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Green development through bamboo and rattan (Vol.2, Issue 5)

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Bamboo and rattan have huge potential to restore degraded land, build earthquake-resilient housing, reduce deforestation, and provide incomes for people across Africa, Asia and Latin America.

Innovative uses of bamboo and rattan can have various environmental benefits – bamboo charcoal, for example, can reduce pressure on other forest resources – while the plants can also store carbon and protect biodiversity. FTA was glad to participate in the recent Global Bamboo and Rattan Congress (BARC) in Beijing, China, and to see it result in a declaration calling for bamboo and rattan to play a bigger role in forestry initiatives.

Meanwhile, the Blue Carbon Summit in Jakarta, Indonesia, which FTA supported, similarly looked at carbon sequestration, ecosystem services and biodiversity, in relation to coastal ecosystems such as mangroves and seagrass meadows.

Read on to find out more about the discussions and outcomes of these two important events, as well as conservation and restoration priorities; advancements in plant breeding; and a landmark report on the interactions between forests and water.

And as always, please get in touch if you have comments or questions about this latest edition of the FTA newsletter.

Vincent Gitz, FTA Director

Special feature

Bamboo and rattan: Surprising tools for forest protection

imagethumb.jpgBamboo and rattan are important – but critically overlooked – non-timber forest products. At the recent Global Bamboo and Rattan Congress (BARC) in Beijing, China, organized by the International Bamboo and Rattan Organisation (INBAR) and China’s National Forestry and Grassland Administration, 1,200 participants from almost 70 countries took part in discussions about the uses of bamboo and rattan in forestry and agroforestry, the ecosystem services they provide, and their contribution to a number of the UN Sustainable Development Goals. The Beijing Declaration, announced on the final day of the Congress, called for support of the plants’ development in forestry and related initiatives.


Optimizing carbon stocks of cocoa landscapes can help conserve Africa’s forests

imagethumb.jpgCocoa agroforests vary widely in terms of tree composition and structure in Cameroon, but, until recently, few studies had been conducted to understand how these differences impact carbon stocks. Cocoa producing areas had been becoming increasingly prone to deforestation and drought, until chocolate companies began making deforestation-related commitments. This called for scientists to generate knowledge enabling the transformation of cocoa forest landscapes in beneficial ways.

Failure to manage blue carbon ecosystems could break the internet

imagethumb.jpgThe Blue Carbon Summit held on July 17-18 in Jakarta, Indonesia, covered everything from the most well-known blue carbon ecosystems of mangroves and seagrass to coral reefs, the fish industry, ecotourism, plastic waste, shipping emissions and offshore mining. Over two days, scientists, government, the private sector, media and likeminded community members came together for discussions that called for coordinated efforts to address issues related to blue carbon – that which is stored in coastal ecosystems, in contrast to “green carbon” stored in plants, trees and soil.

Seagrass meadows: Underutilized and over-damaged carbon sinks

imagethumb.jpgAs global conservation awareness about mangroves, salt marshes and other coastal ecosystems continues to grow, seagrass meadows are being left at the bottom. Though they cover less than .2% of the ocean floor, they are responsible for an estimated 10% or more of the ‘blue’ carbon sequestered by the ocean each year. At the Blue Carbon Summit, researchers examining seagrass in Indonesia shared findings on these under-researched ecosystems, and what needs to be done to ensure their longevity going forward.

Forests are key to combating world’s looming water crisis, says new GFEP report

imagethumb.jpgA new report released recently at the United Nations High-Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development in New York suggests that successfully managing the world’s forests will be key to mitigating climate risks and ensuring safe and sustainable water supplies for all. It presents a comprehensive global assessment of available scientific information about the interactions between forests and water, and was prepared by the Global Forest Expert Panel (GFEP) on Forests and Water.

Informal, traditional and semiformal property rights should be fully acknowledged, panel agrees

imagethumb.jpgLANDac, the Netherlands Academy on Land Governance for Equitable and Sustainable Development, held its annual international conference on June 28-29 in Utrecht, the Netherlands. On the second day of the event, a session organized by Tropenbos International (TBI) and partners discussed the practical implications of the increasing evidence from research and experiences in different parts of the world on the value and scope of so-called ‘good enough tenure’ arrangements for international and national policymakers and investors.

Mapping conservation priorities for Asian tree species

imagethumb.jpgA new regional initiative is providing practitioners with tools for deciding where to focus conservation and restoration efforts. Valuable tree species across Asia urgently need conservation and restoration to help meet future needs for food, fuel and fiber in the world’s most populous region. Effective conservation strategies for these species and their genetic resources cannot be implemented without improving knowledge on the species’ distributions and the threats they are facing.

Plant breeders contribute to achieving food security across Africa

imagethumb.jpgThirty-four plant breeders from 18 countries graduated from the UC Davis African Plant Breeding Academy in May 2018. The course, hosted by FTA partner institution the World Agroforestry Centre (ICRAF) in Kenya, equips practicing African plant breeders with advanced theory and technologies in plant breeding, quantitative genetics, statistics and experimental design to support critical decisions. This was the third cohort of the course, with participants drawn from across the continent.

A decade since the birth of REDD+, what does the program need to succeed?

imagethumb.jpgAlmost 10 years since the birth of REDD+, the UN-backed program to incentivize forest restoration and conservation in developing countries, as part of a worldwide effort to reduce emissions and increase carbon stocks, has been heralded as a powerful part of the solution to both poverty and climate change. But at a session hosted by Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR) and FTA at the Global Landscapes Forum‘s Investment Case Symposium in Washington, the debate ran fast and hot.

Banner photo by O. Girard/CIFOR. Special feature and news photos, from top, by: IISD/ENB | Diego Noguera; O. Girard/CIFOR; M. Edliadi/CIFOR; M. Edliadi/CIFOR; ICRAF; A. Riveros; R. Jalonen/Bioversity International; ICRAF; I. Cooke Vieira/CIFOR.

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Fire- and distance-dependent recruitment of the Brazil nut in the Peruvian Amazon


Baseline for assessing the impact of fairtrade certification on cocoa farmers and cooperatives in Côte d’Ivoire


The Global Strategy for the Conservation and Use of Coconut Genetic Resources 2018 -2028: summary brochure

Spatial and seasonal variation in soil respiration along a slope in a rubber plantation and a natural forest in Xishuangbanna, Southwest China


Spatial Gradients of Ecosystem Health Indicators across a Human-Impacted Semiarid Savanna


Climate-smart land use requires local solutions, transdisciplinary research, policy coherence and transparency


Sustainable intensification of dairy production can reduce forest disturbance in Kenyan montane forests


The potential of REDD+ to finance forestry sector in Vietnam


Financing Blue Carbon development

Opening plenary of the Blue Carbon Summit 2018


Daniel Murdiyarso talks about the interaction between land and oceans

Himlal Baral discusses how forests can aid climate change impacts on geographical diversity


GLF Africa Conference
August 29 – 30, 2018
United Nations compound, Nairobi, Kenya

Tropentag 2018
Sept. 17-19, 2018
Ghent University, Ghent, Belgium

Global Land Forum Conference
Sept. 22 – 29, 2018
Bandung, Indonesia

4th International Conference on Planted Forests
Oct. 23-27, 2018
Beijing, China

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 Bioversity International, CATIE, CIRAD, ICRAF, INBAR and TBI.

FTA thanks all funders who supported this research through their contributions to the CGIAR Trust Fund.

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