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  • Gender-blind climate action risks jeopardizing efficiency and long-term sustainability

Gender-blind climate action risks jeopardizing efficiency and long-term sustainability

Women harvesting lemongrass. Photo by Chandra Shekhar Karki/CIFOR.
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Markus Ihalainen speaks on a panel hosted by ICRAF at COP24 in Katowice, Poland. Photo by Susan Onyango/ICRAF

Failing to address gender equality in forest- and tree-based climate initiatives can have negative implications for gender equity, while also potentially undermining the efficiency and sustainability of climate efforts, according to gender specialist Markus Ihalainen, speaking at recent UN climate talks.

Forested landscapes play a key role in all 1.5 degree pathways modelled by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) in its recent report.

At the same time, they also provide many functions critical to adaptation, said Ihalainen a researcher with the CGIAR Research Program on Forests, Trees and Agroforestry (FTA) and its partner institution the Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR), at the 24th Conference of the Parties (COP24) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) held in Katowice, Poland.

“The long-term success of the required land-use changes is ultimately dependent on the contributions of both women and men who are using those lands for their livelihoods,” Ihalainen said during a presentation in the UK “Green is Great” pavilion on the sidelines of the annual conference. “At the same time, interventions that do not take gender and other aspects of social diversity into account often risk adversely impacting marginalized groups.”

Read more: FTA at COP24

NETWORK GROWTH

Despite an increasing body of literature on the topic, forest policymakers often overlook gender considerations. However, gender blindness is a problem that makes women’s participation and contributions invisible and allows forest management to be incorrectly treated as “gender neutral.”

For example, while many Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDCs) include forest-sector related targets, the majority of the 25 INDCs reviewed by CIFOR fail to mention gender or refer to it only superficially. Under the terms of the 2015 Paris Agreement on climate change, INDCs establish guidelines intended to hold the increase in global average temperature to well below 2 degrees Celsius, to pursue efforts to limit the increase to 1.5 degrees Celsius, and achieve net zero emissions in the second half of the 21st century.

A woman picks tea on a plantation in Gunung Halimun-Salak national park, Java, Indonesia. Photo by Mokhamad Edliadi/CIFOR

Studies of women’s involvement in conservation programs have showed that inclusive processes could yield more equitable outcomes, while more inclusive forest user groups also tend to demonstrate better environmental performance, Ihalainen said, adding that such synergies must be built, not simply assumed.

Ihalainen referred to recent findings from CIFOR’s Global Comparative Study on REDD+. The first phase of the research, spanning across 16 pilot project sites in six countries, investigated community participation in Reducing Emissions from forest Degradation and Deforestation (REDD+) design and implementation.

The study found that women often participated far less than their male counterparts and, even when women participated, they often lacked the information and awareness of REDD+ needed for their participation to be effective.

Three years later, the research team returned to the same sites to assess the impact of REDD+ on subjectively defined wellbeing.

“Between phase one and phase two of the pilot projects there was a significant decline observed in the subjective wellbeing of the women in comparison to men in the same villages, as well as in comparison to women and men in control sites with no REDD+ intervention,” said Ihalainen, who also delivered a presentation at a session hosted by FTA partner institution the World Agroforestry Centre (ICRAF).

Read more: Global commitment growing for gender equality in climate action

While more work is needed on the specific causal mechanisms, combining the two datasets would suggest that the failure to meaningfully consider gender issues could be associated with a relative decline in women’s wellbeing.

But in addition to the potentially detrimental impact on gender equality, gender-blind climate action also risks jeopardizing efficiency and long-term sustainability. Ihalainen pointed to four areas where gender considerations are crucial.

Land tenure security is a critical incentive for long-term investments in sustainable landscape management practices, but in general, land rights and tenure security for women are weak. A study of women farmers study of women farmers in Ethiopia found that land insecure women were less likely to adopt sustainable agroforestry practices than men. However, when they had secure land tenure they were actually more likely than men to do so.

Resolving gender division of labor concerns can also be an incentive for more sustainable activities. Often, agroforestry practices and tree planting programs are reliant on women’s labor, but in many areas women do not have rights to trees when they grow.

A stream runs through Gunung Halimun-Salak National Park, Indonesia. Photo by Mokhamad Edliadi/CIFOR

Weaker decision-making opportunities also put women at a disadvantage. For example, in Nepal, male-dominated forest user groups opted to protect valuable timber species, often benefitting men, while removing many food and medicinal plants as weeds.

A study in Vietnam revealed that most women preferred non-cash benefits from REDD+ projects. However, the programs were structured around cash payments, which were ultimately controlled by men.

In addition to reinforcing or even exacerbating gender inequalities, all of the aforementioned issues also serve as disincentives to women’s continued participation and contributions, ultimately jeopardizing the long-term sustainability of the environmental objectives.

Read more: Women left on sidelines of decisions about forest management

ACTIVE PARTICIPATION

“Addressing gender equality in landscape management allows people to make decisions about what happens in their lives and livelihoods and also increases the likelihood of successful climate action,” Ihalainen said. “However, synergies cannot just be assumed, it is important that they are built through gender analysis, robust data and proper planning. Tokenistic add-on approaches are not enough to safeguard women’s rights.”

