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  • Unlocking The Economics of Ecosystem Restoration (TEER) at XV World Forestry Congress

Unlocking The Economics of Ecosystem Restoration (TEER) at XV World Forestry Congress

Acacia trees being planted in Yangambi - DRC. Photo by Axel Fassio/CIFOR cifor.org forestsnews.cifor.org If you use one of our photos, please credit it accordingly and let us know. You can reach us through our Flickr account or at: cifor-mediainfo@cgiar.org and m.edliadi@cgiar.org
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Daniella Silva

Standardized data is key to increasing investment in global restoration initiatives!

There is growing global support for ecosystem restoration. However, investment is often limited by lack of information on costs and benefits of specific projects across different countries and biomes. The data that is available is fragmented and does not allow cross-comparison.

The Economics for Ecosystem Restoration (TEER) initiative aims to address this gap and to facilitate public and private investment for restoration by using a common framework for collecting data on the costs and benefits of ecosystem restoration, constituting a database and providing the information to users.

This initiative took the spotlight on 2 May 2022 when the Center for International Forestry Research, World Agroforestry (CIFOR-ICRAF) and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) co-hosted a hybrid event at XV World Forestry Congress (WFC) to raise awareness about TEER and share important updates.

“[Because restoration finance remains insufficient], we need data to demonstrate to investors the benefits provided by restoration,” said Cristophe Besacier, Coordinator for the Forest Landscape Restoration Mechanism (FLRM) of FAO. “We need to show investors — both public and private — that the benefits are higher than the costs and that it is important and interesting to invest in this kind of activity.”


The end goal of the TEER is to develop a database that serves as a reference point for governments, international donors, private investors, project managers, scientists and other stakeholders, “helping them prioritize restoration investments in a world of constrained resources,” according to the complementary short paper that was published during the WFC.

Every single dollar invested in restoration can generate USD 7-30 of return, said Alexandre Meybeck, Senior Advisor at CIFOR-ICRAF and FTA. Echoing Besacier, he noted that access to financing is dependent on whether scientists and communities can show their work will have lasting benefits and that their results are replicable.

To do this, FAO, FLRM, the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) and the Forest Ecosystem Restoration initiative (FERI) launched TEER together in 2018. From there, the tasks were divided into three working groups: i) FAO developed standardized tools to measure restoration costs, ii) CIFOR-ICRAF developed the module to characterize baseline and context of projects and iii) the World Resources Institute (WRI) developed the module to assess restoration benefits.

TEER is currently working at the project level to collect data from as many initiatives and partners as possible, according to Besacier. The team is providing standardized tools and templates that managers can use to easily record their various costs and benefits. These records are then stored in a global database that tracks trends across different countries and biomes. These data are also linked to an online dashboard designed for project managers to review their current costs and make short and long-term projections about restoration initiatives.

The more data is collected, the more managers will be able to make accurate projections about future initiatives “A typical restoration project might last five years,” said Meybeck, “but the real impact of the project and its benefits could go on increasing 10, 15, 20 years after the end of the project. This is why it is also important to be able to project what’s happening after the end of the project.”

TEER has already completed one phase of this data collection, and these results were presented by Valentina Garavaglia, a research consultant at FAO.  Ninety projects implemented by 61 organizations in 51 countries were selected to test the new framework. Most of these projects were affiliated with UN agencies in Latin America and Africa, but the team is working to include more case studies from the Asia-Pacific region as well. Vincent Gitz, Director of Programs and Platforms and Director of Latin America at CIFOR-ICRAF, emphasized the importance of enlarging TEER’s data collection. He will promote the initiative through the new Forests, Trees and Agroforestry (FTA) Partnership, which was launched at WFC. “All restoration projects should collect data on costs and benefits,” he said.

The template for data collection, is now available in Chinese, English, French, Portuguese and Spanish on the FAO website.

Following the background presentations and a lively Q&A with the audience, Fred Stolle, Deputy Director of Forests at WRI, presented on how foundations such as TerraFund could benefit enormously from a global database on the economics of restoration projects. Because there is so much competition for land use, he noted, managers and funding organizations need to really think about where to place trees so that all human and planetary needs are met. “This is where TEER comes in,” he said. “We need to know if results can be replicated and where different approaches work best…this is so important for scalability on the ground.”

