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  • Final FTA Newsletter - Thank you for 10 incredible years together! (Vol. 5, Issue 6)

Final FTA Newsletter – Thank you for 10 incredible years together! (Vol. 5, Issue 6)

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FTA communications

Welcome to the Final FTA newsletter!

As we close FTA's 10 years as a CGIAR research program, let's look back at achievements, reflect on lessons learned and look into the future.

FTA is a research for development program, one of the most complex endeavours around. It's about generating knowledge, applying it for development, and learning from that, generating new knowledge from implementation.

Together with our partners, FTA has worked in 74 countries to provide innovative research, technical solutions, training and policy support, to leverage the role of trees and forests to enhance smallholder livelihoods, drive sustainable value chains, safeguard biodiversity, improve food security and nutrition, restore landscapes, fight climate change and help adapt to it.

FTA represented a collective research and development investment of about USD 850M over a decade. What is left after 10 years goes way beyond the close to 6000 publications (from scientific articles, technical, to policy reports, many of global importance, most open access, all searchable here. FTA has also contributed to change lives and to change the planet. How to assess this impact is trickier than counting publications. But it is by no means less important.

This is why, two years ago, FTA started a major exercise to assess its contributions and impacts on five key challenges, for our planet and for people. This process brought together the Independent Steering Committee of FTA, impact assessment experts, FTA scientists and partners to (i) design an original, workable approach and operational method to credibly assess impacts at scale for the whole FTA program, since 2011; (ii) deploy the method against five development challenges FTA was expected to address; (iii) learn lessons from the exercise.

FTA is now publishing these 5 integrative impact studies, together with a synthesis (forthcoming). They show tremendous impacts that major clusters of work FTA did achieve, over the years, and under respectively conservative to optimistic hypothesis:

  • Brought between 2–35 million ha of land under restoration.
  • Brought 26–133 million ha of forests under enhanced protection. This represents up to 125 Gt of sequestered carbon dioxide.
  • Brought 60–204 million ha of land under better management via improved policy, monitoring and management practices.
  • Provided between 5–19 million people with better means to exit poverty.
  • Provided 1–3 million people with additional means to improve food and nutritional security.

You can find out more both on the method and on the full studies on this page.

A key lesson from these studies is that, to ensure long-term impact and scalability, it is necessary to work across the research-from-development continuum, at many levels, with Theories of Change bringing technical, social and institutional innovations together with policy-oriented work. You will find the major achievements over a decade within the 18 volumes of the FTA Highlights series, which is a legacy for the future.


Providing evidence-based solutions for stakeholders, farm and forest sector actors, experts and policy makers, and co-generating these with them, was our "bread and butter". But the role of trees and forest go beyond our sectors. Forests and trees are of everybody's concern on this planet. This is why we also sought to reach the broader public though our news pieces, interviews, newsletters and communication campaigns: they are all available here. For example, check out our latest "From Tree to Fork" campaign and our just-launched partnership with Google Arts & Culture to promote the roles of trees!

As we are closing the program as a CGIAR CRP, we measure the change FTA – humbly – contributed to the world. Sometimes, development progress is slow to perceive, but it's quite striking when you look back 10 years behind. It is the same with partnership. Since 2011, a real partnership has formed, bringing together people and institutions. At the "final" event of FTA, on 9 December 2021, Anne-Marie Izac Chairperson of the Independent Steering Committee of FTA reminded us that partnerships are the very "raison-d'être" of the program. And Robert Nasi, Director General of the Center for International Forestry Research and Managing Director of CIFOR-ICRAF, and Director of the first phase of FTA stated "there is a demand like never before, much more work to do […] and we have a tremendous set of partners. I see no reason why we should stop here."

As FTA partners now look into the future, they also look at widening the partnership and giving it a renewed impetus. There is so much that trees, forests and agroforestry can bring to the agenda to 2030.

On behalf of all the scientists of FTA, the Management Team and Independent Steering Committee, I thank you for your attention during all these years. We wish you, family and friends a joyful end of 2021, and all best wishes for the year to come.

Special feature

New partnership with Google Arts & Culture brings more visibility to trees

imagethumb.jpgForests and trees are allies in the fight to achieve the U.N. Sustainable Development Goals, but it is not always easy to see their contributions to livelihoods, ecosystems, food security and nutrition. On Dec. 9, FTA launched its partnership with Google Arts & Culture to bring audiences eight visually-engaging exhibits for forests, trees and agroforestry. The prestigious collaboration makes 10 years of forest-based research and impact more accessible to global audiences Read more.


FTA Final Event

imagethumb.jpgThe “final” FTA event on Dec. 9 culminated 10 impactful years of research for development; it brought together 338 attendees from over 50 countries to hear about the partnership’s top accomplishments and lessons learned. These successes light the collective path forward into a new decade of continued research and impact. Read more.

Toward a Gender Responsive post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework!

imagethumb.jpgIn the lead up to CBD COP 15, experts from FTA, in close collaboration with the Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity, have prepared some guidance on gender and inclusion to support the finalization of the Gender Plan of Action and its implementation in the coming years. Read about this engaging brief and download the infographic!