Importantly, sectoral efforts to enhance gender equity in participation and benefit sharing, for instance, can be supported by broader efforts aimed at addressing gender equality.

Ihalainen offered an example from Nyandarua, Kenya, where the Kenya Forest Service leveraged the constitutional requirement to have a one third gender balance in all elected bodies to increase women’s participation in community forest associations.

Critically, efforts to enhance gender equity in program activities need to be complemented with measures and targets directed at addressing the structural causes of gender inequality. Considering gender equality and women’s empowerment as a goal in itself can also allow for identifying synergies between mitigation, adaptation and equality.

This is particularly important in the land sector, where mitigation efforts often need to co-exist alongside other land-use needs. Ihalainen offered an example from Burkina Faso, where CIFOR researchers compared a number of restoration options, including timber monocultures and shea parklands.

The team found that while timber monocultures demonstrated slightly higher carbon sequestration values, shea parklands – in addition to carbon storage – offered multiple cobenefits, including income-generation opportunities to women and enhanced household food security.

Ihalainen argued for the importance of climate policies and programs to complement process-related gender mainstreaming targets with progress-oriented indicators, aimed at addressing structural inequalities underlying differentiated vulnerabilities and capacities.

Many of these targets have already been identified and agreed upon in the UN Sustainable Development Goals framework. Formulating clear progress-related targets would also allow to hold policymakers, implementers and donors accountable for their impacts on gender equality, he said.

“This is why it is so important to make sure that references to human rights and gender equality feature prominently in the texts here in Katowice, where we are discussing the modalities of implementing, monitoring and reporting on the Paris Agreement,” Ihalainen added.

By Julie Mollins, originally published at CIFOR’s Forests News.

For more information on this topic, please contact Markus Ihalainen at [email protected].


This work forms part of the Global Comparative Study on REDD+

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  • Workshop on social and gender dynamics aims to improve resilience and livelihoods in Ghana

Workshop on social and gender dynamics aims to improve resilience and livelihoods in Ghana

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Restoration of landscapes in Ghana requires men and women to work together. Photo by Joan Baxter/ICRAF

Raising awareness of gender equity and equality is critical for Africa’s future, with workshops like one held recently in Ghana an important contribution.

Almost two dozen representatives from Ghanaian development agencies working in partnership with the World Agroforestry Centre (ICRAF) in northern Ghana gathered in the city of Bolgatanga on Nov. 13, 2018 for a training workshop titled Social and Gender Dynamics and their Importance for Improving Resilience and Livelihoods.

The participants expressed a strong interest in learning more about gender equity and equality so that they could integrate the concepts into agricultural and natural resource management. Given the often-sensitive nature of the issues and that male participants outnumbered females at 15 to 11, discussions were at times lively.

A few of the men said they were uneasy with the notions of gender equity and equality, if that meant women would have the ‘same status as men’ or expect their husbands to take on household tasks such as bathing children or cooking, or abruptly challenge traditional and cultural values.

ICRAF gender specialist Ana Maria Paez, who facilitated the workshop, explained that ‘gender equity’ was a ‘process of being fair to women and men’ through strategies and measures that ‘compensate for women’s historical and social disadvantages that prevent women and men from otherwise operating on a level playing field’.

“Gender equity leads to equality,” she told participants, distinguishing it from gender equality, which is a ‘state, an ideal outcome’. “Gender equality refers to equal enjoyment by women, girls, boys and men of opportunities, resources and rewards. A critical aspect of promoting gender equality is the empowerment of women, with a focus on identifying and redressing power imbalances.”

The workshop was hosted by Emilie Smith Dumont, coordinator of the West Africa Forest–Farm Interface (WAFFI) project in Burkina Faso and Ghana. She is also the Ghana focal point for the ambitious, five-year Regreening Africa project funded by the European Union.

The WAFFI project is led by the Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR) in collaboration with ICRAF and Tree Aid with support from the International Fund for Agricultural Development. WAFFI aims to identify practices and policy actions that improve the income and food security of smallholders in Burkina Faso and Ghana through integrated forest and tree management systems that are environmentally sound and socially equitable.

Workshop participant work on a drawing of an ‘ideal man’. Photo by Emilie Smith Dumont/ICRAF

Regreening Africa seeks to reverse land degradation among 500,000 households across 1 million hectares in eight countries in Sub-Saharan Africa. Incorporating trees into crop land, communal land and pastoral areas can reclaim Africa’s degraded landscapes. In Ghana, the work is led by World Vision in collaboration with ICRAF and Catholic Relief Services.

“Our purpose was to bring people together to find ways to fully integrate and promote gender issues and transformation into projects,” said Smith Dumont. “The context is land restoration at the forest–farm interface because there is a very strong gendered role around trees in landscapes.