TEER can also help make the business case for restoration initiatives, said Benjamin Singer, Senior Forest and Land-Use Specialist at the Green Climate Fund (GCF). As part of their mandate, “GCF can help to de-risk ecosystem initiatives through grants, loans, equity and guarantees that tilt the economics in favour of restoration and away from land conversion,” he said.  However, if project managers are unable to show the costs, benefits and track-record of investments over time, their work is unlikely to attract investors nor to receive funding from carbon credits for instance.

At present, there is a lot of potential for ecosystem restoration initiatives to fetch high prices on the voluntary carbon markets, Singer emphasized, because these projects deliver many other co-benefits that buyers are interested in (e.g. biodiversity, food security and livelihood provision). “If TEER can go that extra step and make the business case, then GCF would be happy to finance some initiatives,” he said.

To capitalize on these opportunities, the developers of TEER hope to see even more partners join in the data collection, noted Garavaglia. A brief sli.do poll with the in-person and online audience showed that 94 percent were interested in collaborating with TEER in some capacity. Most attendees were from either government or academic institutions in Asia, while eight percent were from the private sector. “We have already received a lot of interest [in the TEER], and any collaboration with more partners at the global level is very welcome,” she said.



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  • FTA at the World Forestry Congres XV - Join our Side Events!

FTA at the World Forestry Congres XV – Join our Side Events!

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New R4D partnership to launch at XV World Forestry Congress

We are pleased to announce that FTA is launching as a new partnership during XV World Forestry Congress (WFC)!

After a series of high-level talks, a new set of partners is signing a charter document to propel toward the SDGs and further a research agenda on forests, trees and agroforestry. Alongside with the official launch of the new FTA, we are also going to be present with a number of very intersting side events.

Come and join us! Here below are the descriptions of sessions and links to register!

Building a green, healthy and resilient future with forests: the role of forestry research for sustainable development

Tuesday May 3rd / 18:30–20:00 KST / Register here!

Updated agenda and speaker list

Building a Green, Healthy and Resilient Future with Forests requires strong knowledge to anticipate future changes and shocks and their impacts on ecosystems, economies and livelihoods. Such knowledge also provides a basis for the development of strong systemic and better coordinated policies to prepare for and address these changes. The purpose of this session is to discuss the role of “forest and tree research for development” in building a Green, Healthy and Resilient Future. Forests and trees, like never before, are called to play an important role towards many different objectives. It will focus on key insights from a decade of research within former FTA, as well as key insights by IUFRO on current major forest research frontiers.

The session will look into emerging issues, as well as main research and implementation gaps lying ahead of us along the forestry research-to-development spectrum. Specific attention will be devoted to what it takes for science to make an impact, focusing on science for decision processes and the means by which knowledge is constructed with and appropriated by the various categories of actors.

It will be the occasion for partners to launch and present together the new FTA partnership, as a follow-up of the CGIAR Research Program on Forests, Trees and Agroforestry (2011-2021).


The Economics of Ecosystem Restoration (TEER) initiative

Monday, 2 May 2022 / 18:00–19:30 KST / Register here!

Updated agenda and speaker list

The lack of consistent measurable information on the costs and benefits of ecosystem restoration projects and initiatives hinders local implementation (unclear local costs and local returns) and investments on restoration activities (unclear global goods and ecosystem returns) and therefore restoration is hardly  reaching its potential to contribute to  many of the SDGs and UNFCCC goals. To fill this gap FAO initiated the Economics of Ecosystem Restoration (TEER) initiative with the CGIAR Research program on Forests, Trees and Agroforestry (FTA) led by CIFOR, the World Resource Institute (WRI), and other member organizations of the Global Partnership on Forest and Landscape Restoration (GPFLR), including the Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity (SCBD)/ Forest Ecosystem Restoration Initiative (FERI), Bioversity International, the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN), Tropenbos International, and WeForest.

The TEER initiative has developed a common protocol to collect standardized data on local and other costs and benefits of restoration projects across countries and biomes. The ultimate objective of the TEER initiative is to constitute a global database that could serve as a reference point for governments, international donors, private investors, project managers, scientists and other stakeholders, for the ex-ante estimation of costs and benefits of future restoration projects in all major biomes and across a wide range of contexts worldwide, based on information from comparable projects on which data has been collected through a standardized framework. The purpose of the event is to present the initiative, and to discuss with potential data providers and users how to foster data collection and the type of TEER products that could be generated by this initiative.

