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Agroforestry headed for center stage in global sustainability efforts (Vol. 3, Issue 4)

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FTA communications

Welcome to another edition of the CGIAR Research Program on Forests, Tees and Agroforestry (FTA) newsletter. FTA participated last month in the World Agroforestry Congress, where over 1,200 experts met to present their research results, and discuss the potential of agroforestry for sustainable development. In this edition of our newletter, our special news feature highlights some of the discussions held at the congress.
Our “Inclusive finance for sustainable landscapes” series led by Tropenbos International (TBI) and the Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR) continues, with three more interviews that discuss how financial products should be adjusted to better meet the needs of community forest enterprises, the importance of scaling up sustainable forestry projects to attract finance, and the benefits of forest-finance partnerships.
FTA has also started a new publication series, with the publication of two FTA briefs. The first brief discusses a monitoring and learning tool – the Gender Equality in Research Scale (GEIRS), which is designed to assess the level of gender integration across a CGIAR Research Program’s research portfolio and at different stages of the research and development cycle. The second brief presents the self-assessment questionnaire based on a set of minimum standards for gender integration used as part of the GEIRS tool.
You can also now access our new website, where all of our publications and resources are fully searchable. There is a dedicated section for datasets and maps – our new data portal – where you can find a wealth of data generated through FTA research collaboratively and by our partners.
This month we are participating in the Asia-Pacific Forestry Week in Songdo, Incheon, the Republic of Korea, and hosting a launch event, “Data and digital resources for decision-making on forests, tress and agroforestry”, for our new website at the Global Landscapes Forum in Bonn.
Read on for more about these stories and events, plus the latest FTA publications and resources.

Vincent Gitz

FTA Director

Special feature

Agroforestry: Development underdog headed for center stage in global sustainability efforts

imagethumb.jpg Last month, when more than 1,200 scientists and experts met at the World Agroforestry Congress in Montpellier, France, agroforestry was praised for its multitude of benefits. It was lauded as a solution to many of the world’s most pressing challenges, including poverty, malnutrition, climate change, biodiversity loss, migration and conflict.
When trees and crops are successfully farmed together, agroforestry does provide a wealth of environmental, social and economic benefits. This is the case in Bugesera district in Rwanda, where 2,000 farmers have started growing tree tomato, which is a result of a scaling-out initiative of the “Trees for food security” project funded by the Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research (ACIAR) and led by World Agroforestry (ICRAF), a partner of FTA. These fast-growing, small, shrubby trees produce fruits (popularly known as “Tamarillo”) that fill an important gap in local diets and provide a source of income and livelihood to those who grow them.
As part of the World Agroforestry Congress, the participants agreed to a statement calling on world leaders to promote the benefits of agroforestry to land owners and managers across the globe. Only when farmers everywhere can enjoy benefits similar to those emerging in Bugesera district in Rwanda will agroforestry truly have become a model for sustainable development. Now is the time to turn from aspiration to action.


FTA launches its new website

imagethumb.jpgFTA’s new website is now live! All of our resources, including news items, publications, videos and data are readily accessible and searchable. Our website holds more than 8000 publications, more than 200 datasets and 74 spatial data maps. Access to our research and data is part of FTA’s commitment to advancing knowledge on, and decision-making for, forests, trees and agroforestry, and our digital resources offer huge opportunities for greater knowledge dissemination and collaboration. This month, FTA will officially launch the website at an event titled, “Data and digital resources for decision-making on forests, tress and agroforestry” at the Global Landscapes Forum in Bonn.


Financial products should be adjusted to better meet needs of community forest enterprises

imagethumb.jpg Continuing a series of interviews on inclusive landscape finance, three members of the Association of Forest Communities of the Petén (ACOFOP) share their insights with Bas Louman of Tropenbos International. ACOFOP was founded in 1997 to strengthen the position and user rights of communities in the Petén Mayan Biosphere Reserve, Guatemala. The ACOFOP members discuss definitions for ‘inclusiveness’ and why it should be addressed by financial institutions, the structural barriers to financing smallholders and small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), and examples of successful or promising financial innovations that promote environmentally sound and socially inclusive investments.