“This kind of collaboration is extremely important for improving livelihoods: we know that trees contribute greatly to livelihoods. We have found from our work that family cohesion increases resilience of households and that all goes back to more balanced gender relations.”

Among other themes, participants engaged in extensive, and often intensive, discussions about the difference between gender, which is a social construct, and sex, which pertains to physical characteristics, as well as on processes of gender transformation and, thus, societal change.

One of the more colorful sessions involved male participants drawing and describing what they would consider the ‘ideal woman’ and female participants doing the same for an ‘ideal man’. This led to animated discussions, closely analyzing some of the stereotypes of men and women revealed by the drawings.

But the over-arching theme of the workshop and the key messages that emerged had most to do with analyses of gender in agriculture, including divisions of labour, access to, and control of, resources and their benefits, based on findings from WAFFI.

The discussion revealed how gender influences many aspects of the management of farms, households, trees and forests in communities.

Participants also looked at specific issues that were particularly relevant for their project work in northern Ghana, including tree management and landscape restoration, soil and water conservation, and ways to ensure equitable representation of men and women in project planning, implementation and monitoring.

They also examined how gender awareness is, or is not, already integrated into their activities in community forestry, value chains and market access, local governance, and agricultural productivity.

A woman views a gulley on her farm in Mwingi, Kenya. Photo by Ake Mamo/ICRAF

From the discussions, they distilled some tangible ways to be more responsive to gender issues in their activities.

For community forestry, participants proposed several actions. First, bush fires are an annual and serious problem in northern Ghana. More sensitization and training should be undertaken with women to empower them to prevent, control and manage burning. Second, policies are needed to grant access to land and natural resources to women, starting at the community level.

For local governance, instead of inviting chiefs, heads of departments or their representatives to public meetings and paying no attention to how many of these were male or female, women’s groups should be expressly invited.

For agricultural productivity, the Ministry of Food and Agriculture needs to train more female agricultural extension officers to ensure that there are enough appropriate staff to provide female farmers with the advice they need, noting that when new technologies are passed on to farmers, women tend to follow protocols more diligently than their male counterparts. Second, the ministry should ensure that when demonstration plots are set up in a district at least one should be managed by a woman; and ensure women had access to farm inputs, such as high-quality germplasm and, indeed, also become leaders in the field.

For access to market and value chains, the workshop proposed that women’s production and processing groups need help to build their sustainability through village savings and loans groups, which would allow them to mobilize funds to invest in labour-saving technologies, such as threshers. Second, women should be encouraged to take up leadership roles in community-based organizations.

By Joan Baxter, originally published at ICRAF’s Agroforestry World


Partners supporting the gender workshop included CIFOR, Catholic Relief Services, Economics of Land Degradation, the European Union, Tree Aid and World Vision.

This story was produced with the financial support of the European Union. Its contents are the sole responsibility of the Regreening Africa project and do not necessarily reflect the views of the European Union.

Produced by World Agroforestry Centre as part of the CGIAR Research Program on Forests, Trees and Agroforestry (FTA), which is supported by the CGIAR Trust Fund.

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  • FTA researchers set to highlight seeds, REDD+ and inclusive finance at landscapes forum

FTA researchers set to highlight seeds, REDD+ and inclusive finance at landscapes forum

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Clouds pass over Ribangkadeng village in West Kalimantan, Indonesia. Photo by Nanang Sujana/CIFOR

The CGIAR Research Program on Forests, Trees and Agroforestry (FTA) and its partner institutions are set to make a strong showing at the Global Landscapes Forum (GLF) Bonn on Dec. 1-2, 2018.

This year’s GLF Bonn will be key in drawing out the next steps toward hitting global sustainability targets, with many participants expected at the World Conference Center in Germany, in addition to a worldwide audience online.

Of numerous discussion forums, FTA is hosting a session on the delivery of quality and diverse planting material as a major constraint for restoration, organized by Bioversity International in collaboration with the World Agroforestry Centre (ICRAF).

FTA Director Vincent Gitz will provide the opening to the session, ahead of a range of speakers including FTA Flagship 1 leader Ramni Jamnadass, as well as FTA’s Christopher Kettle, Marius Ekeu and Lars Graudal, and representatives of numerous key organizations. Additional details are available in the session flyer.

The program is also cohosting a session from the Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR) titled REDD+ at 10: What we’ve learned and where we go next. Looking back at 10 years of REDD+ research, the session will ask how REDD+ has evolved, and where it stands now.

FTA Flagship 5 leader Christopher Martius, who is also team leader of climate change, energy and low-carbon development at CIFOR, will moderate the session, in which CIFOR’s Anne Larson and Arild Angelsen will speak. The GLF will also see the launch of a related book, Transforming REDD+: Lessons and new directions, in the Landscapes Action Pavilion Networking Area.

Another discussion forum of note is Looking at the past to shape the Landscape Approach of the future, organized by CIFOR, the International Climate Initiative (IKI) and FTA, which will bring together a diverse set of panelists experienced in implementing integrated landscape approaches in various contexts.

