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From science to action: Process, results, impact (Vol. 5, Issue 2)

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FTA communications

Welcome to our April newsletter.

The CGIAR released its independent evaluation of FTA. This external review outlines FTA’s “high scientific productivity and strong implementation performance”, stating that the program was “likely to make significant progress toward most planned end-of-program targets,” and highlighting the “close collaboration between FTA partners, and between universities and research institutions”. According to the review, FTA’s “efficient governance, and the effective prioritization and management of resources resulted in a high level of programmatic value-added”. FTA stood out of the set of reviews of all 12 CGIAR research programs by ranking first in terms of scientific collaboration and by being in the top 3 for the number of policy innovations and for progress against programmatic outcomes. The review is available on our website. All scientists and partners involved have to be credited for this result. FTA’s Independent Steering Committee and Management Team have just issued a letter sharing their perspectives on this final report.

We recently made available all the material from FTA’s Science Conference. The fully digital event titled Forest, trees and agroforestry science for transformational change, was held from 14 to 25 September 2020 and drew more than 520 participants from 69 countries around the world. All the material is now available online: the videos of the keynote speeches, close to 200 interventions, panel debates in 26 different sessions, and posters. We hope that this wealth of information will be useful both for scientists and educators worldwide. We’re also bringing key results of the FTA science conference to stakeholders and to the general public, with a series of open webinars called “From Science to Action”. A first dialogue on Innovations to overcome barriers to access to finance for smallholders, SMEs and women was held in November 2020 and you may read the webinar report here.

Hot of the press FTA just released a Brief titled Contribution of forests and trees to food security and nutrition. This is a key area of work of FTA, and the brief reviews the latest state of research findings on the matter. Forests, trees and agroforestry play a key, often undervalued, role to support food security and nutrition (FSN). All these contributions need to be better considered by policies aiming at SDG2. Maximizing these contributions requires policy coherence and integrated landscape approaches, and conversely, agricultural policies need to better integrate the specificities of tree crops and the multiple benefits provided by the integration of trees in farming systems. The brief has been made available this week to inform discussions at the 16th session of the United Nations Forum on Forests (UNFF16), and will be also of relevance to the dialogues of the UN Food Systems Summit.

On the path to the UN Food Systems Summit, FTA proposed a set of 11 emblematic, actionable “game-changing” solutions, based on evidence and best-practice, towards sustainable food systems. FTA submitted these proposals to each of the five action tracks process, and to several UNFSS dialogues. The UN has recently released the set of 1,200 ideas collected so far and organized thematically, and we can proudly say that FTA’s proposals have been taken into account and we look forward to feeding into the next stages of UNFSS processes.

Down in this rich newsletter, you will find many other successes and stories from our partners. A lot more is coming up this year, as we bring the results of a decade of research for development by the FTA partnership to the policy arenas and to the general public.

Stay tuned for more and happy International Workers’ Day on the 1st of May!

Vincent Gitz
FTA Director

Special feature

New FTA Brief underlines links between forests and trees and food security and nutrition

imagethumb.jpgDuring the 16th session of the United Nations Forum on Forests (UNFF16), FTA released a Policy Brief titled Contribution of forests and trees to food security and nutrition. The Brief was developed by CIFOR-ICRAF, UBC, The Alliance of Bioversity International and CIAT, Penn State and the University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences in Austria.

Find out more about the largely unrecognized (often ignored or misunderstood) multiple dimensions with which forests, trees and agroforestry contribute to food security and nutrition. Download the FTA Brief.


Independent evaluation shows FTA’s progress towards targets

imagethumb.jpgIn 2020, the CGIAR Advisory Services Shared Secretariat (CAS) commissioned independent reviews of the CGIAR Research Programs (CRPs), incluing FTA. Results are now available, as well as FTA’s Independent Steering Committee and Management Team’s subsequent letter of perspectives on the review. Read more.