Youth proposals for innovative technologies in the Asia-Pacific forestry sector

Tuesday, 3 May 2022 / 12:30–14:00 KST / Register here!

Updated agenda and speaker list

Young people have shown their capacity to generate and spearhead trans-national mobilization to address environmental challenges such as climate change and advance sustainable development. They are instrumental in shaping a sustainable future including: by taking leadership roles and generating momentum through collaboration and social media, by transforming rigid institutions from within and participating to the uptake and upscale of innovative technologies in the forest sector. This is why FAO and FTA, through an open call for contributions, invited students and young professionals to contribute actively to the roadmap being developed on the use of innovative technologies in forestry and forest management in the Asia-Pacific region, with key recommendations (policy and concrete actions) for their application in sustainable forest management. This exercise resulted in a FAO / FTA co-publication, accessible online, which gathers the best youth contributions.


Promoting green economy growth in natural rubber systems and beyond

Wednesday, 4 May 2022 / 12:30–14:00 KST / Register here!

Updated agenda and speaker list

Natural rubber is a strategic commodity predominantly produced by millions of small farmers that sustains around 40 million people around the globe, with a supply chain worth generating more than 300 billion dollars. Natural rubber is emblematic of the opportunities offered by renewable materials for green economy growth and the benefits they provide for sustainable development. Natural rubber has a key role to play for both adaptation and mitigation of climate change as an important land user, a producer of renewable materials, and as a major economic activity. Growing global demand can cause resource scarcity problems, price volatility and potential to cause instability in many regions. Major business, economic, and societal shifts towards sustainable production and consumption, embracing the circular economy would underlie transition to 1.5 degree pathway. Global production can be safeguarded and sustainably increased on a lasting basis by strengthening climate resilience and can successfully contribute to climate mitigation goals. Widening value addition of natural rubber which goes into more than 5000 end-products will improve livelihoods of small farmers. Adoption of sustainable practices together with the implementation of an efficient traceability system will boost sustainable rubber economy.

This side event aims for an exchange of views on low-carbon green growth for promoting sustainable production and consumption of natural rubber through collaborative partnerships with the involvement of governments, the private sector and international organizations.

Asia-Pacific Forest Sector Outlook: Roadmaps for primary forest conservation and innovative forest technologies

Friday, 6 May 2022 / 12:00–13:30 KST / Register here!

The ‘Third Asia-Pacific Forest Sector Outlook Study’ (APFSOS-III),1 launched in June 2019 at the Asia-Pacific Forestry Week in South Korea, highlighted two important areas of concern for the forest sector in the region: primary forests and forest technologies.

First, of the region’s 723 million hectares of forest, only 19 percent (140 million hectares) is primary, which is much lower than the global average (32 percent), and this share is still declining. The conservation of primary forests and the sustainable management of other naturally regenerated forests are urgently needed to safeguard biodiversity, ecosystem services and the quality and health of the physical environment in the Asia-Pacific region.

Second, it is critical to improve our understanding of the opportunities and challenges for sustainable forest management associated with the application of innovative technologies in the forest sector, including Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs), processing technologies, and new wood-based products.

As a follow-up of APFSOS-III, and under the impetus of the Asia-Pacific Forestry Commission (APFC), FAO and CIFOR, lead center of the CGIAR research programme on Forests, Trees and Agroforestry (FTA), worked two inter-related roadmaps2 for the Asia-Pacific region on: (i) primary forest conservation and (ii) innovative forest technologies, including key recommendations on policy and concrete actions. These roadmaps, informed by science, have been developed through a participative process involving key regional stakeholders and technical experts and include a substantial participation of students and young professionals.

This side-event will present the main findings of these two roadmaps and aim at discussing with stakeholders the key recommendations emerging from this work and how to move forward with implementation.

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  • FTA Highlight No. 14 – Governing Forests, Trees and Agroforestry for Delivering on the SDGs

FTA Highlight No. 14 – Governing Forests, Trees and Agroforestry for Delivering on the SDGs

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FTA has supported and contributed to positive and constructive changes in the governance of forests, trees and agroforestry in many ways, ranging from informing and orienting discourses at the global level to supporting decision making at the national, subnational and landscape levels.

FTA’s vision is that multifunctional landscapes with trees, agroforestry and forests — managed at the interface of public- and private-sector actors — can support progress towards the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and help achieve the aspirations of landscape inhabitants and external stakeholders.