A major feature of GLF is its schedule of side events, including Territorial development – managing landscapes for the rural future cohosted by Agricultural Research for Development (CIRAD), and Bamboo for restoration and economic development organized by the International Bamboo and Rattan Organisation (INBAR).

The program will have a presence at the event’s pavilions, including the Inclusive Finance and Business Engagement Pavilion where a highlight session titled Making responsible investments work: Bridging the gap between global investors and local end users is set to take place, looking at success factors for inclusive and responsible businesses, which are at the core of both climate finance and responsible investments, as well as financial mechanisms that can adequately address the needs of such businesses.

Visit the Tropenbos International (TBI) and CIFOR booths to find FTA resources and to speak with FTA experts.


For the full details of FTA’s involvement in GLF, please check the event webpage.

Tune into the GLF livestream on Dec. 1-2, from 9am-7.30pm in Bonn, Germany.

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  • Workshop on social and gender dynamics aims to improve resilience and livelihoods in Ghana

Workshop on social and gender dynamics aims to improve resilience and livelihoods in Ghana

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Restoration of landscapes in Ghana requires men and women to work together. Photo by Joan Baxter/ICRAF

Raising awareness of gender equity and equality is critical for Africa’s future, with workshops like one held recently in Ghana an important contribution.

Almost two dozen representatives from Ghanaian development agencies working in partnership with the World Agroforestry Centre (ICRAF) in northern Ghana gathered in the city of Bolgatanga on Nov. 13, 2018 for a training workshop titled Social and Gender Dynamics and their Importance for Improving Resilience and Livelihoods.

The participants expressed a strong interest in learning more about gender equity and equality so that they could integrate the concepts into agricultural and natural resource management. Given the often-sensitive nature of the issues and that male participants outnumbered females at 15 to 11, discussions were at times lively.

A few of the men said they were uneasy with the notions of gender equity and equality, if that meant women would have the ‘same status as men’ or expect their husbands to take on household tasks such as bathing children or cooking, or abruptly challenge traditional and cultural values.

ICRAF gender specialist Ana Maria Paez, who facilitated the workshop, explained that ‘gender equity’ was a ‘process of being fair to women and men’ through strategies and measures that ‘compensate for women’s historical and social disadvantages that prevent women and men from otherwise operating on a level playing field’.

“Gender equity leads to equality,” she told participants, distinguishing it from gender equality, which is a ‘state, an ideal outcome’. “Gender equality refers to equal enjoyment by women, girls, boys and men of opportunities, resources and rewards. A critical aspect of promoting gender equality is the empowerment of women, with a focus on identifying and redressing power imbalances.”

The workshop was hosted by Emilie Smith Dumont, coordinator of the West Africa Forest–Farm Interface (WAFFI) project in Burkina Faso and Ghana. She is also the Ghana focal point for the ambitious, five-year Regreening Africa project funded by the European Union.

The WAFFI project is led by the Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR) in collaboration with ICRAF and Tree Aid with support from the International Fund for Agricultural Development. WAFFI aims to identify practices and policy actions that improve the income and food security of smallholders in Burkina Faso and Ghana through integrated forest and tree management systems that are environmentally sound and socially equitable.

Workshop participant work on a drawing of an ‘ideal man’. Photo by Emilie Smith Dumont/ICRAF

Regreening Africa seeks to reverse land degradation among 500,000 households across 1 million hectares in eight countries in Sub-Saharan Africa. Incorporating trees into crop land, communal land and pastoral areas can reclaim Africa’s degraded landscapes. In Ghana, the work is led by World Vision in collaboration with ICRAF and Catholic Relief Services.

“Our purpose was to bring people together to find ways to fully integrate and promote gender issues and transformation into projects,” said Smith Dumont. “The context is land restoration at the forest–farm interface because there is a very strong gendered role around trees in landscapes.

“This kind of collaboration is extremely important for improving livelihoods: we know that trees contribute greatly to livelihoods. We have found from our work that family cohesion increases resilience of households and that all goes back to more balanced gender relations.”

Among other themes, participants engaged in extensive, and often intensive, discussions about the difference between gender, which is a social construct, and sex, which pertains to physical characteristics, as well as on processes of gender transformation and, thus, societal change.

One of the more colorful sessions involved male participants drawing and describing what they would consider the ‘ideal woman’ and female participants doing the same for an ‘ideal man’. This led to animated discussions, closely analyzing some of the stereotypes of men and women revealed by the drawings.

But the over-arching theme of the workshop and the key messages that emerged had most to do with analyses of gender in agriculture, including divisions of labour, access to, and control of, resources and their benefits, based on findings from WAFFI.

The discussion revealed how gender influences many aspects of the management of farms, households, trees and forests in communities.

Participants also looked at specific issues that were particularly relevant for their project work in northern Ghana, including tree management and landscape restoration, soil and water conservation, and ways to ensure equitable representation of men and women in project planning, implementation and monitoring.

They also examined how gender awareness is, or is not, already integrated into their activities in community forestry, value chains and market access, local governance, and agricultural productivity.