FTA Science Conference Website, with videos from keynotes!

imagethumb.jpgResearch findings, keynote speeches, posters and videos regarding trees, forests and agroforestry contributions to sustainable development are now available in the newly launched web-portal of our groundbreaking Science Conference held in 2020. It contains over 150 downloadable presentations (with voice-over narration from the scientists), 40 posters and further material, such as the book of abstracts submitted to the conference. We also made a playlist of the 16 incredible keynote speeches delivered during the conference. Even if you couldn’t join, you can now get the most out of it! Read more.

CATIE and CIRAD host a webinar to present results on the ecological and timber potential of secondary forests

imagethumb.jpgOn March 26th, scientists and professionals of CATIE, Cirad and SINAC (the Costa Rican National System for Conservation Areas) organized a webinar where they presented the results of the work they made on characterizing timber potential in secondary forests from national forest inventories in Costa Rica and Nicaragua. More than 140 scientists, professionals and stakeholders from relevant institutions, around the neotropics, from Mexico to Argentine attended the webinar. The results of this work are also presented in a scientific article submitted to the special issue on active restoration of secondary and degraded forest of the scientific international review Forest Ecology and Management, co-edited by Marie Ange Ngo Bieng, Plinio sist and Bryan Finegan, scientists of Cirad and CATIE. Read more.

INBAR’s new policy brief summarises how to include bamboo forestry projects in carbon markets

imagethumb.jpgA new INBAR brief explains how to develop and register bamboo forestry projects, so they can be certified by carbon markets. Aimed at project developers and government actors, the brief encourages the inclusion of bamboo forestry projects in carbon offset schemes. Download it here.

The third report from the FTA Sentinel Landscapes is out!

imagethumb.jpgLocated in Cameroon, the scientific partners of the Central Africa Humid Tropics Transect Sentinel Landscape (CAFHUT) carefully analyzed four sites where the pressures of urban development, population growth and forest commercialization are rapidly changing the landscape. The Congo Basin, with its ancient forests butting up against twenty-first century development, is the very definition of a Sentinel Landscape. The third for which the CGIAR Research program on Forests Trees and Agroforestry (FTA) has produced a report after a 10-year research, the other two being the Nicaragua-Honduras site and the Borneo site. Read the findings.

Open call for papers! Special Issue “Resilient Landscapes for Sustainable Trade and Development

imagethumb.jpgBas Louman from Tropenbos International, Sara Scherr of EcoAg Partners and Vincent Gitz, the FTA Director, have been invited as guest editors for “Resilient Landscapes for Sustainable Trade and Development”, a special issue of Land, in the section “Landscape Ecology“. The editors encourage you to submit your papers/articles. The edition will be structured in three sections: (i) Integrating resilient landscape approaches with agro-commodity value chains and development; (ii) Governance challenges and strategies for reconciling landscape resilience with trade and development; and (iii) Finance and investment challenges and emerging opportunities for mainstreaming resilience into landscapes.

Submit your papers now!

Innovations to overcome barriers to access to finance for smallholders, SMEs and women – Webinar report!

imagethumb.jpgOn the 26th of November 2020 FTA held its first webinar of the “From Science to Action” series, focused on “Innovations to overcome barriers to access to finance for smallholders, Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs), and women”. Developed in coordination with Tropenbos International, who leads the FTA Priority 17 on Innovating finance for sustainable landscapes and moderated by FTA’s Flagship 3 Leader, Michael Brady, the event convened a panel of researchers, financial experts, and government representatives, and attracted around 200 participants, to tackle innovative financial schemes for sustainable land uses with smallholder involvement. Full report of the event and YouTube recording available!

On 21 March 2021 we celebrated the International Day of Forests!

imagethumb.jpgFor this occasion we interviewed Julia Wolf (FAO) and Alexandre Meybeck (FTA), lead authors of the recently published co-publication “Addressing forestry and agroforestry in National Adaptation Plans: Supplementary guidelines”, a report that provides specific guidance for national adaptation planning in the forestry sector and that has just recently been translated in Spanish. We took the occasion to make 2 videos out of the interviews… watch them here.