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Governance is a dynamic process, and governance decisions in tropical landscapes are about how stakeholders take common decisions on forest, agroforestry, and agricultural land management, on the production of tradable commodities, taking into account environmental services such as water, nutrients and carbon cycle and biodiversity conservation. It is also about how policies are elaborated to improve the enabling environment to enable positive change.

As part of “FTA’s highlights of a decade,” a new series focusing on its main results since being established in 2011, the FTA program is now publishing the volume on Governing forests, trees and agroforestry for delivering on the SDGs.

FTA efforts supported good governance in landscapes through five principles: legitimacy, strategic direction, performance, accountability and fairness.

Contributions to research and innovation and actual impact on good governance have been achieved by FTA at the landscape, subnational, national and supra-national levels.

The elaboration of national policies is a key aspect of governance-related work. FTA has worked to increase understanding of governance issues to effectively interact with and have an impact on policy domains around forests, trees and agroforestry issues. This needs to be drawn on a sound basis of evidence. FTA has heavily contributed to this. For instance, drawing on lessons from ICRAF’s 40 years of agroforestry, a book . A decade of FTA work has contributed to the development of national agroforestry policies in a number of countries, including India, which brought in the world’s first national agroforestry policy.

Landscapes are multistakeholder spaces, characterized by diverse perspectives, interests and goals. More often than not, these interests and goals conflict. Dealing with this requires participatory decision-making processes. This is why FTA’s looked into “landscape democracy” — the operationalization of democratic and good-governance principles in multistakeholder processes at the landscape level.

Constraints to the functioning of landscapes can be addressed only partially at that scale only and often require policy reform at the national and international levels.

Photo Gallery

Good governance needs to operate on top of shared, evidence-based background. This requires specific approaches, methods and tools. Land-use planning is one key domain where it is specially important. FTA’s Land-Use Planning for Multiple Environmental Services (LUMENS) tool started as a method of estimating opportunity costs for REDD+, and is now expanded into a  support tool for  informed and inclusive negotiation over land use.

Green growth policy documents approved and published by provincial governments in Indonesia, facilitated by FTA scientists

Green growth policy documents approved and published by provincial governments in Indonesia, facilitated by FTA scientists

Another example is the ¿Cómo vamos? assessment tool in Peru. Now an official government document, it will be implemented in all management committees of protected areas in the country. FTA also supported the process for establishing agroforestry concessions in Peru, which grant legal title to farmers on the condition that they commit to zero deforestation and engage in agroforestry.

Furthermore, FTA research showed that improving the effectiveness of community-based forest management cannot be achieved by top-down models, and how inclusive, people-centred governance was essential for change on the ground.

Various forest management models

The arrows indicate the direction along which the attribute continues to change. Note that participatory forest management captures both joint management and community management. Source: Duguma et al. 2018a.

In globally traded commodities, global trade, market and value-chain governance play a key role in driving good local governance and practices. For example, for timber, FTA examined the relationship between illegal logging and governance in Africa and Asia. A study of the effect of FLEGT’s Voluntary Partnership Agreements (VPAs) on forest governance and community livelihoods underscored the need for measures that reach the actors on the ground; e.g. small-scale timber loggers. Also, FTA examined how the use of Free and Prior Informed Consent (FPIC) has increased trust in interactions between governments and local communities, in the certification of commodities such as palm oil.

Download the publication to find out how future initiatives can build on FTA results to contribute to improved governance and enabling institutional, policy and socioeconomic environments for more effective and efficient natural resource management, more inclusive value chains and landscapes, and to positively affect livelihoods.


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  • FTA Highlight No. 7 – Trees on Farms

FTA Highlight No. 7 – Trees on Farms

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Trees are often an overlooked, yet essential, component of farms. Trees on farms (TonF) contribute to the functioning and resilience of farming systems, and to well-being of more than one billion people. In Latin America, half of the rural population use TonF for subsistence and income.

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TonF are found in pastures and crop fields, in live fences and windbreaks, and on the sides of roads and watercourses. They occur in patches or in plantation arrangements, and can be solitary or in groups.

Although numerous studies have documented the importance of TonF to farmers’ livelihoods and the environment they are absent from the policy and institutional frameworks of most countries, and are not optimally designed and managed. These factors prevent farmers, the private sector, and governments from fully realizing their potential.