A woman views a gulley on her farm in Mwingi, Kenya. Photo by Ake Mamo/ICRAF

From the discussions, they distilled some tangible ways to be more responsive to gender issues in their activities.

For community forestry, participants proposed several actions. First, bush fires are an annual and serious problem in northern Ghana. More sensitization and training should be undertaken with women to empower them to prevent, control and manage burning. Second, policies are needed to grant access to land and natural resources to women, starting at the community level.

For local governance, instead of inviting chiefs, heads of departments or their representatives to public meetings and paying no attention to how many of these were male or female, women’s groups should be expressly invited.

For agricultural productivity, the Ministry of Food and Agriculture needs to train more female agricultural extension officers to ensure that there are enough appropriate staff to provide female farmers with the advice they need, noting that when new technologies are passed on to farmers, women tend to follow protocols more diligently than their male counterparts. Second, the ministry should ensure that when demonstration plots are set up in a district at least one should be managed by a woman; and ensure women had access to farm inputs, such as high-quality germplasm and, indeed, also become leaders in the field.

For access to market and value chains, the workshop proposed that women’s production and processing groups need help to build their sustainability through village savings and loans groups, which would allow them to mobilize funds to invest in labour-saving technologies, such as threshers. Second, women should be encouraged to take up leadership roles in community-based organizations.

By Joan Baxter, originally published at ICRAF’s Agroforestry World


Partners supporting the gender workshop included CIFOR, Catholic Relief Services, Economics of Land Degradation, the European Union, Tree Aid and World Vision.

This story was produced with the financial support of the European Union. Its contents are the sole responsibility of the Regreening Africa project and do not necessarily reflect the views of the European Union.

Produced by World Agroforestry Centre as part of the CGIAR Research Program on Forests, Trees and Agroforestry (FTA), which is supported by the CGIAR Trust Fund.

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  • Landscape characteristics of Rejoso Watershed: land cover dynamics, farming systems and community strategies

Landscape characteristics of Rejoso Watershed: land cover dynamics, farming systems and community strategies

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The Rejoso watershed provides vital livelihoods for the Pasuruan communities. Farming of annual and perennial crops, including agroforestry, timber plantations and livestock is the most dominant source of income. In the last decade, stone mining has gradually become an alternative source of income for the communities in the midstream area of the Rejoso Watershed. In the upper stream of Rejoso watershed, adjacent to Mount Bromo, the tourism becomes an alternative local revenue. Population growth and economic pressure are causing dramatic changes in the Rejoso Watershed. Dominant anthropocentric development activities have been gradually affecting the environment’s quality, especially the watershed’s function of maintaining good quality and quantity of water resources. The most common environmental issues related to water resources are floods, droughts, erosions, and landslides. An initiative that simultaneously conserves and strengthens the local economy and livelihoods is urgently needed. The ‘Rejoso Kita’ initiative was designed to achieve these aspirations. As an initial step towards the implementation of such an initiative, the World Agroforestry Centre (ICRAF) is leading a scoping study as basis for the ‘Rejoso Kita’ strategy implemented by a consortium coordinated by Social Investment Indonesia Foundation, CK-Net and partners supported by the Danone Ecosystem.

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  • Storytelling guide illustrates how local practices can contribute to landscape restoration

Storytelling guide illustrates how local practices can contribute to landscape restoration

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The book’s illustrations attractively portray life on the land in Sumba, Indonesia. Image by ICRAF

Researchers in Indonesia have produced an illustrated book to help farmers better understand research results.

The World Agroforestry Centre (ICRAF) recently published an illustrated storytelling guide, Menanam pohon di bukit batu (Planting trees on a stony hill), to help spread knowledge of land-restoration and food-security techniques developed by researchers and farmers in Haharu District on the island of Sumba.

“The Sumba community is similar to many others in Indonesia,” explained Elok Mulyoutami, one of the authors, who is a gender specialist and social scientist with ICRAF Indonesia. “They have little interest in reading. This presented a challenge for us. We wanted to share more widely the techniques for land restoration and improved farming that we had developed together with farmers. 

“Observing the cultural practices of the people of the district, we realized that storytelling was very popular and could perhaps become the best way of disseminating our research results, providing agricultural advice and raising people’s awareness of how to better manage their natural resources.”

Read the book: Menanam Pohon di Bukit Batu (Planting trees on a stony hill)

The book, in plain Indonesian designed to be read aloud, uses three children walking home from school in the heat to tell the stories of reforesting their land. At home, one child asks his grandfather why their island home was so hot and dry; if there were more trees wouldn’t it be cooler and fresher? His grandfather’s answers make the boy feel optimistic that Sumba would once again be forested.

The second child asks her mother about the maize they grow and learns how the stalks are used to restore soil fertility in the traditional hillside terracing system that also includes fertilizer trees. Her mother also explains how men and women work together in the fields and learn new skills and knowledge from attending training courses that helps them better manage and protect their harsh yet fragile land.

“Gender equity is relatively well established in Sumba society,” explained Mulyoutami. “Although complicated by class and caste issues. It was important that the book featured women and men collaborating according to their abilities, as happens in reality.”

