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Focus on peatlands and research results

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FTA communications

Welcome to the latest FTA newsletter showcasing peatlands and research results.

There have been many events, publications and achievements in the past two months, highlighted in blogs about the Global Landscapes Forum and the effects of our research

We are also pleased to announce the publication of a new FTA leafletin cooperation with CGIAR, which in a nutshell explains the main areas of focus of FTA research, the intended impacts and contributions toward sustainable development goals.

Furthermore, FTA is now on social media: For the latest on forests, trees and agroforestry, I invite you to follow the program’s new Twitter account @FTA_CGIAR and like the Facebook page @foreststreesagroforestry.

I thank you for your continued fidelity and readership. If you have any feedback on how we could make this newsletter more relevant to you as a reader, please contact us at


FTA's influence on debate at GLF on peatlands

imagethumb.jpgThe recent Global Landscapes Forum (GLF): Peatlands Matter, held in Jakarta, Indonesia, by the Centre for International Forestry Research (CIFOR), was a resounding success with 425 attendees and over 1,000 views of the livestream. Much of the content discussed at the event and at previous GLFs points directly to FTA research, and FTA scientists also attended and presented research at the forum. Prior to the event, FTA Director Vincent Gitz explained how the program sought to influence the peat debate.


Strength in numbers: How the Global Landscapes Forum connects the land use community

imagethumb.jpgFTA partners such as CIFOR, the World Agroforestry Centre, CIAT, CIRAD, CATIE and Bioversity International have been key actors in GLFs throughout the years, hosting discussion forums and side events as well as sharing information and advocating in their communities of practice. FTA has also cofinanced GLFs. Read this blog to find out what the GLF works towards and how it brings together key actors in land use.

Guardians of the forest inspire at Global Landscapes Forum

imagethumb.jpgIt is estimated that peatlands contain nearly twice as much carbon as all the world’s forests combined, despite the fact that they cover only 3-5 percent of the world’s surface. This makes them saving graces for climate control when protected, but terrifyingly destructive when burned and carbon dioxide is released. In this context, peatland communities throughout Indonesia have had to relearn how to live peaceably with their environments. This story gives a human perspective to the complex peatlands debate.

FTA scientists show China’s forest cover gains are dependent on definition

imagethumb.jpgA recently published FTA-related study, China’s fight to halt tree cover loss, shows that China, home to one-fifth of the global population, is seeing great pressures on natural resources. The country is making concerted afforestation efforts and working hard to reverse the trend of tree cover losses, according to the study. Despite this, the research showed that China’s forest cover gains are highly dependent on definition; one has to look at how the term ‘forest’ is used in order to quantify them.

A world with trees but without the word ‘forest’ – a thought experiment

imagethumb.jpgThe abovementioned paper carefully avoided the word forest in its title; it challenged the various definitions of forest that may cause more confusion than necessary, and preferred the more objectively observable ‘tree cover’ term for discussing what types of changes are occurring in China and whether or not the investments made by the state are delivering the services society wants. This leads to a thought experiment: Can we do without the word forest and its derivatives (deforestation, reforestation, afforestation, agroforestry, agroforestation)?

Money grows on clove trees in Sulawesi

imagethumb.jpgIn another example of impactful FTA research, the recently completed Agroforestry and Forestry in Sulawesi: Linking Knowledge with Action (AgFor Sulawesi) research in development project in Sulawesi, Indonesia, illustrates how tree genetic resources can positively affect livelihoods. Via AgFor Sulawesi, the World Agroforestry Centre (ICRAF) used tree genetic resources to bridge gaps in production and promote resilience in local communities.

2 FTA-related publications in top 5 of Environmental Evidence’s most influential articles of 2016

imagethumb.jpgIn 2016, CIFOR scientists produced 388 publications, of which 204 were journal articles. CIFOR’s publications were downloaded over 1 million times during the year and received more than 10,500 citations. Out of the 204 articles published in scientific journals, two articles were ranked in the top 5 most influential articles of 2016 of Environmental Evidence, according to, and are among the top 5% of all research outputs ever tracked by Altmetric.

How are FTA and CIFOR addressing gender and rights in forest and land use?

imagethumb.jpgFTA gender scientist Bimbika Sijapati Basnett from CIFOR recently gave a speech during the Swedish royal visit to Indonesia. The presentation provided an overview of how FTA and CIFOR are integrating gender in new and emerging areas, while also reminding the audience of the challenges that lie ahead. The forestry sector has much to contribute toward combatting gender inequalities and enhancing the full enjoyment of human rights by women and girls, Sijapati Basnett said.

CGIAR Portfolio 2017-2022: Transforming global agriculture and food systems

imagethumb.jpgLast month, CGIAR officially launched its new research portfolio, comprising 11 research programs and three platforms, representing the second generation of its multidimensional work streams. FTA is key among these programs, and began work for the new phase back in January. The program was pleased to mark the official launch with this blog and to see its new profile on the CGIAR website.




The power of science communication: How can the media help protect peatlands?

Activist Emmanuela Shinta discusses tackling peatland issues on a local level

ICRAF Geospatial Analyst Atiek Widayati talks about people and peat at GLF

How are FTA and CIFOR addressing gender and rights in forest and land use?

People and peat: Making a living on protected land

Rewetting Indonesia’s peatlands

What really happens when peat swamp-forest is cleared?



China’s fight to halt tree cover loss

China’s conversion of cropland to forest program: a systematic review of the environmental and socioeconomic effects

Does the gender composition of forest and fishery management groups affect resource governance and conservation outcomes? A systematic map

Managing peatlands in Indonesia: Challenges and opportunities for local and global communities

New map reveals more peat in the tropics

Agroforestry on peatlands: combining productive and protective functions as part of restoration

Contact Us

Produced as part of the CGIAR Research Program on Forests, Trees and Agroforestry (FTA).

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, INBAR, Tropenbos International and the World Agroforestry Centre. We would like to thank all donors who supported this work through their contributions to the CGIAR Fund.

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