As part of “FTA’s highlights of a decade,” a new series focusing on its main results since being established in 2011, the FTA program is now publishing the volume on Trees on Farms to Improve Livelihoods and the Environment.

FTA’s work on trees on farms builds on its earlier work on Sentinel Landscapes (SLs). That initiative involved long-term research using standardized methodologies in order to understand and improve the dynamics of land use, trees and forests. FTA recently published results from 3 sites:

Farmers retain, recruit or plant trees on farms because they are useful. TonF contribute to food and nutritional security; generate income; and provide ecosystem services as well as aesthetic and cultural benefits.

Some trees on farms are remnant trees from the original natural forest. Some are valuable species whose natural regeneration has been protected. Others have been planted by farmers.

FTA’s work has helped to increase awareness of trees on farms and mainstream them in public policies and development initiatives.


Photo gallery

Addressing TonF in policy and practice requires that salient, science-based knowledge be generated, shared and thoroughly discussed with key personnel in public institutions. FTA’s work in Central America has increased the inclusion of TonF in national reporting systems and sectoral development programmes.

FTA’s knowledge base and science tools are helping to optimize agroforestry systems with perennial crops such as cocoa and coffee. Studies led by CATIE have shown that shade trees in cocoa plantations provide energy, vitamins and micronutrients that help families to avoid seasonal food shortages.

Source: adapted from Saenz-Tijerino 2012

Trees on farms are also good for the environment, helping to conserve soil and water and biodiversity and sequester atmospheric carbon.

Live fences provide fodder for animals, timber, fruits and firewood; increase biological connectivity in the landscape; and accelerate forest restoration.

Tree line features in one (5 km x 5 km) sample quadrat in the Catacamas landscape, Olancho, Honduras.

Forests, trees outside the forest (TOF), trees on farms (TonF), and agroforestry systems are part of the same continuum. A comparative study across three continents assessed the contribution of TOF to national tree biomass and carbon stocks.

Although TonF have previously not been included in legal and institutional frameworks, their assessment and monitoring have increased significantly in the last decade.

The use of high-resolution satellite imagery, remote sensing and other techniques have improved the ability to map TOF at a large scale. A recently published study mapped all trees in a 1.3 million-km² area in Africa and a study in Haryana State, India, mapped TOF resources; both studies used using satellite imagery.

FTA’s work the various Sentinel Landscape sites such as the Honduras and Nicaragua one provides new concepts and tools to optimize the design and management of cocoa and coffee agroforestry systems — these tools can apply to other agroforestry systems as well and can ensure that all the contributions of trees on farms are realized.

Download the publication to find out how future initiatives can build on FTA results and show how trees on farms can improve livelihoods and provide ecosystem services.

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  • FTA Highlight No. 2 – Tree Seed and Seedling Systems for Resilience and Productivity

FTA Highlight No. 2 – Tree Seed and Seedling Systems for Resilience and Productivity

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Tree seeds and seedlings for planting purposes are the starting point from which farmers, foresters and others are able to grow trees. They are produced and made available through “seed systems”. These seed systems have been a major topic of work by FTA in the last decade because of the constraints faced by actors on the ground in obtaining tree-planting material corresponding to their needs and of good quality.

Growers do not always know or fully consider what trees to plant, and where, so that they are effectively matched to planting environments and purposes.

The problem of tree seed sourcing is becoming ever more acute due to the increased demand for seeds to meet now-massive global commitments such as the Bonn Challenge to forest landscape restoration and other tree planting initiatives.

Download the volume! [PDF]
As part of “FTA’s highlights of a decade,” a new series focusing on its main results since being established in 2011, the FTA program is now publishing the volume on Tree Seed and Seedling Systems for Resilience and Productivity.

FTA’s work on the topic seeks to address twin concerns: how to make available quality tree planting material; and how to ensure that tree seeds and seedlings are planted in the right places for the right purposes. If these concerns are met, and principles of good restoration practice are followed, the detrimental ecological effects that may be caused by inappropriate ‘restoration’ can be avoided and genuine restoration can be achieved.

Addressing the supply bottleneck is a key challenge to current global forest landscape restoration programmes becoming successful. To ensure supply it is necessary to realize the potential of many more rural organizations, small-scale private nurseries and local communities to effectively participate in tree seed systems.