A seasonal calendar developed by the researchers and farmers is faithfully reproduced in the book. Image by ICRAF

The third child vows to become a smart and good farmer, sharing knowledge and skills with others so that many people can plant more and more trees to ensure that the savanna will become a forest again.

Sumba was largely deforested by the early 2000s as individuals and companies alike sought valuable sandalwood and other indigenous species. Conditions now are harsh and life is difficult. The World Agroforestry Centre (ICRAF) and partners, Wahana Visi Indonesia and Lutheran World Relief, supported by the Australian Government’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, have been working together for several years on the Indonesia Rural Economic Development program to help farmers overcome the great challenges to their very survival.

“The idea of using a children’s storybook approach to explain our research results came from the project’s specific concern for youth and children,” said Mulyoutami. “Wahana Visi Indonesia, our partner, had produced children’s books before so we were able to draw on their expertise and had their full support.”

Read also: From savannah to forest: Women’s roles in land restoration in Sumba

Working with Jakarta-based illustrator, Resi Desta, designer Riky Hilmansyah and co-author Tikah Atikah, Mulyoutami gathered technical know-how and cultural nuance from ICRAF staff members who also worked in Sumba — Iskak Nugky Ismawan, Erik Maramba, Asep Suryadi, Nikolas Hanggawali, Gerhard Sabastian, Riyandoko, Suci Anggrayani, Pratiknyo Purnomosidhi and Lia Dahlia — that resulted in a bright, accessible and accurate book that has been well received by the target audiences.

“It’s important to underline that this book is not only for children,” said Mulyoutami. “It’s also useful for agricultural extensionists, rural advisers and farmers to give them a good grounding in how local practices can contribute to restoration.”

The communities of Haharu are committed to expanding their knowledge and restoring their land to its once fertile and productive state. A book such as this is one more tool to use to help reach that goal.

By Rob Finlayson, originally published at ICRAF’s Agroforestry World. 

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  • Menanam Pohon di Bukit Batu (Planting trees on a stony hill)

Menanam Pohon di Bukit Batu (Planting trees on a stony hill)

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Buku panduan bergambar dan berceritaini merupakan sebuah alat sederhana untuk menyampaikan pesan dari hasil-hasil dokumentasiyang perlu diketahui khalayak banyak. Substansi buku ini berasal dari hasilpendokumentasian pengetahuan lokal dan gender serta kegiatan pelatihan daripetani ke petani yang dilakukan di Kecamatan Haharu, Sumba Timur, Nusa TenggaraTimur. Kondisi alam di tanah Haharu unik dengan dominasi padang sabana dantanah berbatu. Tidak hanya menjadi (semi) panduan yang berguna untuk penyuluhdan petani penyuluh, buku ini menjadi bahan bacaan untuk anak-anak sekolahdasar maupun tingkat menengah yang berpotensi untuk mengembangkan modelpengelolaan sumber daya alam yang sesuai dengan kondisi alam setempat. Penyusunanpanduan bergambar dan bercerita ini dimaksudkan untuk meningkatkan minat bacamasyarakat, mengingat budaya masyarakat yang lebih banyak mendengar danberbicara daripada membaca. Khasanah pengetahuan lokal khas Sumba Timur iniperlu diketahui masyarakat luas, terutama para pihak yang berkenan mendukungprogram pembangunan yang masih sangat diperlukan untuk meningkatkan penghidupandan kehidupan masyarakat Sumba Timur.

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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

case_studies
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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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  • ICRAF’s Tony Simons talks transformational change in land management

ICRAF’s Tony Simons talks transformational change in land management

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ICRAF’s Tony Simons speaks at the GLF Investment Case Symposium 2018 in Washington, D.C. Photo by L. Vogel/GLF

The second of three Global Landscapes Forum (GLF) in 2018 is being held at the UN headquarters in Nairobi, Kenya, on Aug. 29 to 30, with a focus on forest and landscape restoration.

The World Agroforestry Centre (ICRAF), one of the CGIAR Research Program on Forests, Trees and Agroforestry’s (FTA) partner institutions, is based in Nairobi, and its Director General Tony Simons is set to have some of the last words at this current GLF.

Simons is speaking in the Policy Plenary just before the conference finale, which will explore how to create enabling environments for transformational change in landscape management in the region.

Originally from New Zealand, Simons has an impressive track record working on issues at the interface of tropical agriculture and forestry in more than 40 developing countries. GLF’s Landscape News spoke with him about the potential he sees for policy change to help make forest landscape restoration work for ecosystems, people and profit across the African continent.

What are some of the issues for enabling sustainable landscapes in Africa at the moment?

Africa has tremendous opportunities, but it’s also got a lot of issues and difficulties. It’s the second largest continent in the world; the second most highly populated; the most rural; the poorest; and the most reliant on agriculture. It has the least forest cover; the highest use of wood energy; and it’s got one of the youngest populations in the world. There are very low levels of mechanization in agriculture: 95 percent of crops are rain-fed, and only 5 percent are irrigated.

