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Focus on forest and tree resources: management, conservation, gender & monitoring, and more

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FTA communications

Welcome to this March-April 2015 edition of the FTA newsletter, with a focus on “management and conservation of forest and tree resources” (which we call Flagship 2). This research involves over 25 scientists across our 6 partner centers and around the world. We are addressing issues such as strategies for tree population management, conserving germplasm of high-value species, dynamics of managed forests, silviculture and monitoring practices, and equitable access and rights in the use of forest and tree resources. We open this newsletter with the transcript of a conversation between our key scientists, as an exciting way to engage our colleagues in the program and help them share knowledge and insight with each other, and with our readers.‎ Read on for more posts about the dynamics of landscape restoration, new articles and guidelines on genetic resources and diversity, watershed conservation, carbon sequestration in the Amazon, and our centers’ special focus on International Women’s Day and International Day of Forests.

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Filling in the knowledge gaps on better forest and tree management

What incentives work to keep trees in agroforestry systems? Does forest certification help to slow down deforestation? What will climate change do to different tree species? How can researchers ensure diversity in gene banks? These are only a few of the topics raised in a discussion by Laura Snook (Bioversity International), Manuel Guariguata (CIFOR), Jenny Ordonez (ICRAF), Jonathan Cornelius (ICRAF), Alice Muchugi (ICRAF), and Evert Thomas (Bioversity International).

News on our management and conservation research


Restoring deforested landscapes means more than planting trees


How countries govern their farmland and forests plays a large role in the success or failure of land restoration programs. By bringing together the results of studies of forest restoration from around the world, a special issue of the journal Forests provides insight into successes, bottlenecks, and the principles of governance necessary to make reforestation work for nature and for people.

Articles underline importance of tree genetic diversity


The genetic diversity of trees is vital to ensuring future production and ecosystem services, as laid out in a new open-access special issue of Forest Ecology and Management, co-edited by FTA scientists. The scientific reviews were drawn from the background papers of the Global Plan of Action for the Conservation, Sustainable Use and Development of Forest Genetic Resources, based on the first report on State of the World’s Forest Genetic Resources.

Putting emphasis on gender in research


Rather than being confined to the lab, researchers are increasingly aware of the social context within which they work. For this purpose, collecting and analyzing data from both men and women – in combination with qualitative data on men and women’s perspectives – is important to clarify who, what, when, where and why for research programs. Read more about how CIAT has been dealing with social context, gender and politics and women as drivers of positive change.

Problem-based learning to sustain future forests


David Boshier and Judy Loo invite university lecturers and students to put knowledge on forest genetic resources into action with their Forest Genetic Resources Training Guide. They hope that this guide will help bring genetic considerations into mainstream management and conservation of trees, ensuring that treed ecosystems maintain the resilience needed to adapt to changing climates and that forest resources will be sustained for future generations.

CGIAR brings people together to conserve a watershed in Sumatra


The Way Besai watershed in Sumatra, previously the target of disagreement over ownership and management, is now harmonious thanks to an initiative by FTA scientists from the World Agroforestry Centre. The Way Besai watershed is one of the learning landscapes of FTA, a benchmark for best-practice ecosystem services’ co-investment schemes in Indonesia and globally.

International Day of Forests and the Sustainable Development Goals


With the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) being decided this year, CIFOR took the opportunity on International Day of Forests (21 March) to highlight the importance of forests in this context. Blogs on sustainability in the tropics and lessons from Peru as well as an expert discussion draw attention to the crucial role that forests play in tackling climate change and implementing the SDGs.

Climate change: decline in the Amazon carbon sink due to excessive tree mortality


A worrying trend has been revealed by a recent study involving 100 researchers, including from CIRAD: the Amazon is losing its capacity to sequester atmospheric carbon. The analysis, described here in French, found that tree mortality rate has increased by more than a third since the mid-1980s. A related article published in Nature shows how the intensity of the carbon sink in Amazonia declined hand-in-hand with the increase in mortality.

In Latin America, professionals are learning to use the red list of ecosystems


CATIE has organized the first training for professionals in Latin America on how to work with the IUCN Red List of Ecosystems. This will help assess the impact of climate change and human development on ecosystems and their various services. This blog in Spanish explains more about the course, co-organized by IUCN and PROVITA.

A Monitoring Instrument for Resilience


A monitoring instrument meant to efficiently track changes in resilience in agricultural initiatives for CGIAR Research Programs (especially CCAFS, WLE and FTA) has been freshly updated. Operationalizing the concept of resilience (i.e. the ability to withstand change, stresses and shocks) poses significant challenges for project managers, particularly when required for performance reporting. This instrument aims to balance the demands for tracking and reporting changes in resilience with the scarcity of time and information typical of development initiatives.

Looking at biodiversity protection in eastern Africa


FTA scientists also worked on environmental gap analysis to prioritize conservation efforts in eastern Africa. In an article just published in the journal PLoS ONE, they looked at conservation areas and whether these are really representative of the diverse range of species and habitats found in the region. The researchers found considerable differences in the conservation status of potential natural vegetation. The complete datasets are available at VegetationMap4Africa.


Gender Inclusive Research: Why and How

Forest monitoring to help curb effects of climate change: Could new technology be the answer?‬‬‬

Investigating the pledge of zero-deforestation

Youth in landscapes: Building skills, confidence and networks



Seeing the trees as well as the forest: the importance of managing forest genetic resources

Bushmeat in the tri-frontier region of Brazil, Peru and Colombia: Demise or persistence?

National fruit catalogue of tropical fruit tree diversity (Mangifera, Citrus and Garcinia)

Social impacts of the Forest Stewardship Council certification: An assessment in the Congo basin

Timber legality verification and small-scale forestry enterprises in Indonesia: Lessons learned and policy options

The State of the World’s Forest Genetic Resources

Non-monetary benefit sharing mechanisms within the projects funded by the Benefit Sharing Fund

Bioversity International – Seeds for Needs

What are the biophysical, institutional, and socioeconomic contextual factors associated with improvements in livelihood and environmental outcomes in forests managed by communities?: A systematic review protocol

Do tree plantations support forest conservation?

To what extent does the presence of forests and trees contribute to food production in humid and dry forest landscapes?: a systematic review protocol



Conservation Agriculture with Trees for Sustainable Crop Production Intensification in the Topical Uplands

China’s environment and power relations: The case of the Conversion of Cropland to Forest Programme

Oil palm and Green Economy in Indonesia: lessons from East Kalimantan

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CGIAR Research Program – Forests, Trees and Agroforestry (CRP-FTA)

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