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The recent greater focus on accountability in tree planting provides new opportunities to improve tree seed sourcing. ICRAF’s Genetic Resources Unit (GRU) conserves and supplies for research and direct use both tree seeds and seedlings; its field genebanks (see Figure 1) feature more than 80 tree species. The CATIE Forest Seed Bank in Costa Rica reaches more than 170 clients in 20 countries with tree seed. Both ICRAF and CATIE are managing partners of FTA.

Unfortunately, existing approaches do not meet the need for tree seed supply that is well matched to planting sites and purposes, or that addresses livelihood and environmental goals. Growers often end up planting whatever tree seeds and seedlings they can find. A lack of attention to what is planted in restoration initiatives, and the problems this may cause, is increasingly being raised as an important issue. Through its research, FTA seeks to improve on the poor current situation. For example, ICRAF’s Provision of Adequate Tree Seed Portfolios (PATSPO) project focuses on enhancing tree seed sourcing to support Ethiopia’s forest landscape restoration.

Recent preliminary work by FTA showed that the savings (through better survival rates of trees) and increased incomes (from increased production) from better seedling establishment and growth far surpassed the extra expense of quality tree seed sourcing in restoration programmes. More advanced calculations, including estimates based on African Forest Landscape Restoration Initiative (AFR100) activities, suggested that an extra cost per seedling of less than 5% could generate more than USD 5 billion of additional income for tree growers.

The African Orphan Crops Consortium works to fill production gaps for 101 lesser-used food crops, including tree crops, that have potential to address nutritional deficiencies, by improving support to breeders. FTA researchers developed and implemented the supply of “fruit tree portfolios” — combined with other plant foods, these are sets of trees that supply required nutrients to local communities year-round. FTA also engaged in communication campaigns such as the From Tree To Fork, which aimed to raise awareness about the properties of underutilized species through the engaging use of graphics and fun messaging.

Rural resource centres (RRCs), also developed by FTA researchers, supply food tree seedlings and instruct people in tree propagation and other skills. FTA’s tree nursery work in Viet Nam has promoted the widespread planting of the indigenous son tra fruit tree (H’mong apple, Docynia indica), and has taught more than 1,000 participants about topics such as agroforestry systems.

FTA scientists applied the nurseries of excellence (NOEL) approach in Indonesia. A NOEL project on Sulawesi produced more than two million quality seedlings of more than 50 tree species.

An important part of FTA’s work is engaging with national partners to help develop policies that support more effective integrated tree seed systems. In work led by Bioversity International, FTA has developed a set of indicators for this purpose, and has applied them in seven countries in Latin America.

FTA tools for bringing existing knowledge resources together to support the better choice of what trees to plant, and where, include the Agroforestry Species Switchboard. Genetic sequencing for improved varieties is another prominent FTA research domain. Recently FTA scientists collaborated in the establishment of the reference genome of the shea tree (Vitellaria paradoxa). An interesting interview with the lead scientists of this paper is also available here.

Scaling up high-quality tree seed and seedling supply efforts will Global Plan of Action for the Conservation, Sustainable Use and Development of Forest Genetic Resources

Download the publication to find out how more about FTA’s 10 years of research on tree seed and seedling systems!

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  • FTA Highlight No. 12 – Adaptation to Climate Change with Forests, Trees and Agroforestry

FTA Highlight No. 12 – Adaptation to Climate Change with Forests, Trees and Agroforestry

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Trees and forests are a vital part of any global effort to address climate change. They contribute to mitigation and to adaptation through the provision of ecosystem services, including carbon sequestration.

Forests and trees are also affected by climate change, which threatens their critical function to underpin the adaptation of farming systems, other economic activities and the people who depend on these activities. Adaptation strategies are needed to reduce the negative impacts of climate change on forests and trees themselves and to enhance their contributions to adaptation of other sectors.

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These two fundamental aspects can be summarized as “adaptation for forests” and “forests for adaptation.”

As part of “FTA’s highlights of a decade,” a new series focusing on its main results since being established in 2011, the FTA program is now publishing the volume on Adaptation to Climate Change with Forests, Trees and Agroforestry.

Climate change adaptation and mitigation have been one of the five components of the CGIAR Research Program on Forests, Trees and Agroforestry (FTA) since it was created in 2011, with clear links with the other components of the program.

The work of FTA has helped build a deeper understanding of how trees and forests will have an increasing importance in adapting to intensified climate variability, to buffer shocks and facilitating livelihood resilience in the future. FTA’s research and advocacy work also raised awareness on the vital role of trees as providers of environmental services in multifunctional landscapes and how this equilibrium is vulnerable to climate change.