Staggeringly, Africa imports 35 billion dollars a year of food. That’s going to be 110 billion by the year 2030. Of that 35 billion, 95 percent of that is brought in from other continents. So while there is plenty of land available – and people to work it – food production is not yet happening at the scale that it should be.

Food trees grow on a farm in Kenya. Photo by A. Mamo/ICRAF

What policies need to change to help make landscapes more sustainable?

Back in 2009, the African Union [AU] heads of state passed a resolution on land use and management across the continent. It was at a time where there was a huge amount of attention on land grabbing. So the policy instruments put into place were about keeping the resource under sovereign control.

So that’s one of the issues in Africa now: about 75 percent of the land – even if it’s under customary control – is formally owned by the government. And the governments don’t really know what to do with it.

I think we’ve got to put land stewardship back in the hands of people. You’ve got the land; you’ve got a young population; you’ve got growing prosperity; better education; literacy and numeracy is growing; but there needs to be a kind of revolution in land management. It’s not going to be by individuals; it’s going to be by groups, collectives, communities and watersheds. We’ve got to leverage the agenda of that wise stewardship down to the level of the people.

Sustainable management costs money. How can we make it worth people’s while?

If you travelled to the world’s second largest rainforest, which is the Congo, and I sold you an acre of rainforest, it would cost about $10,000. But the government gets less than $100 of revenue from that per year: a 1 percent return. That’s the biggest problem with forests and wetlands: they’re not remunerative.

And that’s because we don’t count the value of all of the fantastic biodiversity, carbon provisioning, precipitation enhancement and other ecosystem services that these places provide. In a continent where 95 percent of crops are rainfed, forests are very important for agriculture. But protecting and restoring them is not remunerative because of the partial accounting. So that needs to change.

However, we’re not going to get anywhere if we spend all this money restoring the land to how it was in the past, because it will still be under pressure for exploitation. So we’ve got to make a viable business case for restoring that land. And that’s going to be about connecting and linking financial capital, natural capital, human capital and social capital.

This is also at a time when we’re seeing pressures on financing. So how do we get all of these new approaches and opportunities out to people? NGOs (non-governmental organizations) have stepped up in quite a large way, but the private sector needs to step up much more. And for that to happen, there are a number of things that we need to look at. The first one is the opportunities: where are the business cases, the viable enterprises to piggyback on?

The second thing to look at is investment return. What returns will the governments, the small-scale farmer, the community and the foreign investor get from investing in landscape restoration? And what are the risks associated with this, and how can we de-risk? Many people perceive agriculture as complicated, as confused, as risky, as having a low rate of return, as not really investment material. Investors need to see that yes, this is a viable enterprise, and when we start thinking about bringing that financial return to social dividends, to environmental dividends, that’s when it all starts to come together.

Rubus Pinnatus grows on Nyambene Mountain, Kenya. Photo by A. Mamo/ICRAF

Beyond opportunity, risk and return, next comes leverage. We have been relying in Africa on external Overseas Development Assistance (ODA); but ODA is currently drying up and being reallocated. Now for every single dollar of ODA, there’s $3 of remittances, there’s $6 of Foreign Direct Investment (FDI), there’s $24 of domestic private sector spend, there’s $55 of national government spend, and there’s $1,000 of private capital.

So let’s use that $1 of ODA to leverage all those other sources. That’s going to be the real opportunity to bring change in landscapes.

What’s significant about having the GLF in Nairobi this year? 

Africa is innovative and unique. Practitioners can take things that worked in Latin America and Asia and adapt them, but Africa also has some fantastic indigenous ways of understanding and transforming landscapes. For example, we’re already seeing in Ethiopia how social capital is driving land use change.

The GLF provides an important opportunity to showcase that it’s not just doom and gloom, and that things are progressing. Let’s make a business case for restoration. Let’s connect with people; let’s think about gender, land ownership and tenure, and about motivating the youth. We candrive confidence to investors to bring financing to restoration. It’s not just about ecosystem services; it’s all of humanity that stands to benefit from this.

To hear more from Tony Simons and other policy experts, tune into the Policy Plenary live stream on Thursday, Aug. 30, at 5.45pm Nairobi time (GMT+3).

By Monica Evans, first published at GLF’s Landscape News

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ICRAF’s Tony Simons talks transformational change in land management

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ICRAF’s Tony Simons speaks at the GLF Investment Case Symposium 2018 in Washington, D.C. Photo by L. Vogel/GLF

The second of three Global Landscapes Forum (GLF) in 2018 is being held at the UN headquarters in Nairobi, Kenya, on Aug. 29 to 30, with a focus on forest and landscape restoration.

The World Agroforestry Centre (ICRAF), one of the CGIAR Research Program on Forests, Trees and Agroforestry’s (FTA) partner institutions, is based in Nairobi, and its Director General Tony Simons is set to have some of the last words at this current GLF.

Simons is speaking in the Policy Plenary just before the conference finale, which will explore how to create enabling environments for transformational change in landscape management in the region.