Reversing ‘dangerous decline’ of nature requires global initiatives to engage both men and women

imagethumb.jpg Our planet is in the midst of an ecological emergency, states the global assessment report on biodiversity and ecosystem services presented by the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES). Deteriorating biodiversity is putting food security, economies as well as human health and well-being at risk. Reversing this ecological decline requires restoration initiatives to incorporate the needs, interests and knowledge of both men and women. FTA has long-standing experience with research on incorporating gender dimensions into forest landscape restoration. The program’s research has shown that reaching desired social and environmental outcomes from ecosystem restoration hinges on the contribution and cooperation of the women and men who depend on these ecosystems for their livelihoods.

Scaling up sustainable forestry projects key to attracting finance

imagethumb.jpg In this new interview on inclusive landscape finance, we hear from the corporate sector. Paul Hol, CEO of FORM International, shares his views with Tropenbos International’s Nick Pasiecznik on what is already being achieved and, more importantly, what still needs to be done to attract more investment for reforestation of degraded forest landscapes. “The main issues are the lack of projects and the problem of scale,” states Paul. “There is also a need for stakeholder involvement, but financial sustainability and a sound business case are paramount to success.”

The right tree for the right place and the right purpose


Charles Karangwa of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) in Rwanda speaks to FTA about restoration in Rwanda, the importance of knowledge and science and how we can move from restoration pledges to action. Karangwa explains that we need knowledge, and we need science to adapt to climate change. Even smallholder farmers need this knowledge. Science is crucial, and combined with local knowledge, it brings efficiency to restoration.

FTA landscape finance interviews: UNFF’s views on forest finance

imagethumb.jpg Benjamin Singer of the United Nations Forum on Forests (UNFF) Secretariat shares his views on inclusive landscape finance, continuing our interview series on innovative finance. He brings a decade of experience from his role in implementing the UNFF’s Global Forest Financing Facilitation Network to the discussion. Here he reflects on using public funds to assist developing countries in their efforts to mobilize finance for sustainable forest management. He presents the view that stakeholders need to acknowledge that forest financing is not business as usual, and that partnerships are much more productive than competition.

Banner photo by O. Girard/CIFOR. Special feature and news photos, from top, by: O. Girard/CIFOR; R. Martin/CIFOR; ACOFOP; M. Edliadi/CIFOR; D. Tiveau/CIFOR; O. Girard/CIFOR; O. Girard/CIFOR

Contact us

FTA briefs


The Gender Equality in Research Scale: A tool for monitoring and encouraging progress on gender integration in research for and in development


The Gender Equality in Research Scale (GEIRS)


Recent publications


Technical guidelines for participatory village mapping exercise


What future direction for forest tenure reform implementation in Indonesia?: Perspectives of national-level stakeholders


Sustainable development of the palm oil sector in the Congo Basin: The need for a regional strategy involving smallholders and informal markets


The role of multi-stakeholder forums in subnational jurisdictions: Framing literature review for in-depth field research



Formalization of collective rights of native communities in Peru, the perspective of the officials implementing it

Enabling conditions to implement the 2018 forest proclamation to facilitate FLR in Ethiopia

Multi-stakeholder forums as innovation for natural resource management?

Transforming REDD+ lessons learned and way forward


FTA at GLF: The right species for the right purpose

FTA at GLF: Using forests to support wellness

FTA at GLF: Involving youth in restoration and conservation

Subnational jurisdictional approaches: policy innovation and partnerships for change


Asia-Pacific Forestry Week
June 17-21, 2019
Songdo Convensia Convention Center, Incheon, Republic of Korea

Subsidiary Body for Scientific and Technological Advice (SBSTA) at the Bonn Climate Change Conference
June 17-27, 2019
World Conference Center, Bonn, Germany

Global Landscapes Forum Bonn
June 22-23, 2019
Maritim Hotel, Bonn, Germany


The CGIAR Research Program on Forests, Trees and Agroforestry (FTA) is the world’s largest research for development program to enhance the role of forests, trees and agroforestry in sustainable development and food security and to address climate change. CIFOR leads FTA in partnership with Bioversity International, CATIE, CIRAD, ICRAF, INBAR and TBI.

FTA thanks all donors who supported this research through their contributions to the CGIAR Trust Fund.

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