More Volumes of the FTA Highlights Series available!

imagethumb.jpgAre you up to date with FTA’s Highlights publications? We recently released the volumes on Tree seed and seedling systems for resilience and productivity, Food Security and Nutrition and Sustainable Value Chains, Finance and Investment in Forestry and Tree Commodities. More to come in the next weeks! Our main page is always updated, bookmark it!

COVID-19 Hub Working Group 4, results!

imagethumb.jpgThe Working Group 4, coordinated by our Director Vincent Gitz, has worked to identify the impacts of COVID-19 on food systems’ fragility and to investigate priority options and solutions to improve resilience and build back better, with a particular emphasis on vulnerable groups and countries. In March 2021, it released the first world-level assessment on the impacts of COVID-19 on food security. In parallel FTA launched a “COVID-19 Rapid Research Response” to better understand and assess the main impacts of COVID-19 and of pandemic response measures across the board, aiming at developing ways to build new resilience to the unprecedented. Detailed results of these studies were presented in a special seminar on the 6th of September. This year’s work concluded with an open webinar where the findings from the studies have been presented. Material available on our WG4 page here!

Interview to Iago Hale and Prasad Hendre

imagethumb.jpgA recent study, published in Frontiers in Plant Science, explores new methods to reverse the decline of shea tree populations by improving the species through the use of genomics.

FTA spoke with two of the paper’s authors: Iago Hale, Associate Professor in Agriculture, Nutrition, and Food Systems at the University of New Hampshire and the paper’s lead author, and Prasad Hendre, a genomics scientist at World Agroforestry (ICRAF). Read this incredibly informative interview!

Asia-Pacific Roadmap Progress

imagethumb.jpgOur 2-year Asia-Pacific Roadmap is progressing towards the deliverables. On Friday, 5 November 2021, FAO and FTA co-organized a session highlighting youth perspectives on innovative forest technologies, where the first deliverable from the roadmap was launched. This event attracted over 400 attendees and was part of the GLF Climate hybrid conference, “Frontiers of Change.” Stay up to date on our progress page.

Just Launched! eLearning Course on Gender and Social Inclusion in Forest and Landscape Restoration

imagethumb.jpgTo address persisting barriers to enhancing equality and inclusion FTA has developed an open access E-learning course for stakeholders engaged in forest and landscape restoration efforts. The Gender and Inclusion in Forest Landscape Restoration eCourse aims to strengthen the skills and knowledge of FLR stakeholders about policies, approaches, and practices that strengthen integration of gender and social considerations in FLR. The goal is to help course participants find inspiration and practical guidance to contribute towards more gender-responsive FLR to generate equitable and sustainable restoration outcomes. A brochure is also available. Enroll now!

FTA Geoportal Launched!

imagethumb.jpgDiscover geospatial data resources, view mapped data maintained on web-accessible maps, combine mapped data from different live map sources from the catalogue, compare existing data and download the comparison in multiple formats (CSV, PDF or JPEG), upload your shape file data (research area), to the geoportal and review it with the existing data catalogue and baseline map… and much more! Discover the new FTA Geoportal!

2021 From Tree to Fork wrap up!

imagethumb.jpgThe From Tree to Fork campaign is wrapping up for the season, and it’s been a fruitful harvest so far. The 18 fruits and vegetables released up until now bring more visibility to the important contributions of tree foods to livelihoods, cultural traditions, food security, nutrition and more. Learn about these incredible foods!

Banner photo by O. Girard/CIFOR.

Contact us



Natural rubber and climate change: a policy paper


Wildlife management and conservation in Vietnam: From policy to practice


Lessons towards rights-responsive REDD+ safeguards from a literature review


Transformational change to reduce deforestation and climate change impacts – A review of definitions, concepts and drivers in scientific and grey literature


Cadenas de valor forestal en Moyobamba, San Martín: Oportunidades para pequeños productores


Rôle de la Table Filière Karité dans l'appui aux producteurs locaux au Burkina Faso


Insécurité et COVID-19 au Burkina Faso: Opportunités et vulnérabilités des femmes de la chaîne de valeurs du karité


Adaptive Collaborative Management in Forest Landscapes: Villagers, Bureaucrats and Civil Society


Shifting perceptions, preferences and practices in the African fruit trade: the case of African plum (Dacryodes edulis) in different cultural and urbanization contexts in Cameroon


Hiệu quả thực hiện chính sách và giải pháp quản lí và bảo tồn động vật hoang dã Nam trong bối cảnh COVID tại Việt Nam


The effectiveness of policies for addressing Covid-19 impacts on wildlife conservation in Vietnam


Community forest enterprises (CFEs) as Social Enterprises: Empirical evidence from Cameroon


The potential to propagate coconut clones through direct shoot organogenesis: A review


Enhancing synergies between gender equality and biodiversity, climate, and land degradation neutrality goals: Lessons from gender-responsive nature-based approaches

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 ICRAF, the Alliance of Bioversity International and CIAT, CATIE, CIRAD, INBAR and TBI.


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