Originally from New Zealand, Simons has an impressive track record working on issues at the interface of tropical agriculture and forestry in more than 40 developing countries. GLF’s Landscape News spoke with him about the potential he sees for policy change to help make forest landscape restoration work for ecosystems, people and profit across the African continent.

What are some of the issues for enabling sustainable landscapes in Africa at the moment?

Africa has tremendous opportunities, but it’s also got a lot of issues and difficulties. It’s the second largest continent in the world; the second most highly populated; the most rural; the poorest; and the most reliant on agriculture. It has the least forest cover; the highest use of wood energy; and it’s got one of the youngest populations in the world. There are very low levels of mechanization in agriculture: 95 percent of crops are rain-fed, and only 5 percent are irrigated.

Staggeringly, Africa imports 35 billion dollars a year of food. That’s going to be 110 billion by the year 2030. Of that 35 billion, 95 percent of that is brought in from other continents. So while there is plenty of land available – and people to work it – food production is not yet happening at the scale that it should be.

Food trees grow on a farm in Kenya. Photo by A. Mamo/ICRAF

What policies need to change to help make landscapes more sustainable?

Back in 2009, the African Union [AU] heads of state passed a resolution on land use and management across the continent. It was at a time where there was a huge amount of attention on land grabbing. So the policy instruments put into place were about keeping the resource under sovereign control.

So that’s one of the issues in Africa now: about 75 percent of the land – even if it’s under customary control – is formally owned by the government. And the governments don’t really know what to do with it.

I think we’ve got to put land stewardship back in the hands of people. You’ve got the land; you’ve got a young population; you’ve got growing prosperity; better education; literacy and numeracy is growing; but there needs to be a kind of revolution in land management. It’s not going to be by individuals; it’s going to be by groups, collectives, communities and watersheds. We’ve got to leverage the agenda of that wise stewardship down to the level of the people.

Sustainable management costs money. How can we make it worth people’s while?

If you travelled to the world’s second largest rainforest, which is the Congo, and I sold you an acre of rainforest, it would cost about $10,000. But the government gets less than $100 of revenue from that per year: a 1 percent return. That’s the biggest problem with forests and wetlands: they’re not remunerative.

And that’s because we don’t count the value of all of the fantastic biodiversity, carbon provisioning, precipitation enhancement and other ecosystem services that these places provide. In a continent where 95 percent of crops are rainfed, forests are very important for agriculture. But protecting and restoring them is not remunerative because of the partial accounting. So that needs to change.

However, we’re not going to get anywhere if we spend all this money restoring the land to how it was in the past, because it will still be under pressure for exploitation. So we’ve got to make a viable business case for restoring that land. And that’s going to be about connecting and linking financial capital, natural capital, human capital and social capital.

This is also at a time when we’re seeing pressures on financing. So how do we get all of these new approaches and opportunities out to people? NGOs (non-governmental organizations) have stepped up in quite a large way, but the private sector needs to step up much more. And for that to happen, there are a number of things that we need to look at. The first one is the opportunities: where are the business cases, the viable enterprises to piggyback on?

The second thing to look at is investment return. What returns will the governments, the small-scale farmer, the community and the foreign investor get from investing in landscape restoration? And what are the risks associated with this, and how can we de-risk? Many people perceive agriculture as complicated, as confused, as risky, as having a low rate of return, as not really investment material. Investors need to see that yes, this is a viable enterprise, and when we start thinking about bringing that financial return to social dividends, to environmental dividends, that’s when it all starts to come together.

Rubus Pinnatus grows on Nyambene Mountain, Kenya. Photo by A. Mamo/ICRAF

Beyond opportunity, risk and return, next comes leverage. We have been relying in Africa on external Overseas Development Assistance (ODA); but ODA is currently drying up and being reallocated. Now for every single dollar of ODA, there’s $3 of remittances, there’s $6 of Foreign Direct Investment (FDI), there’s $24 of domestic private sector spend, there’s $55 of national government spend, and there’s $1,000 of private capital.

So let’s use that $1 of ODA to leverage all those other sources. That’s going to be the real opportunity to bring change in landscapes.

What’s significant about having the GLF in Nairobi this year? 

Africa is innovative and unique. Practitioners can take things that worked in Latin America and Asia and adapt them, but Africa also has some fantastic indigenous ways of understanding and transforming landscapes. For example, we’re already seeing in Ethiopia how social capital is driving land use change.

The GLF provides an important opportunity to showcase that it’s not just doom and gloom, and that things are progressing. Let’s make a business case for restoration. Let’s connect with people; let’s think about gender, land ownership and tenure, and about motivating the youth. We candrive confidence to investors to bring financing to restoration. It’s not just about ecosystem services; it’s all of humanity that stands to benefit from this.

To hear more from Tony Simons and other policy experts, tune into the Policy Plenary live stream on Thursday, Aug. 30, at 5.45pm Nairobi time (GMT+3).

By Monica Evans, first published at GLF’s Landscape News


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