The ecosystem products and services provided by forests and trees contribute to local climate regulation in rural and urban areas; protect coastal areas from climate extremes; protect watersheds; contribute to climate regulation at the regional and continental scale; and support the resilience of farming systems and households.

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Climate change is increasing the risks of fire.  FTA research has improved the understanding of the drivers of fire through interdisciplinary research, quantified their consequences in terms of greenhouse gas emissions and air pollution and supported the elaboration of polices and measures to address them.

FTA researchers have helped develop methodologies and approaches to assess vulnerability, which has many dimensions: environmental, economic, social, political and geographic. The climate analog approach can support vulnerability assessments of agricultural systems. In forest- and tree-based landscapes, the different cultural, domestic and economic roles that women and men play affects their varying adaptive capacities.

Ecosystem-based adaptation (EbA) explicitly relies on ecosystems for adaptation to climate change.

Techniques for studying the relationships between trees and climate change include dendrochronology, which provides information on the growth rates of trees and past climate conditions, and using the carbon isotope composition of riparian trees to assess ecological responses to climate change, as shown in Ghana.

An atlas developed for Central America draws current and future suitability maps for 54 tree species. A study of the impacts of climate change in Mesoamerica showed that 55–62% of current coffee production areas would no longer be suitable by 2050.

A sustainable supply of diverse high-quality tree germplasm is fundamental to the success of tree-based systems and adapting to climate change. AlleleShift R, developed under FTA, predicts how climate change would affect adaptive traits.

Since its inception, FTA has provided evidence of the potential of forests, agroforestry and trees to contribute to both adaptation and mitigation, and has analysed their synergies and trade-offs. In that aspect FTA contributed to shaping global narratives on mitigation and adaptation, especially to correct the imbalance in the global narrative that often depicts forests and trees mainly having a mitigation role, when in fact the paradigm should be inverted as forests and trees have a major fundamental to play in adaptation of other sectors: farming, water, energy, cities, etc.

FTA research has also emphasized the key contribution that forests and trees can make to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and to the synergies between climate action and the achievement of the SDGs.

FTA has in particular helped bring to the forefront of the international agenda the many ways in which, forests, trees and agroforestry contribute to food security and nutrition and to household resilience to climate change. FTA managing partners have developed decision support tools such as the Capacity-Strengthening Approach to Vulnerability Assessment (CaSAVA) and the software ShadeMotion, a useful way for teaching agroforestry at all levels.

FTA promotes the application of integrated ecological, economic and social principles can contribute to the resilience of smallholder farming systems, including climate-smart agricultural adaptation as a farm diversification method.

There is increasing recognition of the need to consider landscapes as a level of implementation for climate policies, including for REDD+. It provides opportunities to best implement adaptation and enhance synergies between adaptation and mitigation and with other SDGs. of the relationship between governance and adaptive capacity in Africa examined risks and potential solutions.

Download the publication to find out more about the the role of forests, trees and agroforestry in adaptation to climate change and FTA’s fundamental research.

Published volumes until today include:

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  • FTA Highlight No. 5 – Food Security and Nutrition

FTA Highlight No. 5 – Food Security and Nutrition

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Research by the CGIAR Research Program on Forests, Trees and Agroforestry (FTA) has been pivotal in the recognition in global debates of the contributions of forests, trees and agroforestry to food security and nutrition. Over its decade of work FTA’s research has provided strong evidence of how forests, agroforestry systems and other multifunctional landscapes significantly improve diets through a diversity of nutritious foods, ecosystem services that support agriculture, and income to smallholders.

Evidence shows that greater tree cover is associated with greater dietary diversity. Forests, agroforestry and trees also provide resilience and stability in the face of climate and other food system shocks.

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Despite these important contributions, however, food trees remain an underutilized resource.

Read more about FTA’s From Tree to Fork campaign to raise awareness on some of the most fascinating fruits and vegetables out there!

As part of “FTA’s highlights of a decade,” the legacy series focusing on its main results since inception in 2011, the FTA program released the volume on Food Security and Nutrition.

During the last 10 years there has been a significant evolution in global discourses related to food security, nutrition and food systems, a narrative that FTA has helped to shape. Old approaches focused on staple food production as the main path to food security. There was an absence of a comprehensive, system-wide approach to characterize and explain the roles of forests and trees.

