forests and water titled Trees, forests and water: Cool insights for a hot world. The discussion will also cover preliminary highlights of the current Global Forest Expert Panel (GFEP) on Forests and Water, which is expected to issue a policy relevant global assessment report in July 2018.

In an article following the online symposium, FTA Director Vincent Gitz and Meine van Noordwijk, both of whom will take part in the Discussion Forum, stated that “forests and trees are drivers of key mechanisms that govern the water cycle, atmospheric moisture, precipitation and climate at the local, regional and continental levels. In other words, forests and trees can help manage the water cycle not only from the well-known watershed perspective, but from a precipitation-shed perspective, with key implications for climate regulation. Geopolitical implications are huge: Who has the right to influence rainfall elsewhere?”

As research suggests that vegetation plays a critical role in the frequency and intensity of rainfall, the Discussion Forum will examine the role of forests in regulating the water cycle. This science is relevant for policies and implementation efforts related to climate change, land restoration, landscape management and food security.

A large patch of lemongrass in the Chisapani Community Forest. Photo by Chandra Shekhar Karki/CIFOR

In particular, the session aims to display the latest scientific findings on rainfall recycling and climate regulation in relation to forests and tree cover; explore the implications of these new scientific insights on climate, land, water and related policies and actions; and sketch a new agenda on water/land and climate, for coordinated science-to-policy linkages, from cross-cutting policy integration to implementation on the ground, and triggering interest for institutional and donor support.

“These findings have significant implications for policy and action, and for research – particularly for FTA research – and what it can do or the tools it can provide to inform and underpin this new agenda,” Gitz and Van Noordwijk wrote in the article.

Read more: FTA-IUFRO Discussion Forum

FTA is also involved in organizing two other Discussion Forums: Enhancing tenure security and gender equality in the context of forest landscape restoration, in which the panel will seek to identify conflicts and synergies between forest restoration, tenure security and gender equality; and Agroforestry’s role in landscape restoration: Connecting SDGs 15, 13, 1 and 3, which will focus on the accomplishments and future of agroforestry as a path toward sustainable landscape restoration. All Discussion Forums can be viewed online via the GLF website.

The GLF is expected to be a vibrant event involving world leaders, climate negotiators, policy makers, development practitioners, private sector representatives, world-class scientists, civil society and the media to accelerate action towards the creation of more resilient, equitable, profitable, productive and healthy landscapes.

For those attending the GLF in person, there will be many opportunities to see and hear from FTA scientists, including other Discussion Forums in which Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR) and World Agroforestry Centre (ICRAF) scientists will participate. FTA will also be well-represented in the Inclusive Landscapes Finance Pavilion and Restoration Pavilion, as well as TED-style Landscape Talks on topics ranging from integrated landscape approaches to peatlands.

Read more: FTA at GLF

Many notable plenary speakers are expected at the GLF, from actor Alec Baldwin who will give a video address, to Miss Rwanda 2016 Uwase Hirwa Honorine, the President of Mauritius Her Excellency Ameenah Gurib-Fakim, UN Environment Executive Director Erik Solheim, yogi and spiritual leader Sadhguru, UN Under-Secretary and UNCCD Chief Monique Barbut, indigenous leader Marcos Terena, French intellectual Jacques Attali who will also give a video address, cultural instigator Scott Goodson and Emmy Award-winning filmmaker Rob Burnet.

Meanwhile, over 200 young people are set to play the role of ambassadors, volunteers and coordinators over the two-day event, in a nod to youth integration and mainstreaming. Indigenous leaders from North America and the Pacific will also be present at the Indigenous People’s Pavilion to share their experiences and highlight the role of pastoralism as a viable livelihood system across significant landscapes worldwide, in the context of the Sustainable Development Goals, regional and national policy.

In addition, this year’s Wangari Maathai Award recipients, in honor of the late Nobel laureate, Kenyan environmental activist and founder of the Green Belt Movement, will be announced during the GLF.

Dubbed the world’s largest gathering on sustainability issues, the GLF will welcome more than 45 different organizations, with FTA among them. The GLF’s five key themes – Food and Livelihoods, Finance, Rights, Restoration, and Measuring Progress – are set to shape the event.

With the GLF’s key themes being of direct relevance to the work of FTA, the program is well-placed to help facilitate productive and valuable discussions, both to inform its own work and to support shared goals.

GLF Bonn 2017: Register to attend in person or watch online.


The CGIAR Research Program on Forests, Trees and Agroforestry (FTA) is supported by CGIAR Fund Donors.

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  • Ensuring quality of research for development: The MELIA system

Ensuring quality of research for development: The MELIA system

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FTA COMMUNICATIONS TEAM

The CGIAR Research Program on Forests, Trees and Agroforestry (FTA) is an integrated global research initiative that aims to enhance the use, management and governance of forests, agroforestry and tree genetic resources as a way to improve livelihoods and the integrity of the environment. To test methods, approaches, partnerships and engagement strategies, and to seek the most effective means of achieving positive change, the program uses an innovative system to ensure the quality of its research, to monitor, evaluate and assess the outcomes (defined as changes in technical, social and economic behavior) and impact (defined as changes in actual environmental quality and human wellbeing) of its work.

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  • Gender equality and social inclusion

Gender equality and social inclusion

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FTA COMMUNICATIONS TEAM

An estimated 1.6 billion people worldwide depend in various ways and to different degrees on forests, trees and agroforestry for their livelihoods. Forests, trees and agroforestry have the potential to address many sustainable development challenges. Achieving this potential, providing appropriate solutions and leveraging opportunities requires understanding the complex roles of gender and other factors of social differentiation, such as age, in shaping livelihood and resource management decisions, governance, and the distribution of benefits from tree-based systems. This is why gender and social analyses are embedded into each domain of the CGIAR Research Program on Forests, Trees and Agroforestry (FTA).

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  • Tree genetic resources

Tree genetic resources

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FTA COMMUNICATIONS TEAM

The CGIAR Research Program on Forests, Trees and Agroforestry (FTA) works on tree genetic resources (TGR) to bridge production gaps and promote resilience to provide solutions for the more effective safeguarding, domestication and delivery of these resources by and to farmers, foresters and other stakeholders. This leads to diversified and more productive options for farming systems, to more varied diets and improved nutrition, to strengthened value chains for tree products, and to increased smallholder farm incomes. Importantly, the right TGR management decisions play an important role in enhancing the adaptive capacity of farm and forest ecosystems to cope with climate change and in countering landscape degradation.


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