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FTA Newsletter – September-October 2015: Focus on Sentinel Landscapes

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With this newsletter, we bring you some good news: our FTA pre-proposal for the next research phase received a very positive assessment from the CGIAR Independent Science and Partnership Council (ISPC). You can take a look at the pre-proposal here. And we welcome your feedback via the e-mail address below. This newsletter has a strong focus on landscapes. Sentinel Landscapes is one of FTA’s most ambitious projects, a massive compilation of data, waiting for researchers and policy-makers to make the most use of them, according to their needs. Most recently, the data-driven network was presented at the World Forestry Congress (WFC) in Durban. Find out more about other events at WFC in this newsletter. And as COP21 in Paris draws closer, it is also time get ready for this year’s Global Landscapes Forum.

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How are trees good for us? ‘Sentinels’ may hold the answer


It’s a unique and ambitious research initiative, spanning 8 landscapes across 15 countries on 3 continents. It involves scores of scientists and practitioners from 60 organizations, and employs a panoply of research methods from household surveys to soil sampling, from vegetation inventories to satellite imagery. Find out more about the Sentinel Landscapes project, which is part of the CGIAR Research Program on Forests, Trees and Agroforestry.


Offering the world a world of data


Scientists working on the Sentinel Landscapes project are creating a data-driven network and platform. It is intended to offer common approaches and methods to address the social-ecological challenges facing smallholder farmers. The 200 research sites have yielded massive data sets, offering a wealth of information, waiting to be analyzed.

2015 Global Landscapes Forum

Register now for the biggest side event alongside COP21 in Paris


UNEP Head Achim Steiner, French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius and Nigeria’s former Finance Minister Ngozi Ogonjo-Iweala are among the many renowned speakers at this year’s Global Landscapes Forum, 5–6 December in Paris. Held on the sidelines of COP21, the Forum brings together all those in land use who want to shape a sustainable future. Seven organizations are on board as Coordinating Partners: CIFOR and UNEP are joined by CIAT, WLE, WRI, World Bank and UNDP. Check out the program of this unique networking and knowledge-sharing opportunity and register here.

Boosting landscape restoration with agroforestry


Land restoration is a key theme at the 2015 Global Landscapes Forum, the biggest side event alongside COP21. The World Agroforestry Centre is hosting a discussion on the role of agroforestry in restoring landscapes. Session organizer Henry Neufeldt, Head of Climate Change at ICRAF, explains the benefits of agroforestry for land restoration.


Global Forests and Water Action Plan launched


Food security, climate change and landscape resilience are closely linked to forests and water. A new five-year action plan to better integrate water and forestry management was launched at the XIV World Forestry Congress in Durban last month. The action plan comes at a time when demands on the world’s forests are growing. It is backed by ICRAF, FAO, IUFRO and INBAR.

What the World Forestry Congress said about landscapes


We need to act urgently, and with patience – this was a key message in discussions around landscape approaches at the World Forestry Congress in Durban. Landscape approaches were promoted at some 20 sessions of the event, but despite the growing momentum, experts also warned to not view them as projects but as processes.


CGIAR centers commit to achieving the SDGs


The directors of all 15 CGIAR centers have vowed to commit to the fulfillment of the SDGs. At the same time they called on the world leaders to fund their research. “No other group of organizations combines advances in agriculture development and natural resource management better, or more comprehensively, than the CGIAR centers,” they write in an open letter to the heads of state at the 70th UN General Assembly.


Winners of Bioversity photo competition and CIFOR video competition announced


Women and agricultural biodiversity was the theme of Bioversity International’s recent photo competition. The winners were preselected through Facebook likes, and the whole album is accessible on Facebook. More than 80 entries were submitted to CIFOR’s Think Forest video competition. The winner, from Indonesia, shows the beauty of “Our Land”.


Workshop on open access policy for next phase of CGIAR research programs


Data sharing is a key issue for the next phase of CGIAR Research Programs. All CGIAR centers need to present their open access policies by the end of the year – and some funding partners are suggesting that data sharing should be condition for further funding. In that spirit, the data wonks from CIAT and other centers gathered for a regional workshop to share their vision of a cyber infrastructure for the information generated by agricultural research.


CIFOR and ICRAF putting the spotlight on fire and haze


Haze from forest and land fires in Indonesia were high on the agenda for CIFOR and ICRAF in August. CIFOR organized a Fire and Haze High-Level Policy Dialogue in Jakarta on 26 August 2015. In a recent blog, CIFOR scientist Herry Purnomo looked at the political economy of fire and haze in Indonesia. In the Agroforestry World Blog, ICRAF’s Meine van Noordwijk summed up 20 years of lessons learned from research on alternatives to slash and burn in Indonesia. He warned that every time the rains come, the urgency of finding alternatives to slash and burn are forgotten.


One single tree

Behind the tree




Potencial de manejo de bosques restaurados por sucesión natural secundaria en Guanacaste, Costa Rica

Opportunities and challenges of landscape approaches for sustainable charcoal production and use

Tropical dry forests: The state of global knowledge and recommendations for future research

Diversifying local agriculture: Agricultural diversity on smallholder farms and in local markets in Western Kenya

Promoting Multiple-use Forest Management: Which trade-offs in the timber concessions of Central Africa?

Agricultural biodiversity and food security

Integrated landscape initiatives in practice: assessing experiences from 191 landscapes in Africa and Latin America


World Forestry Congress: Trees are good for you–the magic of measurement

World Forestry Congress: Upper Mekong Sentinel Landscape

The Contribution of Trees to Livelihoods: A Panel Analysis of Living Standards Surveys in Tanzania

Measurement Magic


CIFOR’s Robert Nasi on Sentinel Landscapes

Climate-smart Landscapes, Lushoto, Tanzania

Cut emissions, not mangroves: Indonesia’s best hope for slowing climate change

Our land

Contact Us

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




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