Media campaign in Cameroon influences consumer buying intentions (French only)

imagethumb.jpgA new CIFOR study shows for the first time a positive correlation between a media campaign and the behavioral change from private individuals in favor purchasing timber legally. The campaign included awareness raising activities such as running a commercial on social media, radio broadcasts, radio and television advertising, distribution of leaflets to markets, public poster, among others. Read the story here (French only).

Call for contributions! Participate to a global study on the costs and benefits of restoration with TEER (The Economics of Ecosystem Restoration)

imagethumb.jpgThe Economics of Ecosystem Restoration initiative (TEER) hosted in FAO has launched a call for a global study to collect and analyze data on the costs and benefits of restoration.

To participate in the data collection process and contribute data on the costs and benefits of your restoration project, you just complete an ‘onboarding’ form to provide basic information about your project. Once completed the form please send it to before the 10th of May. Upon analysis of projects available for data collection, the TEER Secretariat will send you a detailed template to collect information on the costs of your project.

Download the form here.
More information here.

New FTA Working paper on initiatives to promote sustainable supply chains

imagethumb.jpgResearchers at CIFOR, CIRAD and WWF conducted a comprehensive review of initiatives to promote sustainable production, including recent “hybrid” initiatives that involve governments at the national or subnational levels to create a better enabling environment for the private sector. Many aspects of complex policy regimes are not yet well understood by policymakers, scientists or the public, suggests the study.

Banner photo by O. Girard/CIFOR. News photos, from top, by: Neil Palmer/CIAT; Mokhamad Edliadi/CIFOR; Tim Cronin/CIFOR; Ollivier Girard/CIFOR; FAO; Ollivier Girard/CIFOR.

Contact us



Book of Abstracts: FTA 2020 Science Conference – Forests, trees and agroforestry science for transformational change


Determining appropriate interventions to mainstream nutritious orphan crops into African food systems


Long-term (1990–2019) monitoring of forest cover changes in the humid tropics


Cómo abordar la silvicultura y la agroforestería en los Planes Nacionales de Adaptación: Directrices complementarias


Variation in aboveground biomass in forests and woodlands in Tanzania along gradients in environmental conditions and human use


The links between forests, food security & nutrition


The value of local ecological knowledge to guide tree species selection in tropical dry forest restoration


Ecosystem Services and Cost-Benefit Analysis of Natural Forests and Mixed Bamboo Systems in Peru


Getting it right, a guide to improve inclusion in multistakeholder forums


Preliminary results of assessments on the impacts of Payments for Forest Environmental Services (PFES) on forest networks and governance, household income and forest loss in Vietnam


Assessment of Bamboo Forest Ecosystem Services in Thanh Hoa Province, Viet Nam


COVID-19 Pandemic and Agroecosystem Resilience: Early Insights for Building Better Futures


Mapping tree species distribution in support of China’s integrated tree-livestock-crop system


Impact of a Media Campaign on Consumers’ Purchasing Intentions of Legal Timber in Cameroon


Litterfall seasonal dynamics and leaf-litter turnover in cocoa agroforests established on past forest lands or savannah


Ecosystem restoration in Mexico: Insights on the project planning phase


Highlights from the FTA 2020 Science Conference 14-18 | 21-25 September

2021 International Day of Forests – FAO/FTA co-publication on NAPs – Interview with A. Meybeck

2021 International Day of Forests – FAO/FTA co-publication on NAPs – Interview with Julia Wolf (FAO)

CIFOR’s toolkit to support inclusion in multi-stakeholder forums

A short guide to implementing How are we doing?


Gender matters in Forest Landscape Restoration: A framework for design and evaluation

Addressing Forestry and Agroforestry in National Adaptation Plans

Changing forests, changing diets in Papua

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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