Efforts now emphasize alleviating all forms of malnutrition with attention not just to quantities of calories, but also the quality of diets characterized by consumption of a diversity of nutrient-rich foods. There has also been increasing attention to reducing the environmental impacts of food systems,  enhancing their capacity to sustainably produce healthy diets for all, and increasing their resilience to climate change and other risks. However, the ecosystem-level functions of forests and trees that sustain agriculture are still often not fully taken into account in land management, and land-use change has a profound impact on diets.

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Close to 700 million people in the world remain undernourished, but the number affected by micronutrient deficiency probably exceeds two billion. At the same time, excessive calorie consumption continues to rise globally: 39% of all adults are now considered overweight or obese.

FTA work has highlighted the direct contributions that wild and planted trees make to diets by supplying  important foods, and the roles that forests and rivers play by providing key habitats for wildlife and fish, also important for diets. FTA work has also been important in enabling farmers to produce a diversity of nutritious foods through agroforestry practices.

A recent study by FTA scientists and partners across seven tropical countries found that tree-sourced foods provided only 11% of daily food intake by weight, but accounted for 31% of the average daily intake of vitamins A and C. In a case study from Ethiopia to which FTA scientists collaborated, found that farmers living close to forests were able to keep more livestock, and use manure for their gardens, because of fodder from the forest.

FTA researchers have designed an innovative “food tree portfolio” —  a set of tree species with complementary crops that provides essential nutrients throughout the year.

Figure 1. An example of a fruit tree portfolio developed for Machakos County, Kenya.

A key domain of work of FTA relates to the domestication and improvement of a diversity of food trees, including neglected and underutilized —“orphan” — trees. FTA scientists have developed the Priority Food Tree and Crop Food Composition Database, which is useful for dietary assessments and training, among other uses.

A case study in DR Congo shows that there are often context-dependent reasons why wild foods from forests or forested lands are sometimes not used to their full potential. For this reason, increasing awareness within the forest sector of its food and nutrition contributions and how to exploit them at their full potential continues to be an important part of FTA’s work.

Download the publication to find out how future initiatives can build on FTA’s substantial contributions to global scientific progress in providing evidence of the multiple ways by which forests and trees contribute to food and nutrition security, both directly and indirectly.

Published volumes until today include:

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  • Perú: Reconocer y facilitar la pequeña producción de madera de purma podría traer beneficios para todos

Perú: Reconocer y facilitar la pequeña producción de madera de purma podría traer beneficios para todos

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Los agricultores a pequeña escala que producen madera en tierras de purma (el término local para tierras en barbecho) en la Amazonía peruana se beneficiarían de un mecanismo regulador que ayude a transformar la cadena de valor del sector informal en una basada en la equidad y la sostenibilidad, sostiene un estudio reciente.

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Known throughout the industry as “oil palm mamas” or “market queens,” women play a competitive role in Ghana’s informal oil palm sector.

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  • Nueva publicación detalla los mejores métodos para el manejo adaptativo y colaborativo en bosques

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  • New book details best approaches to Adaptive Collaborative Management in forests

New book details best approaches to Adaptive Collaborative Management in forests

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The triskelion is an ancient symbol, often represented by three spirals. Its triadic form holds various meanings for the different cultures it has represented over the years.

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  • Lahan Gambut ASEAN: Urgensi dalam Mitigasi Krisis Iklim

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Lahan gambut merupakan salah satu ekosistem paling penting di Bumi dalam perannya menyerap dan menyimpan karbon. Perhimpunan Bangsa Bangsa Asia Tenggara (ASEAN) memiliki peran penting dalam upaya untuk menjamin perlindungannya. Hal itu didengar oleh delegasi yang menghadiri konferensi iklim tingkat tinggi COP 26 di Glasglow.

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  • Perú: Una plataforma científico-política para un REDD+ eficaz, eficiente y equitativo

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El creciente interés de países y corporaciones en las soluciones basadas en los bosques –incluyendo el marco REDD+ de la Convención Marco de las Naciones Unidas sobre el Cambio Climático– hace necesario procurar entender a fondo las salvaguardas que se han planteado para promover y proteger los derechos de los pueblos indígenas y comunidades locales del Sur Global. El nuevo financiamiento comprometido para los bosques puede apoyar al desarrollo sostenible, pero también puede traer potenciales retos para estas comunidades.

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